On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 02:23:36PM -0500, 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
I think that trying to use Twitter as a messaging conduit is novel, but
I'm not sure it's really the right solution. (That said, the proposal
was an excellent way to get us proposing other ideas.)
For mobile clients, I think the idea of using native push-messaging is a
For non-mobile clients, I would argue that it's not quite our problem to
solve. As a system administrator, I feel like I'd either have set up
remote access functionality, or I'd be quite uncomfortable with the idea
of a tool sharing my data outside of the means I set up.
The more I think about this, though, the more I abstract 'Twitter' into
just any old message service hosted in the cloud. Much in the same way
the Audrey will launch a purpose-built config server in your cloud, we
could do the same with a notification service in the cloud if needed.
That way the data would remain (as much as anything else in the cloud)
in the user's control.
Though I still suspect that, although it's an interesting problem that
our customers may have, it's not directly related to our app. (By which
I mean that we should try to solve it in an app-agnostic way, not that
we should refuse to consider trying to solve it.) That is, how to make
$onsite_app accessible to users behind a firewall, especially in a way
that system and network employees would be on board with.