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Document the interactions and conventions that make self-sovereign identity interoperable.
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This repo is a place to collaborate around interoperability of ecosystems supporting self-sovereign identity. Anybody and everybody is welcome to contribute docs that capture our thinking. Our goal is to find practical common ground quickly, not to create heavy standards and processes. Nobody owns content here except the contributors. (See license note below.)


The rules for the repo are super simple: to contribute, raise a PR. A PR is accepted as soon as it idles for 7 days without anyone making a substantive counterproposal. At that point, the ideas in the PR are considered "tenatively endorsed" by the contributors. New PRs can always undo something.

"Substantive counterproposal" means you propose alternate content with a PR of your own, either against the same repo or against the original proposer's fork-- not that you just criticize or drag your feet. If you make a counterproposal, then your new PR becomes the expected outcome of the contribution thread until 7 days have elapsed on it, or until a new counterproposal materializes. Ping-pong proposals that just reassert an entrenched position stall a contribution thread and require a meeting to resolve. We'll handle that situation as it arises.

Everybody plays by these rules, including maintainers. And anybody can be a maintainer, if you have good github kung fu and you'll enforce these rules. We're all peers.


The repo is structured as follows:

  • /overview -- Background philosophy, motivation, references to standards that we want to use without regurgitating them here, etc.
  • /pkg -- Docs on how to package communications between independent actors in an SSI ecosystem. Covers general conventions on encryption, serialization, etc -- things that are true regardless of the content of communication.
  • /msg -- Docs on different messages that might be exchanged. (Communication in SSI is assumed to be fundamentally message-based, though there are ways to adapt it to streaming, multicast, and similar use cases.) The /msg folder is further subdivided:
    • /msg/std -- Standard messages of general interest, foundational to any SSI work. For example, an error message, messages to query and reply about the capabilities of another entity, messages about issuing credentials or proving things, or messages about how to route other messages. Messages are organized into message families by subdir -- so there might be a subdir called cred_issuance, for example.
    • /msg/ext -- Message families of narrower interest, not necessary for general interop. For example, messages to control IoT sensors might go here.
  • /flow -- Docs on different interaction patterns that matter in the ecosystem. Some of these patterns may relate to specific message families; others may apply to many different message types.
    • /flow/std -- Standard interaction patterns of general interest, foundational to any SSI work. For example, the negotiate pattern or the consent pattern may apply broadly enough to qualify as a standard flow.
    • /flow/ext -- Flow families of narrower interest, such as the flow that occurs in a shopping cart checkout.

Files and folders, at least under /msg and /flow, are named with snake_case so they can form the basis of a namespace hierarchy because we anticipate implementing them in code, referencing them in test suites, etc.


We do not yet have a formal versioning strategy for the repo. Perhaps that will change. In the meantime, if you want to reference something here with confidence that it won't change, use a specific git hash.

License Note

Contributions to this repo become open source under an Apache 2 license, though you are welcome to copyright them yourself, too, if you like. We don't expect the ideas here to embody secret sauce anyway, since they're all about interop that we want the world to achieve, and we're writing docs rather than code. See this FAQ about Apache 2 for for specifics.

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