[OpenID] Anti-XRI FUD

Scott Kveton scott at janrain.com
Wed Jan 3 16:07:30 UTC 2007

Many months ago, when the OpenID and XRI communities starting discussing
joining forces, a lot of us in the OpenID community had the same concerns.
Its centralized, its another control point, its pay-for-play (in some world,
this is known as sustainable), etc.  As discussions progressed, we realized
that this community was actually quite strong and deeply rooted in the key
concerns of the identity community at large.  In short, they "got it".

When XRI/i-name support was folded into OpenID (and bear in mind this was
well before summer) it was because we trusted the XRI/i-names community.  We
learned that they had good answers for a lot of our concerns and were not
insistent on "MUST" support in the specification.  They strongly believe
i-names will win on its own merits in the marketplace.

There is another thing to consider here; convergence.  It was only 12 months
ago that we had 4 different technologies for doing single sign-on.  We had a
choice; duke it out in the marketplace for the next 18-24 months (at the
cost of serious pain for the consumers) or join forces and get there now.
Its because of these convergence efforts that OpenID has really started to
take off.  A lot of you may have heard of OpenID because of the work that
Drummond, Gabe, Kaliya and others were doing on behalf of the OpenID
community.  This is in addition to the work of countless others like Brad,
David, Johannes, Josh, Chris Messina, etc ... Basically everyone on this

Let's also not forget Dick and Sxip.  Dick is the one who paved the way for
a lot of this work and when he joined the OpenID community this Summer, it
was a natural fit.  A lot of the SXIP technology was already a part of
OpenID and having Dick's team working on the libraries and specification
have been a huge help.  The ball continues to move forward very quickly.

IMHO - this isn't about the technology.  This is about developing a process
that a community can agree on, learn to evolve and grow to trust.  We don't
have all of the answers today. We won't have them tomorrow.  We're not
searching for a destination here, we're trying to figure out how we can all
work together along the journey.

Happy New Year everyone!

- Scott

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