Your e-mail is your username

The 30-years-old unix pattern for user management involves a UserName, Password pair associated to a unicity constraint on the usernames. On most web applications, this pattern has been enriched as a triplet UserName, Password, Email with, usually, a two-fold unicity constraint both on usernames and on emails. But is there any good reason to distinguish e-mail from username? By looking at the major web players (Google, PayPal, Amazon …), the answer is negative without any doubt.

Antipatterns of Software engineering courses

I am very honored to be in charge of the Sofware engineering and distributed applications course at the Ecole normale superieure (ENS). This will be my first official teaching assignment, and I will be affected to brilliant Licence 3 students (it’s pretty tough to get through the entrance exam of the ENS). Software engineering is a difficult topic to teach. I have been browsing the web just to have an outlook at what people are usually doing in a software engineering course, and I must confess that I haven’t found anything very satisfying so far (although the MIT experience is definitively worth reading).

From RAD to test driven ASP.NET website

Both unit testing and R.A.D. (Rapid Application Development) impacted quite deeply my insights over software development. Yet, I have found that combining those two approaches within a single ASP.NET project is not that easy especially if you want to keep the best of both worlds. There are at least א (alef zero) methods to get the problem solved. Since my blog host does not provide yet that much disk storage, I will only describe here 2.

Over the Internet, your name is your personal trademark

I have been dealing with freelancers for various tasks (translations, graphists, development), and it’s still unbelievable that most freelancers do not pay any attention to maintain a consistant name in their communications. Let me clarify this point: I do not care to know of the exact legal name of any freelancer I am dealing with. But how can I even recognize the person if messages never get signed twice with same name?

Don't booby trap your ASP.Net Session state

The ASP.Net Session state is a pretty nice way to store (limited) amount of data on the server-side. I am not going to introduce the ASP.Net session itself in this post; you can refer to the previous link if you have no idea what I am talking about. Although many articles can be found over the web arguing that the major issue with the session state is scalability, don’t believe them!

Resx2Word, when simplistic is not enough

RESX files are great (and simple) containers of textual resources for your .Net/Asp.Net applications. It’s especially useful if you’re planning to translate your application into multiple languages (PeopleWords has been translated into 13 languages all textual content being put into RESX files). Yet, using Microsoft Visual Studio as a RESX file editor is quite an overkill solution for translators (whoses programming often equate zero since it’s not their job anyway).

Motivations behind the "PeopleWords free invitations"

I have just recently upgraded PeopleWords (online platform for the translation business). Among various small fixes and improvements, PeopleWords now provides free invitations for the translators. If you’re not familiar with the “invitation feature” of PeopleWords (it happens that some people are not), then just have a look at our white paper. In this post, I will explain the (commercial) motivations underlying this feature. I have already explained (see my previous post) that there is a strong imbalance of risks in freelance translation jobs.

Additional goodies from the blog spammers

An interesting thing about running a web application, it’s that people never cease to surprise you. I have already discussed the behavior of the scammers within PeopleWords. Now, I am encountering a new kind of annoying people: the blog spammers. Given that PeopleWords.com has no blog, there is no reason for blog spammers to get interested in Peoplewords, right? Wrong, PeopleWords has no blog, but blog spammers don’t care.

Scammers going global leveraging freelance services

In my previous post, I was discussing the various trust issues that are encountered when dealing with an online community. I was discussing some issues related to translation jobs sabotage by scammers. My point was the risks in freelance translation jobs are much higher on the customer side than on the translator side. The main argument was it’s hard to turn a small translation job into cash. Well, scammers have more imagination that I have, and it seems that this argument is partially wrong.

Building a safe community for online translation works

This article focuses on the various issues related to online trust for freelance translation jobs and the various solutions adopted by freelance websites in this domain. As for all online activities, trust is a difficult yet critical element to obtain. My personal experience in this domain comes from the management of the PeopleWords website. The naive approach: the rating system Most freelance websites provide a rating system for all users (PeopleWords is no exception, see [1]).