What is delegation for? (was Re: Wrapping Up Proposals)

Josh Hoyt josh at janrain.com
Mon Oct 2 18:44:18 PDT 2006

On 10/2/06, Recordon, David <drecordon at verisign.com> wrote:
> * IdP-supported Delegation
>         While it reduces complexity, it means that each IdP now has to
> handle delegated identifiers as well.  As the point of delegation is to
> use an identifier your IdP doesn't assert, for whatever reason, I have a
> hard time having the IdP know what identifier you're using as it may
> decide it doesn't like that.

The way that I understand it, the primary benefits of delegation is to
provide a standard way to use an arbitrary indentifier with any OpenID
IdP. I think that using an identifier "your IdP doesn't assert" is
really an accident. I haven't looked back through the whole
discussion, but Brad proposed in June 2005[1] that the delegate be
sent in the request, so I can't buy the argument that keeping the
identifier secret was a motivator in the design of delegation.

My delegation proposal is not very different from the one in Brad's
message. That mechanism I'd also be in favor of, because it is still
explicit about what is going on (easier to understand and debug, less
state for RP to track).


P.S. we should get a copy of the old list archives on openid.net for
reference purposes, or at least link to them from somewhere

P.P.S Brad also proposed at around the same time[2] adding a (request)
nonce, which was rejected because you could just add it to the
return_to URL

1. http://lists.danga.com/pipermail/yadis/2005-June/000676.html
2. http://lists.danga.com/pipermail/yadis/2005-May/000180.html

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