Subject Re: Report on disco-STEPS
From Alex Reid <alex.reid@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date Mon, 12 Jul 2010 14:40:29 +0800

At 10:07 PM 8/07/2010, David Simonsen wrote:

please find attached the report on the design and functionality of a new IdP discovery service, implemented by WAYF as part of the Géant3 project: Disco-STEPS (Single Touch Enhanced Proactive Selector).

WAYF will put it into production in late August (this year!)
The code will be made available at the same time, if not before.

The reason for sending out the report already now is that several of you have shown interest in the work - and summer seems to be a good time for reading reports ;)

All comments and suggestions are more than welcome.

This is very interesting and worthwhile.

But it prompts me to ask what may be a naive question about a possible further improvement to the user experience in the IdP discovery process.

Would it not be possible for the SP, when first approached by a potential user, to send to the WAYF the IP address from which the user is accessing the SP? If the WAYF were equipped with a list of "standard" IP address ranges for each IdP (ie ones which are assigned to that IdP institution), it could be programmed to ask *first* (before offering the whole list of IdPs) if the one relating to that IP address was theirs.

Thus for *most* accesses to an SP by users located at a particular IdP, the process of discovering their IdP would be very straightforward.

For users from that IdP accessing an SP from outside their institution (eg from home), and for people located inside that institution but actually from elsewhere, they would have to go through the process of selecting from the long list. But (a) they would be in the minority, and (b) they would *expect* that they may have to go through a longer process.

Of course, this idea depends on the WAYF having access to the IP address where the user is currently located, and it may not be possible for that to be done. This is where my technical knowledge is limited.

Perhaps someone could suggest if there is any chance my idea could be feasible?

Cheers, Alex.

T Alex Reid
Advisor, eResearch & Middleware
AARNet (Australia's NREN)
Honorary Professorial Fellow
School of Computer Science & Software Engineering
The University of Western Australia.
home address  71A Raymond Street, Yokine, WA, 6060
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