Skip to main content

OpenSocial 0.7 and makeRequest

We're converging towards 1.0! There's one particular thing I want to quickly highlight: makeRequest. This goes beyond the old IG_Fetch API to allow arbitrary HTTP requests to arbitrary URLs, with full use of headers, POST data, response codes, etc. This effectively means that properly installed gadgets can talk any protocol to any server on the Internet. Now that's open.

There are controls of course. The container validates that the request is coming from a properly installed gadget, and poorly behaving gadgets can be rate limited or shut off if necessary.

You can also pass certain headers which are awfully useful. For example...
Authorization: OAuth realm="http://sp.example.com/",
oauth_consumer_key="0685bd9184jfhq22",
oauth_token="ad180jjd733klru7",
oauth_signature_method="HMAC-SHA1",
oauth_signature="wOJIO9A2W5mFwDgiDvZbTSMK%2FPY%3D",
oauth_timestamp="137131200",
oauth_nonce="4572616e48616d6d65724c61686176",
oauth_version="1.0"
Which would let you do authenticated cross-domain requests.

(This assumes of course that the gadget can securely store a token for later use. Gadgets can store data securely using the OpenSocial APIs, but since the user at the browser ultimately has full control over the client side environment, this is effectively the same as a client without a very secure secret. A server side signing solution is needed if you want to to beyond more than simple scenarios involving a user looking at their own data. We're already using OAuth with an empty token to let gadgets talk to their home servers securely, so adding this won't be difficult.)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The problem with creation date metadata in PDF documents

Last night Rachel Maddow talked about an apparently fake NSA document "leaked" to her organization.  There's a lot of info there, I suggest you listen to the whole thing:

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/maddow-to-news-orgs-heads-up-for-hoaxes-985491523709

There's a lot to unpack there but it looks like somebody tried to fool MSNBC into running with a fake accusation based on faked NSA documents, apparently based on cloning the document the Intercept published back on 6/5/2017, which to all appearances was itself a real NSA document in PDF form.

I think the main thrust of this story is chilling and really important to get straight -- some person or persons unknown is sending forged PDFs to news organization(s), apparently trying to get them to run stories based on forged documents.  And I completely agree with Maddow that she was right to send up a "signal flare" to all the news organizations to look out for forgeries.  Really, really, really import…

Why I'm No Longer On The Facebook

I've had a Facebook account for a few years, largely because other people were on it and were organizing useful communities there.  I stuck with it (not using it for private information) even while I grew increasingly concerned about Facebook's inability to be trustworthy guardians of private information.  The recent slap on the wrist from the FTC for Facebook violating the terms of its prior consent agreement made it clear that there wasn't going to be any penalty for Facebook for continuing to violate court orders.
Mark Zuckerberg claimed he had made a mistake in 2016 by ridiculing the idea of election interference on his platform, apologized, and claimed he was turning over a new leaf:
“After the election, I made a comment that I thought the idea misinformation on Facebook changed the outcome of the election was a crazy idea. Calling that crazy was dismissive and I regret it.  This is too important an issue to be dismissive.” It turns out, though, that was just Zuck ly…

Personal Web Discovery (aka Webfinger)

There's a particular discovery problem for open and distributed protocols such as OpenID, OAuth, Portable Contacts, Activity Streams, and OpenSocial.  It seems like a trivial problem, but it's one of the stumbling blocks that slows mass adoption.  We need to fix it.  So first, I'm going to name it:

The Personal Web Discovery Problem:  Given a person, how do I find out what services that person uses?
This does sound trivial, doesn't it?  And it is easy as long as you're service-centric; if you're building on top of social network X, there is no discovery problem, or at least only a trivial one that can be solved with proprietary APIs.  But what if you want to build on top of X,Y, and Z?  Well, you write code to make the user log in to each one so you can call those proprietary APIs... which means the user has to tell you their identity (and probably password) on each one... and the user has already clicked the Back button because this is complicated and annoying.