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Subject: Feedback on "metasystem"

Other TC members have probably seen this wave of questions asking us to clarify our use of the term “metasystem”.


Ideas for how (and who) should best respond?




From: community-bounces@idcommons.net [mailto:community-bounces@idcommons.net] On Behalf Of Robin Wilton
Sent: Monday, October 06, 2008 1:04 AM
To: idworkshop@googlegroups.com
Cc: Kim Cameron; david@sixapart.com; icf-all@googlegroups.com; community@idcommons.net; Mike Jones; OSIS General
Subject: Re: [Community] [osis-general] Report from the OASIS IMI TC meeting


Along the same lines as David's point: it seems incongruous to me to have the term "metasystem" in the title of a standard, where (as David notes) the specification actually deals with to (i) the identity selector and Information Cards as conceptualised by one vendor. By analogy, a "meta-language" is not itself a language or a part of a language: it is a means for describing the characteristics of languages.

I applaud the drive for greater openness and interoperability in the Information Card and Identity Selector market, but question the term "metasystem" as used here.

Best wishes,

Robin Wilton

Johannes Ernst wrote:

Excellent point. I, too, am really baffled by the choice of term here. Thanks, David, for speaking up.


Perhaps the goal of the OASIS TC is indeed the *entire* set of identity technologies out there, not just the card / WS-* subset of it?



On Oct 5, 2008, at 21:27 , David Recordon wrote:

So, I want to make sure I'm not misunderstanding something.  An OASIS TC is going to create a specification for "Identity Metasystem Interoperability" using Microsoft's Identity Selector Interoperability Profile (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=b94817fc-3991-4dd0-8e85-b73e626f6764&displaylang=en) and OASIS' WS-Policy Guidelines (http://www.w3.org/TR/ws-policy-guidelines/) and WS-Addressing (http://www.w3.org/Submission/ws-addressing/) specifications.  All of these being based around Information Cards yet being described as the Identity Metasystem.


Mike, Kim, and others have done a great job the past few years introducing Information Cards and explicitly acknowledging them as being *a part* of the Metasystem.  Is this TC's name and the specification that it plans to produce then not a tad dismissive of all the work the rest of the identity community has been doing the past few years?  (Please don't interpret this as my attacking the people involved in the TC or the work it plans to do, just trying to understand why it is being named the way that it is.)




On Oct 2, 2008, at 7:33 AM, Mike Jones wrote:

The OASIS Identity Metasystem Interoperability Technical Committee (IMI TC) had a successful first meeting on Monday and Tuesday this week.  Here’s a brief summary of what was decided.


Tony Nadalin of IBM and Marc Goodner of Microsoft were selected as co-chairs of the committee.  Mike McIntosh of IBM and yours truly were selected as co-editors for the committee.


There is consensus in the working group on what we want to do, how to do it, and that it should be done quickly.  Specifically, the TC agreed to:

  - Combine the ISIP 1.5, Web Guide 1.5 and WS-Addressing Identity specs into a single document using OASIS formatting conventions.

  - Title the document to match the TC name:  Identity Metasystem Interoperability 1.0.

  - Ensure the output remains backwards compatible with ISIP 1.5 and the Web Guide 1.5 so as not to break existing Information Card software implementations.

  - Close on a committee draft of the combined document to post publicly before IIW (Nov 10th) and socialize it with the participants.

  - Collect feedback through the TC comment list and address it.

  - Create a separate non-normative commentary document based on the ISIP Guide that will not become a formal standard.


In addition, the TC will accept input from the SAML TC and work with them on creating a profile for using SAML 2.0 tokens in Information Cards.


No real surprises here.  And that’s a good thing.


                                                                Yours from London,

                                                                -- Mike


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Johannes Ernst

NetMesh Inc.




Corporate Architect - Federated Identity
CTO Office (Business Alliances)
Tel: +44 (0)705 005 2931

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