Welcome to the party, Sun

With rumors flying about an Apple-Sun merger (not likely), the release of Sun’s “open source” single sign-on code got brushed to the wayside. As an OpenID fan, I’m wondering where this came from (oh yeah, the semi-irrelevant Liberty Alliance). Well, throw another identity protocol on the barbie.

Author: Chris Messina

Head of West Coast Business Development at Republic. Ever-curious product designer and technologist. Hashtag inventor. Previously: Molly.com (YC W18), Uber, Google.

2 thoughts on “Welcome to the party, Sun”

  1. The ‘semi-irrelevant’ Liberty Alliance, eh? that’s an interesting perspective.

    I could counter it by asking what other open standard authentication system you can cite which expects to comfortably surpass 1bn identities by the end of this year… but that would be the normal marketing spin approach.

    Instead, can I refer you to a quotation from Phil Becker of Digital ID World? He said:

    “Under the pressure of the first identity war, Liberty Alliance did its job so rapidly and well that it has largely been forgotten how significant it was. The ID-FF protocol was incorporated into SAML 2.0, and the sub-battle over how federation would occur has largely been put to rest. The first identity war officially ended when Microsoft quietly shelved the renamed Hailstorm project, MyServices.”

    I first saw this quotation, not on the DIDW site, but on Kim Cameron’s blog. If Kim thinks Liberty is still relevant, I think that counts for something, don’t you?

  2. Ok, so I was a bit tongue-in-cheek there. I’m not an expert on this stuff (though I play one on my blog) but it seems to me that OpenID has come so far in such a short amount of time because it’s not over-engineered and its coming from the grassroots instead of a top-down dicated model.

    That’s not to say that it isn’t important; I think from my perspective as an open standards enthusiast, and someone gunning for single sign-on sooner than later, the Liberty Alliance is semi-irrelevant… to me.

    As it stands, I believe that OpenID is going after certification with certain identity standards groups, which should bring about a higher degree of reputation for the protocol… but heck, I just want something that’s light-weight, that works and that doesn’t have too many big chefs in the kitchen.

    Thanks for pushing me to clarify my position.

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