Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The winner is:

As you know, I have been trying to decide how I think we should model the ‘roles’ claims for the ICF’s pilot Library Card project (see my last post: The Claim Game). I have talked, emailed and blogged with a bunch of people who have opinions on the subject and have come to the following conclusions.

Off the point for a moment: There seems to be some consensus that if the policy description and interpretation step that goes on between the relying party and the ‘selector’ was richer then we may have better options open to us. However, today the Information Card specification is what it is and I don’t recommend putting a hold on our project in the hope that it might change.

The options that we have are either to have a single ‘roles’ claim that contains a list of the roles that the user has been granted, or, to have separate claims for each role. The separated claims could be on different cards but I see that option as being basically the same as option 2.

Having thought about this a bunch I think that the better option is option 2, a separate claim for each role. This will force us to formalize and standardize the role names, which is not ideal, but, it provides the best privacy protection and ultimately the smoothest user experience. While the user experience may be a little more complicated on the face of it, I believe it is superior because it will be predictable.

With this option the presence of the claim indicates the assignment of the role. The value of the claim is basically ignored, as it is in the selectors’ card selection process. If a resource indicates a specific role or set of roles that must be present to gain access; only cards capable of satisfying the policy will be presented as selectable cards.

I look forward to hearing why I am wrong :-)

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