I’m reasonably happy to suffer some inconvenience when identifying myself for online banking, because I have a financial incentive. If my account were compromised, I might lose money. I want complex passwords that are infeasible to crack. I don’t want my browser to store them for automatic completion, in case someone else gains access to my computer. This is all as it should be.
At the other end of the spectrum are the free internet services where the user name and password combination is something that I just have to tolerate in order to use them. They might need some kind of identification in order to provide a personalised service, but they’re not really sensitive.
Delicious (né del.icio.us) is one of these. It’s a bookmarking service. It’s useful. Very useful. In fact, I probably use it every day. But it’s not a critical service.
Since del.icio.us became delicious.com, a couple of things have changed to make it less useful. First, the login cookie/session expires much sooner. Whereas before I hardly ever had to sign in, I must now do so once a fortnight. That’s a small inconvenience, though. What’s more inconvenient is this:
<input type="text" name="username" id="username" value="" class="field" autocomplete="off">
They’ve told my browser not to give me the option to save the password automatically. When my bank does this, they’re probably doing the right thing. When a free bookmarking service does it, they probably haven’t really thought it through.