Now that the AWS tutorial is complete, people following it can get a Rutilus app hosted. They will see hits logged in the database if they add the prepared Observer code (that they get from the GitHub repo) to their web pages. But that's all they see. They see that a hit occurred on a given resource (where a resource is an article, etc) and what actions the user performed during that hit.

But now I've also documented the "hooks".

The hooks are CSS classes they add to their web pages to allow Rutilus grab more information from each hit. For example, the number of images or videos that were included in that resource, the number of Disqus comments that had been left at the time they visited, etc. They also allow the developer using Rutilus to inject data into hidden elements and place the hook classes on those to grab that data and copy it into the Rutilus database, alongside the resource or hit. An example of this is the user data, which might look like this:

<input type="hidden" class="rutilus-user-id" value="123" />

...where that 123 came from the developer's web app's database. For example, if people are registered on an e-commerce site, it would be the user ID for that registered user.

This is key to letting Rutilus work as a recommender engine, because now it knows who visited that resource, and it knows what resources similar users visited that this particular user has not yet visited. Voila. Recommendations.

With each hook documented (save for two I need to review with my team mate first), people who follow the AWS tutorial and want to carry it further my integrating it with their blog or CMS or e-commerce store etc can get started with that now.

Note: This was originally posted on the blog I used for my co-op term while at Seneca College ( before being imported here.