OpenID & LID

Brad Fitzpatrick brad at
Tue Jun 28 15:35:58 PDT 2005

On Tue, 28 Jun 2005, Ernst Johannes wrote:

> > URL should be useful, then I'd ask what to do about people who have a
> > useful static page, and also want LID -- they'd need their blog/
> > profile page (static) and then also a LID URL.  Which is the
> > definitive URL?
> Ah, but that's where Apache's "DirectoryIndex" directive comes very
> handy.
> For example, the LID Perl scripts that we have on
> can be installed as "index.cgi", in addition to a "index.html" from
> the static content that somebody might have there already. By saying
>      DirectoryIndex index.cgi index.html

Again, we both can do that.

And all the Gentoo ricers on Slashdot, etc.

But I'm worried about those Yahoo web page user who bought their own
domain name for $10/year and can edit their HTML but nothing else.  No
CGI, no PHP.  Go look at and notice all the people
with vanity domain names that replied to me within 30 minutes of my
announcement who'd already inserted two lines to their HTML head,
delegating the OpenID server work to livejournal's servers, but using
their own vanity domain name as their identity.

Little story:

I once designed a stupid templating language called S1.  It required you
knew HTML.  Then I made a 20x cooler one (named S2) that was a full blown
programming language w/ compiler, supported introspection, auto-created
GUIs with DHTML to choose options from the introspection of the templates,
etc. I figured:  S2 will be great for newbies who like point-and-click, or
for hard-core object oriented programmers who understand inheritance and
dozens of layers of abstraction!

But I haven't been able to kill S1 in all these years because there are a
bunch of people in the middle who aren't newbies and aren't programmers.
And they're influential because of their numbers, and also vocal.

My point:  those "middle" tech users can insert two lines into an HTML
document and FTP it to their host (they don't what it means, but they
copy/pasted it and changed their username), but they can't run a CGI
script because their host doesn't allow it, they don't understand
permissions, module dependencies (or they can't install new modules
inside their $HOME), etc.

I've probably grown too cynical.

- Brad

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