Blogger and OpenID

For fun, here's some background on Blogger's OpenID functionality.

I first heard about yadis on a Shasta trip with BradFitz & co back in 8/2005, and immediately knew it was something I wanted in Blogger. We'd be able to accept signed comments from other services, our URLs could be used to sign comments elsewhere on the web, and lots of other hotness would probably reveal itself over time.

I invited Brad to Mountain View to tell us about it, and more people dug the idea after seeing his presentation and chatting. The timing was unfortunate though — we'd just gotten started rebuilding Blogger on new infrastructure, which included migrating user accounts to Google Accounts — so OpenID wouldn't have made the prioritization cut anytime soon. Still, I spec'd out a few possibilities in our wiki, started an internal discussion list for folks interested in OpenID, and that was that for a while.

Fast-forward to 8/2007, when Ryan Barrett emailed us that he'd been tinkering with a Blogger/OpenID implementation in his 20% time. He was essentially done coding the backend functionality to accept signed comments, but wanted some frontend/UI input. Josh whipped up some quick mocks for how it could work, and Ryan put up a test build for us to play with — signing a Blogger comment with my LJ was geeky-exciting!

By then BradFitz had joined Google, and he came to some of our meetings so we could bounce questions off him. When we talked about using Blogger URLs as OpenIDs (functionality then yet-to-be written), Brad volunteered a chunk of his 20% time to help code it. We were hoping to ship both halves together, but kept them decoupled in case of delays (like UI iteration, QA bug-finding, production adventures, etc.). It also helped having an Eng Manager who's stoked on OpenID.

The response thus far has been quite positive, and 692's been doing awesome work carrying the torch. All your URLs are belong to yadis!


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  3. I just got an open id and I don't quite understand it.