Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Roles and Workflows FTW!

Some of the most useful things to come out of Computer Science are solutions to the complex problems that you encounter when you combine seemingly simple things.  In the design for Vertebra, we've been dealing with a number of simple technologies, trying to seam them into a whole.

One of the more vexing problems has been how to do security.  Inevitably a distributed system has the chance to be a distributed security disaster.  We've taken a look at using an RBAC system (role based access control).  This has interesting implications when integrated with our distributed workflow system.

Enter the ACM Digital Library.  Got to love it.  It looks like there are people researching this.  There I found an article titled "A Flexible Model Supporting the Specification and Enforcement of Role-based Authorizations in Workflow Management Systems".  I don't think we'll come close to implementing the whole system they describe, but it sure is nice to have an understanding of where it all could go.

It also confirms that we must be doing something right, as we're implementing stuff that was leading edge Computer Science only a decade ago!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Busy Week At The Yard

I wish this was an April Fools post, but it's not.  Sorry to disappoint.

I've been so tied up with little things that there hasn't been much progress on development.

Not that it's boring.  We're busy rolling out our "Special Projects" cluster.  Just what those projects are is still kind of a secret, but it's important to get it rolling.  We're also doing some exciting stuff with Open Source Telephony.

Also, I'm excited about my meeting with Ezra tomorrow over Nanite, an internal management project.  Not entirely sure how it's supposed to work yet, and I already have some suggestions, but it's nice to see the enthusiasm.  Any time someone mentions Puppet and Git in the same sentence certainly raises my eyebrows.