+1, For me it sounds like a good approach. If there are no restrictions
from Twitter's side... I like it.
I might be little bit concerned about one thing:
Once Twitter changes their policy or somehow cuts us from using this
approach, we can't provide such feature anymore. And this means taking
something from users, what we already provided them. This definitely
will make whole bunch of users very angry and disappointed and we might
lose them. So maybe something like backup plan, if this case happens
that we can deal with that, might be sufficient.
On 31.1.2013 20:23, Angus Thomas wrote:
This is a problem which I've been thinking about in the context
Winged Monkey, but it is more generally applicable.
We want Winged Monkey to be available on people’s phones, tablets etc
so that they can see the state of running instances, receive
notifications whenever there’s an outage etc..
So long as the users are standing fairly near the server which is
running Winged Monkey, and can get wifi connectivity to the same
network that the server is on, then it’s all relatively simple.
However, as soon as users step outside the building, it all gets a bit
more complex. In order for the users’ phone to be able to connect over
the internet to the Winged Monkey server, then either the phone is
going to need to have a VPN connection, which is a significant
overhead, or the Winged Monkey server instance is going to have to be
directly accessible over the internet. A lot of the organisations
which are potential users of Winged Monkey wouldn’t be prepared to do
We could use a social network as a messaging conduit between the
Winged Monkey server and a client application on users’ phones.
For the rest of this mail, I’ll expand in this in the context of
Twitter. I don’t *think* this use would be a violation the Twitter’s
terms of service. ( https://twitter.com/tos
). There are several
public social networks which could serve the purpose...
So, here’s how this could work:
* The Winged Monkey server would register a Twitter account, with
* A user would install and run the Winged Monkey phone app. The first
run would also create a protected Twitter account, and when the user
authenticates, the two Twitter accounts start following each other.
* Thereafter Winged Monkey and the phone app use tweets to communicate
over the internet, sending instructions, status updates etc. as
strings up up to 140 characters. So long as both the server and the
client app poll frequently for new tweets, the responsiveness should
be acceptable to users.
Some of the benefits are:
* The communications are authenticated, with access permission which
can be very quickly revoked by unfollowing an account which is no
* The communications are also (moderately) secure, in the sense that
tweets from and between protected accounts aren’t generally readable.
* The timelines of the accounts constitute an audit history of events
etc.. It would be trivial to scrape that audit history from Twitter if
* The principle benefit, though, is that the requirement for the
Winged Monkey server to be directly accessible over the internet is
removed. So long as the Winged Monkey server can make a client
connection to Twitter.com
, stuff just works.
I’m not pretending that this is a flawless proposition, but I think
there’s enough of an idea here to want feedback. I’d love to hear a
better way to solve the problem.
Red Hat Czech s.r.o.
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