Dedication Samizdat 0.6.2 release is dedicated to the memory of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova, activists murdered in Moscow on January 19, 2009. What is Samizdat? Samizdat is a generic RDF-based engine for building collaboration and open publishing web sites. Samizdat provides users with means to cooperate and coordinate on all kinds of activities, including media activism, resource sharing, education and research, advocacy, and so on. Samizdat intends to promote values of freedom, openness, equality, and cooperation. Samizdat library includes four stand-alone modules that can be used outside the Samizdat engine: Cache (thread-safe time-limited object cache with flexible replacement policy), Storage (RDF storage over a relational database), Sanitize (whitelist XSS filter based on HTMLTidy and REXML), and Antispam (simple wiki spam filter). What's new in Samizdat 0.6.2? The most important part of this release is the long list of security improvements in various parts of Samizdat engine. Password encryption is now as strong as it gets, HTTPS now gets the emphasis it deserves, cross-site scripting protection has been tightened, and in general the engine is even more paranoid about user-submitted data than before. End users will be most interested in the integration with Flowplayer free Flash video player and the thumbnailing capabilities of the new image plugin. Both features are enabled by the new plugin mechanism, which, in addition to handling different content types, allows to add fancy member profile parameters and alternative access control schemes. Due to the number of security improvements in this release, it is highly recommended that all Samizdat installations update to this version. If you are not able to update your installation immediately, you should apply the following patches (applicable to vanilla Samizdat 0.6.1) at the first opportunity:  http://samizdat.nongnu.org/release-notes/sanitize-...  http://samizdat.nongnu.org/release-notes/sanitize-... Changes in more detail: - cross-site scripting fixes: several cases of unsanitized user-submitted HTML strings are fixed in this release; these vulnerabilities allowed attackers to perform cross-site scripting attacks by publishing specially crafted messages or user names (CVE-2009-0359) - passwords: over the past several years, multiple attacks on the MD5 hash function were demonstrated, making this algorithm less than optimal for password encryption; while Samizdat 0.6.2 still supports old MD5 passwords, all new passwords will use salted SHA-512; users of Samizdat sites are advised to update their passwords to take advantage of stronger password encryption - HTTPS logins: it is now possible to ensure that all authenticated access to a Samizdat site goes only over an encrypted HTTPS connection; comments in the https section of config.yaml explain how to make this work - plugins: the new plugin system allows to augment and customize various parts of Samizdat engine, including content rendering, member profile parameters, and access control - image thumbnails: new image plugin automatically generates and uses reduced versions of uploaded images with help of the RMagick library - Flowplayer: flowplayer plugin integrates this free Flash video player into Samizdat pages, allowing to display FLV and MP4/H.264 files inline in addition to the usual download link; as of this release, Flowplayer doesn't reliably work with free Flash plugins Gnash and SWFdec, more collaboration between these projects is needed to implement a fully free Flash video stack - GPL3: Samizdat license has been upgraded to the latest version of GPL and now reads: "You can distribute/modify this program under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 3 or later." - Mahoro: instead of relying on inconsistent and untrustworthy content type headers supplied by web browser, Samizdat now uses Mahoro bindings to libmagic library to determine real content type of the uploaded files - Sanitize: due to incompatibility of Tidy/DL bindings with the latest Ruby 1.8 releases, Sanitize now prefers to invoke tidy binary through a pipe instead of linking to a shared library; more Tidy errors are now handled and reported back to the user, single quote special character is now escaped as ' for compatibility with browsers that don't support XHTML 1.0 character entities (e.g. Internet Explorer) - member profile: member settings page is split into account, profile, and settings pages; settings page controls UI preferences available both to members and guests; profile page allows to edit public information about a member, such as full name (which is now optional) or occupation (enabled by the occupation profile plugin); account parameters such as password and email are edited on the account page - new translations: Japanese translation has been reviewed and corrected by a native speaker and is now enabled by default, bringing the count of supported languages up to 10 - documentation: several key aspects of Samizdat architecture are explained in new Dia diagrams and the LVEE'2008 presentation slides - other: exported RSS feeds now include item descriptions, tainted data handling is now more robust, more bugfixes and UI improvements How do I upgrade from Samizdat 0.6.1? First of all, make sure tidy binary (and not just libtidy shared library) is installed on your system. By default, sanitize.rb checks for /usr/bin/tidy or /usr/local/bin/tidy. On Debian 5.0/lenny or later, run `apt-get install tidy`. Debian 4.0/etch has an old Tidy version that doesn't support some of the options used in Samizdat 0.6.2, so you may need to install the backported Tidy package .  http://people.debian.org/~angdraug/tidy/ Since moderator list is now stored in database, you need to move your list of moderators from your yaml config to the database: CREATE TABLE Role (member INTEGER REFERENCES Member, role TEXT); CREATE INDEX Role_member_idx ON Role (member); GRANT INSERT, UPDATE, SELECT ON Role TO samizdat; INSERT INTO Role (member, role) SELECT id, 'moderator' FROM Member WHERE login IN ('moderator1', 'moderator2', ...); In the last line, replace ('moderator1', 'moderator2', ...) with your current moderator list, that can be produced by the following command line: grep moderators /etc/samizdat/sites/*|sed "s/, /', '/g" You will also need to update your Apache or Lighttpd configuration to make js/ directory visible via the Web server (see doc/examples/). Finally, if your access control configuration differs from Samizdat default (e.g. guests are allowed to post), see defaults.yaml on how role plugin is configured. Where to get it? Project page: http://samizdat.nongnu.org/ Download: http://savannah.nongnu.org/download/samizdat/samiz... Debian package: apt-get install samizdat (http://packages.qa.debian.org/s/samizdat.html)
on 2009-02-12 16:00
on 2009-02-12 21:20
2009/2/12 Dmitry B. <firstname.lastname@example.org>: > Samizdat 0.6.2 release is dedicated to the memory of Stanislav Markelov and > Anastasia Baburova, activists murdered in Moscow on January 19, 2009. > (...) Hi Dmitry, nice to read from you again. We once met in Karlsruhe a couple of years ago, where you talked about Samizdat at EuRuKo. I always liked your reasoning for the name Samizdat, and now also the dedication of the new release. Unfortunately I don't have anything to do with RDF, so can't say more to Samizdat itself. Regards, Pit
on 2009-02-12 22:25
On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 9:18 PM, Pit C. <email@example.com> wrote: > Hi Dmitry, nice to read from you again. We once met in Karlsruhe a > couple of years ago, where you talked about Samizdat at EuRuKo. I > always liked your reasoning for the name Samizdat, and now also the > dedication of the new release. Unfortunately I don't have anything to > do with RDF, so can't say more to Samizdat itself. Hi Pit! Thanks for your support, much appreciated! I remember you from Karlsuhe, too :) It was a nice time, a shame actually that we couldn't establish EuRuKo as a regular event... You know, over the last years focus of Samizdat development shifted away from RDF and more towards open publishing. It still does RDF, and RDF code has become more advanced (and, by necessity, much more well-structured), but it has taken a back seat to things that matter in real world: security, usability, multimedia support, etc. If the prominent place RDF takes in Samizdat's description scares people off like that, I should probably rephrase it: Samizdat is no longer an RDF system that incidentally does open publishing, it's an open publishing system that happens to have RDF under the hood. I think that other standalone modules in Samizdat library, while small and single-purpose, deserve more attention than that scary RDF storage. For example, the story of the Sync#try_lock bug kind of proves that Samizdat Cache module is the most advanced Ruby object cache implementation out there (unless I'm missing something and there is a way to do thread-safe two-level locking without that API ;) I'm also quite proud of the Sanitize module: it might be comparatively slow due to invoking both Tidy and REXML, but it is small and elegant, making it easy to understand and to keep secure. With tools like that out there, who would need another HTML parser? The point is, Samizdat is more than an RDF engine. It has other bells and whistles that may just as interesting!
on 2009-02-13 12:59
On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 10:24 PM, Dmitry B. <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > a shame actually that we couldn't establish EuRuKo as a regular event... Heh, just noticed I'm a bit wrong about this, looks like it did pick up, after all! Now there's my chance for a soapbox ;-)