Martin Atkins (mart) wrote in lj_dev,
Martin Atkins
mart
lj_dev

OpenID on LiveJournal

OpenID is maturing quickly and there are already a couple of little applications which can accept OpenID logins. LiveJournal is already providing an identity server so that LiveJournal users can log in to other OpenID sites. The next step is to make LiveJournal be what we've been calling a consumer of OpenID, meaning that external users can log in here.

The general idea is that people will type their in OpenID identity somewhere and hit submit. The first time they do this LiveJournal will create an account with no username (and thus no journal) for the user behind the scenes. They will then be able to comment in journals as their OpenID identity. I think there are some questions about the best approach, though. Here are some ideas:

  • OpenID users can log into the site as a whole. They can manage their profile information from editinfo.bml like everyone else can. A nice part of this approach is that they could also theoretically be added to LiveJournal users' friends list and thus read protected entries while logged in. This requires big changes, though, since the session system is currently bound to usernames and most of the site assumes that the logged in user has a username. Not insurmountable, but not easy either. Also, where does the OpenID login form go?
  • OpenID users can enter their ID when posting a comment. The ID is validated for that comment only and they don't get a site session. This is pretty easy, but also quite limiting. Theoretically a new kind of session could be created so that they don't have to keep doing the OpenID dance every time.

Brad probably has a different idea in mind, too. I guess he's asleep, though!

Also nice would be having OpenID commenters displayed as something like </a></b></a>goatman (<lj openid="goatman.com">?). This is going to be fun. ;)

(By the way, if you like you can add the OpenID mailing list to your friends page by adding openid_maillist. It's quite high-traffic right now, though.)

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