Showing posts with label identity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label identity. Show all posts

26 April 2007

Netbeans Collab Modules

Installed the Netbeans Developer-Collaboration Module yesterday, and gave it a trial-run together with Jason.  Wow! 

The chat-client is pretty standard; not much to say there.  The only thing we both disliked was that you have to use "Control-Enter" (or "Alt-N") to send your text rather than plain "Enter".  Probably we could reconfigure the keybindings somewhere...

But!  The ability to drag a file, folder, Java package or, indeed, entire project into the collab area, and then have both people (and presumably everybody in the chat session) simultaneously able to edit the same files, seeing each other's edits live,... pretty cool.

The real OhMiGod Factor was when Jason hit "compile" on the shared file, to have it compile on my PC (since the original file came from there,) with both of us seeing the compile output.  Very, very cool!

We were speculating about some alternative form of development setup where all the code (and docs, web-pages, and other project components) get stored in a wiki-like (auto-versioned, of course) system so that its not just one developer's PC that gets to do the work...  Just daydreaming, really.  For now.

If you're working in Java, C/C++ or Ruby, and you work with other faraway developers (even occasionally -- the dowload is only a couple of meg) you owe it to yourself to explore the Netbeans Collab stuff.  I am pretty sure that what we're seeing now is only the start.

01 August 2006

How to Screw-Up Your Web2 Application

If I were a marketing guy, I would keep you in suspense right up to the end of this post.  I would waffle on for ages about how and why I'm going to tell you "the secret," and what a super guy I am for letting you in on this.

But I'm a programmer, and time is precious.  All over the web I see this particular piece of egregious stupidity:

Apps that use email addresses as user-ids.

I strongly advise against the use of email addresses as login ids.  Consider the following 2 common cases:
  1. The user changes their email address (due to changing provider or whatever). 
  2. A user leaves the community.  Months/years later another user joins; they have the same email address as the old user, but are not the same person.  Are you going to refuse them entry?
In the former case, if you allow them to change their login to correspond to their new email address, you lose the trail of what they've done over time, since you've essentially changed their identity.

Worse, yet, if you're doing any kind of app that allows the user to build up a history, karma points, reputation, whatever, since you force them to throw away their entire investment in your site.  They may as well go elsewhere.  That history took the user time, energy and effort to build, and constitutes your only real barrier to entry against competitors who want to eat your userbase.

In Summary:

A login-id is an identity.  An email address is not an identity.  It is an address.
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