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[Im/Ex]portable User Prefs

posted by Krow on 07:28 AM December 31st, 2001   Printer-friendly   Email story
A user's preferences are stored for each site they visit, but the problem is that the only way for the USER to change their prefs is to go and play with HTML forms. The result that that users have to set new prefs for every site they visit.

I suggest that we come up with a document format which can represent user preferences. There's many formats out there -- slash hackers can just pick one best suited for their needs. Once we have a format which can represent prefs, have slash sites be able to EXPORT a user's current prefs. Then, the user has a copy of what they want, independent of any site's datbase. The next step is obviously to edit slash so that users can IMPORT prefs -- just paste/upload their document.

The import/export and even the data format raise questions about how to build the architecture such that site-unique prefs don't confuse other sites. However, I'm sure that with a little work we can solve that problem.

With this foundation, one can imagine all kinds of opportunities. Maybe users store their document on their own website, and the sites read it from a URL. Furthermore, users could tie that URL to the perl script which EXPORTS your slashdot.org prefs, and just have all of your little slashes sync to your slashdot.org profile.

I think its a solid concept, and hope that the slash crew or slash fans will take up this idea and run with it. What do you think?
--
The Musician

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Wow; I posted this over a year ago, and no comments or talk of it. Now it hits front page again... weird. Any thoughts on it now?

    -- The Musician (on /.)

  • (same thing happened to one of my postings)

    Gee, I think this is a brilliant idea. Now that slash comes with more and more personal settings like messaging, reason or people modifiers, it would be cool that / sites do "preference syndication" like that.
    There would be one site holding your actual prefs, and in other sites, just input the URL to your prefs file, and you're done.

    I hope others will react to your post.