Ivor O’Connor

August 31, 2013

Best Login Technique?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 12:15 pm

I keep coming across terms like “OpenID”, “SAML”, “OAuth”, and “Persona“. I like the idea of a one click login these specifications provide.

Currently the OAuth seems to be the 800lb gorilla in the room. It’s allowing you to login with your facebook or google accounts. However it appears quite evil for two reasons. The first is that many sites require access to your address book and everything else about you. Including age, sex, address, and probably what you had for dinner last night. I have resurrected my empty facebook account to deal with this.  They are welcome to send as much as they want to the empty address and friends list there. And if I had put my real age and address there I’d be surprised since I have never ever trusted facebook. The second problem with OAuth is the specifications are not well specified. So to get it to work you pretty much have to pay for maintained libraries that are constantly being reworked to handle the poorly specified standards. All-in-all I’d say OAuth is purely evil along with facebook and google.

OpenID and Saml appear to be old and no longer contenders. However the newest on the block Persona looks great. They go out of their way to make it easy to use. So no expensive libraries. Furthermore there is no exchange of your social security number, bank account numbers, address book, or all of those other details OAuth tries to supply.

Persona looks good but after I implement it I may not be so pleased.


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