Improving Aksesi usability – refactoring frontend

It’s been a week since the last post. In the following one, I’m going to summarize you what I’ve changed it the Aksesi since then. I decided to refactor some parts of the frontend application. Moreover, I managed to simplify installation and configuration process. The major part of integration is done “in the background” and a user does not have to care about it.

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Is mixed password secure?

When I came up with an idea of Aksesi project, I started to think about its security. First thought was that it will be as safe as HTTP(s) protocol is. Realizing it, I stopped any considerations. Three weeks later I realized that this solution will be very safe or, at least, safer than ordinary password usage.

In this post, I’m going to cover a few reasons why Aksesi will be safer than classic authentication which bases only on passwords consisting of characters.

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How I became enlightened – Aksesi as a proxy

At the last Friday’s afternoon, when I was doing housework, I came up with an idea about Aksesi’s development direction. It just appeared in my mind. Before I started this project I had only known that it will be an application that will allow to authenticate a user with gestures usage. After some time, I decided to support also characters and then I realized that it would be nice to have back-end service that will perform all computations.

In this post, I’m describing my idea with the majority of adopted conventions. I want to mention that this idea will probably change many times.

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Stop making those weird gestures, start typing!

I think that it is the best time to connect oldschool-boring password typing with new-fresh-visionary gesture recognition. I hope that connection like this is going to provide appropriate usability for boys and girls, old and young.

In the following post I’m going to describe how to adjust code created in the Handling user gestures post to use both characters and gestures. I will also describe how I resolved usability issues and how the application handles the backspace key usage.

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Handling user gestures

During the short planning session I decided that at first I should implement gestures handling in the front-end application. This feature will be developed with jQuery library.

There are a few strategies how to detect sequence of gestures. First one assumes that the application recognizes mouse movement and, basing on the time between each of the moves, is able to establish if a gesture drawing is completed. This solution has some limitations. The main one is a problem with splitting moves into separate ones. If a user moves a pointer to the top and backward, as preparation to the next gesture (due to e.g. screen resolution), then application won’t be able to recognize that the top-bottom move shouldn’t be treated as part of the password.

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