OSIS and the Open Specification Promise

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The text of this declaration is taken from the draft document prepared by the Higgins Trust Framework Project. That document can be found at [1]

As of November 3rd, 2006, the Higgins project has completed a revised draft, which has been reviewed by Eclipse legal and is available at [2].


The OSIS working group is very pleased by the announcement of Microsoft’s Open Specification Promise (http://www.microsoft.com/interop/osp/).

We recognize the great amount of work required for Microsoft to make this promise. We thank Kim Cameron and Mike Jones for their efforts. The Open Specification Promise represents a major step forward and has generated much good will for Microsoft.

We thank Pete Rowley of Red Hat, Dale Olds of Novell and the others at companies that worked with Microsoft to accomplish this historic promise.

We declare that the OSIS working group intends to participate in the development of systems which will:

  • Create a user interface which shares the same card metaphor, sequences of experiences and decision points (the ceremony) of CardSpace so that the user experience is as similar as possible across platforms.
  • Import and export cards to or from the CardSpace file format
  • Use the CardSpace schemas
  • Use the WS-* protocols and profiles as they are used in CardSpace implementations

The Microsoft Open Specification Promise relates to our declared intention to use WS-* protocols and profiles.

Microsoft has published documents that will help the OSIS project and the projects we work with. We intend to use the information and intellectual property embodied in a number of publicly available documents, such as:

  • Any Tech Reference for InfoCard in Windows.
  • Any Guide to Integrating with InfoCard
  • Any Guide to Supporting InfoCard within Web Applications and Browsers
  • Any successor to these documents
  • Windows CardSpace Reference in the Windows SDK
  • Windows Communication Foundation and CardSpace (MSDN library)
  • MSDN.microsoft.com/winfx/reference/infocard/default.aspx
  • Articles in MSDN magazine related to CardSpace

We intend to practice all inventions and patents required to implement open source identity systems that work with or look like CardSpace. We will create works derivative of the documents listed above. Documentation and any code we develop will be licensed under the open source "Eclipse Public License" (EPL).

We will be pleased by agreements, promises, or declarations that provide rights to any practitioner involved in doing what we intend to do, as declared above. The Microsoft Open Specification Promise of September 12 is big step in the right direction.

Microsoft can continue to encourage our efforts in many ways. Two of these are:

  • The inclusion in a Microsoft Open Specification Promise of the InfoCard specifications, all schemas, the visual components of the card selector user interface, the documentation of all the information needed to implement import and export for all cards including the file format, encryption algorithms, key derivation and additional key materials, seeds, or entropy, any other specifications and any other Microsoft intellectual property which we will be using as we carry out our intentions declared above. This list is both vague and incomplete; Microsoft is in the best position to determine what of their intellectual property we will use as we carry out our declared intention.
  • Continued support from Microsoft, particularly when working with areas of CardSpace that are not fully documented.
  • Clarification of the intended referent of the phrase, "patents that are necessary to implement only the required portions of the Covered Specification." (Does this mean the Microsoft Open Specification Promise is limited to patents that are necessary to implement those portions of a Covered Specification that are required to be implemented by every implementation claiming conformance to that specification? Or what does it mean, exactly?)