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Update: It seems indeed that I was misinterpreting information I had, and SO is doing the right thing.

I have a myopenid account (

I also have a redirection on my website (quite recently), so I can type

<link rel="openid.server" href="" />
<link rel="openid.delegate" href="" />

I have an (openID) account on stackoverflow, created with

When I now tried to log onto Stack Overflow with, it tried to automatically create a new account, instead of logging in with my old account. This is

  1. A bug in OpenID handling on overflow websites (you shouldn't look at the input, but at the claimed_id (these are the same for and

  2. Can you merge this accounts? Now I have 2 accounts on Stack Overflow.

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Remember to also put in valid OpenID 2 tags <link rel="openid2.local_id" href="" /> and <link rel="openid2.provider" href="" /> – Sean Kinsey May 30 '10 at 12:43

Works for me; I can log in using my blog as my openid. Three things to check:

  1. make sure your <meta> tags are correct

  2. make sure you're using an OpenID provider that supports delegation (myopenid does)

  3. add your own OpenID to your account

See example at

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I think my meta tags are correct ( redirects to the myOpenID, and it works for other sites). I've added my code to my original message (More correctly: I put them in a code block, because they were there, but disappeared in the message view). – Nathan May 29 '10 at 23:16
Since step 3 can be easily forgotten (say, you think your alias is already registered on SO, but it isn't, and you login - when trying to post a comment for example - with the alias, it should warn you that you have already an account with openID X, and ask you to login with openID X and connect your alias to your account, instead of silently creating a new account - and so ending up with 2 accounts). This can be easily done with looking at the response info of the OpenID provicder (I think in the endpoint info) – Nathan May 30 '10 at 22:01

I can't comment on 1, but I can do 2 for you. Am I right in thinking you still have access to both accounts? If you could just edit the profile for the *old" account(s) (this vs this?) to include "merge me", then that would help (I like to have a clear trail of demonstrable ownership when monkeying with user accounts).

share|improve this answer
Done Thanks for the help – Nathan May 29 '10 at 23:17
@Nathan - merged; either openid should now work for the same account. – Marc Gravell May 29 '10 at 23:29

[..] a new account, instead of logging in with my old account

[..] you shouldn't look at the input, but at the claimed_id

I'm not an expert, but the claimed_idseems to be the user's own URL, not related to the official OpenID provider. And it seems perfectly fine to me that SO is seeing your own domain as a totally different OpenID (which could be associated with your current SO account if you want to), ignoring whatever it might be delegating to. If SO would be looking at some other information than the OpenID URL you typed, then you couldn't change your own domain to point at some other OpenID provider in the future. Like the specification explains:

The main advantage of this is that an End User can keep their Identifier over many years, even as services come and go; they'll just keep changing who they delegate to.

( Well, you could change it, but then you'd also have to change the OpenID at all websites where you used your own domain. That's quite a challenge if you cannot use your old OpenID to log in, like when the OpenID provider has stopped working...)

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Fact is the one openID ( is just an alias for, it is the same OpenID, just less typing for me... As far as I know this is what the OpenID specifiaction says (altough, I'm not an expert either) – Nathan May 30 '10 at 12:14
It is indeed the asserted id that should be checked against, not the users input. – Sean Kinsey May 30 '10 at 12:35
@Sean might very well be right, but that would imply that the only (minor) advantage using the links is being able to type one's own URL rather than some provider's URL? I can hardly see any real advantage in that. (I'm happily being my own OpenID provider, without delegating to anything else, and that seems to have been a good decision if I understand Sean correctly... Apart from that, the claimed_id is one's own URL, and I can totally see why SOFU keeps that in their databases.) – Arjan May 30 '10 at 14:25
(Updated my answer with a quote from the specifications. I still think SO is handling things just like expected. Note that, of course, SO does query the actual provider for authentication. It just doesn't link that actual provider with its own database of SO accounts. To link an OpenID with an account, SO only looks at what the user typed, not to what it might be delegating to. And, @Nathan, if you'd ask me: quite rightly so!) – Arjan May 30 '10 at 14:36
It seems indeed that I was misinterpreting information I had, and SO is doing the right thing... (Quite ironically: just today my own site went down, and so I couldn't use my preferred OpenID login !) – Nathan May 30 '10 at 21:52

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