At the Forge - OpenID
OpenID is an increasingly important standard that seems poised to have a central role in future Web and Internet-connected applications. Using OpenID is not terribly complicated for end users, and it supposedly is going to be integrated into Firefox in the near future.
Next month, we will look at OpenID from the perspective of a Web site that requires users to register. How can you, as a Web developer, support OpenID on your site? We will see that with a bit of work, and some support from open-source libraries, we can support OpenID in our Web applications.
The main site for OpenID information is openid.net. That site has documentation, mailing lists, links to software and lists of OpenID providers and consumers.
A screencast that demonstrates many of the same ideas from this column is available at simonwillison.net/2006/openid-screencast.
A discussion of the pros and cons of OpenID is at radar.oreilly.com/archives/2007/02/pros_and_cons_o.html.
Finally, a list of sites using OpenID, as well as providers you can use, is at openiddirectory.com.
Reuven M. Lerner, a longtime Web/database developer and consultant, is a PhD candidate in learning sciences at Northwestern University, studying on-line learning communities. He recently returned (with his wife and three children) to their home in Modi'in, Israel, after four years in the Chicago area.
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