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iPhone App and WebAuth

Scotty Logan swl at
Sat Sep 17 16:05:03 PDT 2011

On Sep 17, 2011, at 1:22 PM, Aaron Masao Nagao wrote:
> Hello, my name is Aaron Nagao and I'm an app developer for the ASSU (Associated Students of Stanford University). I have limited development experience so I wanted to get some clarification on WebAuth's ProxyPass setup.
> I'm writing a native iPhone app, using a developer framework that allows me to write the app in HTML/Javascript yet still access the iPhone camera. I would like to use WebAuth to authenticate its users, as its intended audience is solely Stanford undergraduates (signing up for mailing lists at the Activities Fair).  From what I understand, this might be possible using a Proxy setup/Virtual Host (following the example at

You didn't really explain what the app does (other than signing up for mailing lists, which you could do with just a URL), so I'll make a few assumptions (please correct them where they're wrong):

1. You're using PhoneGap to wrap a basic webpage into a native app that has camera access
2. You're using the Stanford lists service ( )
3. The app will let users scan QR codes at activities booths, and then open up the signup page for that list
4. You don't want people to be able to sign up other people

If 2 is true, you can't stop 4 from happening - the signup page is not authenticated, because many lists have non-Stanford members.

If the first 3 assumptions are right, the easiest way to do this (and to not exclude users of other devices, like Androids), is to post a big sign with a short URL for a free iPhone QR code reader (e.g. ), then create the QR code for each booth so that it encodes the appropriate URL ( ).  iPhone users can install the QR code reader and use that to quickly reach the subscription page for each listt; Android users can use the QR code reader that comes preinstalled on their phone to do the same thing.

This approach has one big advantage over a new native app - there's no need to go through the app store approval process, which may not complete by September 30.

An even simpler approach, which requires no additional software installation on users' phones, is to have a mobile-friendly web page that allows users to pick a group from a list for more info, including the subscription URL.  It's as easy as adding jQuery Mobile ( ) to a simple web page (see )


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