Instead of having to go through my openID (Google, etc) providers authorization page every time I want to create a new account on foo.stackexchange.com; would it be possible to instead grant *.stackexchange.com authorization to use my openID and remove the step entirely?

Current workflow:

  1. Visit new SE site for first time.
  2. Click login link on top of page.
  3. Click login with my openID providers button.
  4. Be directed to my openID providers authorization page.
  5. On openID providers page, click allow (or equivalent).
  6. Be returned to foo.SE.com and be prompted to link my newly created account with my other SE accounts.

If it was possible to authorize *.stackexchange.com on my openID once, steps 3-5 could be removed provided I was already logged into an existing SE site.

If openID won't provide an ID that can explicitly be used across subdomains, would it be possible to move all the openID logic to a single subdomain (authentication/logon.stackrxchange.com?) and have it share the data out across all the stack exchange sites? I realize this would require users to approve the new subdomain with their openID provider; but this would be a one-off update after which the streamlined process would be possible.

  • 1
    Wouldn't this be up to your OpenID provider? Or does SE need to request *.stackexchange.com instead of foo.stackexchange.com to make it work – Michael Mrozek Jan 23 '12 at 14:56
  • My OpenID provider is StackExchange, and I have to do steps 3-6 anyway. – GUI Junkie Jan 23 '12 at 16:04
  • @MichaelMrozek I don't know enough about openID to know if it's a limitation of the api or not. The process has been significantly streamlined since launch; I'm hoping there's room for additional improvement. – Dan Is Fiddling By Firelight Jan 23 '12 at 16:48

OpenID doesn't make this possible, grants are at the per-domain level.

Strictly speaking, this isn't part of the protocol; but practically every OpenID provider (and all those we link to) do this.

To the general topic of streamlining account creation, it's something we haven't put a lot of focus on traditionally since you can't really beat the unregistered experience (fill in two fields while you post). We may be spending some effort there in the not terribly distant future as a consequence of the number of sites we have on the total network now.

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