SPUG: Too ignorant to know what to ask

Atom Powers atom.powers at gmail.com
Thu Feb 21 14:47:29 PST 2013

On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 2:27 PM, Andrew Sweger <andrew at sweger.net> wrote:

> I need to compose a question but I don't know enough about the subject
> matter to even know what to ask (or even of whom to ask it). I'm turning
> to you, my most trusted local source of technical knowledge, in the hope
> that I can get myself pointed in the right direction or make connections
> with the right people. As the subject is not really Perl-related, feel
> free to ignore this or respond privately (no need to turn this into an
> off-topic discussion).

For non-perl related questions the LOPSA (lopsa.org) group might be a
better resource for you. LOPSA has a local chapter called SASAG (sasag.org).
LOPSA is a world-wide group that would be a great resource for this kind of

>So, I want to give my customers a thing (let's

> call it a web browser plug-in) they can install that would show them an
> icon of their document right on the web page. They could double-click on
> the icon and, as if by magic, the document would open in their application
> of choice (i.e., MS Word). When they were done making changes and quit the
> application, the document would again, as if by magic, be transported back
> to the web server and safely stored in the "cloud".

> (Please note that SMB, CIFS, FTP, SFTP, SCP, NFS, AFS, BFP, ACKTHPPPT, and
> WEBDAV have all been ruled out as either not supporting encryption,
> involving more software to install, configure, and operate separately, or
> requiring yet another authentication silo.)
I was going to recommend WebDAV, but you seem to have ruled that out
already. The only other thing that I can think of that would fit /most/ of
your wants would be some kind of VPN, possibly an HTTPS VPN, that would
probably implement one of the above protocols inside the web browser.

> When I go looking for web browser plug-in developers, so far I am only
> finding people (or companies) that write plug-ins that do things strictly
> within the web page, like multi-media, graphics, sound, video, or look up
> the price for something on the page at your favorite other site. I need
> something that can break the security sandbox model (because the customer
> wants it that way) bridging the gap between the DOM, JavaScript, and the
> operating system shell.

I would think that breaking the sandbox model would be your biggest hurdle.
All modern browsers implement that very strongly for a very good reason.
You may end up with a non-browser application that somehow embeds itself
into the browser or implements browser-like functionality.

> Where does one look to find this kind of skill in particular? Does it have
> a special name? What targetted keywords will get me closer to what I need.
> What do I tell the recruiter to look for (they are the ones bringing me
> multi-media hackers)?

I'm sure some of my colleagues on the LOPSA lists can provide more insight.
I would recommend a .NET or Java application developer with web browser
development experience. Because of the sandbox model your typical "plugin
developer" probably won't know much about interacting with the local or
remote file system.

Perfection is just a word I use occasionally with mustard.
--Atom Powers--
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