Re: [webfinger] Vision for Webfinger - what are we doing?

Eric Mill <eric@konklone.com> Fri, 01 November 2013 15:50 UTC

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From: Eric Mill <eric@konklone.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2013 11:49:19 -0400
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Cc: "Paul E. Jones" <paulej@packetizer.com>, "webfinger@ietf.org" <webfinger@ietf.org>
Subject: Re: [webfinger] Vision for Webfinger - what are we doing?
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I know I gloss over the non-email uses of Webfinger. It's just very far
from my original understanding of WF, and I don't know any uses out there
of WF for non-email URIs to mention. FWIW, I was more precise in the
definition I contributed
<https://github.com/webfinger/webfinger.net/pull/5>to the front
page of webfinger.net <http://webfinger.net/>: "A way to attach information
to an email address, or other online resource."

About the link relations (and maybe this should be a separate thread), when
I was making sinatra-webfinger, I realized it was useful to start a little
mapping file<https://github.com/konklone/sinatra-webfinger/blob/master/data/urns.yml>of
keywords to best-practice URNs. That way, my configuration was just
"name: 'Eric Mill'", etc.

Maybe it's worth factoring this out to its own tiny repo, and soliciting
contributions? I think in practice, most admin and user interaction with
Webfinger property names and link rel's should be through common names, not
literally pasting in whole URNs. I honestly can't be bothered to remember
them, or choose between them.

-- Eric


On Fri, Nov 1, 2013 at 11:14 AM, Melvin Carvalho
<melvincarvalho@gmail.com>wrote;wrote:

>
>
>
> On 1 November 2013 15:58, Eric Mill <eric@konklone.com> wrote:
>
>> I channeled this into a blog post, if anyone's interested:
>>
>> https://konklone.com/post/webfinger-gets-a-final-chance
>>
>
> Nice post.  It's actually worth rereading Eran's post on this topic.  It's
> great that eran talks about http range 14.
>
> +1 that your record has https
>
> +1 that you set the mime type
>
> I personally would *not* use the webfinger.net link relations, but reuse
> existing predicates such as FOAF, which passes W3C validation (e.g.
> vapour).  But you are free to choose what you prefer.
>
> IMHO, decentralization didnt happen, we live in a more centralized web
> than ever.  Many people including Chris Messina advocated the host your own
> identity pattern, but slowly but surely, the concept was put more and more
> to the side.  At least openid in theory still allows it, even if the
> practice is very different.  Persona does not allow it at all.
>
> You seem to suggest that webfinger is about getting information about
> email addresses, although that was the original idea, but it's not now.
> It's about accounts at hosts, which is a subtle difference.  SWD was about
> email addresses.
>
> Overall I find myself agreeing with most of what you say :)
>
>
>>
>> I imagine it's going to rankle some people who disagree with my prognosis
>> that some things are dead, but it's how it feels from here. Webfinger needs
>> rapid experimentation, high profile adoption, and the energy of the rest of
>> the open web community.
>>
>>
>> On Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 11:38 AM, Eric Mill <eric@konklone.com> wrote:
>>
>>> This is all helpful to hear, and I hope these all come to fruition,
>>> especially OpenID Connect. I'll take a stab at setting up my own OpenID
>>> Connect service on my domain and see how it feels.
>>>
>>> I guess it's inevitable that we have to hope the big companies make a
>>> meaningful gesture, too. Giving Google's outdated Webfinger endpoint<https://gmail.com/.well-known/host-meta> for
>>> Gmail a big update would be a great start.
>>>
>>> On Tue, Oct 15, 2013 at 3:23 PM, Paul E. Jones <paulej@packetizer.com>wrote;wrote:
>>>
>>>>  Eric,
>>>>
>>>> OpenID is not entirely dead, yet.  I still run my own OpenID OP server
>>>> and use it to log into some sites.  I still allow OpenID logins on
>>>> forums.packetizer.com, too.  It's still in use, but the large sites
>>>> just didn't have enough users using it, so they axed it.  On its heels,
>>>> though, is now OpenID Connect and it will use WebFinger for discovery.  so,
>>>> sure... push it :-)
>>>>
>>>> Personally, I can think of a lot of good uses for WebFinger:
>>>> * When I log onto a web site, I want the site to grab my name an
>>>> picture automatically.
>>>> * If I want somebody to send me bitcoins, I'd much rather give them my
>>>> email address (and I do have that in my WF account)
>>>> * My contact info is published via WebFinger, so I don't have to give
>>>> people a lot of info on a business card
>>>> * WebFinger will hopefully be used as the starting point for
>>>> auto-provisioning of email clients or other devices and applications where
>>>> one has to enter server and port information
>>>>
>>>> Paul
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On 10/14/2013 11:21 PM, Eric Mill wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Hey all,
>>>>
>>>>  I was at a hackathon<http://fedscoop.com/code-dc-calls-furloughed-feds/> today,
>>>> and spent the day working on Webfinger libraries for Sinatra<https://github.com/konklone/sinatra-webfinger>and
>>>> Jekyll <https://github.com/konklone/jekyll-webfinger>. It was really
>>>> productive, but -- at the end of the day, a reporter was there asking
>>>> everybody questions about their projects.
>>>>
>>>>  When he asked what Webfinger was for, I realized that the original
>>>> easy-to-communicate killer app for Webfinger, easing universal login
>>>> through OpenID, was<http://productblogarchive.37signals.com/products/2011/01/well-be-retiring-our-support-of-openid-on-may-1.html>
>>>> dead <https://www.myopenid.com/>. The only thing I could think to say
>>>> was "Remember OpenID? Before it died? Well, this is a piece of the puzzle
>>>> to putting something like that back together again."
>>>>
>>>>  That didn't feel like a very impressive answer. So, now that OpenID
>>>> is dead, what's the one line explanation for why Webfinger is important?
>>>> What's the path forward to making Webfinger something people are
>>>> incentivized to support?
>>>>
>>>>  Should we be pushing really hard to resuscitate OpenID via OpenID
>>>> Connect? Do we just need to wait for internal lobbying inside of
>>>> Google/Microsoft/Twitter/etc to pay off in some announcement? I know
>>>> Webfinger supports more than email lookup -- is there some particular
>>>> killer app people were envisioning when they lobbied for that feature?
>>>>
>>>>  I'm so happy there's finally an RFC, after so many years. I recognize
>>>> how much work was put in to make that happen, and this shouldn't be taken
>>>> as a criticism of anyone. I just want to know what others see for the
>>>> future of Webfinger, and what I should do next.
>>>>
>>>>  -- Eric
>>>>
>>>>  --
>>>>  konklone.com | @konklone <https://twitter.com/konklone>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
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>>>>
>>>
>>>
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>>>
>>
>>
>>
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