I prefer to create my own authentication, but it adds an extra day or two
to my work load (tests take the most time). Although this time keeps
shrinking with every new app I start.

I don't like the feeling of installing a gem and then suddenly things work,
give or take some tweaks. That said, I can appreciate the convenience using
something like Devise brings.

Just wondering what seasoned Rails developers prefer. Do you still roll
your own or do you use gems like Devise? What's your criteria?

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  • Colin Law at Mar 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    On 14 March 2012 13:03, Mohamad El-Husseini wrote:
    I prefer to create my own authentication, but it adds an extra day or two to
    my work load (tests take the most time). Although this time keeps shrinking
    with every new app I start.
    If you have your own favourite technique then why not turn it into a
    gem and then you would have the best of both worlds. Authentication
    just the way you want it but with the advantage of just installing the
    gem and using it.

    Colin

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  • Peter Hickman at Mar 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm
    Unless you have some very specific issues that are not addressed by
    the likes of devise then to be honest I would say you are wasting your
    time writing your own. As an exercise I can understand, I've done it
    myself. But the problem is that you start with just a simple sign on
    system, then you need to add twitter or facebook sign on but your ego
    will be too big to allow you to throw away all this hard work you have
    put into the masterpiece of your loins so you add that feature, and
    the next and the next and the next... Finally you will have an
    abomination.

    Also having experience of things like devise will look good on your
    CV, having written your own will only receive the response of "why did
    you do that when there are several perfectly good tried and tested
    gems that will do it for you?"

    Just out of curiosity have you also written your own

    *) xml parser?
    *) json parser?
    *) database drivers?
    *) orm?
    *) templating system?
    *) web framework?
    *) date and time class?

    I mean how can you trust those gems that suddenly work just by
    installing them :)

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  • José Netto at Mar 14, 2012 at 2:18 pm
    Good point Peter!
    On Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 10:26 AM, Peter Hickman wrote:

    Unless you have some very specific issues that are not addressed by
    the likes of devise then to be honest I would say you are wasting your
    time writing your own. As an exercise I can understand, I've done it
    myself. But the problem is that you start with just a simple sign on
    system, then you need to add twitter or facebook sign on but your ego
    will be too big to allow you to throw away all this hard work you have
    put into the masterpiece of your loins so you add that feature, and
    the next and the next and the next... Finally you will have an
    abomination.

    Also having experience of things like devise will look good on your
    CV, having written your own will only receive the response of "why did
    you do that when there are several perfectly good tried and tested
    gems that will do it for you?"

    Just out of curiosity have you also written your own

    *) xml parser?
    *) json parser?
    *) database drivers?
    *) orm?
    *) templating system?
    *) web framework?
    *) date and time class?

    I mean how can you trust those gems that suddenly work just by
    installing them :)

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  • Mohamad El-Husseini at Mar 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm
    @Colin, not a bad idea, although I don't think I'm at the "write your own
    gem" level yet. Probably in a month or two.

    @Peter, good point, although I don't think it's so bad to write your own
    basic authentication then add something like OmniAuth if you require other
    authentication methods.

    On Wednesday, March 14, 2012 11:17:54 AM UTC-3, José Tiburcio Ribeiro Netto
    wrote:
    Good point Peter!

    On Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 10:26 AM, Peter Hickman <
    peterhickman386@googlemail.com> wrote:
    Unless you have some very specific issues that are not addressed by
    the likes of devise then to be honest I would say you are wasting your
    time writing your own. As an exercise I can understand, I've done it
    myself. But the problem is that you start with just a simple sign on
    system, then you need to add twitter or facebook sign on but your ego
    will be too big to allow you to throw away all this hard work you have
    put into the masterpiece of your loins so you add that feature, and
    the next and the next and the next... Finally you will have an
    abomination.

    Also having experience of things like devise will look good on your
    CV, having written your own will only receive the response of "why did
    you do that when there are several perfectly good tried and tested
    gems that will do it for you?"

    Just out of curiosity have you also written your own

    *) xml parser?
    *) json parser?
    *) database drivers?
    *) orm?
    *) templating system?
    *) web framework?
    *) date and time class?

    I mean how can you trust those gems that suddenly work just by
    installing them :)

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  • Peter Hickman at Mar 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    On 15 March 2012 12:43, Mohamad El-Husseini wrote:
    @Peter, good point, although I don't think it's so bad to write your own
    basic authentication then add something like OmniAuth if you require other
    authentication methods.
    Writing your own is a good thing to do, you get to learn about the
    sort of issues that have to be tackled and it is a real world problem
    that will be more satisfying than solving "towers of hanoi" and the
    like. The problem is recognising when to stop, each additional feature
    will probably be quite small and not look like a lot of work but over
    time they all pile up and the rest of the site starts to become
    entangled with the code which make replacing it very hard.

    It's something I've seen quite a lot so I try to avoid reinventing any
    wheel if I can help it. The pain I have had at work because of some
    code that has too much ego invested in it is virtually endless. I try
    to write the least code possible to do a job so that I can throw it
    away easily.

    Besides unless you are specifically writing an authentication and
    authorisation system then the time you spend on it is time not spent
    developing something that does not exist as a gem.

    For the record I have written my own tagging system because the gems
    that were available when I developed my site four years ago did not
    have the features that I wanted. So there are times when you have to.

    Peter

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