AIM OpenID Login 1.0 for Movable Type
Source: AOL Canada
Source: AOL Canada
You might’ve noticed that I’ve been giving my website a bit more updating love than usual. Over the past couple weeks, I’ve resurrected my blog, upgraded the site’s blogging software to Movable Type 4.0 – which, by the way, is awesome – and updated Planet Xavier for the new school year. Now, as part of my ongoing, futile effort at garnering more comments from the blog-reading populace, my blog allows you to log in using your AIM or AOL screen name, meaning you no longer have to manually enter your name, e-mail address, and blog URL every time you post a comment here. At the bottom of any entry, click the “sign in” link, click the AIM tab, and this is what you’ll see:
This feature is made possible by AIM OpenID Login, my first Movable Type plugin. It’s based on a similar plugin that MT product manager Byrne Reese just released for WordPress.com, and just like Byrne’s plugin, mine uses the OpenID protocol: basically, when you log on using your AIM screen name, my website talks to AOL’s to verify that you are indeed LoLcAtLoVeR31415. (You are, aren’t you?)
Note that this login screen, used when submitting comments, is different from the main MT login screen, so you don’t have to worry about random AIM users posting blog entries or anything. It’s similar to the LiveJournal login feature I had enabled on this blog before upgrading to MT 4; now LiveJournal support is built-in, as are all of Six Apart’s properties.
So if you’re a Movable Type user, you can add AIM support to your login screen by downloading this plugin:
AimOpenId-1.0.tar.gz (tarball, 8 kB)
In order for this plugin to work, your website needs to have Movable Type version 4.0 or above installed. Although the
Digest::SHA1 Perl module is considered optional for installing MT, you’ll need it for this plugin. Run mt-check.cgi for information on how to obtain it.
- Download the tarball and unzip it.
- Upload the contents of the mt-static folder to the mt-static directory on your server, making sure to preserve the folder’s structure. Unless you installed MT in a cgi-bin or cgi-local directory, mt-static should be directly within the mt directory.
- Upload the contents of the plugins folder to the plugins directory on your server, making sure to preserve the folder’s structure. The plugins directory should also reside within your mt directory.
Once you’ve installed AIM OpenID Login, you’ll want to add the AIM tab to MT’s login screen. This is a per-blog setting, so go in MT, to a blog of yours and select the Blog Settings item under the Preferences menu. Under the Registration tab, there should be a checkbox labeled “AIM”. After checking that box and pressing Save Changes, you should be good to go – no rebuilding necessary. (If you’re running MT on FastCGI, however, you may have to wait awhile.)
Though this plugin will provide AIM users with a customized login screen, they’ll be treated as ordinary OpenID users thereafter. This means:
- MT refers to the commenter by their OpenID URL, something like http://openid.aol.com/LoLcAtLoVeR31415.
- The user’s URL is accompanied by the OpenID logo, rather than the AIM Running Man logo.
Both issues affect comment listings within MT, as well as static comment listings on your blog. As far as I know, both issues are because MT treats LiveJournal, Vox, and TypeKey as “core” authentication services, whereas AIM is just an add-on.
I can’t claim credit for much of the code, since it’s mostly adapted from Byrne’s WordPress plugin. However, I did fix a few small details, like the Sign In button. As Byrne’s plugin is licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 2, mine is too. In the future, when I’m more familiar with Perl and MT’s APIs, I’ll be able to write plugins on my own and distribute them under a more permissive license, but the GPL won’t stop you from trying out this plugin, which is what matters.
The AIM “Running Man” logo is copyright and a trademark of AOL, so naturally, it’s not covered by the GPL. I’ve only bundled it with the plugin for your convenience, since most users won’t recognize anyone but this little yellow guy as AIM. I advise you to excise it from your computer with the utmost care and urgency, upon downloading this plugin. (Your users may not appreciate that, however.)