pump.io

Social server with an ActivityStreams API

This project is maintained by pump.io contributors

Posts from 2017

Show only March April

pump.io 4.0 in beta

pump.io 4.0.0 is officially in beta! Whooo!

Highlights

This is a positively huge release, and I'm so excited to share it with the community. Some highlights:

  • Express 4.x - I wrote about the significance of this change here, but suffice to say that this significantly improves security, performance, and future maintainability
  • Performance and correctness improvements to the web UI's JavaScript
  • Better administrative experience, including the ability to specify configuration via environment variables
  • Better interoperability with the IndieWeb

Upgrading

The upgrade to Express 4.x and the improvements to configuration loading have the potential to break some existing pump.io installations, although 95% of installs should be completely unaffected. If you want to help test this beta, please set aside extra time as necessary to perform this upgrade - full documentation can be found on ReadTheDocs.

As always, this release will follow our normal release cycle, which means that the stable 4.0.0 release will go out in about a month.

Test days

Due to the complexity of this upgrade, we've decided to have some test days during the beta where we upgrade prominent nodes for a day, then downgrade them again. This will help expose problems earlier and make the upgrade smoother for everyone. So far Jason Self, who runs Datamost, has volunteered for this - if you're interested in joining him, please get in touch!

Happy hacking!


Dianara v1.3.7 released

A new version of Dianara, my desktop client for the Pump social network, has just been released. This will be the last of the 1.3.x series, and the last one to support Qt 4.

The image viewer

It’s another small release. The biggest change is the updated image viewer, which now supports zooming with the mouse/touchpad, and dragging the image around, as full-blown image viewers usually support ;)

If you want to build it with Qt 5.x, note that your system will need a Qt 5 build of the QOAuth library, which not all GNU/Linux distributions provide yet. Mageia 6 does, and so do Archlinux, openSUSE (in a separate repository) and Debian (in Experimental). If you have that, but experience problems building it this way, your QOAuth might be missing a feature file (.prf), like used to be the case in Debian.

Changelog

The changes since v1.3.6 are:

  • The image viewer now supports dragging the image around with the mouse, zooming with the wheel, and rotating animated images correctly.
  • Fixed case-insensitive sorting of contacts in auto-completion lists, when typing @ while creating a post. This means that “Person A” will appear next to “person b”, not after “Z-contact”.
  • Your server’s version will be shown in the log.

Express 4.x in pump.io core

So I thought I'd take a moment to announce that the upgrade from Express 2.x to Express 4.x is finally complete! I fixed up the last couple test failures last Wednesday, and the branch got merged on Thursday.

A long time coming

Believe it or not, the work to do this upgrade started almost an entire year ago. Express 2.x has been outdated and unmaintained for a long time now, so upgrading has been a high priority. However, it wasn't as simple as adjusting a version number - there were a staggering number of changes that needed to be made due to Express deprecating, removing, and changing things around. One of the most significant problems was the fact that the old template system that we used, utml, was not compatible with Express 3.x and above. That meant that we had to rewrite every single template into a modern language - an effort that resulted in over a thousand lines changed!

However, the time for Express 4.x has finally arrived. With that and some other trivial version bumps, I'm proud to announce that pump.io is fully up-to-date in terms of dependencies with only three, non-critical exceptions. Whooooo!

Immediate benefits

There are a lot of reasons this is immediately awesome:

  1. Express 4.x fixes significant performance problems that existed in Express 3.x
  2. Relatedly, Express 4.x fixes some security problems present in 3.x
  3. The fact that our dependencies are finally up-to-date means that we can (and do!) now make use of Greenkeeper and the Node Security Platform to automatically track dependencies to make sure they're up-to-date and not introducing security vulnerabilities

That last one is particularly significant. Greenkeeper and NSP will continuously monitor the project's dependencies and automate away a lot of the pain that's associated with keeping pump.io up-to-date. Everyone will get a more secure and stable codebase because of this setup.

Looking forward

The Express 4.x upgrade is a big change, and it's definitely possible that stuff has broken. We want to make sure that breakage doesn't make it into production. This change went into pump.io 4.0, which will go through our normal release cycle. That means it'll be in beta for a month before being released. As a part of that, Jason Self - who's kind enough to administer Datamost - has agreed to have a test day where Datamost upgrades to the beta for a day, then downgrade it again. This test day will give us much wider exposure than we would've gotten otherwise, which will be incredibly valuable feedback in the effort to identify and fix regressions. We haven't set a date yet, but if you'd like to join Jason in helping us find bugs, please get in touch with the community. We'd love your help.

Beyond the immediate release, though, there's still things to look forward to. Express 4.x gives us a better way to structure routing code, and a refactor to use this structure is planned. There's a lot of room for improvement. But really, the most important benefit is this: technical debt is a far less pressing issue than before. That means that we can shift focus and spend more time fixing user-facing bugs, adding useful features, and generally improving the experience for our users. I couldn't be more excited.