2007: The Year of OpenID (?)

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A late but Happy New Year – recent silence related to starting new job at local.ch – more on that another time.

So let’s call this one the Year of OpenID – or at least the part up to March. OpenID is starting to gain as a solution to some (not all) online authentication problems.

While some good resources are starting to show up explaining how OpenID works, there’s a tendency towards either “here’s how to add to your blog – don’t ask difficult questions” or significant assumed knowledge. So it’s nice if you have someone around who can explain it directly, which is what happened last webtuesday, Cédric’s providing an OpenID Overview. As well as doing a great job of explaining key points of what OpenID is and is not, he also took a good stab at illustrating OpenID transactions in terms of the communication between the hosts involved, something that seems poorly documented online right now – images here.

One particular concern the talk raised regards the final redirect of an OpenID transaction, when a new account is being setup on the relying party (the site you want to register and log into) – step 6 here. As I’ve understood it, OpenID Servers can optionally provide bits of your personal information to the relying party, to reduce you work in filling in a registration form. But that seems to be passed via the final GET request you are redirected to, GET having limits and a tendency to lie around in access logs…

Talk slides are online here (PDF). May also show up as a video somewhere soon…

Meanwhile looks like Dokuwiki is gaining OpenID support as well…

Update: – the talk is now here on Google video – many thanks to Corsin for the hard work.

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