Can the interface for registering at AskLO be improved?

I just went through a strange process registering for this forum (Is it called a forum any more? Why do they keep changing things that work fine?)

The interface really needs to be improved. I was asked to click an icon for a number of businesses, such as Google or Facebook. The thing is, I don’t really want to run Google or Facebook while I am using the LibreOffice forum. That’s the first thing that needs to be made clear on the interface.

Next I was taken to a registration page that asked for a screen name and a valid email address (which is the page I wanted to visit in the first place). OK, so why would I take a detour by way of the Google sign in page?

I guess my question is: is this really how the interface is supposed to work?

I agree. Confusing sign up. Did not see an independent “create account” button. Did not want to use FaceBook and have everything connected, especially given the behind-the-scenes cooperation of FB with Homeland Security. Finally did that by default, then LO required access to contact list! Obviously, I sold my contacts out cause I wanted my questions answered and couldn’t figure out other ways (went down the list of FAQs, etc.).

@grrr, as my answers here and here indicate, the OpenID button can be used to enter the URL of your preferred OpenID provider. There are many OpenID providers out there. Simply go and register at one and your login here will not be tied to your Facebook account. You can even make your own website an OpenID provider if required.

The AskLO site does not (currently) use a local login / registration, rather it requires you use a third-party (OpenID) for verification i.e., the login is handled by the third party who returns a verification (or not) to this site. There is further information in the answers here and here about what OpenID is and how to use it to your own advantage. Thus, the process, as I understand it, is:

  1. Select your (third-party) OpenID provider.
  2. Login to your account with that provider.
  3. You are now logged in to this site.

This is a feature of the AskBot software the site uses. Evidently local login / registration can be enabled, but it has not, probably for security reasons. You are not the first person to indicate difficulties with the sign-in process. These threads are related:

Also note:

Thank you. Not a happy answer, but a good one. What is “verification” anyway? To establish that the user has an e-mail address (which could be a throwaway address on web mail)? Is this basically a system to keep the honest people honest? The real effect, as I see it, is to allow data gathering and sharing between humongous Internet companies.

I think the answer to all your questions can be found on the What is OpenID? page. It is an open source initiative to simplify the login process, but the result can be, as you suggest, concentration of user data.

As @oweng pointed out with the links in his answer, there are already several, now a total of 4, questions concerning the cumbersome (my view) registration at AskLibO. I explained my opinion in more details in

2013 Apr, How can we encourage more people to sign in to the Ask site?

I just hope that we can soon get a direct registration and don’t have to use OpenID, FB, Twitter, etc. Who knows what is behind OpenID. I sounds good, it might be very good, but …

“Who knows what is behind OpenID?” This question is also answered by the link in my comment above. Details about the Foundation board can be found on Wikipedia and the Foundation website. This is one of those areas where it is impossible to please everyone. Some people prefer decentralised authentication and others find the idea anathema.

@oweng - Thanks for your comment. I know it is VERY difficult to please everybody. Although I see the ease of usage of centralized authentication, I also see what can be done with such information. Thus, for myself I prefer always the decentralized one and don’t mind the little bit more work. — The question is can we get also a decentralized authentication parallel to the centralized we have already? (To be honest I don’t know what kind of workload this means.)

Two things should be done:

  1. should have its own local registration.
  2. This local registration should be in single-sign-on with bug reporting (and other services).

These two points are mutually exclusive. “Local registration” means it works for AskLO only. Bugzilla is a different site, so is the bug submission assistant. LO has dozens of sites and products. OpenID is the only effective way to get a single sign-in that works across multiple sites.