OpenID, I'm Starting To Understand

OpenID has been about for a while. But only when forced to really use it, did I start to understand

Photo of Greg Harvey
Fri, 2010-01-22 12:14By greg

Important edit: Seems it doesn't work with Google Apps accounts - apologies to Zach in the comments, you were quite right. I'm revising this post. However, it does still work as described with all Google Mail domain accounts (e.g. personal Google accounts).

So, OpenID. Been about for a while. I kind of knew how it worked. I also knew I had dozens of OpenIDs, all in places of no use to me whatsoever that were generated automatically when I signed up for some service or other.

It was only while working for Drupal Help Haiti this week, when Robert Douglass suggested everyone login to admin using OpenID so he can change the password, that I was forced to really use it.

The problem with OpenID is you don't want dozens. You want one. It works by letting you sign in to any associated service once you're signed in to just one of the associated services, which is really cool. But it means you need to host your OpenID with a service you are *always* logged in to anyway for it to be truly useful.

Here's my "Dur" moment. Did you know Google supports OpenID? By that, I mean did you know if you see a "Login using OpenID" box you can just throw your Google Mail email address at it. *Any* Google Mail domain email address! (Not your company email address, if you're a company using Google Apps, but maybe they'll add that feature soon?)

I didn't. Wow. This just made my life so much easier.

I now officially "get" OpenID. Thanks to Google! Now I know I can just hurl my Google Mail address in that box and as long as I'm signed in to mail.google.com (which I nearly always am) I will never be asked for a password again, I'm laughing!

Google for world domination? Probably. But for now they just made Drupal administration a lot easier for me. =)