OpenID Auth for agents and "bots"

Martin Atkins mart at
Sun Aug 6 22:26:45 UTC 2006

Recordon, David wrote:
> Awesome, I've also been thinking a lot about something like this.  What Brad and I had discussed was being able to do this via Basic and Digest HTTP Auth.  Thus a client that supports these modes already, browser, feed reader, svn, etc wouldn't have to change; rather only changes would be required on the server side.  Then for many of these apps, writing mod_auth_openid for Apache would handle the code needed on the server.
> It would look very much like what you wrote up, though throw the identifier in the username and the signature into the password field.  Then use check_authentication to verify it.
> Have you thought at all about that approach?

I suppose that could work. I'm not really sure I understand the 
advantage, though. Most clients are going to ask the user for a username 
and password in response to a Basic or Digest challenge. Do you expect 
the user to compute the signature manually and put it in? :)

Also, this makes it more difficult (though admittedly not incredibly so) 
to allow Basic, Digest and OpenID auth on the same URL.

I guess the main advantage is that existing HTTP client libraries could 
be used, but since it would be pretty trivial to add that support as a 
wrapper, and in this situation we're talking about development libraries 
  rather than end-user apps, I don't think the "quick and dirty" 
solution is necessary and we can afford to do it properly (for some 
value of "properly".)

Just my opinion, though!

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