[OpenID] Identity concepts explained by cartoon ducks

Jens Alfke jens at mooseyard.com
Sat Jan 6 02:02:24 UTC 2007

In the future, even comic strips will make important points about  
online identity.
At WhatTheDuck, that future is today:


The ducks have discovered that a global namespace does not ensure a  
human-meaningful name ... the same corollary of Zooko's Triangle that  
I brought up the other day:

> The ... marketing stuff points out how simple and clear they are.  
> [But] After a few million have been snapped up, the latecomers won't  
> be able to get anything nearly that nice: just like AOL users,  
> they'll be stuck with "=fredsmith226365" or "=ilikecheeeeez", and  
> the memorability advantage is completely lost.

Note that duck #1 has decamped for the alternate approach of an 11- 
digit non-meaningful "key", which is paradoxically easier to remember  
than the "friendly" alphabetic name. In fact, he's probably already  
associated a short "petname" with the key on his cellphone, so he  
won't have to remember the key at all.

As you can see, I'm really quaffing this Zooko/Petname kool-aid :-)


PS: If you dig funny animals explaining CS, you must read "Why's  
(Poignant) Guide To Ruby" < http://poignantguide.net>.

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