The past few weeks I’ve been coordinating a new release of the Fedora Account System(FAS). Since FAS is something used within Fedora but not a whole lot of other places, development is usually driven by a relatively small handful of people: Ricky Zhou, Mike Mcgrath, and I. This release saw a large number of other contributors which has been very good as the three of us have been increasingly pulled into other projects so our time for FAS has steadily decreased.
- Adam M. Dutko fixed several long standing bugs and feature requests
- Luis Bazán updated several pieces of the UI
- Sijis Aviles switched us from signing the CLA to the new FPCA
- Pierre-Yves Chibon created a new captcha to replace the universally hated one that we were employing
- Jun Chen added a means to clear a user’s ssh key
- Nick Bebout started the work of removing copyright phrase-ology that we no longer want to use (“All rights reserved”) and tracking down which people needed to agree that we could switch licenses from GPLv2-only to GPLv2-or-later
- Jim Lieb contributed code to make handling of languages easier and made FAS more configurable for use in other sites.
- and for the first time in several releases we coordinated our release with the Fedora Translation Team on transifex so that the translations they contributed could go out with the first release instead of when a subsequent bugfix was released.
So let’s take a brief tour of some of these new features.
Although we’ve been using transifex to manage translations for FAS for a while now, I hadn’t really understood how to leverage the full power of the Fedora Translation Team to get translations. Thanks to some prodding by pingou, I got in touch with the translation team this time around and arranged for a string freeze before release during which they worked hard to translate FAS into their native languages. Thanks to transifex, I can show you this nice graph of their hard work:
Clearing SSH Keys
When Fedora Infrastructure recently made the decision to invalidate public ssh keys because we had no way to tell which users might have hosted their ssh private keys on other projects servers which had been attacked and infiltrated, one of the options was for a user who didn’t actually need to use ssh to simply remove their ssh. Unfortunately, the web interface didn’t include the ability to do that so user’s who wanted to go this route had to contact one of the admins and have them remove it for them manually. Thanks to Jun Chen, users can now perform this step for themselves:
There have always been many times more accounts in FAS than there were active contributors to Fedora. In itself, this wasn’t a problem. However, at some point, spammers started signing their bots up for Fedora accounts as they found that with that, they could write to the Fedora Wiki. To combat this, we added a captcha to the signup process. However, we quickly found that the captcha we added was too hard. Many people came to us to complain that they could not answer the captcha successfully. Thanks to pingou, we have a new captcha which displays a simple math equation in a much less distorted image. Writing the correct answer to the equation is all you need to do.
These are just some of the more user visible changes. If you’re interested in the more behind the scenes changes (SELinux fixes from ricky, password strength checking, and more), check out the changes in FAS’s git repository.