As digital identity technologies and projects proliferate, it has become increasingly difficult for both members of the various initiatives and the market as a whole to understand and manage their relationships. This has created confusion in the marketplace, caused a potential duplication of efforts, and slowed adoption of the technologies.
On the sidelines of the Harvard/Berkman Identity Mashup Conference June 19-21, 2006, the leads of a number of initiatives discussed what could be done to not only remedy this situation, but to establish an organizational -- and as soon as possible, technical -- framework by which participating projects can synchronize their efforts, build around common software interfaces, and enable a marketplace of interoperable digital identity software and service components to emerge.
They have agreed as follows:
- They will establish the "OSIS" working group, which has existed informally for some period of time, as a working group under the reconstituted Identity Commons 2.0 organization.
- The OSIS working group will have a steering committee, which will consist of the project leads of open-source digital identity projects, one member per project.
- This working group is chartered:
- to establish architectural agreement on the key interfaces between the various open-source digital identity software and service components under development;
- to synchronize the projects in a manner that avoids unnecessary duplication of efforts and reduces the potential of "forking";
- to assist in the assembly and quality assurance of "distributions" and "products" that use components from multiple projects;
- to track and resolve cross-project issues as they arise;
- to operate an electronic infrastructure (e.g. mailing lists, wikis, issue tracking systems etc.) to support this effort.
- This working group will be open to new participants who:
- publicly commit to the goal of internet-scale digital identity interoperability across projects, protocols, companies and platforms;
- publicly commit to the goal of enabling a pluralistic technology and business ecosystem for digital identity product and service components that compete on the merits rather based on any one entity's control over a majority of the stack.
- This working group's steering committee will be open to new participants who represent open-source projects related to digital identity, one member per project, and nominated by that project.
The initial members of the OSIS working group steering committee will be as follows:
- Paul Trevithick (Eclipse/Higgins Project, Social Physics)
- Dale Olds (Bandit Project, Novell)
- Michael Graves or David Recordon (Apache/Heraldry Project, Verisign)
- Mike Jones (Microsoft)
- Johannes Ernst (OSIS Project, NetMesh)
Further, there was agreement on the first substantive issue. Going forward,
- the Apache Heraldry project will focus its work on:
- relying party,
- light-weight identity provider, and
- STS for managed cards.
- the Eclipse Higgins project will focus its work on:
- client code, including an identity selector, and
- STS for self-issued cards.