Friday Sep 18, 2009

Leaving Here

They say that all good things come to an end; today, that's true for both Superpatterns at and my nearly ten year tenure at Sun. It's certainly been a wild ride, and I've enjoyed (almost!) every minute of it! My blog will move to (If you've been using the FeedBurner feed, there's no need to make any changes) at some point in the next day or so, and I'll be starting a new job on Monday.

I'm setting up the new blog right now (thanks to Arun Gupta for his suggestion of WordPress hosting at GoDaddy), and I'll be blogging on my new gig next week. In the meantime, here's 'Leaving Here' from the mighty Motörhead:

By the way, fellow pedants, it's 'Leaving Here' (with a 'g') - the YouTube caption is wrong. Evidence.

Tuesday Aug 11, 2009

OpenSSO Single Sign-on Extension for MediaWiki

Following the recent trio of OpenSSO Extensions targeting PHP CMS applications (see my previous entries covering the extensions for Drupal, WordPress and Joomla), I decided to look at MediaWiki, the PHP application powering Wikipedia and many other wikis across the web.

In common with the CMS apps, MediaWiki has a very pluggable architecture, making implementation of a single sign-on extension very straightforward, and I was able to get an initial implementation done in a few hours. The user interface is very like the WordPress plugin: just click on the regular 'log in' link to be sent to OpenSSO to authenticate; on returning to MediaWiki, the extension validates the OpenSSO cookie and uses it to retrieve the username from OpenSSO, setting up the MediaWiki session.

There is a README and source code - also available via CVS, and I've added the new provider plugin to the list on the OpenSSO Extensions page. As always, note that none of these extensions are supported by Sun, and all should be considered 'proof of concept' quality - they likely need a bit more polish (and lots more testing!) before being deployed into production.

I think that about wraps up the PHP extension story for the time being - we now have plugins for the four most common PHP web apps. Do leave a comment if you think there is another we should cover.

Friday Jul 04, 2008

OpenSSO Build 4.5

It's been a while since Build 4 of OpenSSO, as we work towards an early access (EA) build of Sun Federated Access Manager 8.0, OpenSSO's commercial 'twin'. Our plan designates OpenSSO build 5 as the FAM 8.0 EA, but we still have some minor issues to iron out before we're ready for EA, hence the release of OpenSSO 1.0 Build 4.5.

Here are some of the new features in Build 4.5, compared to Build 4:

  • The Fedlet - quick and easy Federation for SP's, where you'd rather (slightly) modify your web app than deploy more infrastructure - much more on the Fedlet in the Sun blogosphere.
  • Federation Validator - test harness for checking single sign-on between a SAML 2.0 Identity Provider and Service Provider.
  • SiteMinder Integration - support for co-existence of OpenSSO and SiteMinder.

Many more enhancements are listed at the bottom of the Build 4.5 release notes. Watch the OpenSSO blogosphere for more details on these new features.

The more I work on OpenSSO, the more I realize the nuances of open source development. The fact that we released this 'interim' stable build between builds 4 and 5 is one example of this - the demand for build 4.5 has come from the OpenSSO community, which is now MUCH larger than the FAM team within Sun.

OpenSSO Javapolis Video Online at

A few days ago, the good people at JavaPolis (which now seems to be called Javoxx) posted the video for my OpenSSO session from JavaPolis 07 at Go take a look and see how it compares with the SAML 2.0 session they posted back in February.

Saturday Mar 15, 2008


Kaliya wonders "if OpenID has been used for activism yet?", then, in a footnote:

Sorry - I am really trying to get openID to work on this hoster (well my tech person Lucy is) there is still something not working. So if you want to comment either link to this blog post and say it on your own site or send me e-mail kaliya (at) mac (dot) com. If any of you OpenID tech folks want to see if you can help her solve the problem let me know I will put you in touch.

There's really nothing I can add...

Friday Feb 29, 2008

With Respect, Minister...

The BBC's excellent Newsnight is coming to BBC America tonight. To celebrate, here's a clip from 1997 of the wonderfully abrasive Jeremy Paxman interviewing Tory Home Secretary of the day Michael Howard, asking the same question FOURTEEN times and never getting a straight answer...

Friday Nov 02, 2007

Victory in the Sun-IBM Dopplr Challenge!

A couple of weeks ago, I posted on the challenge that James Governor of Redmonk (aka 'Monkchips') set - "who is coolest from a Dopplr perspective- IBM or Sun?". The idea was to see who could add the most Dopplr members over the next week - Sun or IBM. IBM, of course, have 10x the headcount that Sun have, but surely, surely, Sun are at least 10x cooler, from a Dopplr, or any other perspective...?

Well, the numbers are out, and the answer is... Sun! Of course! It was a close run thing, but we pulled it off. Now to celebrate by going and adding another trip to my Dopplr profile - IIW 2007b in Mountain View, CA, December 3-5 2007.

Wednesday Dec 20, 2006

Five Short Things About Pat

OK, Eve, you got me. Here are my five.

  1. I'm not really Pat. My legal name is Andrew Patterson. There were four Andrews in my class at school, so we all got nicknames. Mine was Pat, short for Patterson. The others were Fingers, Rico and Chads.
  2. My original university application (UCCA, for those of you who were in the UK education system at the time) was for medicine. That didn't work out - medicine's gain was computing's loss. Or something.
  3. I have Scottish ancestry (from my parents on back) - I got married in a kilt and occasionally wear it for special occasions.
  4. I just got selected for Sun's SEED mentoring program. I struck the jackpot in that my mentor is a (very well known) Sun Fellow, but I can't go into any more detail there right now. With my mentor's permission, I'll blog about this as it goes along.
  5. My guilty pleasure is Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate. My mother-in-law brings kilograms of CDM when she visits from the UK and it has a special drawer in our fridge. There's nothing like a couple of squares straight from the fridge with a nice cup of tea Smile!

I'll pass the baton on to Dennis, Takashi, Gerry, Pamela and Chuck. You guys are it!

Tuesday Nov 07, 2006

About Me - Pat Patterson

I realized that the About page here is broken (probably in some upgrade of Roller), so here is some current information about me, your humble author. I've written it as an entry in the 'About Me' category so I can post updates, you can comment, whatever.

I'm Pat Patterson, a federation architect working on Sun's OpenSSO, Sun Java System Access Manager and Sun Java System Federation Manager. I'm British - born in England of Scottish parents and grew up in the fair concrete city of Coventry. I've been working on internet security with Java since 1997, when I wrote my first ever piece of commercial Java code - an ASN.1 library for decoding X.509 certificates.

So, what do I actually do?

There is more information about me on my LinkedIn profile.




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