[OT] Re: User @ domain.tld as ID (Once again)

Mike Hearn mike at plan99.net
Thu Nov 3 10:59:32 PST 2005

OK, I'll see if I can put some stuff on the YADIS/OpenID wiki.

On Thu, 03 Nov 2005 09:07:36 -0800, Ernst Johannes wrote:
> I agree that using identifiers that look like xxx at yyy.tld would be  
> great for people, but for my part, there are too many issues that are  
> unresolved, and maybe unresolvable, to make this possible in  
> practice. This thread illustrates this very well.
> There are few more problems:
>   - you can type xxx at yyy.tld into a browser, but it does not do what  
> you'd expect (in fact, browsers are beginning to be really suspicious  
> about @ signs in http URLs because it's a common phishing technique).

Does it really matter? It's only used for logging in to things. People use
email addresses to log into things already and I've never heard anybody
complain that typing an email address into a web browser didn't work
(probably because they know that web browsers are for browsing web sites
and email addresses mean people).

>   - you can't use Google and friends to easily "look up" the  
> identifier of a person (the identifier is not REST-ful)

Well, I think most people (perhaps 80-90% of my friends) don't have a web
presence at all, so Google will never find them. And if they do, their
real name plus some combination of keywords is probably more reliable
given that peoples addresses change and move around.

But at any rate, personal profiles can always point to one or more
personal web sites.

>   - you can't bookmark, tag etc. the identifier (at least not very well)

Sure you can, it's called an address book ;)

>   - it's hard to build a protocol around because unlike for http[s]  
> URLs, it does not identify an end point that can do something in  
> response to a request (there are no CGI scripts behind e-mail addresses)

Email addresses instead of URLs are mostly a usability thing. That's why I
suggested they be mapped to a URL client-side using a simple pattern. It's
cosmetic and it seems people want it, if they're hacking it into their
clients using "well known sites" lists.

thanks -mike

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