A bit of background on the Crowd setup at Atlassian...
My.atlassian.com authenticates against a Crowd instance, and this is used for SSO across a couple of other sites such as our plugins and translations tools.
However Crowd is backed by an LDAP server (specifically OpenLDAP), and there is the option to bypass Crowd and talk to this server directly. For a number of sites this is preferable; internally we're increasingly moving to a distributed architecture and LDAP's ability to transparently replicate gives us greater scalability and removes a single point-of-failure, as we can give each application its own read-only LDAP slave that syncs from a master server.
Answers.atlassian.com is one of the sites that talks to LDAP directly, hence your login is shared with MAC but you need to login to each site separately. We do have an ongoing internal project to unify the logins across more systems (e.g. support), but there are a number of logistical issues to doing so due to the large number of existing users.
Re: releasing the connector; the code is somewhat Atlassian specific, as it needs to treat staff and customers differently, and overrides the registration process to use my.atlassian.com for signup. However I should really do a developer-blog post about the module as it may be useful to others.
Answers uses my.atlassian.com's Crowd for authentication, however it does not use Crowd itself nor support Single-Sign-On (SSO), which means that you have to log in at least once for each location. (Cookies can handle the rest.)
Perhaps we will provide SSO for our various sites, but that would also require consolidating all users to a single system (which is a fairly great undertaking) as well as adding a Crowd version of Python (for Answers).
If you spend enough time as a Jira admin - whether you are managing a single, mid-sized instance, a large enterprise one or juggling multiple instances at once - you will eventually find yourself in ...
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