Web 2.0 Expo: Bridging the Gap, OpenAuth and Widgets

Greg and I presented at Web 2.0 Expo today in a presentation called Bringing the Gap Between Desktop and Web. It went well, although we were hoping to have some more announcements to make. There was a lot of discussion of the widget space, microformats (which 99% of the audience hadn’t heard of which surprised me), a little on OpenID and I got to talk about OpenAuth! I’ve had to stay quiet about it for months now, but I’ve been using it for a while, and it’s one of the things I’m most proud of AOL for doing.
What’s OpenAuth? It’s AOL opening up its authentication system to the web at large. We used it in ficlets instead of us having to come up with our own user system, maintaining all those passwords, writing code for encryption, sending those “oops, I forgot my password” e-mails, and re-inventing that wheel for the millionth time, I didn’t have to worry about it at all.
I was able to integrate OpenAuth with Rails in about twenty minutes. And for those who don’t have AIM screennames, or don’t want them, we supported OpenID, which took about forty-five minutes to integrate.
I linked to the presentation up there, but if you missed it, here are the slides. I mentioned my triple-headed widget that works in Dashboard, Opera and AIM Pages as well.
Now, it’s time for me to go write some more stuff for the book and try to get caught up.