[OpenID] Live Icons for visual recognition of IDP logos

Martin Atkins mart at degeneration.co.uk
Fri Apr 3 05:00:32 UTC 2009

Peter Williams wrote:
> Obviously to do this I must maintain a mapping of OpenID identities
> to local user accounts; and this is a many to one mapping.  This means
> that the OpenID identity is NOT my user account identity; but instead that
> the OpenID identity REFERENCES my user account identity.  A
> subtle but important distinction.

I agree that there is a distinction, but the latter is true on most 
systems that support only one identifier too, and is in fact consistent 
with how OpenID was originally described: OpenID allows you to prove 
that you own a URL. One application of that is to prove that you own a 
user account that references that URL, which is a special case of 
asserting that you're the same person I saw last time. (for some 
wishy-washy definition of "person".)

This is the main reason why I make a point of saying "identifier" 
instead of "identity" in this context. My identity is a more abstract 
concept that is difficult to define.

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