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Tim Callan | 17 Feb 2006 | 0 comments

Dick Hardt and John Merrells of Sxip recently published Fourteen Design Goals for web-based identity systems. As Dick says in his blog entry, these are offered with a nod to Kim Cameron's Seven Laws. I've pulled out the 14 requirements from the doc -- see the doc for more in-depth discussion:

Tim Callan | 15 Feb 2006 | 0 comments

Matt Mower brings up an issue that has come up a lot for me lately as we look for ways to tackle the problems of comment spam. I've looked at the solution offered by CoComment, and their approach pretty much convinced me that the blog comments, as they exist today, are a bad idea.

Don't get me wrong; I'm all for vigorous discussion, wide-ranging and free-wheeling. The idea behind blog comments is obvious and important. The implementation is just terribly flawed, however.

Tim Callan | 15 Feb 2006 | 0 comments

No sooner do I post about Rails powering the long tail of web apps then do I learn of Google's acquisition of MeasureMap (via DHH's LoudThinking blog).

MeasureMap is a Ruby on Rails app, and according to David Heinemeier Hansson, the first Rails app to get acquired in the Web2.0 era. Didn't even launch before getting acquired. Congrats to the MeasureMap team.

I'll be interested to see what happens to MeasureMap platform-wise as it gets grafted into the fabric of Google. But it serves notice that Rails isn't just about RAD, demos and weekend one-offs. There's a flurry of activity right now building heavy-duty Web2.0 apps like MeasureMap -- if you don't believe me, try and find a quality Rails developer for hire. Go ahead, try it.

Tim Callan | 15 Feb 2006 | 0 comments

My colleague Kiran Dandekar has been doing something I've been doing lately: working with Ruby on Rails applications in the same way others work with PowerPoint, Visio, or Rational Rose. There's often a need to "sketch out" a web service, build some "wireframes" or "workflow diagrams" as a means to think through architectural and other issues, and also as a way to socialize the idea across the team. There are any number of tools available to facilitate this process, but Ruby on Rails is unique in its approach to sketching out a web application: build the web app itself.

I'll spare you the sermon on Rails; if you've tried it out, you don't need any convincing from me (and if you have been bitten by the Rails bug you aren't wasting time reading my blog, you're building web apps). If you're not familiar with Ruby on Rails, I'll just say this: Rails makes building basic, solid, functional web apps easier and quicker...

Tim Callan | 15 Feb 2006 | 0 comments

I've been getting great results from my efforts and experiments with Ruby on Rails in the past few months. More on that another time.

But a couple projects I've been working on could benefit from the UI Library and Design Patterns Library released today by Yahoo!. Rails developers are already in a pretty nice position with resources like script.aculo.us and Open RICO so nicely integrated with the Rails framework. But after just a cursory review this afternoon, it's clear that Yahoo!'s contribution is a big step forward for web developers.

Tim Callan | 13 Feb 2006 | 0 comments

Over on the OpenID mailing list, I made some comments outlining concerns about OpenID/YADIS/LID and the prospect of managing directional identity. Drummond Reed emailed shortly after I posted my thoughts, pointing out that he had covered this topic in depth on his blog back in December.

So he has. And, suprise, we came up with essentially the same solution. My suggestions were largely informed by the Sxip approach to the problem of directed identity, so I suppose its fair to say that I've essentially just been agreeing with Dick Hardt and his team, as well as Drummond and his: a robust single sign-on technology -- even a lightweight one -- should support on-the-...

Tim Callan | 13 Feb 2006 | 0 comments

Via Kim Cameron's blog, an article -- ostensibly legit -- about a Cincinnati company that is implanting RFID tags in some of its employees. The thinking is apparently that "tagging" employees adds additional security, enabling better monitoring of where people are, or aren't in secure environments.

RFID chips in humans are a good example of omnidirectional identity, something I discussed in a recent post. In this case, it seems quite ill-advised for humans to equip themselves with an omnidirectional identifier that anyone with a proximal reader can detect, without the consent, or even knowledge of the bearer. This is a feature, not a bug, in many commercial contexts -- say when you're a tracking a flat screen TV through the supply chain. But as the recent...

Tim Callan | 10 Feb 2006 | 0 comments

David Sifry of Technorati posted his latest State of the Blogosphere, asserting that growth rates in the blogosphere remain vigorous. Umbria has an interesting (if somewhat short) report on splogs, which you can download here - email and name registration required to download this PDF.  Matt Galloway surmises that combined, these two reports might indicate contraction in the blogosphere. Intuitively, I think that's not at all the case, but I do think that Matt is pointing at a phenomenon that is under-examined: the growth rates for splogs are...

Tim Callan | 10 Feb 2006 | 0 comments

Edgeio Screenshot

Keith Teare gave me a look at the service he's getting ready to launch – edgeio. In addition to being a good example of the new breed of web apps visually and interactively, edgio is an example of what I think is an important trend in the blogosphere. Edgeio is a search and indexing tool that aggregates content from the blogosphere in such a way that your blog can be used in new and interesting ways. In the demo, the emphasis is on classified ads, but Keith hastens to point out that the edgeio platform is designed for a wide variety of content types and applications.

Tim Callan | 10 Feb 2006 | 0 comments

VeriSign Naming and Directory Services (VNDS), the division of the company that operates the com/net registry -- and does a great many other things as well -- has been renamed to "VeriSign Information Services". It's more than just a new name, of course; it's a reflection of the broadened scope the division has in providing its part of the "Intelligent Infrastructure" services that VeriSign provides as a whole.