Progress Bar says:

I have to gently disagree with Kim Cameron about the renaming of InfoCard. Personally, I thought it [InfoCard] was a fine name. Then again I am a Mac user and Keychain just makes sense.

Now, it has the Windows name in it. Why? Second, contains the word space, similar to namespace, which I think of in technical terms like an XML namespace and my unscientific interviews this morning produced much head scratching from regular people. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but still irks me.

Let me clarify things a bit. 

InfoCards don't go away – instead they are transformed into “Information Cards”. 

So from now on, I'll be writing about Information Cards.  I hope that one day Apple will have a way to use Information Cards.  Not to mention Linux and Unix and telephones and iPods.  I hope they all behave in a more or less recognizable way, just as we can all get into a car we've never seen before, look at the steering wheel and pedals, and know how to drive it – inspite of every car having its own character.

Our research shows the growing understanding of “InfoCards” will transfer just fine to “Information Cards.” 

In fact if someone kept calling them InfoCards or ICards or Cards the meanings would all still hold together. 

But as a name that reaches across the industry, it is best to have one that no one owns, and that we don't have to debate, because it is just a generic statement of purpose.

Meanwhile, we have the small detail of this implementation on Windows and the fact that it's going to ship soon.  Our implementation is a place where you can put your Information Cards.  So we're calling that your CardSpace.  We don't intend to Windows it to death – I expect it will normally be refered to as CardSpace once you are inside the Windows world.  Of course, I don't work for the Department of Naming and don't have my branding license.

For the last year, my friends and colleagues in other companies and organizations have been hard core about wanting me to better separate between the “Identity Metasystem”, the “cards” that stand for identity relationships, and the Microsoft Implementation of all this.  I think everyone wants to participate in the emerging identity metasystem.  But people don't want their participation to be seen as too closely mixed up with Microsoft's implementation. 

In the early days of the project I didn't understand all these complex issues so we ended up with the same name being used for all three purposes.

Now, we've tried to do what our colleagues have been asking for.  The name of the “big idea” – Information Cards – is generic and belongs to the industry and the world.  The Identity Metasystem is something each of us contributes to in our own way.  Windows CardSpace is Microsoft's implementation of an identity selector on the Windows client. 

I will be working with colleagues from other companies on a common logo that can be displayed wherever Information Cards are accepted.

I should have made all of this clearer when I first blogged about it.  But thanks to the miracle of the Blogosphere it's possible to see when you haven't been clear about what you are doing.  So, I hope this helps.

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Kim Cameron

Work on identity.


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