April 6, 2008 - 15:34
Like most people, I find having to maintain user names and passwords for dozens, if not hundreds, of different websites a tad tedious. I also suffer the hassle of having one of the commonest-names on the planet. No website ever has davidjones, or something logical like that, available by the time I get to register (with the exception of Twitter – I must have been lucky that day) so mostly I end up with some piece of nonsense like davjon374.
I also loathe websites that insist on pointless restrictions to logon names and passwords (e.g. passwords must be exactly five letters; usernames must contain a number). I don’t mind my banking websites insisting on something specific and complicated – I have something worth protecting there – but I could really do without having to remember dozens of subtely different logons for websites of minimal consequence in my life. I prefer sites that use email addresses as logons, particularly as I went to quite a lot of effort to secure my email domain and I’ve been following the chat around OpenID, which sounds like a very sensible idea.
OpenID works by definining a URI to define your identity. You can get an OpenID from an OpenID Provider. Organisations have formed to specifically issue these (e.g. myOpenID). In addition, a number of existing service providers are OpenID-enabling themselves: for example, I already have an OpenID based on my Flickr account URI (http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidcjones/).
But I don’t really want my very own OpenID to have someone else’s domain name in it, when I have a perfectly good domain name of my own.