Messing with OpenID - Journal of Omnifarious
Oct. 1st, 2006
12:04 pm - Messing with OpenID
I've been messing with OpenID because I've been thinking of moving my blog off of LJ.
The recent thing with LJ introducing sponsored communities and features has really annoyed me. Sponsored communities are evil. They put garbage commercial content right in the 'signal' area for communications between real people. I don't care if you can ignore them. Links to such communities show up just like links to any other community. But the whole community is basically an advertisement. Additionally the post about it is kind of snarky, the supposed benefits largely are thinly veiled benefits of the corporations who'll be doing the sponsoring, and bradfitz's response to all the criticism is condescending. bradfitz calls the anger 'confusion', thereby devaluing the opinions of the people who posted.
Anyway, enough about that. I'm unhappy, so I'm thinking of self-hosting.
My favorite two features of LJ are these:
- Comment threading (replies to a comment show up slightly indented and you can see what a comment is replying to)
- The pool of LJ identities. For example, it's easy to reference other LJ users in posts and comments. And, you can filter posts so that only certain friends see them.
If I self-host, the second feature will be really hard to replicate. That's where OpenID comes in. With OpenID my site can verify your LJ identity without having to know your LJ password. When my site asks you who you are, and you tell it (for example) "http://omnifarious.livejournal.com/", it will redirect you to the LJ site. The LJ site will prompt you to login on LJ if you haven't, and then it will ask you if my site is allowed to know your LJ identity. Once you answer, it redirects you back to my site and my site then knows that you really are that LJ user. It doesn't know enough that I could impersonate you, but it does know enough to be sure that you are who you said you were.
I've already created an OpenID here: omnifarious' OpenID account [omnifarious.org]. (If you click on the little icon it goes to a different place than if you click on the text.) It was pretty easy, and I'm currently using GetOpenId as the ID provider, but I'm figuring out how to set up my own.
The next step is to figure out how to download all the comments to my journal. :-)