Hacking on Ubuntu Single Sign-On

As most of you, who’ve used community projects like Loco Team Portal and Summit know, we use login.launchpad.net as our open id provider. I believe the future is to use login.ubuntu.com. It is more consitent in terms of design, and is the exact same code as login.launchpad.net but with different configuration and theme.

We have bugs for both the projects to switch to login.ubuntu.com, but it isn’t really easy because login.ubuntu.com configuration is actually more stricter. We can’t login from it locally, i.e., it will not pass on my credentials back to my app if I’m running my app on The ISD team suggested that I just run SSO locally and do my testing. After running Launchpad, what could be so hard right? Famous last words 😉

I fetched the source of SSO and started the bootstrap as the instructions said. It failed because some of the configs were in a private branch. With much hair-pulling, head-desking, and lots of help from David and Ricardo, I finally got it running last week. One of the main problems of doing this was the configuration for SSO are not stored in the ‘django way’ of things. It’s stored as .cfg files with some configglue magic. Configglue wasn’t originally open-sourced and thus the configs were private. The other problem was my inexperience with postgres 🙂

After configglue was open-sourced, the configs still sat in a private branch because nobody got around to fixing the bootstrap process, until last week. On Friday, Ricardo finally gave me the good news!. The bootstrap process is now fixed so that community members can actually run SSO without hair pulling. We can now easily work on doing the transition from login.launchpad.net to login.ubuntu.com

Landing with tarmac

I heard about Tarmac a few weeks ago when Shane mentioned it in one of his intern diary blog posts. At that point I didn’t actually look into it much since I thought it was something that’s internal to Canonical. Last week, Michael Hall told me about Tarmac again and how they use it to land branches. This time though, I could grasp what it was since it sounded to provide a functionality Launchpad’s PQM. Every time Tarmac is run, it checks for approved branches that are ready to land. If it finds that they satisfy the conditions (optional) that are defined in its config, it lands them. (It can do more, please read the documentation for that).

I’m now running Tarmac for both Loco Team Portal project and the Summit project The really cool commitmessage plugin allowed me to define how each commit should look. I’ve formatted it in a way easy to figure out how did the review and who authored the change, and which bugs it fixed. If you want to see how it looks like, checkout the last few commits for summit. I did find a bug in tarmac documentation for which I now submitted a merge request 🙂

Cleaning up the Planet

For a while I’ve noticed that Planet Ubuntu configurations are in a sort of mess. Officially, individuals who are Ubuntu members and some other organizations (more details) can post to the planet. But when someone’s membership expires, cleaning the config is a painful and tedious task. Additionally, there is also no way, other than manual, to verify if the folks with their feeds listed in the planet config file are people with Ubuntu membership. In this regard, I brought this matter up with the Community Council.

Cleaning up the Mess

The community council has decided that every feed would be ‘owned’ by an Ubuntu member whose launchpad ID should be in the nick field. This will help us run a script to check if all the ‘owners’ of the feeds are Ubuntu members. If there are team / organization feeds, an Ubuntu member should put their launchpad ID in the nick field and this individual would be responsible for the feeds of that team. Please note that its OK for an Ubuntu member to sponsor multiple feeds. That way a member of the community can be the sponsor for their own feed as well as an affiliated organisation or sub-project, like in the example below.

[http://feeds.feedburner.com/nigel-ubuntu] name = Nigel Babu face = nigelbabu.png nick = nigel  [http://ubuntuclassroom.wordpress.com/feed/?mrss=off] name = Ubuntu Classroom face = ubuntuclassroom.png nick = ubuntuclassroom 

In this example, I should be changing the nick for my feed to nick = nigelbabu since my Launchpad ID is nigelbabu. For the classroom feed, I should change nick = ubuntuclassroom to nick = nigelbabu since I’m an Ubuntu member part of the team and I’m willing to own that feed.

Blog moved and summit bitesize

I’ve moved my blog from wordpress.com to nigelb.me. I originally planned to run wordpress here too and export my posts from the old blog here. Unfortunately, that ran into problems. My VPS wouldn’t run nginx + php-cgi + mysql at the same time. Every time I tried, I would run out of memory. My first instinct was to increase the RAM, which I did. But, I looked for a better solution. My friend suggested Jekyll. In Jekyll, basically, the posts are written in markup and then converted to HTML files. That got me interested, I could eleminate php and mysql out of the picture. That’s a lot of memory saved to do other things. It took me a fair few number of hours to set everything up. But I’m very happy with the security (no admin panel really) and I’ve used git hooks so I write a blog post on my computer and push to the repository, which updates the live site. Awesome and geeky. With a bit of effort, I’ve gotten RSS feeds and comments working too.

Now, the other thing about summit. If you’ve ever participated in a UDS, you probably know summit. You’ve probably griped about it a couple of times, haven’t you? 😉 Well, you should also know that summit is open-source and built on Python/Django. Right now, we’re looking for fresh blood to come and join us. We’ve fixed a bunch of bugs post-UDS and we’re looking for more people to join us in the fun. I’ve tagged a few bugs as bitesize. They are quite easy and if you need help setting up the environment and actually going about fixing the bug, please feel free to ping me (nigelb), Michael Hall (mhall119), or Chris Johnston (cjohnston) in #ubuntu-website on irc.freenode.net. If you’re a web developer who wants to contribute to community projects other than summit, please take a look at the Community Web Projects. I believe we have enough for everyone 🙂