Dr Nic

RailsRumble hates OpenID

There are 146 RailsRumble entrants.

%w[rubygems hpricot open-uri].each { |l| require l }
(Hpricot(open("http://vote.railsrumble.com"))/"div.app_summary").size # => 146

Voting starts Wednesday. I’ve viewed a dozen or so front pages, and they all look awesome. But to use any a lot of them (I think) you need to create an account.

Unfortunately there are only 10 that used OpenID. (see pastie for code)

So for the other 136, you must now create usernames and accounts. Type your email and password 136 times.

UPDATE: RubyBrigade (list of Ruby clubs), Sake Bar (warehouse of Sake recipes), Irksome (irc log), Open Comic Book Database, PubBud, relocatr and Simplebucket do not require any authentication (added below)

Bonus Update: Jour de f̻te is a Facebook app. So, in a manner of speaking, it qualifies РFacebook signon is its OpenID equivalent.

For your convenience, here are links to the 10 sites that you can easily log into and play around with, via OpenID:


By: Captain Half/Byte And The Funky Maeshrooms
Create a unique beat loop that sounds just like you, then wear it anywhere on and off the web.

A soundbagde is a gravatar like widget, only for sounds instead of graphics. The sounds are individually rendered, based on a personal questionaire.

View Team Profile |
Try It Out! (Voting Starts Wednesday)


By: Babaka
An app to connect different language speaking bloggers

View Team Profile |
Try It Out! (Voting Starts Wednesday)


By: Army Of Monkeys
"Let your impressions Linga"

The marketing description (a.k.a. nonsense):

Linga is a hypertext meta-universe in which we can all cavort and play. Through the power of teh intertubes, and the the little truck-like links betwixt them, we provide c…

View Team Profile |
Try It Out! (Voting Starts Wednesday)


By: Gdynia Belfast
The joglog is a simple, motivating running log. It provides good feedback on your training, allowing you to track dates, times, distances and many other parameters.

You may login as test:test to see real running data.

View Team Profile |
Try It Out! (Voting Starts Wednesday)


By: Skype Smilies
In haiku:

hey, our band just got \
a gig at a local stage \
let’s sell some tickets \


In iambic pentameter:

This weekend we’ve been working ’round the clock \
to make this app functional and complete \
Now as our labor com…

View Team Profile |
Try It Out! (Voting Starts Wednesday)


By: Self Grasping Robots
online photo editor and imageboard

View Team Profile |
Try It Out! (Voting Starts Wednesday)


By: Sexy Migrations
A site to collect together all those funny snippets people come accross on the web, and integrate them in to email .sigs, and other places.

Your ratings are searchable so you can use your highest rated snippets automatically on the site or via rss

View Team Profile |
Try It Out! (Voting Starts Wednesday)


By: Team Integral
Nourish allows users to create and track well designed, RSS driven newsletters. Publishers can mash-up more than one feed, specify timed delivery, and customize the email templates to make simple RSS-driven newsletters.

View Team Profile |
Try It Out! (Voting Starts Wednesday)


By: Team O19s
Send your fish swimming through the waters of your favorite social network, or the internet at large! Don’t like what your fish finds? Tweak it’s genetic code!

View Team Profile |
Try It Out! (Voting Starts Wednesday)


By: Team Agador Sparticus
Writing tool that helps you write research papers. Lets you outline and structure your thoughts, then fill in the text. Keeps track of bibliographic information and helps to format everything properly at the end. Something like Scrivener, but hosted…

View Team Profile |
Try It Out! (Voting Starts Wednesday)

Ruby Brigade

By: Paint It Red
rubybrigade.org will be a geographically aware registry of ruby user groups across the world.

View Team Profile |
Try It Out! (Voting Starts Wednesday)

(todo РJour de f̻te, Sake Bar (warehouse of Sake recipes), Irksome (irc log), Open Comic Book Database, PubBud, relocatr and Simplebucket)

Note: if your site is using OpenID but my script didn’t pick it, let me know below and I’ll add it.

Having suggested that OpenID is the answer to the 146 signups that are required for 146 applications, I actually think I’d be even cooler for RailsRumble (or any other competition) to have a single-signon mechanism, that once you signup, it tells all 146 apps to create you an account and log you in. THAT would be useful.

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29 Responses to “RailsRumble hates OpenID”

  1. Keith says:

    I was disappointed to see that you did not include docushare in your list!

    We don’t require ANY user account at all. You just type in your name and email address and upload a document. In fact, all the sharing and everything else in docushare doesn’t require user accounts either.

    Think writeboard minus a master owner account.

    Check it out at: http://docushare.railsrumble.com/

    We originally were going to do something with user accounts + The OpenID Plugin, but decided to do NO user accounts because it would be easier for reviewers to directly get at the meat of the site.

    Regards – Keith

  2. Ben says:

    Not all of them require logins… Mine (http://irksome.railsrumble.com/), for instance, doesn’t have authentication at all – besides its primary purpose of making IRC transcripts searchable, it’s got the added *ahem* benefit of anonymizing its users.

    Just at a glance, http://sakebar.railsrumble.com only requires you to register if you’re uploading; http://opencbdb.railsrumble.com/ looks to be pretty open to anyone; http://rubybrigade.org/ lets you browse and see events without registering…

  3. ambethia says:

    Our app also skips authentication; http://rubybrigade.org

    A single sign-on mechanism has the potential to limit how a team is going to architect their app, and probably get them shunned by judges if they choose not too or can’t use it. :)

  4. Dr Nic says:

    @ambethia [via] – cool, no authentication is a winner :) Added.

  5. Dr Nic says:

    @Keith [via] – hmm, I understand where your thinking is at.

    Yet, as a user I’m still faced with fields “Name” and “Email”.

    A logged in user wouldn’t need to fill these fields in each time, I guess. They’d just fill in Doc Title and File Location fields, and they’d be off and running.

  6. Keith says:

    You get a personalized link that’s emailed to you, so you never type that information in again.

  7. nap says:

    Nic, this is a GREAT idea for next year. Not sure why it didn’t occur to us earlier, but OpenID is a fantastic platform for a competition like this.

    As the planning and development of the event has progressed we’ve kept a running list of notes for ways to improve the competition next time around. This one ranks towards the top, I think.

    Thanks to everyone for their input and all the competitors for building such kickass applications. Keep your eye on the Rails Rumble blog for some upcoming announcements and the start of judging tomorrow!

  8. Dr Nic says:

    @nap [via] – its certainly not a blight on an awesome competition. Its one of those survival thoughts that come to mind when you’re faced with 146 apps.

    The next idea that comes to you after you’ve written all the scraping code, and a blog article just to prove a point, is “why didn’t I turn on an auto-form filling Firefox plugin?”. Damn, I should just do that… :)

  9. Aníbal says:

    SakeBar (http://sakebar.railsrumble.com/), the directory of user submitted Sake code snippets, follows the “Accountless Application ¿Pattern?” Actually there are many applications following the same approach, we tough on OpenID but we wanted to lower the barrier for usage even more, and I think this shows an interesting twist of the way web applications are tough.

  10. adamlindsay says:

    Our application (http://assets.railsrumble.com) is eventually going to target small corporations. We debated putting OpenID in and determined that it wasn’t right for our user base at this time. Maybe in the future it will make more sense.

  11. Sutto says:

    For me (site is in url :P ), it was one of those “didn’t think about it” ideas – Of course, with some applications your limited in how you handle registration etc. I.E. if you have notifications, it’s likely easier and more efficient to use Restful authentication do all the heavy lifting and to then modify that.

    Mind you, it’s probably easy to use OpenID as well (I honestly have no experience with it, seems cool in practice.)

    Next year, if they provide a library to authenticate a username, password and email and we then can build off that (e.g. get username / password and verify, have them fill in a few questions on login etc) then I think that would do a great deal to improve the situation.

  12. Dr Nic says:

    @Ben – thx for the list (sorry that your article was in moderation all day). I’ve added them to the update.

  13. relocatr, which i did with my teammate does not require any authentication, too.

    Oky, we’redoing email address validation, but that should not count. would you be so nice to add us to the list?

    seeing you at bratwurst on rails?

  14. Nathan says:

    Good point. We at Unhatched stubbed out Auth to the last minute and then just ran out of time. Hopefully when your list of “Railsrumble hates hand illustrated brain/chicken hybrids” we’ll be noted as a gold star exception.

  15. Nathan says:

    @Nathan [via] –

    oops – wrong url http://unhatched.railsrumble.com. You can login with demo/demo

  16. qbert72 says:

    I don’t know if you’d consider it better or worse than having to create another user account, but ours is a Facebook application. It’s also not feature-complete. The point was for us was more to kickstart our development than win the contests.

  17. qbert72 says:

    Ours = Jour de fête

    I think I goofed up my href in the previous comment…

  18. Dr Nic says:

    @qbert72 – its sad, but probably true – within Facebook, it is its own single-sign on, so that counts.

  19. Dr Nic says:

    @nathan – though unhatched come with demo/demo trial login details. Ultimately this allows people to easily play with your app, so that’s awesome too.

  20. jcnetdev says:

    Not all of them require user accounts. http://pubbud.railsrumble.com needs no login.

  21. Dr Nic says:

    @jcnetdev – absolutely true – but much harder to scrap “the absence of required login” :)

    PubBud looks awesome. Nice use of location by IP address (my guess).

    Added to list.

  22. Khang Toh says:

    Hey, don’t count us out, we do not need any account registration as well ;)


    Our app: http://simplebucket.com

  23. planetmcd says:

    Dr. Nic,
    I’m not a participant in RailsRuble, but this post I saw highlights my concerns, plus others that I hadn’t thought of.
    What is your take? could this e indicative of reasons openID not being used more liberally?

  24. Dr Nic says:

    @planetmcd – phishing can be an issue; myopenid.com addresses it by allowing users to upload a personal, secret photo. One that a phishing site wouldn’t be able to guess. So, this shared secret helps to identify if you have been redirected to a phished site.

    The other “issues with openid” seem to be in the list just to make the article a “list”. The problem with a “list” is that you feel the need to object to each one of them. Perhaps I will one day.

  25. Unfortunately there simply wasn’t time for our team (all two of us – the other two didn’t put any more effort into it than agreeing to participate).

    I use my OpenID wherever possible, and had it on the “if there’s time” list. But it wasn’t a priority because, well, how many of the judges can be expected to have an OpenID already?

  26. planetmcd says:

    Dr. Nic,
    Thanks for responding. I take your point about the nature of negative lists. The phishing issue is a concern, but an addressable one (as you point out, thanks, I didn’t know about that). My major concern is the privacy issue of having a readily traceable identity. Perhaps I’m overly paranoid, but just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean the NSA isn’t plotting to track everyone.

  27. Dr Nic says:

    @planetmcd – ahh, americans and their fears of privacy :) hehe

  28. NetManiac says:

    Well it looks like Rails Rumble site does not support OpenID for voting account :)

    As a Åšwierszcze team member (http://vote.railsrumble.com/teams/53/visit) I have to say, we just forget about OpenID. We had very rough start, first day was terrible ;) ) OpenID get lost somewhere