Interested in social networking and all things identity? The Liberty Alliance is having a webcast on the ID-WSF People Service (I can't believe that that has a TM after it...kind of illustrates the icky feeling people have towards Liberty stuff...) -- 8AM PST, January 11, 2006, ID-WSF 2.0’s People Service: Federated Social Identity, presented by Paul Madsen:
The Liberty ID-WSF People Service™, a key component in ID-WSF 2.0, is the industry’s first comprehensive platform for managing social information within an open federated network environment. People Service allows consumers and enterprise users to manage social applications such as bookmarks, blogging, calendars, photo sharing and instant messaging from a common layer within the ID-WSF 2.0 framework. Liberty People Service has been developed to allow individuals to easily store, maintain, and categorize online relationships so that other socially-aware Web services applications can leverage information based on the consent and privacy controls established by a user in the federated social network. With Liberty Alliance People Service, consumers and enterprise users can now centrally manage all of their online social relationships using a federated network approach with privacy controls built into the system allowing users to leverage the privacy functionality of Liberty Web Services to more easily and securely share social and enterprise information across applications, platforms and service providers. In this Web cast, we’ll overview the functionality of People Service and provide some use case examples. You won’t want to miss this highly informative session.
Lauren gave me a heads up on this, and checked with the organizers: there are over 60 people signed up already, and the organizers will make more slots available if it gets "full"...but you need to RSVP soonish to make sure.
So, I mentioned the feelings that people have towards SAML/Liberty Alliance stuff. The perception is one of complexity, corporate focus, and closed source. The concepts covered in the People Service should definitely indicate that there is the desire to address all the fun non-corporate end-user apps that we're all playing with these days. Talking about the closed source issue, when I started looking into this, the main resource I found was OpenSAML. But, nothing but nasty (complex!) Java and C++ implementations.
If you want adoption of your standard/spec/whatever in wider open source communities, you pretty much need an implementation in one of the main "scripty" languages in the LAMP stack -- PHP, Python, or Perl.
I also just put up a placeholder page for the OS CMS Summit Identity Session [link moved], where we'll be able to discuss a lot of these issues face to face.
Update: the session did fill up completely -- there will be another session on January 25th at 6AM PST. Make sure to register. There is a white paper [PDF] about PeopleService, and here are the session slides [PDF]