OSIS Agreement

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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, (since updated) 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:

  1. 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. (Accomplished 2006-09-11, see ID Commons OSIS Charter)
  2. The OSIS working group will have a steering committee, which consists of representatives of significant stakeholders, both open-source projects and vendors. The initial members of the steering committee are listed below. The steering committee decides on the appointment of additional members; it will generally appoint new members who represent significant stakeholders.
  3. The OSIS working group will have a architecture committee, which consists of the project leads of open-source digital identity projects, one member per project.
  4. The OSIS working group will have a licensing and distribution committee, which consists of representatives of vendors and distributors of OSIS software.
  5. The OSIS working group is chartered:
    1. to establish architectural agreement on the key interfaces between the various open-source digital identity software and service components under development;
    2. to synchronize the projects in a manner that avoids unnecessary duplication of efforts and reduces the potential of forking;
    3. to assist in the assembly and quality assurance of distributions and products that use components from multiple projects;
    4. to track and resolve cross-project issues as they arise;
    5. to operate an electronic infrastructure (e.g. mailing lists, wikis, issue tracking systems etc.) to support this effort.
  6. This working group will be open to new participants who:
    1. publicly commit to the goal of internet-scale digital identity interoperability across projects, protocols, companies and platforms;
    2. 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 than based on any one entity's control over a majority of the stack.

The members of the OSIS working group steering committee are listed at OSIS Steering Committee.

Further, there was agreement on the first substantive issue. Going forward,

  1. the Apache Heraldry project will focus its work on:
    1. relying party,
    2. light-weight identity provider, and
    3. STS for managed i-cards.
  2. the Eclipse Higgins project will focus its work on:
    1. client code, including an identity selector, and
    2. STS for self-issued i-cards.