I think that using OpenID is, unfortunately, still a good portion art and a good portion science. It is still not as dumbed-down as clicking on a link on a web page. The primary reason for that, in my opinion, is that standards (like OpenID) abhore saying anything about implementation, and UX (user experience) is even farther than implementation. While that is an understandable predicament (I can put myself in their shoes, as I worked with lots of standards), the unfortunate side-effect is that UX is more or less random with each implementation. So, is the case with OpenID. I truly believe that OpenID should publish a ‘life-cycle of an Identity’ – as applicable to OpenID flows. It should cover events such as creating an account, linking an account to an OpenID URL, delinking, and multiple associations – as much as I can think of at this point. May be, I will just do that.
Any way, my goal for this post was not to highlight unfortunate side-effects of boundaries that standards like OpenID draw for themselves, but to explicitly show how to use LiberatID with one popular implementation – StackOverflow.
Steps to follow to link your LiberatID login to an EXISTING StackOverflow account
What I realized is that the most important part is NOT to login to StackOverflow to start with – that will create a totally new account!
- If you already logged into StackOverflow with your LiberatID account, then you most probably have a new account with StackOverflow. If that happened, then, fortunately, StackOverflow provides a way to delete your account. After logging in through LiberatID, click the link pointed by the arrow in the following picture, and follow the prompts.
- Now, login to StackOverflow with your existing account. Click on your name at the top to open the profile page. And then click on the ‘mylogins’ link as shown in the picture below.
- In the window shown next, click on the ‘add more logins…’ link, as shown below.
- You will be taken to a ‘Add Login’ page, showing different options. Select OpenID, and enter https://login.liberatid.com as the OpenID URL. Click on the ‘Log in’ button.
- You will be redirected to the LiberatID’s login page. Login with the credentials you have assigned to StackOverflow.com – or whatever the default policy says.
- Once you are done logging in at LiberatID, you will be taken back to the StackOverflow’s page. Here, you will be asked to confirm that you want to add this OpenID URL to you StackOverflow account. Click on ‘Add Login’ button, as shown below.
- Now you are done. You will be shown the following window, confirming that your LiberatID URL is now added as one of the ways you can log into your existing StackOverflow account.
- The next time you login to StackOverflow through LiberatID, you will be taken to your existing account – and no new account will be created.