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Who needs a social life anyway? - My Thoughts Today
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Who needs a social life anyway?
We had been planning to attend the Inkubbus Sukkubus gig tonight at Electrowerkz but it now looks like I'll have to pass: I'd forgotten the deadline for submitting a RailsConf Europe proposal was looming so guess who'll be working all weekend on that? If goth_twiglet is still in the mood to go then I may skive for a few hours, but a late night is definitely not on the cards!

Still, just spent two hours discussing possibilities with spikyblackcat and we now have a firm idea for an interesting talk - possibly even a tutorial given that it pulls together a lot of our research work in recent years. Last year we presented a cool Hybrid Key Crypto system based on OpenSSL and the various Ruby network protocol objects so this time around we fancy building a realworld application with a bit more emphasis on Rails or Merb. It's not that OpenSSL in Ruby isn't an interesting topic in its own right (and I'm assured that Hybrid Key Infrastructures are über-sexy in the security world) but we'd really like to connect that work more directly to the day-to-day interests of Rails developers.

Hopefully what we have in mind will catch the imagination of the conference committee and we'll be making a return trip to Berlin in September (as usual there's little chance of our being able to pay for tickets, so singing for our supper is our only hope). The theme's a bit hush-hush but let's just say it's a somewhat atypical use of Rails that nicely builds on the latest stuff we're playing with.

Later in the month I've got the UK ENUM Consortium meeting, which will be a good excuse to catch up with a few faces I've not seen in a while. Unfortunately there'll also be a lot of homework involved beforehand as ENUM is really spikyblackcat's territory. My interest is limited to the DNS implementation details and possible applications that can be built to take advantage of the published NAPTR trees, the latter being something of an acquired taste :) Mind you, last year's meeting of the UK ENUM Group was interesting and filled in a lot of the gaps in my knowledge.

There's also a fair chance that this summer I'll be attending my first ever IETF meeting. A lot of the work I've been involved with in recent years has cut across various RFCs and drafts, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it all works up close and personal without being affiliated with any of the major groupings. We were expecting that at some point our work would bring us into opposition with the main players in our particular area, but earlier this year a couple of drafts circulated that have made our lives easier and should allow us to do revolutionary stuff whilst still staying inside the current DNS framework. I'm really pleased about this as I'd rather be focusing on technology than politics.

Oh, and of course somewhere in all this I have to find time for job-hunting :)

today I am mostly: busy
the music in my head: Dark Kind of Ecstacy-The Vampire Beach Babes-Attack of the Killer Bikinis

8 opinions or participate
pogodragon From: pogodragon Date: March 15th, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
Gah, I was going to go to the Inkubbus Sukkubus thing as well, but I'm currently being neck-hurty and miserable and not wanting to go out. I'm sure it'll be fine without my presence there, but still...
feyeleanor From: feyeleanor Date: March 15th, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
Well last time I saw them live they still had the C's in their name, so I was looking forward to a trip down memory lane ;)
pogodragon From: pogodragon Date: March 15th, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
I've never seen them live as yet, I've not been to a live gig for nearly as long as I can remember, but I'm really not fit for human company this evening, so I can't go.
feyeleanor From: feyeleanor Date: March 15th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
Then they'll just have to make do without either of us lol
jwilkins From: jwilkins Date: March 26th, 2008 08:57 am (UTC) (permanent link)
If a suggestion wouldn't be amiss, how about pointing out how broken rubyforge/rubygems is security wise.. It's 2008 and they're still using a self signed cert..

And merb is quite delightful..
feyeleanor From: feyeleanor Date: March 26th, 2008 11:24 am (UTC) (permanent link)
Hey, so am I - although that's because I'm a lazy so-and-so who can't be asked to run their own CA ;)

Funnily enough last year I did consider including code for a Ruby-based Certificate Authority just to round out the Hybrid Key stuff but as it was we overshot our 45-minute slot by almost 10 minutes. There's no reason though why the Rubyforge team couldn't roll one themselves and give RubyGems a funky trust anchor without anyone having to pay Thawte or Verisign anything.

But frankly most things to do with security are still a bit flaky in the Ruby world. Between those of us who use it as a research tool and the vast majority who join via Rails, I guess not much attention gets focused on these things.

Merb's something I'm only starting to play with but it's looking promising. I'm hoping that combined with DataMapper and HAML it will allow me to improve responsiveness on some of the geekier experiments I'm working :)
jwilkins From: jwilkins Date: March 26th, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC) (permanent link)
Well, avoiding the $15 expense is less understandable for a service people rely on.

There's already at least one trivial ruby CA: http://segment7.net/projects/ruby/QuickCert/

Merb has been pretty handy for me lately. I'm doing a bunch of trivial services over HTTP and trunk merb with merb-gen's --flat and --very-flat make me happy.

feyeleanor From: feyeleanor Date: March 30th, 2008 03:45 am (UTC) (permanent link)
I agree, $15 is sweet FA. And considering that Ruby ships with OpenSSL support there's no real excuse for not using it far more extensively :)
8 opinions or participate