[OpenID] Wiki page: Attempting to document the "Email Address as OpenId"debate.

Hallam-Baker, Phillip pbaker at verisign.com
Mon Feb 12 21:19:56 UTC 2007

> From: David Fuelling [mailto:sappenin at gmail.com] 

> Assuming you're referring to the wiki page 
> (http://openid.net/wiki/index.php/Debating_Emails_as_OpenIds),
>  can you clarify the "tenuous distinctions" for me?  Which 
> statement are you referring to on the wiki page (I'd like to 
> correct it if there's a mistake).

Objecting to email addresses as not being a URL. It's a bogus argument because the taxonomy is bogus.

> This seems to be a problem of syntax.  Just because a URN can 
> be "turned into" or "mapped" to a URL does not make the two 
> the same thing.  

The fact that this is done routinely means that the distinction is not a useful one.

> You're trying to argue that TBL and others don't like how 
> things are currently defined....but that doesn't remove the 
> fact that most people distinguish (rightly or wrongly) 
> between a URN, URL, and URI, *despite the
> fact* that they can typically be used interchange-ably (but 
> not always).

'Most people' would not know what a URN was if it bit them on the butt. By most people you actually mean most people who have a casual familiarity with the technical specifications but not a deep understanding thereof.

What I was objecting to was drawing any conclusions as to the utility of URNs on the basis of this unfortunate historic accident.

> I disagree with this.  
> 1.) My parents will never own their own domain.
> 2.) Depending on his career path, my newborn son may rarely 
> use a computer in his life except for email, and thus might 
> never purchase his own domain.

He might never find out about Facebook and its ilk or Instant messaging either. Not a large chance that that will be the case though.

> 3.) There aren't enough domains for everybody to have a 
> meaningful one. 

Of course there are. Its like arguing that there aren't enough usernames on hotmail or gmail.

> 4.) It's a lot easier to let yahoo.com (or someone else) 
> manage various services for me (email, IM, calendar, blog, 
> etc), and simply give me a uid in their domain.

And Yahoo or GMail or whoever can then make some money by selling you the domain name as a premium experience.

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