Re: [OAUTH-WG] Mandatory-to-implement token type

John Bradley <> Sun, 04 December 2011 05:39 UTC

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From: John Bradley <>
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Date: Sun, 04 Dec 2011 14:39:45 +0900
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Subject: Re: [OAUTH-WG] Mandatory-to-implement token type
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I remain unconvinced that at this point MTI is going to be useful.  

I appreciate that some people want MAC, I could not support it being MTI.

The below text with Bearer as MTI the only would be acceptable, if we need a MTI token handler.
(I tend to think of token type, as bearer token type JWT/SAML etc,  and this issue is more on the handling of classes of tokens)

John Bradley

On 2011-12-04, at 6:37 AM, Barry Leiba wrote:

> Stephen says:
>> On 12/02/2011 03:20 AM, Barry Leiba wrote:
>>> Maybe what would work best is some text that suggests what I say
>>> above: that toolkits intended for use in implementing OAuth services
>>> in general... implement [X and/or Y], and that code written for a
>>> specific environment implement what makes sense for that environment.
>>> It seems to me that to require any particular implementation in the
>>> latter case is arbitrary and counter-productive, and doesn't help
>>> anything interoperate.  Whereas general-purpose toolkits that
>>> implement everything DO help interop.
>> That'd work just fine for me.
> OK, so here's what I suggest... I propose adding a new section 7.2, thus:
> -----------------------------------
> 7.2 Access Token Implementation Considerations
> Access token types have to be mutually understood among the
> authorization server, the resource server, and the client -- the
> access token issues the token, the resource server validates it, and
> the client is required to understand the type, as noted in section
> 7.1, above.  Because of that, interoperability of program code
> developed separately depends upon the token types that are supported
> in the code.
> Toolkits that are intended for general use (for building other clients
> and/or servers), therefore, SHOULD implement as many token types as
> practical, to ensure that programs developed with those toolkits are
> able to use the token types they need.  In particular, all general-use
> toolkits MUST implement bearer tokens [...ref...] and MAC tokens
> [...ref...].
> Purpose-built code, built without such toolkits, has somewhat more
> flexibility, as its developers know the specific environment they're
> developing for.  There's clearly little point to including code to
> support a particular token type when it's known in advance that the
> type in question will never be used in the intended deployment.
> Developers of purpose-built code are encouraged to consider future
> extensions and to plan ahead for changes in circumstances, and might
> still want to include support for multiple token types.  That said,
> the choice of token-type support for such purpose-built code is left
> to the developers and their specific requirements.
> -----------------------------------
> I think that expresses a reasonable compromise that might actually be
> followed and might actually do some good.  Comments?  Can we go with
> this and close this issue?  (And, sorry, I've been a Bad Chair, and
> haven't put this in the tracker.)
> Barry
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