identity as a URL instead of an email? hrmmmm

Martin Atkins mart at
Sun Mar 26 19:25:36 UTC 2006

S. Alexander Jacobson wrote:
> Huh?  All that is required here is creation of a subdomain.  I believe
> all the major major name registrars allow their users to do that.  Do
> you have other data?

How can someone who uses, for example, a email address make
use of your system without Hotmail's co-operation? Loads of people have
hotmail addresses.

Also, lots of cheap "register a domain for pittance and we'll give you
free email forwarding!" services don't allow any kind of DNS
manipulation, or perhaps allow creation of new A/CNAME records if you're

Creating something like is certainly *not* trivial
for lots of providers and DNS hosts. For example, anyone whose domain is
hosted on a system controlled by an older version of Plesk — a popular
package for allowing web/email hosting customers to manage their own
hosting — will have to jump through hoops creating a new domain on the
server, which may then increase their hosting charges depending on the
provider's policies. (Fortunately recent versions of Plesk seem to have
got a clue in this respect.)

 > FYI, I serve out XML w/ stylesheet PIs to mozilla and IE because they
> can handle it.  I do XSLT server side for lynx/konqueror/safari/opera
> which can't. If you have a serious objection to this approach or an
> explanation for how it relates to this discussion, I would love to hear
> it.  If you are just blowing off steam, perhaps you might try going to
> the gym.

I only noticed it because your server served it to my Opera browser,
which of course didn't work and left me with a blank page. Obviously
something has gone wrong somewhere. You might want to look into that.

>> makes me think that this is someone who hasn't quite grasped the
>> current realities of the network, which was also the first thing I
>> thought when I saw this "magic DNS" approach.
> Care to elucidate what "current realities" of which "network" bear on
>  Or what is "magical" about creating a subdomain.

Current issues that relate to your implementation:
* Most users have no or little control over the domain that hosts their
email, either because someone else provides their email or because their
vanity domain provider only provides email forwarding services without
additional fees.
* Introducing new technologies that require big companies to buy in
before they can work are rarely successful. What incentive does Hotmail
have to play with you? If you want your solution to gain more than a
handful of users you need to allow users to bootstrap themselves in
spite of their provider as OpenID does.
* Your system will probably require people to change their email
addresses until such a time as every possible email provider also
provides services. I'd guess most people don't want to change
their email addresses just to try some crazy new identity scheme.

Of course, others may have a different point of view on these issues.
Despite my reservations, I wish you luck with your idea. Hopefully
eventually one of these crazy single sign-on schemes will catch on; my
money is on the one that has the lowest barrier of entry to users.

More information about the yadis mailing list