Getting behind the myths

I just saw Craig Burton's “A thousand tornadoes deep“. Craig has been around. We've had a hundred conversations over the years, and I truly admire his ability to see uderlying taxonomies.

Craig was the one who, a number of years ago, taught me not to prejudge Microsoft – and explained his “ten tornado” theory (he has since – I think rightly – adjusted it by two orders of magnitude).

So his vote of confidence means a lot to me:

“There are good people with vision and integrity at Microsoft. Kim Cameron is one of those people. You can't go wrong working with Kim.”

I like the wit and wicked incision in his comment that:

Each tornado (or hailstorm if you like) has its own path, thinking and objective. They seldom cross paths and are too busy dealing with the issues at hand to even talk to each other.

That, in fact, says a lot about the real Microsoft – and is much more realistic than those who talk about plots. I wish we, as a company, allowed more visibility into our nature, which is close to the one Craig describes.

Then he concludes:

Microsoft bashing aside, when two people like Marc and Kim get together and collaborate, expect good things to happen that go beyond the history of giants — even the giant of all time — Microsoft.

I look forward to seeing what they can do.

And, I have to say, I do too.

In order that this conversation on identity can go forward, I have so far edited out (or is it just that I have “not mentioned”) Craig's “one further” comment that:

“Microsoft is an unabashed bully. The leaders of Microsoft– Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer — lead the bully behaviour.”

It's so wierd. As though I had caught myself sleeping through the first half of some dream (or in fact wasn't there for it), and now that I'm in the second half, I can't quite follow the plot. In fact, maybe that's what has happened.

Although I don't know Steve and can't comment on what he's like from first hand experience, I have spent a fair amount of time with Bill. He is a remarkable and uniquely generous person, witty – a real engineer of great breadth and depth, as well as a deeply disruptive thinker. I just can't recognize him in his demonized form. (Don't get the idea we go fishing together – we don't.)

Anyway, to make a long story short, many many moons ago, Craig and Bill didn't seem to, er, really hit it off together. But I still like them both a lot.

Check out Scott Mace's interviews from Digital ID World

I just met Scott for the first time at Digital ID World in Denver. He was doing an incredible podblogging thing – sort of like an “enthnomusicologist of identity” (is that a mixed metaphor or what?) I really want to hear what he came away with ’cause he talked to a lot of interesting folks… He certainly got me singing like a canary – I hope I don't end up sounding too much like I've got everything figured out… I was trying to put an initial stake in the ground about what I'm committing to do.

What is it about Scott? He doesn't even use the podblogging word! There's something slightly psychoanalytic about his approach. He's so open. Open is strange and calming these days. Imagine! Someone who asks just the right questions to put your thoughts in order. I need to see him daily.

Jamie Lewis moves back into his blogopad

I have to thank Jamie, who is as gracious as he is devilish, for welcoming me to the blogosphere:

Kim Cameron Has Started a Blog

Kim, formerly of Zoomit and now of Microsoft, has been thinking about identity-based security for a long time. So the blog he just started should prove interesting, as long as Microsoft lets him keep it going (green accent is mine – Kim).

Maybe he'll motivate me to get off my duff and get back to posting my own self.

Yes it's true, there was this, er, small hiatus in Jamie's blogging – but he came back today with a piece that makes me real happy to see him rappng. Gosh – does Jamie know absolutely everything about what everyone is doing, or does it just seem that way sometimes?

Dave Kearns is also helping me get oriented. It will be great to have him dropping in – he should keep the conversation honest and keep everyone from getting too ideological – he's seen it all. And thanks to Radovan Janecek from Systinet for the kind introduction to his friends – what a smart guy and profound innovator in the UDDI space (amongst others). Thanks to him for turning me on to the applicability of aspect oriented programming to various of my ideas.

How many pages does it take to make an LDAP spec?

In order to get a handle on how big “big” is, I thought it could be good to figure out how many pages were involved in the LDAP specs.

Of course, my memory is that there were an aweful lot. In fact, I don't think you could really do an LDAP implmentation without reading the X.500 spec first – and this means reading the X.200 series and probably getting your head around X.400. But let's take things at face value and assume you could ignore those documents and just use the documents that were filed as RFCs.

Given the fact that I'm opinionated, I thought it would be better to use someone else's list of the standards. A quick google and I came across an independently compiled list of LDAP documents. The site is run by Jeff Hodges – who seems to be a protocol architect himself at a very eminent software company.

And what do we find? Here is the resulting table of specs and pages…

1255 I T. Directory Forum, “A Naming Scheme for c=US”, 09/05/1991. 25
1276 PS S. Kille, “Replication and Distributed Operations extensions to 17
1275 I S. Kille, “Replication Requirements to provide an Internet 17
1274 PS P. Barker, S. Kille, “The COSINE and Internet X.500 Schema”, 60
1275 I S. Kille, “Replication Requirements to provide an Internet 17
1276 PS S. Kille, “Replication and Distributed Operations extensions to 17
1277 PS S. Kille, “Encoding Network Addresses to Support Operation Ov 10
1278 I S. Hardcastle-Kille, “A String Encoding of Presentation Address”, 5
1279 S. Kille, “X.500 and Domains”, 11/27/1991. (Pages=13) 13
1295 I NADF, “User Bill of Rights for entries and listings in the Public 2
1308 I J. Reynolds, C. Weider, “Executive Introduction to Directory 4
1309 I S. Heker, J. Reynolds, C. Weider, “Technical Overview of Director 16
1330 I ESCC X.500/X.400 Task Force, “Recommendations for the Phase 87
1355 I J. Curran, A. Marine, “Privacy and Accuracy Issues in Network 4
1384 I P. Barker, S. Hardcastle-Kille, “Naming Guidelines for Directory 12
1430 I S. Kille, E. Huizer, V. Cerf, R. Hobby, S. Kent, “A Strategic Plan 20
rfc1431.txt—DUA Metrics (OSI-DS 33 (v2)) 19
1487 PS W. Yeong, T. Howes, S. Hardcastle-Kille, “X.500 Lightweight 21
rfc1488.txt—The X.500 String Representation of Standard Attribute Syntax 11
rfc1558.txt—A String Representation of LDAP Search Filters. 3
rfc1588.txt—White Pages Meeting Report. J. Postel & C. Anderson. Febru 35
1617 I P. Barker, S. Kille, T. Lenggenhager, “Naming and Structuring 28
1684 I P. Jurg, “Introduction to White Pages services based on X.500”, 10
1727 I C. Weider, P. Deutsch, “A Vision of an Integrated Internet 11
1758 I T. American Directory Forum, “NADF Standing Documents: A Bri 4
1777 DS W. Yeong, T. Howes, S. Kille, “Lightweight Directory Access 22
1781 PS S. Kille, “Using the OSI Directory to Achieve User Friendly 12
1798 PS A. Young, “Connection-less Lightweight Directory Access Proto 9
1803 I R. Wright, A. Getchell, T. Howes, S. Sataluri, P. Yee, W. Yeong, 8
1804 E G. Mansfield, P. Rajeev, S. Raghavan, T. Howes, “Schema Publi 10
1823 T. Howes & M. Smith, “The LDAP Application Program Interface”, Au 22
Total 551