November 26, 2022

A flame about this high

I can’t even begin to describe the level of blinding frustration I’ve been soaking in today.

I was thinking on to the page a couple days ago about using Microsoft OneNote’s API to go back and forth between my own PKMS data store. Frankly, the more I thought about it the better an idea it seemed to be. I could programmatically create a wiki notebook in OneNote, then detect new and changed data both from home and from the notebook itself and sync the data back and forth.

Assuming I can get all the formatting stuff right, links between pages and such so that I can get a solid round-trip going, it would really do most of the things I want the mobile interface for a PKMS to do. Most of the “advanced” functionality can just sit in the back end and create static files for OneNote while I just fiddle about with any of a few different wiki interface gateways into the engine in the background.

So I figured today I’d write a simple little “Hello World” script that connected to OneNote and got, I don’t know, a list of pages. Just to prove the API worked. Then I’d build on that.

Yeah.

That was the plan.

It’s 9 hours later and I’ve got more conflicting information about the fucking security model, OAuth, tokens, tenants, certificates, proxied permissions, roles, access modes and all KINDS of byzantine fucking horseshit.

We’ve gotten to a point in software complexity now where SOMEone has written something to do just about anything. But it’s sealed away between 724 steps and layers of access control. It’s gotten to the point where service configuration itself has become the programming task and actual functionality takes a back seat.

It reminds me a fair bit of the J2EE phenomenon back in the day. The idea being that not only should you be reusing source code or compiled libraries, but you should be able to reuse run-time instantiated components.

Given that little blocks of code did all kinds of stuff, it became a configuration job to knit all those blocks together for an application. But because it was “configuration” and not “coding” (even though it absofuckinglutely was) it wasn’t implemented in anything like a sane programming language. Instead everything was codified in some XML dialect from hell (but I repeat myself.)

J2EE eventually collapsed under its own load, though I imagine there’s a bunch of nonsense still kicking around out there using it. There always is.

But I’ve been through a bunch of tutorials, quick starts, Microsoft guides and all MANNER of resources.

None of it is QUITE clear. None of it seems to start in the right place.

I wrote my first program in the late 70s. I’m no idiot. There’s ZERO excuse for this crap to be like this. It’s just “security mindedness” run amok, full reducto ad absurdam.

And maybe that’s really it. No one wanting to say “no” to the “this will make us safer” question.

I don’t know. I don’t care.

What I am going to do is buy a couple few books on these security models that the big cloud providers seem to all be jerking off over and make one good honest attempt to grok this shit from the ground up.

Failing that? I’m out. Maybe what I’ll do is sub out the work that sets things up. Maybe I’ll just fucking bail on the projects. Who fucking knows.

So if you’ll excuse me I’m gonna go find some resources and come up with a study schedule to inject as much of this fucking shit into my head as is inhumanly possible.

Hell, maybe I’ll find out I’m just going full “I’m mad because I’ve had a pot of espresso and I don’t already know all this stuff.”

But I seriously fucking doubt it.