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Drupal

Drupal 8 Nears Finish Line

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OSS
Drupal

After over four years of development, including missed deadlines on general availability, the open source Drupal 8 content management system (CMS) finally appears to be nearing the finish line.

Drupal, one of the world's most popular CMS technologies, is used by many high-profile organizations, notably Whitehouse.gov, the flagship website of the U.S. government. While Drupal founder Dries Buytaert in 2012 announced Drupal 8 would be generally available in December 2013, that date passed with no release.

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A developer replete with Drupal vim and vigor

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Interviews
Drupal

Web architect Cleaver Barnes makes websites do interesting and useful things, which is to say he focuses on the code more than the visuals. His first major use of open source was Linux in the mid-'90s. It allowed him to do things that weren't possible in Windows at the time. Since then he has worked building web apps with Java J2EE and other technologies.

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The current state of Drupal security

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Interviews
Drupal
Security

Greg Knaddison has worked for big consulting firms, boutique software firms, startups, professional service firms, and former Drupal Security Team leader. He is currently the director of Engineering at CARD.com and a Drupal Association advisory board member.

Michael Hess works with the University of Michigan School of Information and the UM Medical Center teaching three courses on content management platforms and overseeing the functionality of hundreds of campus websites. He serves in a consulting and development role for many other university departments and is the current Drupal Security Team leader. He also consults with BlueCross on large-scale medical research projects. Hess is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Information with a master's degree in information.

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How containers will shape the Drupal ecosystem

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Server
Drupal

I recently had the opportunity to interview David Strauss about how Pantheon uses containers to isolate many Drupal applications from development to production environments. His upcoming DrupalCon talk, PHP Containers at Scale: 5K Containers per Server, will give us an idea of the techniques for defining and configuring containers to get the most out of our infrastructure resources.

Having recently dove into the container realm myself, I wanted to learn from the experts about the challenges of managing containers in a production environment. Running millions of production containers related to Drupal, David is certainly an expert resource to ask about this subject. I look forward to learning more details at DrupalCon!

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Building better pages in Drupal with Paragraphs

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Interviews
Drupal

When you’re publishing anything online, the way you lay out your content can be as important as the content itself. A good layout can help readers better interact and consume that content.

Users of content management systems like Drupal have a number of options that allow them to create very attractive, very usable layouts. That’s one factor that drew Murray Woodman to Drupal. He co-founded Morpht, a Drupal-based web development shop in Sydney, Australia. He found that Drupal 6 provided a level of freedom and productivity, and hasn’t looked back.

One Drupal module for laying out pages that Woodman is keen on is Paragraphs. I caught up with Woodman ahead of his talk at DrupalCon 2015, and he kindly shared his insights into the Paragraphs module.

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Also: 4 tips for building a successful CMS

govCMS to release its own Drupal distribution

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Drupal

The government's govCMS project will make its own Drupal distribution publicly available for download, it announced today.

The distribution will be a fork of the aGov distribution, which was developed by local development shop PreviousNext and is the building block for govCMS sites.

aGov was released in 2013 after a beta period involving a number of federal and state government agencies. High profile end users include the NSW government's 'one stop shop' for services, Service NSW.

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Drupageddon: SQL Injection, Database Abstraction and Hundreds of Thousands of Web Sites

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Drupal
Security

On October 29, 2014, the Drupal Security Team released advisory identifier DRUPAL-PSA-2014-003. This advisory informed administrators of Drupal-based Web sites that all Drupal-based Web sites utilizing vulnerable versions of Drupal should be considered compromised if they were not patched/upgraded before 2300 UTC on October 15, 2014 (seven hours following the initial announcement of the vulnerability in SA-CORE-2014-005).

In the case of the Drupageddon vulnerability, the database abstraction layer provided by Drupal included a function called expandArguments that was used in order to expand arrays that provide arguments to SQL queries utilized in supporting the Drupal installation. Due to the way this function was written, supplying an array with keys (rather than an array with no keys) as input to the function could be used in order to perform an SQL injection attack.

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Git Success Stories and Tips from Drupal Core Committer Angie Byron

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Drupal

The Git revision control system is “at the center” of Drupal's hyper-collaborative community says Drupal core committer Angie Byron. The open source content management platform has 37,802 developers with Git commit access, and about 1,300 actively committing each month, she says.

“Git (was) the smartest/safest choice for our community, and a choice that definitely paid off,” said Byron, who is also the director of community development at Acquia.

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Higher ed finds increasing value in open source CMS options

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OSS
Drupal

"The university has since launched somewhere between 350 and 400 websites, all built on Drupal 7," writes Schaffhauser "While the CMS is centrally managed to keep the system updated, it grants individual colleges, programs and departments the flexibility to put up their own images, update text as they want, add and move site objects (themes, content types and Drupal "modules") and "essentially have a custom look with a managed system," [director of university Web services, Mark] Albert explained to Campus Technology.

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The Changing Cost of Open Source

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OSS
Drupal

At one time higher ed wanted community-built software because of the $0 price tag; now many universities are paying somebody else to keep open source projects moving forward.

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More in Tux Machines

LibreOffice Office Suite Celebrates 6 Years of Activity with LibreOffice 5.2.2

Today, September 29, 2016, Italo Vignoli from The Document Foundation informs Softpedia via an email announcement about the general availability of the first point release of the LibreOffice 5.2 open-source and cross-platform office suite. On September 28, the LibreOffice project celebrated its 6th anniversary, and what better way to celebrate than to push a new update of the popular open source and cross-platform office suite used by millions of computer users worldwide. Therefore, we would like to inform our readers about the general availability of LibreOffice 5.2.2, which comes just three weeks after the release of LibreOffice 5.2.1. "Just one day after the project 6th anniversary, The Document Foundation (TDF) announces the availability of LibreOffice 5.2.2, the second minor release of the LibreOffice 5.2 family," says Italo Vignoli. "LibreOffice 5.2.2, targeted at technology enthusiasts, early adopters and power users, provides a number of fixes over the major release announced in August." Read more

OSS Leftovers

  • But is it safe? Uncork a bottle of vintage open-source FUD
    Most of the open source questioners come from larger organisations. Banks very rarely pop up here, and governments have long been hip to using open source. Both have ancient, proprietary systems in place here and there that are finally crumbling to dust and need replacing fast. Their concerns are more oft around risk management and picking the right projects. It’s usually organisations whose business is dealing with actual three dimensional objects that ask about open source. Manufacturing, industrials, oil and gas, mining, and others who have typically looked at IT as, at best, a helper for their business rather than a core product enabler. These industries are witnessing the lighting fast injection of software into their products - that whole “Internet of Things” jag we keep hearing about. Companies here are being forced to look at both using open source in their products and shipping open source as part of their business. The technical and pricing requirements for IoT scale software is a perfect fit for open source, especially that pricing bit. On the other end - peddling open source themselves - companies that are looking to build and sell software-driven “platforms” are finding that partners and developers are not so keen to join closed source ecosystems. These two pulls create some weird clunking in the heads of management at these companies who aren’t used to working with a sandles and rainbow frame of mind. They have a scepticism born of their inexperience with open source. Let’s address some of their trepidation.
  • Real business innovation begins with open practices
    To business leaders, "open source" often sounds too altruistic—and altruism is in short supply on the average balance sheet. But using and contributing to open source makes hard-nosed business sense, particularly as a way of increasing innovation. Today's firms all face increased competition and dynamic markets. Yesterday's big bang can easily become today's cautionary tale. Strategically, the only viable response to this disruption is constantly striving to serve customers better through sustained and continuous innovation. But delivering innovation is hard; the key is to embrace open and collaborative innovation across organizational walls—open innovation. Open source communities' values and practices generate open innovation, and working in open source is a practical, pragmatic way of delivering innovation. To avoid the all-too-real risk of buzzword bingo we can consider two definitions of "innovation": creating value (that serves customer needs) to sell for a profit; or reducing what a firm pays for services.
  • This Week In Servo 79
    In the last week, we landed 96 PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories. Promise support has arrived in Servo, thanks to hard work by jdm, dati91, and mmatyas! This does not fully implement microtasks, but unblocks the uses of Promises in many places (e.g., the WebBluetooth test suite). Emilio rewrote the bindings generation code for rust-bindgen, dramatically improving the flow of the code and output generated when producing Rust bindings for C and C++ code. The TPAC WebBluetooth standards meeting talked a bit about the great progress by the team at the University of Szeged in the context of Servo.
  • Servo Web Engine Now Supports Promises, Continues Churning Along
    It's been nearly two months since last writing about Mozilla's Servo web layout engine (in early August, back when WebRender2 landed) but development has kept up and they continue enabling more features for this next-generation alternative to Gecko. The latest is that Servo now supports JavaScript promises. If you are unfamiliar with the promise support, see this guide. The latest Servo code has improvements around its Rust binding generator for C and C++ code plus other changes.
  • Riak TS for time series analysis at scale
    Until recently, doing time series analysis at scale was expensive and almost exclusively the domain of large enterprises. What made time series a hard and expensive problem to tackle? Until the advent of the NoSQL database, scaling up to meet increasing velocity and volumes of data generally meant scaling hardware vertically by adding CPUs, memory, or additional hard drives. When combined with database licensing models that charged per processor core, the cost of scaling was simply out of reach for most. Fortunately, the open source community is democratising large scale data analysis rapidly, and I am lucky enough to work at a company making contributions in this space. In my talk at All Things Open this year, I'll introduce Riak TS, a key-value database optimized to store and retrieve time series data for massive data sets, and demonstrate how to use it in conjunction with three other open source tools—Python, Pandas, and Jupyter—to build a completely open source time series analysis platform. And it doesn't take all that long.
  • Free Software Directory meeting recap for September 23rd, 2016

Security News

  • security things in Linux v4.5
  • Time to Kill Security Questions—or Answer Them With Lies
    The notion of using robust, random passwords has become all but mainstream—by now anyone with an inkling of security sense knows that “password1” and “1234567” aren’t doing them any favors. But even as password security improves, there’s something even more problematic that underlies them: security questions. Last week Yahoo revealed that it had been massively hacked, with at least 500 million of its users’ data compromised by state sponsored intruders. And included in the company’s list of breached data weren’t just the usual hashed passwords and email addresses, but the security questions and answers that victims had chosen as a backup means of resetting their passwords—supposedly secret information like your favorite place to vacation or the street you grew up on. Yahoo’s data debacle highlights how those innocuous-seeming questions remain a weak link in our online authentication systems. Ask the security community about security questions, and they’ll tell you that they should be abolished—and that until they are, you should never answer them honestly. From their dangerous guessability to the difficulty of changing them after a major breach like Yahoo’s, security questions have proven to be deeply inadequate as contingency mechanisms for passwords. They’re meant to be a reliable last-ditch recovery feature: Even if you forget a complicated password, the thinking goes, you won’t forget your mother’s maiden name or the city you were born in. But by relying on factual data that was never meant to be kept secret in the first place—web and social media searches can often reveal where someone grew up or what the make of their first car was—the approach puts accounts at risk. And since your first pet’s name never changes, your answers to security questions can be instantly compromised across many digital services if they are revealed through digital snooping or a data breach.
  • LibreSSL and the latest OpenSSL security advisory
    Just a quick note that LibreSSL is not impacted by either of the issues mentioned in the latest OpenSSL security advisory - both of the issues exist in code that was added to OpenSSL in the last release, which is not present in LibreSSL.
  • Record-breaking DDoS reportedly delivered by >145k hacked cameras
    Last week, security news site KrebsOnSecurity went dark for more than 24 hours following what was believed to be a record 620 gigabit-per-second denial of service attack brought on by an ensemble of routers, security cameras, or other so-called Internet of Things devices. Now, there's word of a similar attack on a French Web host that peaked at a staggering 1.1 terabits per second, more than 60 percent bigger. The attacks were first reported on September 19 by Octave Klaba, the founder and CTO of OVH. The first one reached 1.1 Tbps while a follow-on was 901 Gbps. Then, last Friday, he reported more attacks that were in the same almost incomprehensible range. He said the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks were delivered through a collection of hacked Internet-connected cameras and digital video recorders. With each one having the ability to bombard targets with 1 Mbps to 30 Mbps, he estimated the botnet had a capacity of 1.5 Tbps. On Monday, Klaba reported that more than 6,800 new cameras had joined the botnet and said further that over the previous 48 hours the hosting service was subjected to dozens of attacks, some ranging from 100 Gbps to 800 Gbps. On Wednesday, he said more than 15,000 new devices had participated in attacks over the past 48 hours.

Android Leftovers