[OpenID board] Adoption: are we ready? (Was: Re: board Digest, Vol 37, Issue 10)

daniel jacobson fragment37 at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 15 16:47:16 UTC 2010

You raise an important question about the state of the tech.  Is it good enough for widespread adoption?  I don't know.  That is certainly something worthy of discussion.  That said, I do want to add that I definitely am an advocate for not waiting for it to be perfect.  
My point is not that we should spend 2010 focusing on increasing our adoption rates by some metric.  Rather, I am saying that the tech should be designed to satisfy our "customers".  To make sure that we are offering tech that is good enough, we need to ensure that we are representing those adopting parties appropriately, which means with equal standing to the tech.

--- On Fri, 1/15/10, Chris Messina <chris.messina at gmail.com> wrote:

From: Chris Messina <chris.messina at gmail.com>
Subject: [OpenID board] Adoption: are we ready? (Was: Re: board Digest, Vol 37, Issue 10)
To: openid-board at lists.openid.net
Date: Friday, January 15, 2010, 11:10 AM

On Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 5:45 AM, daniel jacobson <fragment37 at yahoo.com> wrote:

My goal is to represent in the board that adoption is at least as important as tech and international.  If that means removing all liaisons from the EC and moving those voices into the committees, that is great.  If that means adding the "adoption" liaison to the EC, that is also fine.  But if we really believe that improving adoption, usability and marketing of OpenID is the path to success, we need to represent that at the highest levels to demonstrate to our membership, OPs and RPs, and the public that this is one of our highest priorities.  That is how our constituents get their cues on what should be focused on.

I'm moving this question to a separate thread because it warrants general acknowledge before we proceed down the path that asserts that "adoption" should be a key priority of this year.

My question is this: are we ready? More importantly, is OpenID as a technology, ready?

Let me expand on that: if we move into the adoption phase of OpenID, and expand its coverage by, let's say, 1000% by year's end, will we be satisfied with the level of functionality that has been adopted? That is, does OpenID 2.0 do everything that we want it to do, in the way that it should?

While I'm not about to suggest that we wait for the "perfect" solution — I want to be conscious of the cred that could be burned if we decide, 3-6 months from now, that really OpenID should be rewritten as a profile of OAuth WRAP (let's just say) and that adoption should really hinge on getting WRAP out the door and THEN promoting OpenID v.Next on top of it.

And, one more thing: do we believe that OpenID, in its current incarnation, will actually be adopted moreso than the adoption we've had to date? If not, clearly we must understand why that is and address those issues — many of which are familiar to us now. Thus, if adoption is going to be a key priority for the year — what do we need to do with the technology to get it to a point where people *will* adopt it, if the current protocol is insufficient to meet most potential RP's needs?

How can we think more clearly and articulately about our adoption strategy than just: "2010 is the year of adoption for OpenID"? While I'm sure we'll tackle that on our call, I would like some preliminary thoughts before we then.

Chris Messina
Open Web Advocate, Google

Personal: http://factoryjoe.com
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/chrismessina

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