Thursday, September 4, 2008

Password Gem: v1.2 Released

Around 11am I released v1.2 of password.

Here's why password exists:

Password-protection on my Twitter account, or Reddit, or del.icio.us, or for the love of God instructables.com - what the hell were they thinking? - does absolutely nada for me personally, and wastes my valuable time every day, because there is always some stupid Web site demanding my password when it doesn't even need it for any useful purpose. This is especially true given that there's plenty of evidence that requiring unnecessary passwords hurts your business.

If you work in a large corporation, you're especially screwed. The password gremlins lurk everywhere, like roaches that can type - they change the network password every week, or the Exchange server password every three and a half hours except on Tuesday, etc., etc. Nobody should have to waste their time on that stuff.


password remains a handy weapon against the password gremlins. The only new feature in version 1.2 is a -? command-line flag, which allows you to grep.

For instance, maybe I don't remember if I stored my facebook password using password. I just do this:

password -? facebook

And if password has a listing for facebook, it simply says:

facebook

The reason it works this way is you may have several passwords matching a given string stored in password. I used to work for the Los Angeles Times, and if I do this:

password -? lat

I see a bunch of different "sites" I have passwords for.

lat_exchange
lat_svn
lat_wifi


It's also handy if you have more than one Facebook account or Myspace page.

public_facebook
friends_only_facebook
gay_sex_with_furries_facebook


I used a delayed post option to post this 12 hours after uploading to RubyForge (because I'm old-school like that), so by now it should have propagated to every server and you should just be able to do:

gem update password

Update:I don't like this syntax, but changing it requires more optparse-fu than I currently possess, and/or using a different library altogether, so instead I'm using this bash shell alias, which I recommend you use also:

alias password?="password -? $1"

Now instead of

password -? facebook

I just write

password? facebook