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OpenID - The one login to rule them all

Written by Alcides Fonseca at 1185711382
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Photo by P. A. M.


Everyone who uses the Internet has this problem: So many login protected websites and so many different username/password combinations used. A long time ago, people used txt’s to keep their passwords, but with current browsers they keep it for you. But it’s still a pain when you’re not on your computer or you format or even change browsers. What if there was only one login system for every website?



Well, OpenID solves that problem. You can login in any website that supports this system (and that number is increasing) only with your OpenID url (ex: alcides.myopenid.com). As this is an open system, you are not stuck with some company, like you are with Microsoft if you use Live ID. There are a few OpenID servers and you can even have your own. And even if a server goes offline, there is a solution for it: use your own website as your OpenID. Mine is alcidesfonseca.com and to have that, I just had to add this lines to the head tag in my homepage:




<link rel="openid.server" href="http://www.myopenid.com/server">

<link rel="openid.delegate" href="http://alcides.myopenid.com/">




If someday I stop using MyOpenID.com and start using another, I just have to change those lines. Simple and secure :)




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Photo by April Joy


If you haven’t started using OpenID, I strongly suggest that you take a look at Simon Willison’s screencast on How to use OpenID.



If you own a website with login/password, think about the possibility of adding OpenID support for your users. Here is a list of plugins for CMS that you can use:



Joomla


Wordpress


Drupal


MediaWiki


MoinMoin (needs some hacking)


Of if you need to code your own, here are some libraries to help you out. In a near future, when adding OpenID support for my blog, I will post and How-to add support for Python applications.