Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Important topics at IIW2008b

If I've got my timing right, this entry will post about the same time as the schedule for IIW is being created by those attending. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my controll, I'm not able to attend in person. But that doesn't mean that I'm not actively following the discussions as best I can remotely:)

Here are some key issues that I'm hopeful the community will be able to address during the next two days.
  1. User eXperience (UX) for Relying Parties (RP). This is a critical element of making OpenID understandable and valuable to the "masses". There has been quite a bit of work on this recently and I'm excited to see what will develop from the face to face meetings on this topic.
  2. XRDS and Discovery. This is really important for the "open stack" and deals with the concept of describing meta-data for resources. As it relates to "personal service discovery", the meta-data is about a user's OpenID and points to the related services of that identifier. This is crucial for connecting services to a user and allowing the kinds of "dynamic discovery" the make the "open stack" work.
  3. OpenID TX Extension. This extension being proposed into an OpenID working group is about adding a layer of trust to OpenID transactions. Right now it focuses on tying transactions to contracts between parties but hopefully the working group will extend this to adding a "trust fabric" to OpenID.
  4. Email as an OpenID identifer (or as a pointer to an OpenID). This is part of the UX discussion in that many/most? people don't know they have an OpenID but they do know their email address. With Microsoft and Google supporting OpenID (at least in beta) most people have an OpenID. So this discussion is about how to leverage this with users to increase the adoption of OpenID.
  5. Email verification. This is slightly related to #4 but also different. In the SREG and AX models, an RP can request an email address but it doesn't know whether the OP has verified that email or not. In some cases, if the RP is talking to an OP that supports email and the returned email address is "managed" by the same company as the OP, then the RP might consider that email address verified. However, Yahoo! and others are looking to support an OpenID extension that would allow an RP to directly verify an email address with the email provider (providing the email provider is also an OpenID Provider; or at least supports this extension).
  6. OpenID + OAuth "Extension". This topic is addressing how to allow a Consumer to both authenticate a user and get an OAuth access token and secret in a way that the user only has to authenticate and authorize once. There are a number of significant issues with this effort especially if the extension tackles allowing one SP/OP to verify/validate another SP/OP's tokens. Right now, this effort is focusing on allowing the OP to present not only authentication but also authorization UI so the flow is simplified for the user.
  7. OAuth Extensions...
  8. OAuth support for Mobile/Desktops/Appliances/etc. This topic deals with a simple mechanism for mobile apps or appliances to participate in the OAuth flow even if the device doesn't have browser support and very limited input capabilities.

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