Wednesday, January 17, 2007


What is XDiggins? It’s what you get when you smash XDI and Higgins together at high speed. Last week Drummond Reed, Paul Trevithick and myself had the opportunity to get together and explore this synergy in some detail with a specific client use cases to explore.

The use cases that we were looking at were those presented by the establishment of ‘Wiser Commons’. The Wiser Commons is a group of nonprofit organizations who are willing to share information in order that all of them can provide better services and be more effective in their missions. The commons, lead by NCI and Jon Ramer of Intera, provided the excuse that Drummond, Paul and myself have been looking for, for years, to come together to try to ‘rationalize’ our various standards into a working solution.

Paul, Drummond and I spent 3 days together. The first day we spent with a small group of ‘techies’ from the commons discussing requirements. The second day we secluded ourselves and talked tech and the third day we presented a proposed initial architectural approach. Over the next couple of weeks I will dive into the details of the approach we are proposing, here on my blog, for all to see. Meanwhile, there is one main thing that is worth mentioning that I think is very exciting…. We did it!

The 3 of us finally achieved a level of understanding of each others work that we were able to build a single proposal that all three of us could agree to, endorse and understand. The single most startling thing that I came to understand is how similar our work is. Many of the ‘problems’ that we were having in understanding how Higgins and XDI should work together were not because they were incompatible but rather because they are so similar. The 2 efforts are deeply, profoundly, validatingly similar in their underlying models. There are certainly nuances that differentiate the 2 bodies of work but now that we are able to appreciate the big picture similarities we simply have plug the best-of-both together to get a working solution that transcends both and removes the necessity to choose between them.

Watch this space for upcoming details…

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