Re: [webfinger] Simplifying and unjamming WebFinger

Brad Fitzpatrick <bradfitz@google.com> Fri, 14 June 2013 17:51 UTC

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Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2013 10:51:53 -0700
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From: Brad Fitzpatrick <bradfitz@google.com>
To: Eric Mill <konklone@gmail.com>
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Cc: "webfinger@ietf.org" <webfinger@ietf.org>, Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Subject: Re: [webfinger] Simplifying and unjamming WebFinger
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3 years ago? That's recent! I've been watching this
over-specification-wankery for much longer than that.

Which is to say: I agree with Tim.

Stop inventing unnecessary problems and ship something small and useful and
composable.



On Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 10:34 AM, Eric Mill <konklone@gmail.com> wrote:

> A thousand times yes. Webfinger is the small beautiful idea that could,
> and this endless back-and-forth is sucking the life out of it.
>
> I haven't been involved in the spec work, but I did do some actual
> evangelism <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y26c9MNQLyc> to the Rails
> community soon after Webfinger began - *3 years ago*. But that's all I
> did - once the spec slowed down to a crawl and got lost in the weeds, I
> couldn't sustain that energy. I'm sure I'm not the only one to be affected
> that way.
>
> email -> metadata. Make it possible to own your identity with your email.
> That's what we need.
>
> -- Eric
>
>
> On Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 1:16 PM, Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com> wrote:
>
>> I’ve been following the endless back and forth on this with a feeling of
>> despair... people seem to be talking back and forth past each other.  Lots
>> of people think there are problems, Paul thinks there are no problems.
>>
>> Back in the day, when I first heard of WebFinger, it was the simplest
>> thing imaginable: Put in an email address and get back some pointers to
>> IDPs or whatever.  Somewhere along the way, it morphed into getting
>> metadata about any Resource.  Which meant that you couldn’t just use an
>> email address, you had to turn it into a URI.
>>
>> And thus the problem in the spec.  You have to figure out which URI
>> scheme to use (acct:, mailto:, device:) and this will affect the output
>> in ways that have to be specified in Other Places.
>>
>> But I don’t have a general-purpose problem about wanting metadata for
>> arbitrary URIs.  I have several immediate pressing problems for retrieving
>> metadata about  email addresses.   The former is now seriously getting in
>> the way of the latter.
>>
>> So, how about a WebFinger light, in which the form of the query is
>>
>> /.well-known/wf-lite?email=bob@example.com
>>
>> Which yields a JRD.  You could still have the rel-selection and so on. It
>> would be easy to understand. It would be self-contained. The draft would
>> shrink in size dramatically. It would be instantly usable by OpenID
>> Connect.  It would probably sail through the IESG.
>>
>>
>>  -T
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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>>
>>
>
>
> --
> @konklone <http://twitter.com/konklone> | konklone.com |
> sunlightfoundation.com | awesomefoundation.org
>
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