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

Dan Libby danda at videntity.org
Thu Nov 3 11:10:28 PST 2005

On Thursday 03 November 2005 12:34, Mike Hearn wrote:
> OK, so s/OpenID/YADIS/ then. The key points remain - URLs mean websites,
> email addresses mean people. Outside the blog-o-sphere the two don't
> map 1:1 so mixing them up has poor usability.

I haven't made up my mind on this topic yet.  Here are a few observations I've 
made while reading this thread:  fwiw.

1) In the old days, not everyone had email clients either.  Then hotmail came 
along and people could have an email presence easily, with no special 
software.  Likewise, for OpenID, we already have Videntiy.org and 
myopenid.com filling a similar role, and with addresses that look about as 
simple as email:  user.videntity.org vs user at videntity.org.   This may prove 
to be sufficient.

2) An email address is [usually] more than just an identity.  It is also a 
contact point, and as such may have more privacy concerns than a URL based 
identity.  Especially these days with people trying to evade spam and not 
wanting their email printed in plaintext on web-pages.  ( yes, a url can be a 
contact point also, but  that is less frequently the case. )

3) otoh, email is an existing familiar personal identifier for people, so 
there could be adoption benefits to leveraging that.

4) Doing that as a separate, optional layer could create a situation where an 
email identifier is basically useless if most implementations ignore it.  Or 
at least it creates a potential uncertainty for the user.

5) There is precedent for widely adopted "magic urls" on the web.  
Both /robots.txt and /favicon.ico are "magic", and in reality most sites have 
been able to accomodate them if they wanted to.  Thus, while a bit ugly, an 
email -> url 1:1 mapping does not seem out of the question.  If unsupported, 
the http server should return a 404, and that is that.

6) If yadis were to support both email and url identities, that could be a 
harder thing to message on login forms.

Dan Libby

 - One identity to login with them all
 - Social networking between websites and blogs

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