Those Pesky Slashes
mart at degeneration.co.uk
Sat May 28 04:34:30 PDT 2005
LiveJournal has cute little OpenID Identity URLs:
However, not all sites are going to want to put a wildcard on their
domain to make that work. In many cases, they might already have users
which conflict with existing hosts in their domain.
They're going to end up like somesite.com/username or
somesite.com/users/username, or even
somesite.com?home.aspx?user=username. All of these are far less
memorable than the cutesy hostnames LiveJournal provides.
It seems like we need to do something about those pesky slashes. I'm not
sure what, though. The obvious thing that springs to mind is doing some
transformation to a "standard" URL form which sites can then mod_rewrite
(or whatever) to the place they need to go. However, that's going to
lead to identifiers like user at domain.com (which would perhaps map to
domain.com/openid/user ?) which suddenly gives users the need to
remember whether this one is an @-type address or a dot-type address.
Given how bad users are at remembering whether something is in .com or
.co.uk (in the UK at least) and how people constantly contort
<lj user="..."> and <lj-cut> into things like <lj-user="..."> (on
LiveJournal, at least!) relying on people's ability to remember these
nutty little details is probably unadvisable.
It seems to me that LiveJournal is really the special case when it comes
to having URLs like that. There are far more sites which do not.
However, having a wacky URL form breaks it for people who are using
their own weblog as their identity URL.
So what's to be done? Do we just force everyone to configure wildcard
DNS or do we find some way to obscure the difference between
username.livejournal.com and deadjournal.com/~username ?
More information about the yadis