Jeremy Frumkin wrote:
Ok, so this is a good example for where I¹m failing to see the advantage to
OpenID over the current local authentication provided by a university /
As Nathan explains, to identify your link resolver(s) to a particular
database (or 'source') you are using.  How can a foreign third party
(vended or free) database use your local authentication login? Instead,
what they use currently is IP address.

Which is broken in several ways anyone who has worked with
IP-address-as-identity, common for authentication in our current
environments, has realized. IP address is not identity. Several people
(with different institutional affiliation/licenses held/link resolvers
used) may share an IP address, and one person may have several IP
addresses. IP address to people is a many to many mapping, and thus is
horribly broken for identification and authentication, and leads to all
sorts of problems many of us must continually try to work around, not
very succesfully.


Why would I need to use OpenID as opposed to my current account
that my library provides me? As I understand the current OpenURL workflow,
OpenURL doesn¹t do anything with authentication / authorization ­ that
happens at the information source or at the institution¹s proxy server.
Again, OpenID doesn¹t say anything about trust; it only speaks to
authenticating that I am the owner of my OpenID URI.

I¹m truly trying to play devil¹s advocate here; I believe that OpenID is a
step in the right direction, and we even have plans for adding OpenID
support in LibraryFind. I¹m really trying to tease out where the added-value
is ­ and how it might best link up to trust systems.

All that being said, I¹m still good for that beer, Nate. :-)

-- jaf

On 3/23/07 9:20 AM, "Nathan Vack" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

On Mar 22, 2007, at 10:51 PM, Jeremy Frumkin wrote:

It isn¹t clear to me that there is enough added value to libraries
at this point to adopt OpenID ­ of course, I¹d be glad to buy
someone a beer if they provide a use case to convince me otherwise ;-)

OK, I'll bite:

* We build a registry mapping OpenID providers to OpenURL resolvers.

* A user comes to our tool for finding licensed material (eg, a
LibraryFind implementation)

* If (by IP, OCLC's link resolver) we know the OpenURL resolver,
rewrite URLs to point at that resolver.

* Otherwise, we punt to an OpenID login form, and look them up in the
OpenID -> Resolver registry, and use that resolver when rewriting links.

Now, anyone whose institution has both has an OpenURL resolver and
provides OpenIDs can use our tool, without making any interaction
with us.

The really nice thing is that (at least for us) the OpenID resolver
handles trust issues, proxying requests if necessary. The resolver
doesn't need to be OpenID-aware -- though it would make for a nicer


Jeremy Frumkin
The Gray Chair for Innovative Library Services
121 The Valley Library, Oregon State University
Corvallis OR 97331-4501


541.737.3453 (Fax)
541.230.4483 (Cell)
" Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. "
- Emerson

Jonathan Rochkind
Sr. Programmer/Analyst
The Sheridan Libraries
Johns Hopkins University
rochkind (at)

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