Update: Universal login is in place and considered "done". If you see anything weird, please submit new bug reports.
As y'all know, our current flavor of "global authentication" leaves a few things to be desired. It's flaky, requires a page refresh, etc. etc. Wouldn't it be nice if you could just sign in once and be automatically logged in across the network?
We are ready to roll out Stage 1 of Project "Make Authentication Suck Less". It is live as of a few minutes ago.
What this means right now:
When you log into any Q&A site on the stackexchange.com domain, you will be automatically logged into all other Q&A sites on the stackexchange.com domain + stackexchange.com itself.
- Area 51 is excluded from this.
We are going to recognize you in some ways on sites where you don't have a profile. This is still a work in progress, but most notably you will see "join this community" in the top bar instead of "sign up" and "log in" if you're logged in on another site on our network. Clicking the button will create a profile on that site and link it with your network account.
But I use multiple accounts! What do?
We aren't intending to break the ability to run multiple accounts. The same guidelines as before still apply — we don't officially support that, you might end up with an accidental automatic merge if you're not careful with your credentials, any interaction between the accounts is right out, and so on.
If you're already using different browsers or different browser profiles for your accounts, nothing will change for you. If you are somehow logged into multiple accounts in the same browser... I'm sorry to say, but that's a bug even for our current global auth setup. You will now only be able to log into one at a time, and you'll need to log out when you want to switch. (Or start using different browsers.)
- Remember the UI we tested a few months ago? It's coming back.
- Stage 2: bring other domains into the fold (this is also live now)
Stage 3: make cross-domain experience smoother and support browsers that reject third-party cookies in all conditions (looking at you, Safari)- this is not currently feasible. Safari users and users who reject third-party cookies will need to sign in separately to every second-level domain (e.g. stackexchange.com, stackoverflow.com, etc).
If you see any issues…
Good luck, because you probably can't log in to report them here. =) But seriously, let us know via the contact form linked at the bottom of any page. If you are able to log in, report issues here on meta as normal.
So, in conclusion…