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Re: [DotGNU]Using FOAF for Virtual Identities

From: mds
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]Using FOAF for Virtual Identities
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2003 21:32:51 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.4i


As I'm fond of pointing out, MACS can be made compatible with any
identity standard. Internally, it implements a decent standard that
stands on its own, but whose great usefulness lies in being easily
mappable. That is, easy to make compatible with other standards.

As such, it's neither FOAF, nor Liberty Alliance, nor Passport, nor
Genio; yet, it can become all of them. MACS calls these other
standards "Methods" and it's been pretty easy to map strange and
wonderful Methods for use by MACS. For example, the Yahoo! method
can log you in (using your Yahoo! username and password, of course.)
With a little more HTML screen-scraping, a Profile Method Client can
be written to let MACS know, e.g., how many unread emails you have
at your Yahoo! account.

Being unfamiliar with FOAF, I'll introduce the concept of Frontends.
Where Methods let MACS use random sources of user/account/identity
data, Frontends let MACS deliver decisions and answer queries in
random formats. There are Frontends for SOAP and XML-RPC at the
moment. A Jabber Frontend is currently on the back burner.

So, depending on what exactly FOAF is, and how you want to use it,
a set of Methods (one each for authentication, authorization, and
profiles,) and/or a Frontend would be written. This code would not
need to know too much about how MACS works, but it would have to
know a lot about FOAF. (That's the point -- this code would embody
MACS' knowledge about FOAF.) Then snap your fingers.

Voila! MACS is now a FOAF service. (Or a reasonable facsimile. ;-)

The interesting thing that needs to be added to MACS to make it
useful for DotGNU is what FrePort wanted to do. That is, keep
profile data secret unless the user explicitly said otherwise. At
the moment, MACS has no such facilities or guarantees. The format,
protocol, &etc. are not irrelevent questions, but they are moot.

(In case you can't see the answer to your question in the rant
above: yes.)



On Mon, Mar 10, 2003 at 04:01:26PM +0100, Peter Minten wrote:
> Hi guys,
> the FOAF ( protocol seems promising as a standard for Virtual
> Identities. I think that with a few minor extensions it will make a good
> standard.
> Greetings,
> Peter
> _______________________________________________
> Developers mailing list
> address@hidden

Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity.  They seem
more afraid of life than death.  -- James F. Byrnes

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