[KI-LC] assessing WG & DG activity in the context of Kantara Initiative goals

Eve Maler eve at xmlgrrl.com
Fri Sep 4 11:40:44 PDT 2009

Hi Brett-- Here's some commentary on what the UMA group is doing to  
try and achieve these goals, and notes on one area where you could  
consider our Kantara dashboard to be "yellow" vs. "green".  For  
reference, the UMA group page is here:


On 4 Sep 2009, at 4:01 AM, Brett McDowell wrote:

> In prep for the first physical meeting of Kantara Initiative, I'd like
> to ask all the chairs to review the KI goals below and let me know
> what your WG or DG is doing or planning to do to support any of these
> goals in concrete terms.  I'm not suggesting we should have a ton of
> work done already being we just formed, but I do want to know what is
> on your horizon/roadmap that will be a concrete proposal to any of
> these stated goals.
> Thank you,
> Goals:
> * Accelerate marketplace adoption through clear messages, defined
> processes, and open community collaboration that brings vendors,
> deployers, individuals, and organizations together

+ Our charter states an explicit design principle of simplicity in  
support of Internet-wide adoption.
+ Our participation roster includes representatives of all of these  
+ Our group collateral is updated in timely fashion to help new  
participants get on board.
+ We went through an extremely rapid "process norming" phase and  
constantly re-evaluate process decisions that aren't working.

> * Bring together technical, business, legal, and policy experience to
> achieve holistic & trusted identity management solutions

+ While policy expression languages per se are explicitly outside our  
scope, we are engaging in liaison with appropriate parties that are  
working on them.
+ Various group members are keeping an eye on security and trust  
considerations in our fledgling design process.

> * Establish an open and democratic governance model with no financial
> barrier to participation

+ Our group welcomes all, and as chair I try to ensure that all who  
wish to speak have the chance.

- HOWEVER: In practical terms, participants using Skype to dial in are  
experiencing such egregious problems that some, in effect, are prevent  
from participating in telecons (partially or fully).  This is a real  
barrier.  We are experimenting with offsetting our telecon times away  
from the top of the hour to see if this improves things.  No  
participants have been forthcoming with offers of higher-quality  
telecon bridges, either toll-free or caller-paid.

> * Implement an operational structure with nimble processes,
> procedures, and oversight, and a viable financial model

+ We are using an approach I have called "agile specification" (the  
desire for such is mentioned in our charter).  This involves  
parallelizing scenario, use case, issue, and requirement development  
with spec development.  It borrows some concepts from the true agile  
methodology while being appropriate for distributed work on  
protocols.  I can supply more information on request.
+ We are concluding discussions on budget requests for 2010, keeping  
in mind that volunteer effort is highly prized (and has been offered  
in abundance, for implementation efforts).

> * Commit to open standards and encourage interoperable implementations
> from both the COTS product and open source development communities

+ Our charter directly mentions a goal of modularization, and we have  
several active champions of this goal among our participants.
+ Our charter requires us to facilitate open-source development and  
multiple interoperable implementations, and we have several  
participants who have expressed interest in implementing.

> * Foster positive dialogue across all relevant organizations to assure
> coordination, harmonization, and re-use of all applicable open content
> (specs, policy, etc.)

+ We are heavily dependent on the breadth of our participant  
population; many people are members of other relevant communities and  
have stepped forward to explain other technologies, pass along news,  
and offer additional connections.

> * Establish programs with strong branding for technical and
> operational output to promote interoperability, compliance and/or
> conformance

+ We have begun discussing a plan for developing a protocol validator  
as a spur to adoption.  (If UMA becomes successful, it might be an  
interesting subject for formal interop testing.)

> P.S.
> These goals are online here:
> http://kantarainitiative.org/confluence/display/GI/Mission
> Brett McDowell | http://info.brettmcdowell.com | http://kantarainitiative.org

I hope this helps!


Eve Maler
eve at xmlgrrl.com

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