For instance, we’ve learned recently the HD-DVD has dropped out of the HD format war; Blu-Ray is declared the apparent victor.
Well, in this same spirit, Paul at In Context analyzes the standards campaigning in the digital public identifier area, which at this point can be reduced to i-name vs. OpenID. In short, he finds that OpenID is not only running a better campaign, but really offers a better value:
OpenIDs offer something to people that i-cards don’t. Even run of the mill, freebie, URL-based OpenIDs give you a public identifier that you feel like you own. And the i-name flavor of OpenIDs give you a public identifier that you really do own cuz you’re not locked in to a particular OpenID provider.
OpenID is the winning, lightweight, technology for public, low-value transactions.
- Why winning? The OpenID community blended together the three competing lightweight technologies (LID, OpenID, and i-names) into a unified specification, community, code, and foundation.
- Why public? Because the appealing notion of having OpenID URI that’s mine (e.g. “=paul.trevithick”) also has the side-effect of projecting the same identifier to every relying site allowing me to be easily tracked. To be fair, there is a “directed identity” feature of OpenID that I can use to prevent this–I can just type in the URI of my OpenID OP instead. But I still think the perception is that an OpenID is mostly public.
- Why low-value? Because its simple and lightweight architecture does not incorporate a client component, end-to-end crypto, anti-phishing protection, etc. necessary to support higher value transactions and other privacy-enhancing features. But its great for logging in to blogs, etc.
Now, if OpenID does become the de factor public identifier, i-names would be an
apt potential running mate.