W3C Digital Signature Initiative

Design Phase Working Group Project Announcement

The votes for the Digital Signature Initiative (DSig) <http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/Security/DsigProj.html> are in. All of the responses received were positive and there were enough offers of resources to staff the project. I have decided to commit W3C resources to create and manage the project. Philip DesAutels <philipd@w3.org, +1.617.258.5714> will be the project manager.

Participants interested in the Digital Signature Initiative fall into three overlapping groups:

  1. Developers interested in creating the specification of the framework, protocols and formats for DSig.
  2. Builders and developers executing the design to produce a sample implementation.
  3. Representatives of the users of the technology who want to have an active role in examining and commenting on the detailed design and implementation as it proceeds.

The call for participation as originally written appealed only to developers in group 1 and we have selected ten of those to form the initial design team. At the request of a number of the other companies who responded, we have decided to proceed in two phases, design and implementation. Following the implementation phase, the participants in the project will recommend an on-going process to maintain, update, and possible Standardize the software and specification.

The DSig Design Phase will be a short (two month) effort where the critical design decisions will be made and a detailed project plan will be developed. The design team consists of the ten companies who responded with resources to initial call for participation:

The design phase ends on 20 November with a full presentation to the W3C Security Working Group on 21 November. The exact location of this meeting is not yet decided but it will be in Europe. On 22 November, at that same location, the W3C staff will be available to meet with all W3C member companies to discuss the details of participating in the implementation phase. We will then ask for commitments to participate in the implementation phase in one of two categories:

  1. Joining the implementation team. At the time a detailed estimate will be available, but our current estimate is a minimum of one full time engineer for 4 months.
  2. Joining a user advisory forum to comment on the design and implementation as it progresses. This group will compare the design with user requirements and help ensure that the product developed will meet market demands. Again, a detailed estimate will be available, but our current estimate is this will require a minimal level of effort of one day per week for four months.

Thank you for helping us form this initiative. Please bear in mind the following important dates:

21 November, in Europe, W3C Security Working Group

22 November, in Europe, Discussion of participation in the DSig implementation phase

2 December, Your final decision on participation in DSig implementation phase

Sincerely, Tim Berners-Lee

Philip A. DesAutels, DSig Project Manager
$Date: 1997/08/09 17:57:57 $