I did not write a blog post last week so I am combining both weeks into a single post.

Most of my time has been put into building the AngularJS authentidcation module. The hardest challenge with building this project is not knowing what needs to be done. I have to look at 5 similar modules and libraries (not even for AngularJS or JavaScript for that matter) that deal with user authentication and somehow integrate it all together, all while keeping the original goal in mind. My goal is to make client-side authentication simple by abstracting away all those details that deal with OAuth 2.0 and token-based authentication flow.

The biggest challenge for me so far has been decision-making, not coding. For example, when a user clicks on Sign in with Facebook should the library open a new popup, then send an accessToken from the popup back to the parent via postMessage or redirect to Facebook, then return back to the app similar to the server-side OAuth 2.0 flow? There is no clear answer on the Internet. Each method has its pros and cons. Even all the friends that I’ve asked were split roughly 50/50 on popup vs redirect approach.

Another big challenge for me is designing the API. There are so many different ways to configure your module and I have seen just about every approach by looking at other people’s source code. As I build this module I try to imagine what it’s like for someone using it for the very first time. By making sure it is simple and intuitive every step of the way I have spent many hours re-writing the same functionality in different ways. And if that’s not bad enough, I have spent the entire Thursday just thinking about aforementioned challenges and practically not writing any code.

I am super excited that Jesicca McKellar was able to visit Hacker School this summer yet again. We have met at PyCon 2014 during the book signing but never really had a 1-one-1 chat before. I would love to pair up with her and discuss API design best practices, the next project to work on at Hacker School and tips on giving technical talks. I will need the last bit especially for my upcoming AngularJS talk at Google next month!