There have been several proposals for Internet identity systems over the past 18 months or so, including Microsoft's InfoCard proposal, SXIP, and several URL-based systems including LID, OpenID, and Passel. Today Brad Fitzpatrick (of LiveJournal/Six Apart and inventor of OpenID), Johannes Ernst (of NetMesh and LID), and David Recordon announced a proposal to build an interoperability framework for LID and OpenID called YADIS (Yet Another Decentralized Identity Interoperability System). Here's part of what they said in the announcement:
Working on this problem, we realized quickly that what we were really building was a bottom-up, light-weight interoperability framework for personal digital identities since we addressed the problems in a quite general manner. Working on this, it became clear very quickly that the resulting interoperability architecture was much more broadly applicable. In our view, it promises to be a good foundation for decentralized, bottom-up interoperability of a whole range of personal digital identity and related technologies, without requiring complex technology, such as SOAP or WS-*. Due to its simplicity and openness, we hope that it will be useful for many projects who need identification, authentication, authorization and related capabilities.
The architectural assumptions are exactly what one would expect from this group:
- Fully decentralized, and no one point of control
- Let many (interoperable) flowers bloom
- URLs as identifiers
- RESTful and easy to use for developers
One obvious question: where's Passel? Seems like it would fit here. I'm looking forward to hearing more about this at the Internet Identity Workshop.