Wikimedia (Wikipedia) single sign-on
paul at ciphergoth.org
Sun Jun 19 05:26:18 PDT 2005
Thanks for bringing this problem to our attention! I'm very keen too
see if OpenID can be bent to meet your needs, since this is exactly the
sort of thing it is meant for.
The problem seems to be one of names - OpenID uses the URL namespace as
the namespace for identified parties, but you seem to be concerned that
the resulting names will be too long and unwieldy. I'm not sure what
more convenient namespace you're proposing in its place, though: you
mention names like "Eloquence at wp-en", but that won't work for people who
don't have Wikipedia accounts (the reverse case of Jimbo's contributions
to the LA Times).
I'm not totally convinced that OpenID URLs are of necessity too long for
your purposes. Would "eo.wikipedia.org/~Brion_VIBBER" really be too
long? It's about the shortest ID you could have that would be human
readable and globally unique; if it has to be shorter, it will change
from site to site.
If that's still too long, Wikipedia could special-case URLs with @
symbols in them on input and display to provide "shortened names", so
that Eloquence at wp-en is just a shorthand for
en.wikipedia.org/~Eloquence. However, I don't recommend using this
namespace; this looks like an email address, but isn't.
Another problem you have is that you want to be able to have a user page
for every contributor, so that people can discuss things with that
contributor and send them messages. That has to include contributors
with "foreign" IDs.
Finally, the fact that a given user may have several accounts on your
system at the moment makes things less neat than they could be. I think
I have an account on Wikiquote and on Wikipedia; I'd prefer if the
single sign-on system allowed me to assert that these were one and the
same account. However, it's unclear whether user pages, or
contributions, should be unified.
\/ o\ Paul Crowley, paul at ciphergoth.org
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