Announcing Torii 0.6.0

September 25th, 2015

Torii is an authentication library for Ember.js. Much of the motivation behind Torii is introduced in this blog post from last summer. Unlike the popular Devise gem for Rails, Torii attempts to do little by default. Instead, it focuses on providing useful primitives and a conventional authentication lifecycle.

Over the past year Torii has grown popular. We’ve started to learn what patterns work across many apps and which ones should be avoided.

Torii 0.6.0, with amazing help from many contributors, formalizes several of these best practices into features. These include:

  • OAuth 2.0 state support, securing applications from CSRF attack
  • Exposing torii and the opt-in session support as Ember services
  • Adding a test helper for stubbing session state
  • Introducing support for flagging routes as “authenticated” in Ember’s router DSL

Lastly we’ve worked quite hard to ensure Torii 0.6.0 is still compatible with Ember.js 1.12, and supports all versions up to the current 2.1 betas without raising deprecations. This makes Torii 0.6.x a good version to use when migrating to Ember 2.x.

In Torii 0.7.0 we’re aiming to ship two big changes: Porting Torii into a traditional Ember-CLI addon (this will likely mean the removal of Torii’s “globals” mode support), and an iframe flow the provides an alternative to the popups we use for OAuth today.

But let’s take a look at these 0.6.0 features in detail.

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Last month, I blogged about the initial release of Content-Kit. Content-Kit is a WYSIWYG editing library for the web, built with Bustle Labs. Instead of saving edited posts as HTML, Content-Kit saves posts as an easy-to-render Mobiledoc format. Since that post, we’ve been talking to some other parties interested in our early alpha-quality work.

Some of the feedback we got from developers looking into Content-Kit is:

  • The content they publish includes rich fragments that can take advantage of Mobiledoc’s cards API. This is often more important to them than real-time editing, for instance.
  • Their previous experiences with the quirks of Content Editable have made them eager to explore other alternatives.
  • They demand customization of the UI. Not only of button style and placement, but of inline experiences. One use-case was to allow Markdown-ish content entry (using ** to start bold markup), another was to display a drop-down of user handles when @ is entered.
  • At times, they want to limit how and what a user can edit in a post.

Our original suspicion was that Content-Kit needed to ship with an out-of-the-box ready-to-use UI in order to gain adoption. After these discussions it is clear no users are particularly excited about a stock user-interface, and most are very excited about increased programmatic control over the editor.

This marks a slight change in direction for Content-Kit. We plan to port much of the existing Content-Kit interface to an Ember Addon. Content-Kit itself should slowly lose UI features, and gain APIs for programmatic editing of a post.

Last week we started working with these new assumptions, and began fleshing out APIs. Let’s take a look.

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Bustle Labs is the tech team behind the editorial staff at Bustle, a fantastic feminist and women’s interest site. Early last year they started work on a WYSIWYG editing surface called Content-Kit. 201 Created has been helping to bring Content-Kit to completion this summer.

Content-Kit is a completely new approach to post and article editing.

  • It makes limited use of Content Editable, the siren-song of doomed web editor technologies.
  • Content-Kit is designed for rich content. We call these sections of an article “cards,” and implementing a new one doesn’t require an understanding of Content-Kit internals. Adding a new card take an afternoon, not several days.
  • Posts are serialized to a JSON payload called Mobiledoc instead of to HTML. Mobiledoc can be rendered for the web, mobile web, or, in theory, on any platform. Mobiledoc is portable and fast.

You can try pre-1.0 Content-Kit right now, or check out the 100% MIT licensed Content-Kit source code. The Mobiledoc DOM renderer and Mobiledoc HTML renderer are available.

Let’s talk about Content-Kit and Mobiledoc, and what remains for them to hit 1.0.

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