[OpenID] Anti-XRI FUD

Kaliya * identitywoman at gmail.com
Wed Jan 3 08:40:33 UTC 2007

On 1/3/07, Jens Alfke <jens at mooseyard.com> wrote:
> On 2 Jan '07, at 7:28 PM, Gabe Wachob wrote:
> It sounds to me like a lot of people are upset that somehow INames are not
> totally decentralized. OK, I can understand that's an issue for some, but
> for those folks working on INames, its not the primary concern... INames
> picked two.
> That may be because *decentralization was a key goal of OpenID from day
> one*.

Yes and OpenID cooperated and collaborated with LID and xri/i-names and Sxip
and now those thread of 'web-based' usercentric Identity are all working
together and choose to what is called OpenID 2.  There is more then 'one
goal' in the user-centric identity community...we can all work together to
get a big vision happening or we can squabble amongst ourselves...the
leaders in this community chose the former thank goodness.  We have had
plenty of totally open public meetings Internet Identity Workhops and
Identity Open Spaces and mailing lists sending out latest drafts of spec's.

Brad was, I believe, tweaking the nose of the first version of Sxip, which
> had recently been unveiled, and which had a single point of failure at
> sxip.net's DNS servers.

I-names does not have the problems that sxip had. For starters the IP is in
a public roylty free situation at XDI.ORG for years. Second it is in a
recongnized standards bodies and has folks from real companies working on
the spec (Visa Boeing, AMD, etc) Third the registry is being run by NueStar
- that is what they do run infrastructure like this (not some startup
company who is using DNS).

As far as I can tell (and that's not very far, since the state of XRI/iNames
> documentation seems spectacularly poor*) iNames have exactly the same
> problem. Yes, anyone can run their own XRI resolver, but it seems that all
> of them bottleneck through an HTTP request to a subdomain of xri.net.

The i-name/XRI community is working hard on responding to community request
for better documentation and pointers to all the relevant materials. They
are also working on the code for the XRI resolvers.

Obviously, global namespaces have utility**, management of the root names is
> a natural monopoly, and root names take work to maintain and serve; all of
> which means that root names have monetary value. But *we already have a
> global namespace* in DNS. And since a global namespace is a necessary
> evil, you'll have to work extremely hard to convince me (and many others)
> that we somehow need *another* one.
> In particular, from my reading I do not get any sense that XRI is
> sufficiently superior to DNS/OpenID as to make it worthwhile.

Well read more and if you get a chance to talk Drummond or Andy or Gabe  in
person the folks who have been working on this a long time and have a clear
sense of the value.  Come to some of the user-centric identity community
meetings. Get involved.

Folks who were very skeptical have gained great respect for those guys and
see the value.  It may be worth pointing out the main value is not is SSO...
there are other things they do that domain names can't because they were not
designed to.

Johannes posted this on his blog

Personally, I think it will take some time before we all know whether
i-names are going to fly, and if so, for whom and for what application. Good
arguments are being raised against, as are being raised in favor. But unlike
some others, I don't think it would be a good idea for anybody to dismiss
XRI/i-name technology out of hand, just because their syntax is unfamiliar,
the documentation is a bit "obtuse" (to quote from a recent post on an
OpenID mailing list) or because i-names have an actual business model that,
surprise surprise, involves the actual exchange of actual money — what a
concept ;-)

Also, I know for sure that at least I have learned a lot already from smart
people like Drummond Reed <http://xri.net/=Drummond.Reed> and the technology
they constructed: for one, we wouldn't have the very elegant
Yadis<http://yadis.org/>but instead a much more rudimentary version;
something that should be
acknowledged even by those who won't ever touch an i-name.

After all, if you don't like i-names, simply don't use them! And by virtue
of XRI proxy resolution, the only thing you need to do to support i-names in
your own relying party software is to prefix them with http://xri.net/ and
treat them as a regular OpenID URL. That doesn't sound like something that's
too hard ...

I linked to Johannes and Phil who both were skeptics and now see value. ...

Johannes <http://netmesh.info/jernst>has been particularly instrumental in
bringing the 'web based identifier' user-centric crowd to convergence. Like
all technical communities people come at things from different angles. He is
a deep sceptic about anything new. He has been patient and listened to
Drummond and the other XRI guys and has come to see some real value in what
they are putting forward here are two posts one on XRI
the other on
XDI <http://netmesh.info/jernst/Digital_Identity/xdi-intro-by-drummond.html>.
Phil Windly also a thoughtful voice in the space has written about how he
has come to understand their offering. This is a post about attending Andy
Dale's XDI workshop<http://www.windley.com/archives/2005/12/xris_xdis_and_i.shtml>.
His post about i-names at IIW starts
<http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=4165>out "Over the last few years, I've
been impressed by a new Internet naming
convention called XRI, or eXtensible Resource Identifiers".

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