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Alias (5735)

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Journal of Alias (5735)

Thursday September 20, 2007
10:48 PM

"TinyAuth" nearing completion, but needs a real name

[ #34502 ]

Every since my repository exploded, I've been wanting a suitable replacement for Insurrection, the brilliant but not-quite-complete and insanely uninstallable repository manager I used.

Having finally managed to get in contact with the author, he's basically told me that it has been abandoned and won't be seeing any further work.

Best Practical took the idea of Insurrection and Jifty'fied it, creating a sane replacement for Insurrection called CommitBit.

While it's a step forwards, I still find CommitBit too heavy for my needs.

Jifty is, well, large. And so for me, personally, it's still too heavy and hard to install.

I wanted something easier again.

But I'm utterly SICK of writing web apps, most of which turn into Open Problems that are a nightmare to support (the case of CVS Monitor, which I've greatly neglected, is a good example here).

Inspired by the success of the ::Tiny modules, I've been spending 15 minutes twice a day on the train hacking on my own repository/authentication manager, codename "TinyAuth".

Part of the reason for doing it this way is to force myself to do things as simply as possible, because I don't have enough time to handle heavy setups or complex code. There wouldn't be enough time to get the app into my head and get anything useful done.

After several months of experimenting and hacking on the train, I've finally completed the main functionality and tests for all features, and I'm now polishing the app for release.

I have to say it's turning out better than I could have ever anticipated.

The entire application consists of two files, a 30-line tinyauth CGI launch script, and a 1000-line that contains all the functionality, as well as all the email and HTML templates.

It's EXTREMELY hackable and easy to modify, in fact I will be encouraging people to take a more PHP-like approach to customising it, since the installer works by copying the module from the install path into a CGI instance.

The interface is also extremely minimalist, which has created an unexpected "flexibility via minimalism" effect.

A few weeks into writing it I realized that the HTML was so small, that the pages might just work in my phone's crappy excuse for a browser without any modifications at all.

So not only is usable in regular PC browsers, it can also be used from lynx, EVE Online, Second Life, the Nintendo Wii, and on pretty much every mobile phone "browser" (not to mention decent ones like Opera on the iPhone) without the need to write a single line of code to support them!

But unfortunately, what I HAVEN'T managed to do during this process is comply with all the "Tiny" principles. It does use a small number of libraries (mostly things like Email::Send) and isn't only in one file (it's two) and so on.

So I need a new name for this application... anyone got any ideas?

Ideas so far include "LittleBit" and "LetMeIn"... but I haven't heard anything yet I really like.

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  • If you don't mind people making fun of you, you
    can call it Two-bit(s), because it is only made
    up of 2 files.
    • You know, there might be something to that... because the more I look at the code, I see lots of interesting programs that can be made by changing half a dozen lines of code here and there...

      So something like

      TwoBit SVN
      TwoBit Mailing List
      TwoBit WebDAV
      etc etc

      Only trouble is that "Two-Bit" implies "shoddy", and even as a joke that's tricky to make funny...

      The other problem is that lots of programs already called onebit, twobit, threebit etc already exist... half the problem with names is finding something new.
  • PatchesWelcome? :-)

  • CommitBit::Tiny. You know you want to.