Sites with bad OpenID support
Over the past few months, I have been researching how different websites are implementing OpenID. The major conclusion that I have come to is that many site operators don’t understand OpenID. One of the main selling points to OpenID is not having to register with every damn website you come across.
What really drives me nuts is finding a site that accepts OpenID, I then authenticate with my OpenID provider, only to be bounced to a registration form. What the hell ? My OpenID profile isn’t empty, it contains some basic information about me. Zip code, timezone, Firstname, Lastname and email address. Why would you go and ask me for the same information again ? This information has already been passed back to you with the OpenID protocol! At very least, can you please pre-populate this information ?
When you return to an OpenID site and change your timezone in your OpenID profile, why doesn’t the site you are logging into update your information with the new data sent back from your OpenID provider ?! I know this can be a tricky thing to do, I am working on it for Linkped. I had this support at one point, but had to remove it when I refactored the OpenID login code. My first run with OpenID was a very lame way to support it. Don’t worry, support for updates will be returning very soon. 🙂
Many websites hide their OpenID login screens and for the life of me I can’t figure out why! Hell, I use it as a selling point on Linkped. With 83% of the user base using OpenID who can blame me 🙂 The OpenID logo is a slick design that fits into almost any website. Don’t make me hunt for your OpenID login screen, put the logo right on your registration form to let your vistors know they can sign up even faster by using OpenID.
OpenID is a great thing, and I am happy to see it getting adopted everywhere. I know that one day spammers will become a problem and site operators will revert to using a captcha after login, but I am ok with that. However, unless more developers stop to think about how difficult and ass half backwards their OpenID implementation is, OpenID isn’t going anywhere.
If you are developing a site that uses OpenID, take some time out of your day and go use some sites that have OpenID. See how bad and annoying some of the implementations are, learn from their mistakes.