OpenID

I took a few minutes last night to set up http://fuzzyco.com as my OpenID identity, using Sam Ruby's super-easy instructions*. I went the super-geeky route of setting up my own OpenID server, but his instructions could also be of service to you if you have a) your own website and b) also an account on an OpenID-enabled web service like LiveJournal, MyOpenID, Technorati, Vox, TypeKey or others. By putting two lines of code in your home page's html you can use your own URL as an OpenID signon when logging onto an OpenID service (mostly blog commenting at this point).

(What's OpenID anyway? It's a way to login to multiple websites with one login, and for you to control where that login 'lives' so that you aren't stuck under the control of any one company or service that might go out of business (or go evil).)

The next step is to modify the commenting system here at FuzzyCo to accept OpenID. Unfortunately, that's going to get dumped into the big "properly redesign the freakin' website already" project bin. It's embarassing, I tell you. This whole website is a crazy patched-together beast that's been gradually updated since my first tentative "This should be <i>italic</i>" was vi'ed into a text file on schenectady.ecn.purdue.edu back in 1994. Since then, whenever I see a shiny web technology, I just clamp it on wherever it'll fit. Recent Flickr photos on the sidebar? Sure! I think we can duct tape 'em to the headlights. And when you get off the front page, you're either in NiceMT1.0Template City** or WowHaveYouEverHeardOfCSSville. Sigh.

* Be sure to notice his updates for PHPmyID 0.7 if you're following along to setup your own OpenID server.
** With its suburb -- HeyDidYouNoticeThatYourLayoutIsCroppingOffThatPictureburg.