Why did you (the people behind SO - I only know of Joel and Jeff) choose to use only OpenID, instead of mixing it with classic username/password or even just username/password?

I know that for StackOverflow it makes sense - a programmer not being able to digest OpenID is worthless IMO - but what about SuperUser, or StackExchange? Those are probably not filled with very technical people.

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    OpenID didn't seem too technical, but then again, I am a programmer... – JYelton Apr 9 '10 at 15:41
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    I'm really happy that they did. The more passwords we have to remember, the weaker the passwords will be on average. One strong password (which isn't disclosed to the different sites!) is better than lots of weak passwords. – Chris Lercher Apr 9 '10 at 16:35
  • You haven't heard of free services like LastPass? The Chrome extension is excellent, just like the ones for other browsers. Though it can get annoying when at a different computer, all you need is the username and password or your LastPass account. Everything else is colored bubbles. – Mircea Chirea Apr 10 '10 at 21:08

Jeff Atwood's view on the topic.


Why reinvent an authentication system when one already exists?

This is the same reason that Gravatar is used for profile pictures -- a third-party service exists, allowing the SO team to concentrate on inventing new stuff.


On some of the StackExchange sites, an option has now been provided to login with an email address and password. So an OpenID is no longer required.

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