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I just ran into a nice problem. I went over to Serverfault, where I don't go very often, so I was logged out. No problem, I'll just login. But MyOpenID is down right now, so it seems like I can't log in at all. When I try to login, I see the following message from Serverfault.

Unable to log in with your OpenID provider:

Web request to 'http://www.myopenid.com/xrds?username=kibbee.myopenid.com' failed.

I've logged in recently for Stack Overflow and Meta, so no problems there, but currently there's no way for me to log into Serverfault.

To me this points out a big downside of open ID. Assuming all web sites used OpenID, then, if your OpenID provider went down, you wouldn't be able to log into anything. What if your OpenID provider just went out of business. Would you lose you identity, and be unable to log into any sites, without creating a whole new identity?

Could we add a feature to Stackoverflow, so that we can authenticate possibly by providing the same OpenID url, and providing a password to Stackoverflow, in the event that the openID provider is unavailable?

Also, I'm using the delegate feature of OpenID, so my actual OpenID is a URL on my own website, and using the following code, I have delegated to MyOpenID.

<html>
<head>
<link rel="openid.server" href="http://www.myopenid.com/server">
<link rel="openid.delegate" href="http://xxxxxx.myopenid.com">
<meta http-equiv="X-XRDS-Location" content="http://www.myopenid.com/xrds?username=xxxxxx.myopenid.com">
</head>
<body>
</body>
<html>

So, as far as the Stackoverflow system goes, is my OpenID url the one I type in, or the one I get delegated to? Sorry for so many questions, but this whole "all-your-eggs-in-one-basket" thing is why I think something like your online identity shouldn't be put into the hands of some other website, which is why I created an OpenID url at my own website.

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2 Answers 2

Have a backup. SOFU gives you two accounts to use. Go to your profile and hit "new login" next to the "edit" link.

alt text

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8  
Great feature, but I thought the whole point of OpenID is that you didn't need multiple accounts. So, now I have to have multiple OpenID accounts? Kind of defeats the purpose. –  Kibbee Sep 14 '09 at 0:58
    
Looks like the penguin is being ignored. Camo working too well. –  random Sep 14 '09 at 1:00
1  
Yes and no, Kibbee - while having a backup OpenID account is useful, you still don't need an individual account for each site - instead, you can just have 1 primary and 1 secondary (2 total) that together work for all of the OpenID sites. So if you had 10 different sites, you'd still only need 2 OpenID accounts to have both a primary and a backup for all of them. –  Dav Sep 14 '09 at 1:07
    
-1 for not having enough freehand circles –  Nathan Koop Sep 14 '09 at 1:24
    
+1 for the penguin alone. How long did that take? –  Dexter Sep 14 '09 at 1:52
    
Took only a little bit--Ted is a recurring character of mine :) –  Eric Sep 14 '09 at 2:25
    
+1 for the pinguin. I vote for opening drawingoverflow.com –  Clement Herreman Sep 14 '09 at 8:23

So, as far as the Stackoverflow system goes, is my OpenID url the one I type in, or the one I get delegated to?

The one you type in. One of the reasons of using a delegate in the first place is to allow you to easily switch the actual provider if you so desire.

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Thanks for the info. I see the open id URL I type in on my user info page, so I was pretty sure it was using that one, but who knows internally if there is some other field somewhere that references the delegate site. –  Kibbee Sep 14 '09 at 1:09

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