In Context

November 18, 2008

IIW7: Great As Usual

Kudos to Kaliya and Phil for another great IIW. There was a great spirit of collaboration and I got the feeling that a lot of important work got done.

Browser Extension Convergence

I led a session on trying to converge towards a single browser extension for these four browsers: IE, FF, Safari, Chrome. Today we’ve got lots of browser extensions for different browsers each of which generally supports a specific protocol (e.g. OpenID or I-Card). What we’d like to get to is having one multi-protocol browser extension for each browser–that is, a total of four extensions. And eventually, we’d like to see these built into the browsers themselves. In the meeting we discovered that there was an opportunity to first agree on the specifications for auth discovery across protocols. This became the next part of the meeting…

Browser Support for RP Auth Discovery

Everyone agreed that creating common specs for this was a good idea, whether or not folks were interested in building implementations. (BTW, Phil was in this session and also blogged about this sub-topic). We saw that we could use XRDS as the basis for both OpenID as well as I-Card RP auth discovery, and perhaps others. Today I-Card tech embeds an HTML <object> tag, but Axel Nennker has put forward here and here a variation where instead of an embedded <object> tag we use a link/rel approach. Meanwhile, various OpenID folks have also been looking at using XRDS to discover RP auth metadata. Phil wrote:

Once the discovery protocol is decided upon, standard plugins could be written for Firefox, IE, Chrome, and Safari that would implement the discovery process for identity enable the browser for whatever identity system(s) the relying party supports. Four open source, community supported plugins could replace the myriad proprietary plugins available today. That would lead to greater penetration and also give browser manufacturers something to code against when the time comes that they want to build the discovery code into their product.


  1. [...] uniform metadata discovery on the Web? Or that discovery could turn out to be the key to building identity into the browser? Or that interest in the XRDS discovery format would boil up enough to beget a new spec intended [...]

    Pingback by Equals Drummond » Blog Archive » XRD Begins — December 2, 2008 @ 5:55 pm

  2. Completely agreed that these plugins should start coming together into a great Open Source extension that we can all be using and pushing forward. Wrote some more about my thoughts at


    Comment by David Recordon — December 2, 2008 @ 6:14 pm

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