One of the things that I always ponder when creating a new ASP.NET MVC project is just how pervasive the concept of “index” is on the web. When you look at the default documents that a web-server will serve up when you hit a particular directory you can almost bet that “index.html” or “default.html” or some variation of that will be in there.
It always makes me think that no matter how sophisticated our web-stacks get, we are always going to find roots (pun-intended) back to the old file-system way of thinking of the web. I wonder if the word Index has something to do with the width of a horses hind quarters.
This is a prototype post. It documents some thinking I have about where membership systems for various web-platforms need to be in terms of capabilities.
- Separation of users, organisations and rights.
- Support for multiple e-mail addresses (e.g. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Support for authentication via e-mail address or specified username.
- Support for merging accounts.
- Support for other authentication mechanisms (oauth, Open ID, Facebook, Twitter, ADFS etc).
- Support for constrained delegation (what rights does a specific OAuth token have?).
- All the other requirements for membership providers.
I think the likes of LinkedIn has a good membership system where I can sign in with either my personal address or my work address, but they know both accounts are me. This stops identity fragmentation based on e-mail address. The extension to this is that if you do end up with two accounts you can merge them.
I had to head over towards Geelong today to visit a potential client and talk about some requirements for a new piece of software. Since I live down around the Mornington Peninsula I thought I would catch the ferry over. The times worked out that I would be 30-45 minutes early for my meeting so I set about finding a greasy spoon to grab a coffee.
Just down the road from my client I found Cartel Coffee Roasters. They have a happening lounge area with an assortment of comfy furniture, some nice Ethiopian coffee and some good music. Not a bad way to get the day started.