Toying with OpenID

OpenID is the new cool guy on the inter-web, so I decided to try it out on orangesplotch.com.

OpenID Logo

What is OpenID?

OpenID is an open, decentralized, free framework for user-centric digital identity.
http://openid.net/

OpenID provides a way to log in to any site that supports it using a single identity. Instead of creating endless usernames and passwords, all you need is your OpenID. Better yet, any server can run it!

So this weekend I decided to set up my own OpenID provider on orangesplotch.com. I used phpMyID because of its simplicity and tiny overhead. Other libraries I found either didn't support the latest OpenID standards, or were nightmarishly complex beasts.

My OpenID Experience

phpMyID is dead easy to setup and install. I had it up and running in a matter of minutes.

Logging in to supported sites was a different matter. Some sites worked great. Others returned strange errors and there were some that didn't do anything at all.

Apparently there is still some debates as to the proper implementation of the OpenID protocol. phpMyID states it is following the standards. However, depending on the software a site is using, some validated my OpenID and some didn't. That's annoying!

Someday soon

OpenID is gaining popularity quickly, but it is still a ways from mainstream adoption. A few major players are entering the arena, such as AOL and Microsoft. I think this is a step in the right direction for everyone and I'm excited to see it moving forward.

If you want to try it out and your server is running php, phpMyID is a really easy way to start. Be aware, though, that the framework is still pretty new and not everyone agrees on how it should work. Has anyone else tried it out?

The next step for orangesplotch.com is to allow you to login to the site using OpenID. I've seen a few WordPress plugins that I'm eager to try out. Any suggestions?

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