Those Pesky Slashes

kurt at kurt at
Sat May 28 05:59:45 PDT 2005

> It seems like we need to do something about those pesky slashes.


Please pardon me if I'm covering something which has already been 
discussed, but what's wrong with URLs, whether or not they have 
slashes?  I would assume that most OpenID users with weblogs know their 
weblog URL, so if the OpenID login box says "Enter your weblog URL:", 
then the user should know what to do.  But we start transforming URLs 
to use them for OpenID login, then what?  Then the user has to remember 
a separate form, distinct from their weblog URL, which they use for 
OpenID login.

Take my weblog URL, for example:
As I read the specs, as long as the auto-discovery tag for OpenID 
exists on that page to point OpenID consumers to my server, then 
everything will work.

Now, I can see how there could be a problem with proxies, but still, as 
long as the user has some kind of homepage or weblog, just put the 
<link> tag there.  Then, all they need to remember is their weblog URL, 
which they probably already do.

Additionally, from your email in the "user at domain identity form 
musings" thread:

> Most users aren't going to know it's a URL. For example, LiveJournal's 
> documentation will say "Type into the OpenID 
> Login box, where 'username' is your LiveJournal username". Users will 
> then go ahead and do that, blissfully unaware of what is going on 
> behind the scenes.
> What I *would* like is a way to clean up URLs which have slashes in 
> them. Some sites aren't going to want the wildcard DNS, perhaps 
> because they already have one or more real hostnames in the zone which 
> conflict with usernames, so they're going to have identity URLs like 
>, which looks quite odd.

I suppose I'm still lost as to why they can't just use their 
homepage/weblog URL, which has a <link> tag that points to the OpenID 
server.  It seems to me that one of the points of OpenID is that users 
can log in with something they already know, their weblog URL.

So, I'm wondering why we need to take perfectly servicable URLs, and 
start transforming them, or requiring changes to DNS to make OpenID 

Again, my apologies if this has already been gone over before.

kurt at

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