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Backpack integration will be first

Published June 7th, 2005 edit replace rm!

My new idea for changing the web services architecture in StakeItOut is working great. I was able today to connect fine to BackPack and just need to clean up the gui and test it a bit.

I want it ready to demo at Reboot. I will simultaneously or maybe earlier let the gates open for even more beta testers, so patience.

Open security disclosure

Published June 7th, 2005 edit replace rm!

I have always been interested in security and cryptography and have always been annoyed with the security disclosures or lack of them that most web applications offer.

Therefore I am making StakeItOut’s Security Page
painfully public for the world to see. I think it is better for small fish like me to be honest and not end up in a situation with some huge liability on our head.

BTW. I am writing these kinds of things bit by bit in Backpack as I am putting most of my focus on site functionality at the moment. Backpackit is just great for these kinds of things. The next wave of beta testers should be invited in, within the next day or two.

Ruby on Rails makes throwing out and rewriting a nobrainer

Published June 6th, 2005 edit replace rm!

In an epiphany saturday night gin and tonic in hand I realized a completely new way of integrating external web services in StakeItOut.

This way will make it a lot easier for me to support more different webservices as well as allow my users to add support for their own web services and share them with others.

I will write more about this later, however it made me think about one of the benefits of using something like Ruby on Rails for application development. It makes it less painful to throw away code and start afresh.

My first version of StakeItOut was made in November, 2004. I have scratched and started over 4 times now. This has mainly been because I’ve made changes and simplified the business model. It is funny though, that now I am actually back to the original idea that I had last summer.

Besides these major throwaways I have done several major changes to the current version. I decided to encrypt everything 2 weeks ago, which meant a major rewrite of some of the core code. This was harder than I had expected, because the crypto libraries are poorly documented in Ruby. I will write a blog post at some point documenting how I did this. And now this major web service change. I figure though that before I go to Reboot I will have it working.

Is throwing away old code a bad idea. Well, in the financial world where I work in the daylight hours it is standard that no one dares rewrite old code. That however is also the source of most of the production problems that we have at work.

Rails makes it very easy to rewrite code. It is so simple to start over again and the experiences you earned from your last iteration makes it ridiculously fast to get started again. The current version started 4 weeks ago, where I cut out a whole bunch of content creation code that I had worked on. The new version is much simpler without any internal content creation. I figured it was much better to allow people to use their existing sites such as Backpack. It is focused on a core of secure sharing of web services.

Bear in mind when you look at these 4 weeks and remember that I am working a day job as well and I was away on vacation for 1 week. Even though I am considered by some a J2EE expert, I don’t think I could have done it that fast in J2EE.

StakeItOut/Beta now live

Published June 3rd, 2005 edit replace rm!

I am now live with StakeItOut/Beta. Note the site is only ssl.

In the next couple of days I will explain what it actually is about.

In the first week I will only trickle in new users to make sure that the server holds up and that there aren’t any major bugs I’ve overseen.

As always send me an email at [email protected] and I will add you to the beta list.

Nearly in beta

Published June 2nd, 2005 edit replace rm!

So I did get my beta site more or less working last night. However there are still a few issues I need to iron out, before I invite the first early beta testers in.

There seem to be som differences in the way the application (which is written in Ruby on Rails) works in development and production mode. Otherwise the issues are related to the differences in Webrick and fastcgi deployment. Needs investigating in tonights session.

My wife/CFO has promised a restaurant trip tomorrow if and only if it is up and running by then, so I better figure it out by then ;-).

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About me

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My name is Pelle Braendgaard. Pronounce it like Pelé the footballer (no relation). I live in wonderful Managua, Nicaragua. I work with Clojure, Bitcoin and Ethereum.

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