Friday, March 23, 2007

More on documentation... or lack of it?

Funny that I mentioned in my last post about documentation (or the lack of it for some elements of the Rails)... it just came back to haunt me.

I want to encode some data, so naturally digest/sha1 seemed to be the natural starting place. It's already required as part of login_generator, a straight forward way to add users & passwords to your application (Note that this is on the Ruby On Rails wiki, and this page, although workable, suffers from the lack of wiki gardening mentioned in a previous post.)

Anyway, I started looking for documentation about the methods and operation for digest/sha1 -- so far no dice. It's not in the Rails API (didn't expect it to be there) and so far Googling the topic hasn't lead me to any sites that make the basics available. Yes, there are lots of comments about SHA1 scattered here and there, but nothing definitive.

Sure wish I could go to a place like Perl's CPAN and find all this stuff -- it must be out there somewhere, but finding it is a challenge so far.

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