"elmcity" entries

Twitter kills the password anti-pattern, but at what cost?

Assertion and delegation of identity can now be easy or safe. But we need both.

It's good to see Twitter driving a stake into the heart of the password anti-pattern. But the Twitter ecosystem wouldn't exist if it hadn't been possible to sketch ideas, and to explore the unanticipated uses that can emerge from the soup of active ingredients that the web has become.

The laws of information chemistry

Data will flow and recombine, or not, according to principles we teach.

Everybody learns that things in the physical world are structured in ways that govern how they can or cannot interact. The right shape will open the door, the wrong one won't. But unless you're on an IT track, you'll likely graduate from college without ever learning this corollary: The right information structures open doors, the wrong ones won't.

The power of informal contracts

The "Principle of Informal Contracts" allows anyone to create useful mashups.

In a world full of services like delicious, FriendFeed, and Twitter — services that can route feeds of data based on user-defined vocabularies — you don’t have to be a programmer to create useful mashups. You just have to understand, and find ways to apply, something Jon Udell calls the “Principle of Informal Contracts.” He expands on the concept in the second part of his elmcity series.

Lessons learned building the elmcity service

Jon Udell's reflections on mashing up software cultures and calendar data.

What happens when you mix open source goals, styles, and attitudes with Microsoft tools, languages, and frameworks? You get a cultural mashup. That's what the elmcity
project is, and what this series will explore.