Browser Login Discovery

There are some really cool ideas floating around the interwebs these days, dealing with discovery of authentication. A lot of the talk is about integrating OpenID into the browser, but I don’t think it needs to be limited to that. People are working on good ways to auto-discover what the login end-points are on some pages. So when I go to, there will be a specific URL to go to that will list the places where you can login, and what they support. For example: /authEnds.xml would say that /account/login/ is the endpoint of login on my site.

I feel that this could be builtin to the browser. That wouldn’t be too hard, but I think we can do it with already existing technologies. All of the major browsers currently support saving of passwords for logins on a site. This means that they know what page, and what domain they are on, for the correct login information to be displayed. Why can’t we make a Firefox extension that does:

Land on a page. Search saved passwords for that domain. If a saved password exists, display a small dropdown box to ask if we would like to login (if we aren’t already). Submit saved login information to the saved login form destination. PROFIT!

Hey there! I'm Eric and I work on communities in the world of software documentation. Feel free to email me if you have comments on this post!