Mar 19

Gears Future APIs: OpenID and OAuth

Gears, Tech, Web Browsing with tags: , 14 Comments »

Single Sign On

When I was looking over Brad Neuberg’s Paper Airplane thought experiment I noticed the single sign on feature, where you login to the browser, and then you are done.

I realized that this is what I actually want. Having one signon via OpenID is really nice. It allows me to plug in “” as my identifier. However, I always have to go around finding the OpenID option (if it exists) and put that in.

What I really want is for the browser to do that work for me. If a site groks OpenID the browser should be able to pass that over without having me intervene at all. It could hide the entire login process if we came up with a microformat to let all sides know what is going on.

It would be a breath of fresh air to be able to jump through sites leaving comments on blogs, and checking out my todo list, all without me once having to actually login.

I wonder if a Gear could be made with a complementary microformat / server side handshake that could then give us single sign-on in all of the browsers.

As Brian McCallister suggests:

<link rel="openid-auth" href="..." />

Other Future APIs

Disclaimer: This is me rambling about APIs and tools that I would love to see in Gears, or the Open Web as a whole. Do you have ideas for cool Gears that make the Web better? Let us know!.

Mar 13

Taking ownership of OpenID

Tech with tags: , 5 Comments »


Peter Nixey is a good bloke that I met at a conference way back. At the time he showed me a killer CMS product that was nice and Ajax-y, and most of all usable enough for my mother.

Now he is in the news with his Y Combinator startup Clickpass and how it is trying to make OpenID more usable.

I decided to give it a roll, and switched out my delegated open id to:

<link rel="openid.server" href="">
<link rel="openid.delegate" href="">

When OpenID providers first started to come out of the woodwork it felt like deja vu. Of IM providers. Of email. Of blogs.

I am in a situation these days where I want to own the end point, but have the service outsourced. forever. I didn’t want to be switching from to and hoping to be able to bridge the accounts. I want to use as my rel=”me”. As soon as delegation came about, I was able to do that and life is happy.

I am looking forward to seeing Peter, and others, crack the nut on cool openid features, and also doing enough to allow Simon to not say “we are no worse than before” and be able to say “we are way better than before”.

Feb 09

Mainstream OpenID?

Comic, Tech with tags: 4 Comments »

Mainstream OpenID

Us techies love to talk about OpenID and the like. We complain about the idea of signing for one more bloody service.

However, OpenID has a few usability issues for non-technical folk. I can’t imagine explaining to my mum that she has to login using a domain URL. “You want me to type in the browser?” “No! that is your username!”.

Well, these days could be numbered. I heard that there was a lot of chatter on this topic at Social Foo, and Brad has one solution using < a href="">Yadis as opposed to the more pure DNS, or hacky ~username solutions.

Getting my mum to use her email as a username won’t be an issue. Hopefully she won’t fall for any OpenID phishing attacks though if it becomes popular.