March 25 2008 Conference Call

Notes from March 25, 2008 Conference call


Ken Klingenstein, Internet2
Colin Clark, U. Toronto
Steven Carmody, Brown
Jutta Treviranus, U. Toronto
RL 'Bob' Morgan, U. Washington
Tom Barton, U. Chicago
Jens Haeusser, UBC
Steve Olshansky, Internet2 (scribe)

Action Items

  • Jutta will speak to Andrew Clement and Clayton about connecting the Fluid privacy project with the Internet2 folks.
  • Ken will follow up with Clayton about grad students.
  • Tom will follow up with Fluid folks at the JA-SIG meeting
  • Ken will contact Stanford about UX/UI for COmanage for input on how they would like to proceed.
  • Fluid will setup a wiki space for us all to use for this purpose.
  • Steven/Fluid will follow up about federating the Fluid Confluence instance.

For reference:



There was discussion about attribute release mechanisms in Shibboleth and their need for attribute release policy (ARP) [1] viewing and [2] management. SWITCH has developed an ARP viewer, but not yet an editor.

Signet is based upon the Stanford Authority Manager in production use for several years, which has a GUI, but there are some aspects of the existing GUI that may not translate well to Signet.

Jens discussed the higher level aspects of putting users in control of their own identity information in a complex systems environment. Informing users of the consequences of their choices is a key element of this, in some sense...

There was some discussion of Microsoft InfoCard/CardSpace and its client-side focus and "cards in the wallet" metaphor.


Tom discussed the Grouper UI work under way, which is based on distributed management. There are users who may have some limited authority to manage group memberships (and by extension associated privileges) and thus (at least some of) the UI(s) need(s) to be usable for users who may not be very technical. Grouper is adding web services protocol interfaces to groups management, which allows the externalization of group management where appropriate, in the enterprise context.

There will likely be more than one UI, based upon the target audience and context. The project is very open to working with Fluid if there appears to be good synergy.


The SWITCH ARP viewer was discussed, and it is somewhat similar to what ProtectNetwork is doing. It uses federation metadata to define required and different levels of optional attributes.

When used in international cross-federation environments, language becomes very important as related to explaining what attribute values mean to the end user.

Sharpe (Australia) only works with Shibboleth v1.3, and will not support the newly released v2.0 for quite a while.


There was discussion about how Fluid engages with projects. Their goal is to provide an extensive rich living library of robust reusable and extensible/transformable UI components that can be used by SW projects. They are just now completing their first year of development.

They try to identify the most critical UI problems within SW projects and develop components to address them, in the expectation that they will be reusable across other projects. They have usability experts involved, and welcome/need contribution from members of the SW development team as well.

The UI toolkit is a set of tools and processes used to evaluate the user experience problems and profile the users and their needs and expected behaviors. This can include creating design patterns and prototype components.

They also are creating a user experience development framework through which a SW project can utilize these components appropriate to their particular requirements.

Three primary aspects of the Fluid project that can benefit a project:

  • AJAX UI components currently being developed
  • user experience (UX) toolkit
  • the Fluid project provides a central forum for the development of UI, a community of practice for the open source community.

Q: To what extent does Fluid anticipate a set of attributes (schema) defining what is presented to users?
A: They are looking at portable personal preference profiles (schema) that would automatically transform a UI to address
accessibility issues. These are based upon 2 standards: IMS "access for all" and ISO 24751.

Fluid is working closely with core contributors to the Sakai and uPortal communities. Sakai has transformable components - "preferable" and "styleable." U. Cambridge and UC-Berkeley are actively engaged in developing the Sakai UI.


There are not currently any personnel looking closely at UX for the Shibboleth ARP editor or COmanage, and these are both high priorities.

It was observed that Clayton has some grad students who are particularly interested, and thus may be able to participate at some level.

There is also work underway under the umbrella of Kuali IdM that is somewhat similar to the needs of the Internet2 SW projects.

uCamp usability camps in which Fluid presents to project developers. There will be on at the upcoming JA-SIG conference.

Fluid also has a large privacy project underway, researching privacy concerns within IT. There are grad students working on this who may be applicable to our work. The JISC Legal work was noted as a resource for them...

Jens suggested that COmanage and Kuali ought to be working together to the degree practical since many of their work areas overlap.