Sunday, March 27, 2005

First day on the blog

Tao means: "The Way" in that deep 'truth' kind of way.

XDI is;-
A new dimension in ultrasound
A leading provider of B2B solutions and web hosting service
Advanced, low noise F.E.T. technology
Some dudes blog
Distributorless Ignition System

but to me XDI is;

A standards based framework for securely sharing distributed data with the option of establishing trust through federated trust networks. (if that doesn't scare you off you're as crazy as me)

When I started looking at XDI I looked here;-

My main mentors in this space have been:
Owen Davis
Drummond Reed
Fen Labalme

but it was Kaliya that has me thinking I might have something worth saying.


XDI has the potential to change the tao of how data moves around the web. Stuff that today is considered 'application logic' will become the taken-for-granted behavior of the underlying dataweb, the new application logic will soar to new heights of functional simplicity. I get the occasional glimpse of what that might be.

I will be focusing on 3 things in this blog:
products and services that I think XDI can enable or improve.
Vertical markets, industries, that I think XDI can revolutionize.
The evolution of the XDI framework from a true geek standpoint.

For example:

Prods and Svcs:
The killer app for XDI may well be 'Identity'. This is of course a suite of apps, that run on top of a network of interoperable trust networks. With the i-broker ISSO (provided by 2idi) as our initial authentication mechanism ( soon to be fully SAML 2.0 compliant) XDI will soon be enabling a plethora of controlled cross-schema rich-format data publishing services. Sharing and cross-posting your personal or community schedule will be a no-brainer (only one authoritative copy so you can change it once and it changes every where). Create a message and publish it to your blog, your web site and to a friends RESTMail inbox all in one go. Publish your Biz Card via XDI while maintaining it, and viewing/managing others, in whatever schema you happen to like (initial mappings will include; LDAP, vCard, FOAF,SXIP... let me know what I'm missing ( we will have to build the connectors on an 'as-needed' basis but the mappings will already be defined))

Industry Shake up:
I am already actively looking into 2 industries that I have a history with and a passion for; Healthcare and Environment Data Management.

In healthcare I am starting to develop ideas around how XDI can liberate the HIPAA world. Today, doctors cannot, according to HIPAA, send electronic messages to patients (except where secure messaging systems have been put in place) XDI RESTMail can easily satisfy HIPAA standards and open a world of B to C activity.

In Environmental Data Management, what does it do to the man years of resources that are wasted gathering, formatting, parsing, centralizing and reporting on emissions data when each data source can publish it's data to the dataweb (so that ONLY those people that are meant to see it can see it). You give the EPA (and any NGOs you trust) the XRIs of the data feeds off each of your smoke stacks and they can real-time monitor, cross-company benchmark and create industry standards from the relative comfort of their own cubicles.

Geek Space:
As we get closer to the release of the first XDI service, lovingly known as the "Identity Commons Prototype XDI-like Service" (in the absence of a TC spec it's about all we can do) . I am starting to turn my mind to the fun of data modeling in a new paradigm. I've done ERD and I'm a competent Object Modeler, but XDI data modeling could be totally different, or it might be exactly the same... as both !??

At first look people react to the 3 level schema (Authority, Type, Instance) and see it as a limiting constraint. As I start to dig I understand that the freedom of movement within the levels is unlimited and very powerful. I am starting to see how, within the 3 level logical schema you can model relational (1-1, 1-n, n-n) or strictly hierarchical data (object hierarchy included) . I am thinking that a simple JDO implementation will make the java XDI libraries very easy and even JDBC drivers should be well within reach. I'm not even going to attempt to explain this stuff yet but in the next couple of weeks I will start to put out XDI Data Modeling methodology guides for all to see. I'm sure that both people that read it (Drummond and Fen) will sleep very well.

So let's see if I ever blog again :-)

1 comment:

=AldoC said...


Yes, please keep blogging!

I consider myself something of an XDI student and I think there's a need for more "output" regarding future XDI services (What unique value they offer, how they work).

I also suspect that I'm not unique in wanting to understand XDI relative to other "identity" efforts available today and there's little information (that I'm aware of - aside from one-on-one help from Drummond and others) to compare and contrast XDI and these other offerings.

Perhaps the evolution of XDI based services will provide that comparison? But a blog like yours will no doubt help in this regard.

So for what it's worth I for one ask that you keep on blogging!


P.S. I'm writing my legal thesis (re: Open Standards and Identity Management Systems) at and I welcome your and other's comments.