Aug 222012

A large part of my decision to move back to tech­nic­al work, and less pro­ject man­age­ment, was due to how much fun it was last year work­ing on the web applic­a­tions course for the XML Sum­mer School. And now it’s that time of year again to brush up on my cod­ing for this year’s ver­sion. For­tu­nately, although I’m run­ning a bit late in my pre­par­a­tions, Matt has done ster­ling work get­ting the code base work­ing, and Norm and Paul are doing their bits too.

This is all very dif­fer­ent to the health­care doc­u­ment ana­lys­is I’ve been doing recently, so I need to refresh my memory on Ruby, Sinatra, OAu­th, and co, as well as catch up on recent changes (in par­tic­u­lar to OAuth2, which finally made it to RFC not so long ago). Last year I worked through Singing with Sinatra; this year I get to see what Matt did for our XML web pub­lish­ing applic­a­tion (tak­ing XML files, con­vert­ing to HTML for browser view­ing, adding vari­ous webby bells and whistles) before the del­eg­ates do.

I’m mostly talk­ing about the secur­ity and iden­tity aspects of web sites (as well as help­ing out on the oth­er sec­tions), with the stated aim of mak­ing every­one para­noid enough to be care­ful. The hack­ers are get­ting more soph­ist­ic­ated these days, which means web­site coders have to be more care­ful.