[OSM-dev] OpenID for OpenStreetMap?

Serge Wroclawski emacsen at gmail.com
Thu Feb 10 19:11:51 GMT 2011

I think the conversation is really two different questions.

First is the original question about OpenID in the context of OSM and
the other is about OpenID support generally.

I think part of the feeling for a need for OpenID in OSM is about the
fact that for several of our services, authentication isn't unified.
That is the wiki credentials don't map to the OSM API credentials.
help.osm does though. It's confusing.

The second issue is OpenID support in general.

MHO on the issue is that while it might seem that OpenID support is
great and widely useful, I think there are a number of implementation
issues and concerns which are really hard to overcome.

For example, how does one handle OpenID with an API? This has been
discussed in other contexts, and unfortunately there's no good single

I personally believe OpenID is a great idea, but as Tom and others
point out, the devil's in the details.

OTOH the former issue, of a unified authentication mechanism- that's
not technically hard (for the most part)- that's just a lot of work
and a lot of disruption to the community while the transition takes

That is, I'm sure the technical team knows how to solve it, but as
someone whose completed a user authentication merge, I can tell you
that it's painful. It's especially painful on something like a wiki,
where not only must a user remapping take place, but that user mapping
must be applied to each and every page.

I think for new services (like help), we've solved the issue, but we
may have to either accept the pain of the current situation for the
wiki, or get buy in from the community for the disruption any change
would cause.

- Serge

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