Workshop paper

Together with my two colleagues Christian Prehofer and Cristiano di Flora, I wrote a nice workshop paper for the upcoming Second Workshop on Requirements and Solutions for Pervasive Software Infrastructures (RSPSI), at UBICOMB 2007, Innsbruck, 16-19 Sebtember, 2007.

Towards the Web as a Platform for Ubiquitous Applications in Smart Spaces (pdf).

Abstract:

We introduce our web based middleware for smart spaces, which strongly relies on technologies used in Internet services. Following the key requirements and
technologies, we present our architecture for ubiquitous applications in smart spaces. It exploits and leverages many of the key web-technologies as well as “Web 2.0” collaborative and social Internet services, including browsers, web servers, development tools and content management systems. In this way, we aim to make many of the highly disruptive ubiquitous applications less disruptive from a technology point of view. Furthermore, we discuss a number of new challenges for applying these technologies in ubiquitous applications. These include the areas of discovery/delivery of services, security, content management, and networking.

The article is a nice milestone in our very your research group. An earlier position paper already outlined our vision for software development in smart spaces. This article builds on that vision and makes public a few details of the software we are building in the research group.

links for 2007-07-19

links for 2007-07-18

simple note encrypt/decrypt with AES in javascript

Inspired by the hype surrounding the iphone and web applications, I hacked together a nice little toy to encrypt and decrypt text using aes. I borrowed the aes implementation from here and basically wrote a somewhat nicer UI for it. I still need to integrate sha1 hashing of passwords as the aes.js script author suggests that is a bit more secure than his current method.

I have no idea if it will work in the iphone browser since I’ve only tested in firefox. It partially works in IE7 and I have no desire to spend time finding out why it fucks up. Suggestions to improve my little javascript hacking are welcome of course.

BTW. password of the default content is: “secret”.

Facebook

It seems I’ve been unaware of the little revolution that has been unfolding since May 24th. Before that, facebook was yet another social network popular mostly in the US. On that date, facebook opened up their API and made it possible for people to integrate their 3rd party services into facebook. Marc Andreesen explained the concept in a lengthy post that is well worth reading around mid June. This too went unnoticed by me. To my defense, I was on vacation first half of June and maybe a bit less connected than I usually am.

About two weeks ago, my neighbour, friend & colleague Christian del Rosso, invited me to facebook. He must have noticed that I didn’t catch up his earlier link to Marc Andreesen’s article. So I dutifully signed up not expecting much of it but somewhat curious to find out why facebook was being mentioned a lot lately. I’m already on linkedin and del.icio.us so I thought I was pretty well covered in this web 2.0 thing. Apparently not.

In the past two weeks, I found several people I know that recently created accounts on facebook. Facebook has the notion of networks and groups and I’m in several of those now, all rapidly growing. Finally in the last few days I started exploring facebook a bit more in depth and doing things like updating my profile, exploring other people’s profiles, and finally figuring out that there’s a shitload of cool applications that integrate into facebook. The proverbial penny dropped only a few days ago.

I’m on iLike, mytravelmap and flixster now. Also I have hooked up my blog and del.icio.us to facebook and of course installed the chuck norris fact generator. All very fun toys. The first three I would probably never have signed up for seperately.

The only thing that I don’t like is that openid is not part of facebook. That’s a pitty, because I believe the fully decentralized mash ups enabled by openid are the future. Ultimately, facebook is another vertical and the waiting is just for who will buy these guys (and for how much). It seems that .com bubble 2.0 is now well underway.

It would seem from the above that facebook is perfect. Of course it isn’t. I’ve encountered many issues so far: performance problems; parts of the site not working; strange errors and failing ajax stuff. Also I noticed that the entire thing seems to be written in php. That could give rise to some worries related to e.g. security and scalability. Opening it up to basically anybody who cares to develop 3rd party stuff does not exactly make it better.