Martin Atkins mart at degeneration.co.uk
Wed May 18 07:22:50 PDT 2005

 From reading and taking part in discussions it appears that everyone is 
using different words for different parts of the system. I think it's 
worthwhile to settle on a common set of terms which are unambiguous and 

I propose the following:
User: a person who wishes to assert an identity to a consumer
Identity: what you enter into the "OpenID Login" box, and the unique ID
     that the consumer "sees".
Consumer: a site or other service which supports OpenID identities as
     a means of "logging in".
Client: the browser or other software that the user is using.
Identity Server (or ID Server): some software which has a means to link
     the user to a given OpenID Identity and which asserts that link.

Most of this is what people have been saying already anyway, but I 
noticed that people have been calling both the consumer and the client 
by the term "client".

It's unfortunate that the name OpenID ends with "ID", since it becomes 
distasteful to abbreviate "OpenID Identity" to "OpenID ID". I suspect 
people will eventually gravitate towards calling an OpenID identity
"an OpenID", which I don't really like (using it both as a proper noun 
and a count noun is a little yucky) but I guess it's inevitable.

Simultaneously an Identity Server will probably become an "OpenID 
Server", so it's important not to call anything else a server. The 
server-side "AJAX" helper for the consumer can be called the AJAX 
Helper, not the server.

Any other thoughts are, as ever, welcomed.

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