[PROPOSAL] Handle "http://user at example.com" Style Identifiers

Recordon, David drecordon at verisign.com
Thu Oct 19 18:45:46 PDT 2006

In meeting with a large service provider this week, an issue around end
user usability came up.  The concern they expressed was that users are
know how to enter usernames or email addresses to initiate the login
process.  While directed identity allows the user to enter
"example.com", they feel that it still is a bit of a stretch at this
time for any major deployment of OpenID.

The proposal we came up with was within the spec describing what to do
if someone were to enter "user at example.com" in a Relying Party's OpenID
login form.  The idea is that the RP splits the string on the "@" and
then treats "example.com" as the IdP Identifier.  This thus doesn't
actually require any changes to the protocol itself.  Any Relying Party
can do this today, but they desire to see this as part of the
specification itself so they wouldn't be doing anything special.

Within the http://www.lifewiki.net/openid/ConsolidatedDelegationProposal
proposal, in case one, openid.identity would be set to
"http://openid.net/identifier_select/2.0" and then instead of
openid.portable being empty, in this case "user at example.com" would be
sent to the IdP.  While not perfectly mapping to the definition of the
openid.portable field, it doesn't seem like that much of a hack to do

While I certainly am not looking to re-kindle the "Why a URI?" debate,
http://user@example.com is also technically a valid URI.  It is used in
many cases by browsers to provide a username when making a web request.

So while this is a little funky, I really think the increased usability
offered by describing what a RP should do when a string like this is
entered seems to outweigh the potential conceptual confusion.



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