Friday May 15, 2009

Weave Identity - Synergistic Creativity

A week ago, I blogged about the Mozilla Labs Weave project enabling automatic website login.  A couple of days ago, thanks to Pat Patterson, I read Dan Mills' blog about the effort and watched his video again.  I thought Dan's pragmatic vision about the role the browser could play in simplifying the authentication process was quite perceptive:
"Part of the guiding force here is that we think that regardless of the inner mechanism (a federated identity, a simple username and password, or something else), in the end the action of logging in is essentially the same. Therefore, as the browser we should try to provide a similar experience, regardless of the method being used. As the user’s agent we should also strive to act on the user’s behalf when possible, and we believe this is one of those cases."
The comments to Dan's post were also thought-provoking.  They ranged from
"This is just super-cool and something that \*everyone\* has been waiting for unknowingly. I don’t know why it hasn’t already been done!"
to
"I’m sorry guys, but I have to strongly disagree with your entire approach here."
What excites me about what happened here is more than just another cool experiment and demo.  Rather than just talk about it, some enterprising folks tackled a real-life problem, formulated an interesting idea, made a quick prototype, put it out for everyone to see, and invited discussion around this visible strawman.   The next prototypes will get better and better.  Real progress has been made and will continue. This is a bright example of what I like to call "synergistic creativity."

Way to go, guys!

P.S. I used to think I coined the term "synergistic creativity," but found that Dean Patrick R. Dugan of Ohio State University beat me to the punch.  I still like the concept!


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Friday May 08, 2009

Weaving OpenID into the Browser

A few minutes ago, a tweet by @sofiaviolet  led me to an interesting blog post by Scott Gilbertson.  Scott discussed an experimental Firefox plugin from the folks at Mozilla Labs that uses the Mozilla Weave service to enable automatic website login using either username/password or OpenID.  A short video by Labs developer Dan Mills shows how easily it works.

I still have several questions about security, but this certainly begins to address the ease of use issues I mentioned in my earlier post about Identity in the Browser (IDIB).


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About

Discovering Identity was founded on blogs.sun.com in May 2005 as a means of documenting my exploration of the field of Identity and Access Management. In February, 2010, I switched to hosting the blog at DiscoveringIdentity.com. In March 2012, I began posting Oracle-related information in both places.

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