Sneak preview: Foodle Contacts

In GÉANT Identity Federations, we’re working on designing a very simple and flexible cross-domain group exchange protocol; and Foodle will as usual be a place to showcase how this stuff work in real life.

To prepare Foodle for group interactions with other services, I’ve implemented Foodle Contacts – a simple interface for managing groups in Foodle,

Here is a sneak preview:

Identity Provider Selection UX: Moving selection of Feide institusion to the RP

When a RP offers a wide variety of login options, and Feide is one of them, a two-step Identity Discovery UX will fall natural for the technical architecgture. Multi-step discovery is not optimal, and I’ve done some research in ways to avoid that, and implemented a proof of concept within the DiscoJuice discovery service.

Today, I took the discovery UX showcase live on Foodle. When you now want to login to Foodle, you may select between norwegian institusions (that have subscribed for Foodle) along with institusions from other european countries.

For those of you that are not familiar with the norwegian architecture; an important element here is that the Feide operates a single IdP for all norwegian institusions, and there is a custom UI for selecting which institusion to login with at the IdP.

Foodle now may both read and write preferred organisations on Feide; although a inconsistency worth mentioning here is that if you have already successfully logged in with Feide using a specific organization that preference is stored with a higher priority than what Foodle is allowed to write; meaning that Foodle will not allow you to override that ‘preference’. If you want to test this nontheless; you may delete all your cookies at idp.feide.no to see how it works for other users.

Want to learn more about DiscoJuice? – Join my session at TNC2011, at May 17th.

Twitter – DiscoJuice – Foodle

2 years ago, I added twitter authentication to Foodle. Since then I have disabled the twitter support for a while – because I simply did not have a good scalable user experience for an increasing number of alternative login options.

Today, I re-enabled Twitter authentication on Foodle. I have also added support in DiscoJuice — the Embedded (and stand-alone) IdP Discovery Service that I’ve been working on lately; for multiple authentication protocols. Twitter is only one example of an alternative login provider.

One drawback with dealing with multiple alternative login options is that people tend to not be consistent with which provider to login to use. People with a user profile scattered across multiple IDs, becomes a problem not only for the user, but for other users that would like to invite the user.

Account linking sucks (from a user perspective) – but it is neccessary. I’ll try to come up with ideas of more humane account linking, before implementing it.

DiscoJuice: Next Generation IdP Discovery Service

I’m happy to announce that I’ve put into production a new Discovery Service.

The Discovery Service is named DiscoJuice, and it is entirely written in JavaScript, and it is super simple to load on a SP, compatible with all programming languages (as it lives in the html template). It is also independent of SAML SP, which means it can be used with shib, simplesaml or whatever.

Some of the features include:

  • icons, keywords, name, description (Yes, please get started deploying MDUI!)
  • cookie storage
  • categorisation on country
  • discovery of user’s country
  • live search on name, description and keywords
  • magic read and write to national discovery services

I would rather not give you more details, as it would ruin my presentation on TNC2011.

Instead, feel free to test the discovery service at:

and the stand alone version at:

I’m hoping feedback from you that might help me in providing an even better user experience .

Foodle Updates

Here is a summary of new features recently added to Foodle. Most of these features are preparations for two important new concepts that will play an important role in Foodle development this year:

  • Group awareness; a group of people working together should be able to work with Foodle in a effective way, without having to redefine a group defined elsewhere.
  • Calendaring integration; Foodle should be aware of your calendar, and your calendar should be aware of new events that are setup through Foodle.

Associate date and time with a Foodle

Foodle already supports the flow when you do not know the date and time, and it helps you out choosing the best time slot.

But Foodle is also very often used for invitation to events that have a fixed date and time. Until know, the time and date have been typed in clear text in the description field.

Now Foodle allows you to associate a Foodle with a specific time:

Off course with full timezone support!

Foodles with a date and time supports iCalendar

Foodles that have a fixed date, get a date and time box in the upper right corner, like this:

Notice here that the user may download an iCalendar file, getting the event right into the users calendar.

Fix the date for a meeting!

As mentioned, Foodle supports the flow of choosing the best time slot. But, from then on, you have been on your own.

Now, Foodle got a user interface for Selecting one of the suggested time slots for an event or meeting. When you select a column in your Foodle, you get the chance to add an agenda for the meeting to the description field, and do small adjustments to the date and time.

When you hit save, the Foodle swaps into a new state, where participants are not longer asked to respond with preferred time slots, but instead confirm whether or not they would attend the meeting that have a specified date and time.

The all responses tab will keep track of all confirmed responders.

User profiles

You now got a user profile on Foodle, and you may setup your preferences on time zone, review your user data, etc.

Notifications

According to your preferences stored in your user profile, you will now be able to get notifications when you respond to a foodle, when you create a new foodle, and a daily update when other users respond to one of the Foodles that you have created:

Extra column fields

When setting up a new Foodle, you may select to populate the Foodle with three additional columns:

The columns will then be populated from the user’s profile, and shown together with the response of the user:

Speed speed speed

Foodl.org was really slow, and we’re sorry about that. We’ve added php-apc caching, timezone caching, calendar freebusy caching, and also done some other minor performance improvments.

Delete

Late is better than never. You can now finally delete all the test Foodle-s you made that messes up your frontpage.

Timezone planner

When you create a new Foodle, you’ll notice the new option called timezoneplanner.

The timezoneplanner results in a Foodle with 24 time slots, and allow each participant to select which times are most suitable. The time entries is not associated with a date. The use case triggering this functionality is having multiple participants from multiple time zones and you want to find the best spot for meetings throughout the 24 hours of a day.

Yes/No/Maybe

Yes / No / Maybe

Often users would not say yes or no to a time slot, but instead may be. Answering may be results in a yellow box, and indicates uncertainity.

The Yes / No / Maybe functionality will be turned on automatically for time-based foodles, but you may also override the default setting in the advanced pane:

Entering a Foodle that supports Yes / No / Maybe will look very much a serie of traffic lights 🙂

And the final list of responses will look like this:

Feedback

All these new features probably introduces some new bugs. Please let me know as soon as possible if you find some, allowing me to fix them before they bother too many.

Foodle Embed API

Have you ever wanted to embed an automated summary of a Foodle on your web site, with a link for users to respond to the Foodle?

Is has been possible for quite a while, but the end-user documentation did not touch surface until now. When you create a Foodle, you get a separate tab named Distribute. There you will find instructions like the one below:

Feedback wanted! Please feedback through the support pages. You may also contribute with translating this text to your own language using the translation portal.

New Discovery UI on Foodle – help me test it!

I’ve done some updates to the user interface for selecting which identity provider you would like to use to login.

Could you please go to:

and click on the login link. Foodle should be able to discover which country you are located in and automatically list the ones that are relevant.

The login UI also got cross-site memory, which means that other services where I adopt the same UI will remember what you have selected.

When you select a provider, the behaviour is not important. This test-SP is not properly configured to the hundreds of IdPs that is listed.

Please give me feedback; what is working, and what is not working. Any ideas of how to further improve? Problems in your browser/OS?

Here are some detailed background information:

Please give feedback here: