Tagged: Authentication

Amazon Wishlist RSS, Ruby and Signing/Authenticating your Requests

UPDATE: If you don't want to bother with the code and instead would just like to get your Amazon.com Wishlist rss you can go here.

I've been playing with the Amazon API lately. At first I just wanted to get the RSS feed to my wish list and I followed the direction in this article on the Amazon developer site. Don't bother with that article. This one on xml.com is a bit out of date, but still useful. Getting the RSS feed for your profile on most sites is a pretty simple process. On Amazon it's not. It's a total pain in the butt. Shame on them for not making this process easier. I shouldn't have to interact with a full API just to gain access to an RSS feed. Also, for any Amazon people out there would you mind keeping your documentation up to date or at least marking old articles as invalid so that I don't waste my time with stuff that doesn't work anymore?.

OK so you don't actually care about all the crap you just want the guts. I took the b...

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Plugin Loading for Ruby on Rails has Changed.

I am tired of recreating the login system for Rails for each new project so using the RESTful Rails Authentication Tutorial I created a template project that I can use to create new projects. While adding in the OpenID Authentication component I started getting this error:

/Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/activesupport-2.0.2/lib/active_support/dependencies.rb:376:in `new_constants_in': You have a nil object when you didn't expect it! (NoMethodError)

after I installed this OpenID plugin.

The problem occurs because Rails has changed the way that plugins are loaded. The default folder name was:

josh-open_id_authentication-ruby_openid_2
I renamed it to:

open_id_authentication
and everything started working again.

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Facebook as an Authentication System

I have been playing with OpenID for about a year now. It is a very cool, distributed authentication system. The concept is great and I love that I don't have to create accounts everywhere. Instead, I just log in with OpenID and away I go. The biggest shortcoming for OpenID from a user perspective however is the fact that you have to remember a url. People aren't very good at that. I have my OpenID mapped through justinball.com which is easy to remember, but most people don't have that luxury and if your name is Bill Smith or Sam Jones you are not likely to own the corresponding domain.

Over the past week I have had some time to play with the Facebook APIs. Before I became a Facebook fan I could not figure out why anyone would use the stupid thing. Quite frankly before my friends started showing up in the system there wasn't a good reason. Facebook really depends on the network to be meaningful to an individual, but I digress.

So I am playing with Facebook in a number of...

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