Editor's note: This post was originally published on hueniverse: thoughts on technology & open standards.
Everyone is talking about Open these days, and it is a very exciting kind of Open. It is the Open that allows developers to utilize the best resources available online and combine them into new and innovative products and experiences. The internet has always maintained a healthy balance allowing users to pick and choose the individual services that suit their needs. What this new Open adds, is the ability to allow new providers to build on top of the existing layer and improve it, rather than have to start from scratch. It also enables users to get more out of their existing online presence, making their digital assets do more for them.
OAuth, an community-driven open standard was designed to address sharing of resources between services while maintaining full user ownership and privacy. We are all too accustomed by now to being asked for our username and password when joining a new service in order to import our existing data. The obvious problem is that the credentials we are asked to share control more than just our address book, photos, or bookmarks they often control our electronic wallet, confidential correspondence, financial and medical records, and other sensitive data. To make things worse, sharing our email username and password means granting full access to almost everything we do online on other sites since email is the most common way to change and recover passwords.
After many one-off attempts at solving this problem, the community came together last year and created OAuth, an open standard for delegated authority. The specification has been gaining support from small and large providers and is becoming an important building block for new and existing web services. Yahoo! Recently announced its upcoming support for it as an important building block of the Yahoo! Open Strategy.
With more companies implement OAuth and more developers get to interact with resources secured by it, we are starting to see new patterns and needs for moving OAuth forward. With that in mind Yahoo! is excited to host the first OAuth Summit. The event will take place June 26th at Yahoo!s Santa Clara, CA campus and will include many of the OAuth community leaders both individuals and companies. The event will focus on moving the specification forward and is expected to be highly technical. Participants are expected to have a solid understanding of the protocol in order to maximize our time together.
To learn more about OAuth, please visit the OAuth Community site. For information about the Summit and to register please visit the event wiki page. If you blog about the event, please use the oauthsummit2008 tag.
Hope to see you there!
Open Standards Evangelist