Whilst I have really enjoyed building this little website, and slowly beginning to write a little more, one thing that has troubled me the whole time is how to facilitate conversation on the topics I bring up in a way that I can believe that the person making a comment is actually who they say they are. Or, at least, they are the same person I interact with on other platforms as that identity.
"Oh that's easy!", I hear you say, "Just use a tool that allows someone to login using their identity elsewhere - lots of ways to do that, such as OpenID."
Well, you are right, and I have successfully implemented the OpenID Connect module and configured it to allow login from Google and GitHub accounts. This works just fine but I do think I'm missing the most important identity provider to me of all: Drupal.org
I suspect I'm not the only Drupal-focussed person who would benefit from being able to allow login to their website or service with a Drupal.org identity.
I watched a rather good video the other night, by TechAltar, that talked about the diversification of Mozilla's product catalog to reduce their dependence upon the Google payment to appear as search provider in Firefox.
The moment in this video that stuck out to me most was the concept of many "$5 products" – things Mozilla could sell, like their VPN service, for a fixed low price and not needing to be beholden to any other organisation, like Google. The principle benefit being that Mozilla could ensure that their values, like privacy, are built right into their products.
I think, maybe, we can do something similar with "Drupal identity". If the Drupal Association were to provide a Drupal identity service, that allowed websites etc related to the project to allow "login via Drupal", we could see a number of benefits:
- It would be far easier to believe that the person on your website claiming to be "webchick" is actually the same "webchick" that does a bit of Drupal now and again
- There are a whole bunch of community safety things we can work on into the future, too. For example, if Drupal Camps were logging people in via this, we could ensure that any people who the Community Working Group have said should not be attending in-person events can't even buy a ticket
- We could charge the website owner a fee to add the service to their website. This reduces the Drupal Association (and, therefore, the project as a whole's) reliance on a single income stream, DrupalCon. Even if that fee was really quite low - even as low as $5 a month - it keeps adding up in the same way as the Drupal Swag Shop does
Am I onto something here? Is this a service that would improve our community whilst also ensuring its financial sustainability? Is it a service that a website owner would pay $5 a month for?
Let me know! Of course, at the moment, you'll only be able to login via GitHub or Google - the Drupal identity service doesn't exist yet!