For those who care about such things, I’ve added OpenID support to the site, meaning that you can authenticate and leave comments using any OpenID identity that you might have. (For example, if you’re one of the eight and a quarter million LiveJournal users, you have an OpenID — and there are rumors that TypeKey will become an OpenID service very soon, too.) I’m still not at the point where I’m willing to mandate that people somehow authenticate in order to be able to comment, but the ease of using OpenID makes it look like that’s getting closer and closer to being a possibility.

For the even fewer that care about the details: since this site runs on Movable Type 3.2, it was pretty simple to install Mark Paschal’s OpenID comments plugin. After that, I had to add a single line to my individual archive template, add a few new styles to my stylesheet, update the Javascript file that governs display of various elements of the comment box, and republish all the archives. (I ended up isolating a bug or two along the way, but Marc was kind enough to reply to my pestering emails letting me know that he’s fixed all the same bugs and added a few things here and there in a soon-to-be-released update. That being said, I’m happy to help anyone who’s interested in setting up OpenID support before then, so just drop me a line if that’s you.)


testing my livejournal ID…

It seems like the user experience of OpenID needs improving. Like how about keeping the openID url line highlighted, and graying out the comment forms below until after I’ve authenticated (and if auth was ajaxy so I wouldn’t lose a typed comment would be nice as well).

• Posted by: mathowie [LiveJournal user info] on Sep 15, 2005, 5:42 AM

In terms of the UI on the comment box here, since I don’t mandate that people authenticate in order to comment, I can’t really grey out the comment area prior to authentication; if I move to that, it’s something I’ll probably do. That’s not entirely within the scope of OpenID, though — since MT can use multiple identity schemes (TypePad, OpenID, Tiny Orwell, etc.), MT provides a good mechanism via Javascript to control the appearance of the comment area based on whether the identity token exists. (For example, that’s why people who aren’t logged in see the “Name” and “Email address” fields below the comment box here, and people who are logged in don’t see those.)

I agree that an Ajaxified login mechanism would be cool — but there’d have to be some thought but into that, since there’s almost always a second step to the OpenID login process. (For almost all OpenID servers, you’ll have to log into the server itself to authenticate yourself; for LiveJournal, you also are given the opportunity to say whether you want the LJ OpenID server to remember the site you’re commenting on, for use in the future.)

• Posted by: [LiveJournal user info] on Sep 15, 2005, 8:52 AM

Interesting — I used my LiveJournal ID to add the above comment, but whereas Matt’s was tagged with his LJ username and a LJ icon, mine wasn’t! I wonder what gives.

• Posted by: Jason on Sep 15, 2005, 8:54 AM
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