Ryan Janssen Takes Me Back

Ryan Janssen pinged me via my contact page last week to ask if I had time to share the story of how I came to be working on XRI, XDI, OpenID, i-cards, Higgins, and Identity Commons. He reached me this afternoon and we talked for almost two hours. Boy, did it bring back memories. I’m so focused on building out working identity infrastructure and applications based on all these standards and projects that I rarely have a moment to reflect on how many twists and turns (and dollars) its taken to get here. So this was a full-out stroll in the park.

He’s posted an overview and will be writing more as he talks to others who have been pounding away forging this Internet identity layer. Ryan’s really done his homework too — he even included a link at the end to the original XDI white paper that co-chair Geoffrey Strongin and I contributed at the start of the OASIS XDI Technical Committee in early 2004. Wow, did that trip off the old synapses. Most fascinating is seeing the original proposed XDI schema which had just four elements. Four years later, after numerous twists and turns (and by my count 23 intermediate proposals), the XDI RDF model has…four elements (plus the XDI wrapper element). It’s not the same schema (now it’s based on the RDF graph model) — and in fact the preferred serialization is no longer even XML (it’s X3). But it’s uncannily close.

Deju vu all over again…

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About Drummond Reed

Internet entrepreneur in identity, personal data, and trust frameworks
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