Posts tagged login

As you know, I love logging in to University services. I love needing to know which combination of my student ID, account ID, account ID with the “NETWORK/” prefix, email address, password and PIN I need to use. Which is why I’m such a big fan of building a reliable login system which just authenticates you once for everything.

This blog post, however, isn’t about a new login system. It’s about the current one being weird, specifically email.

Today I logged in to my email over the web using Chrome, and I shoved in my username (withouth “NETWORK/”, which is only a necessity because Internet Explorer is retarded when it comes to users not being in the domain it’s currently visiting) and password. It let me log in and worked perfectly, until I wanted to visit an external link in one of my emails.

Apparently the bit of OWA which forwards you to external URLs has logins handled differently to simply viewing your emails, and I don’t have permission to access it. No click-through of URLs for me.

Thinking this might be a byproduct of OWA not working properly in anything but Internet Explorer, I perform my ritual dance of protection and ready the talisman to ward off broken box models. I hit the email site, and log in.

Without “NETWORK\”.

It takes me a moment to realise what just happened, but it appears that the combination of IE8 and Windows 7 isn’t as retarded as previous incarnations. As in it doesn’t automatically specify a domain to authenticate against unless you tell it.

Click-through links in email don’t work, but it appears that one of our great enemies as ICT may be on the way out. I look forward to the last time I ever have to say “Just put NETWORK\ in front of it and it’ll work. Because that’s what fixes it.”.

I’ve had a couple of people enquire as to what’s happening with LUNA and network access, specifically “will it all change”. The answer is “no, it won’t all change”. To cheer some people up, here’s a shot of what the new login page looks like:

The new login page.
The new login page.

You will notice it looks different, but this is just a cosmetic change. It’s the same username, it’s the same password. We’ve just revamped the code which underpins how it looks and feels to make it easier for you to use. You might also notice the presence of a new button labelled “connect a games console”, which does exactly what you might expect. It lets you register a games console to use on the network. Finally, you might notice the addition of an orange blob next to the games console button. This is the new traffic light – it goes red if there’s something actively stopping you getting online, amber if all you need to do is log in (or something similar) without there being a known problem, and green if you’re online and everything is working perfectly.

You’ll be able to give the whole thing a proper whirl next week when we present the demo to various people and start letting you have a play before it actually goes live. The big switchover for the real system is currently scheduled for over the Christmas holidays sometime (as soon as we have a date and time, you’ll know), and we’re going to try time it to cause as little disruption as possible. Most people shouldn’t even notice something’s happened, but there may be a few minutes when you can’t log in followed by a few minutes of things possibly not working entirely right whilst we finish tightening the screws on the new system.