Hello Taylor, @all
thank you very much for picking up the "define interop"
At Jolocom, we have been thinking about this for a long time and
it is one of our main decision making factor as we move on in
developing our SSI technology.
While I hear the points made by Daniel Hardman on building
interop only where relevant populations are present, I can not
agree with it. In fact, the approach described by Daniel might
even lead to a discussion on compatibility, rather than
wikipedia citation below).
"interoperability imply Open standards ab-initio, i.e.
by definition. Interoperability implies exchanges between a
range of products, or similar products from several
different vendors, or even between past and future revisions
of the same product. Interoperability may be developed post-facto,
as a special measure between two products, while excluding
the rest, by using Open standards. When a vendor is forced
to adapt its system to a dominant system that is not based
on Open standards, it is not interoperability but only compatibility."
At Jolocom, we have defined interoperability like this:
"All agents / participants can communicate and interact with
each other directly, without intermediaries, regardless of the
agent / wallet implementations being used. The participants do
so by supporting a common set of interfaces, and communicating
using open and well-established specifications. Ideally
this communication should not be facilitated by a 3rd party
provided / maintained infrastructure, as this bears the risk
of a lock in effect and centralization of the larger
With this definition as a starting point, we have tried to
operationalize interoperability by describing the result of
interop in the following statements:
- As an Issuer/Verifier I can present one QR code to request
interactions, regardless of what wallet/agent is on the other
end (I never have to care).
- As an identity subject/holder I can use any wallet I want, I
can move across wallets, including encrypted backups.
- An identity Holder can present a Verifiable Credential to a
Verifier, regardless of which implementation the verifier or
issuer uses, or which wallet the Holder uses.
- As a Verifier, I can resolve DIDs from any DID method and use
the DID Document to verify signatures, regardless of which DID
method the document is from.
- As a Verifier, I can check the integrity of the Credential
regardless of the implementation used by the issuer of that
credential as well as the holder.
- As a developer, I can use any implementation of SSI tools
(i.e. libraries, CLI tools) and expect it to perform its role
with other deployments.
The above points are only a start and feedback is much welcomed.
Ultimately, we think the discussion on interop need to lead to a
modular and open ecosystem where interoperability is achieved by
following standards and specifications, rather that "welding
things together", which is handled in a "different IIW
I hope we can bring the interop-working group to work in that
Looking forward to your thoughts and ideas.
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Am 29.07.20 um 17:07 schrieb Taylor
As follow-on to the “define interop”
possible/reasonable to land on a common denominator
(highest level possible) which could broaden/narrow
based on groups represented?
The ability of a system to work with or
use the component parts of another system.
Or a bit more specific:
The ability for different systems, devices or
applications to connect, in a coordinated manner,
within and across organizational boundaries to
access, exchange and cooperatively use data
Then the inevitable moving targets fall
under various sub-domains (foundational, structural,
semantic, organizational, etc.)
Also, as far as “outputs,” I think
there’s intangible value in simply having a neutral
venue for building/sharing context.
*Recommended practice: join DIF interop
Food for thought...
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