My space in the world

Code is poetry

Posted by Sayak
July - 25 - 2012

Yesterday after a long head banging session with Ingo Malchow, we’re happy to release the first version of the Neverland UI for KDE Wikis (userbase.kde.orgtechbase.kde.org and community.kde.org). Being one of the most complex sites (both architecture and content wise), we realize that there are some loose ends that need to be tied up in the new interface, and we are working on them.

Neverland is a simple yet very powerful interface that is gradually becoming the face of all KDE websites. So far, off the top of my head, 10 KDE websites including the wikis are now serving a variant of the Neverland theme.

Ingo also updated UserBase to the latest MediaWiki release. So we now have a more solid website with our latest and greatest theme. More sites soon to join the Neverland family.

Posted by Sayak
July - 14 - 2012

Exactly one year back, we made KDE Forum IdentityEnabled™ (yeah, I like to add ™ to random stuff!). Now it is time to take it one step further. Thanks to Ben, Ingo, Tom and Emil, we have a powerful frontend for KDE Identity (codename Solena). So we had to do some minor adjustments to the forum to get back into the Identity league once Solena was rolled out. But the system implemented on the forum still had quite a few shortcomings:

  • We did allow the user can choose to login to the forum using Identity credentials, but the user had to manually click on a checkbox saying “Login using KDE Identity” in order to do that. Of course, we saved the state of the checkbox, but when I think of seamless integration, I imagine that the decision of which authentication system to use needn’t be made by the end user (openID logins are a different thing, there’s no username/password involved at all there, unlike SSO).
  • When logging in for the first time, the user had to go through a ‘link your accounts’ screen. Now since we couldn’t merge the forum DB and LDAP due to a lot of conflicts, we are stuck with two databases. On this link screen, the user could link it with an existing forum account (by keying in the credentials for that), or create a new local account (which was confusing. Why should John Doe create another account when he already created one on KDE Identity?).
  • We allowed the user to register on forum.kde.org — again giving way to confusion. We say that we support SSO, while we still give the user two different websites where he can register. That’s not SSO.

 

So what did we do? We designed this new workflow:

  • No “Login using identity” checkbox. We now use dual authentication (both DB and LDAP), so authenticate with any credential you want to on the same prompt.
  • We still have to keep the link screen, but we gave it a less confusing name, we changed its name to ‘display username’. We also removed unneeded fields like email and password from this screen as an Identity user will not really need a local password (and we can use his Identity email address). We also have an option for the user to choose an auto-generated username.
  • We disabled registration on forum.kde.org and redirected all registrations to KDE Identity.

 

We can describe the whole registration process functionally as follows:

  • User visits the forum and clicks on registration link
  • User registers on KDE Identity
  • Then he comes back to the login page (we’ll find a way soon to bring him back automatically)
  • User logs in with the account he just created
  • On the ‘display username’ prompt, if he is happy with the auto generated display username, he simply clicks on “Complete registration” without having to enter his password or email address.

 

We hope the new workflow will integrate the forum deeply with KDE Identity. If you come across any issues, please report it on Bugzilla for the component forum.kde.org.

Link to the official announcement: https://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=106886

Posted by Sayak
July - 7 - 2012

A few weeks back, Teo called out for volunteers to work on an application for managing the workflow during programs like Season of KDE (our own version of google-melange). After two weeks of intensive coding, we now have our very own application!

The application has been titled “KDE Students Program” (codename Pandora) and will be available at season.kde.org after a while. My primary aim was to make something that is not only easy to use, but easy to maintain. So what does it do?

  • It allows creation of multiple programs, with more than one active at one point of time.
  • It provides an option for users to sign up as a student or a mentor. A mentor application has to be approved by a SoC admin.
  • Students can submit one or more proposals. Approved mentors can select projects they want to mentor.
  • Once the student application deadline is hit, SoC admins will go through all proposals and accept/reject them.
  • Once the coding period starts, the mentors will then coordinate with their students.
  • Upon completion of the program, mentors will evaluate the students’ performance and mark them as passed/failed accordingly.

Program Home

Project Details

Submit a proposal

So as you see, the workflow is quite simple. Of course, there are quite a few other stuff that are available to SoC admins, but I won’t get into all that. The application is wired up our central login system KDE Identity and has been built on the Neverland UI.

If you wish to test and try to break the application, the source code is available here: projects.kde.org/season-kde-org
If you can’t / don’t want to install it locally, ping me on IRC (nick sayakb on #kde-www) and I’ll share a (private) link where you can test the application.

About Me

A son, brother and friend. Enjoys scripting and making small bits of apps here and there. Wants to conquer the world (well, who doesnt). A geek who has an obsession for ponies. Loves acoustic and wants to play guitar sitting on the Hollywood hill one day!

A Word About KDE

KDE is a versatile software compilation for all platforms. It is an intuitive and powerful desktop environment that focuses on finding innovative solutions to old and new problems, and creating a vibrant, open atmosphere for experimentation.

» http://www.kde.org