pump.io

Social server with an ActivityStreams API

This project is maintained by pump.io contributors

Posts from 2017

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pump.io 5.0 beta released

I'm excited to announce that pump.io 5.0.0 is now officially in beta!

This is another big release and makes a wide variety of improvements. Here are some highlights from the changelog:

  • More complete documentation
  • Small improvements to the administrator experience
  • A better web UI, including some user experience polishing as well as an upgrade to more performant and better-licensed libraries
  • A fix for crashes related to "login with remote account" (although this one was backported in 4.1.1)
  • Significant security improvements in the systemd service shipped with the package
  • Lots of internal refactoring and simplification made possible by dropping Node 0.10/0.12 support

Many of these changes - particularly the systemd changes and the fact that (as previously announced) Node 0.10 and 0.12 are no longer supported - will require administrator intervention. Be sure to read our upgrade guide for details on how to deal with these changes.

All of these features add up to make pump.io 5.0 beta the most stable and secure release yet. As always, it will go through our beta period for about a month before being released as a fully stable version. If you try it out, the community would love to hear about it - and be sure to report any bugs you encounter!


pump.io 4.1 is out

pump.io 4.1 is out!

As usual, nothing much has changed since the beta release. This release includes:

Remember that with this release, Node 0.10 and Node 0.12 support is officially obsolete. This change paves the way for a lot of really important improvements, and in fact, we've already introduced a lot of changes that reduce technical debt. Note that since the beta announcement, Debian Stretch has been released, which ships Node 4 in main. You can read more about our Node.js support policy on our wiki.

Enjoy the new release, and remember to report any bugs!


Out now: pump.io 4.1 beta

Perhaps some of you were wondering where pump.io's 4.1 release was, since our release schedule says it should've been released at the beginning of this month?

Well, wonder no longer. This release was unfortunately delayed because of some big stuff in my personal life that got in the way of free software stuff (sorry!), but as of yesteray, pump.io 4.1 is officially in beta! Huzzah!

This was a relatively minor release, primarily improving some aspects of the web UI. Notably, the pump.io 4.1 beta includes support for Subresource Integrity, a web standard which will improve security for users on nodes with "noCDN": false in their pump.io configurations. A more complete list of changes is available in the change log.

As always, we advise caution when upgrading to beta releases. Please report any problems or bugs you encounter.

pump.io 4.1 beta is a drop-in replacement for pump.io 4.0.

First time contributors

I would like to specially thank the following people, who contributed to the pump.io project for the first time during this release cycle:

  • Camilo QS, who contributed a number of improvements to the web UI
  • @bio-boris, who implemented Subresource Integrity for the web UI
  • Ryan Riddle, who made the web UI proactively warn if the user was trying to sign up with a blacklisted/reserved username (like api or robots.txt)

Node.js 0.10 and 0.12 support ending

Finally, the stable release pump.io 4.1 will mark the end of pump.io's support for Node.js 0.10 and 0.12. These versions of Node are extremely old and are preventing us from making serious improvements to the codebase - you can see a list of these in issue #1234. Note that in particular we cannot simultaneously support Node 7 and Node 0.10 due to our browser unit testing library, Zombie.

With the exception of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CentOS, there are no major Linux distributions not shipping Node 4+ in some form. Most of them ship it out-of-the-box; the only one that does not is Debian. For our admins on Debian, Node 4 is available in jessie-backports and will become the officially supported version with the release of Debian Stretch (which is imminent). Plus, for all of these platforms, NodeSource offers binary packages for all major Node versions that can be installed and managed through the system package manager. We'll also soon be making a Docker image available, which will allow people to run pump.io on any Docker-capable host, regardless of what Node version is shipped with their distribution.

You can read more about our Node.js version support policy on our wiki.

Here's to another pump.io beta!


pump.io XSS security releases available

Well, apparently I forgot to make a blog post announcing that pump.io 4.0.0 stable is out. Surprise! Besides the version number it's the same as 4.0 beta 5 anyway.

What is not the same as 4.0 beta 5, however, is the security releases I've just published. A semver-major release went out within the past 6 months, so per our security support policy, we've released security patches for the past three stable releases:

  1. pump.io 4.0.0 has been updated to pump.io 4.0.1
  2. pump.io 3.0.2 has been updated to pump.io 3.0.3
  3. pump.io 2.1.1 has been updated to pump.io 2.1.2

So what exactly required these releases? Well, the library we use to prevent cross-site scripting, DOMPurify, released some security patches recently. While we could conceivably just tell pump.io users to rerun npm install -g to get the updated library, it seemed safer to issue patch releases that bumped the minimum version for DOMPurify and have people upgrade to those. This gives a 100% guarantee that pump.io users will be protected with the absolute latest DOMPurify version.

As with any security release, we encourage admins to upgrade ASAP. If you've already installed the 4.0 release via npm, that's great! That's our recommended configuration, and you'll be able to upgrade by issuing:

$ npm install -g pump.io@4

If you're still on the 3.x release series, you really should upgrade to 4.x, which contains significant work impacting security which was too big to go into a patch release (specifically, the upgrade to Express 4.x). But in the meantime, you can fix your XSS problems by running:

$ npm install -g pump.io@3

And something similar if you're on 2.1.x:

$ npm install -g pump.io@2

Though in this case it's even more urgent that you upgrade to 4.x.

Note that the above comands also assume you have an npm-based install, which we strongly recommend. If you have a source-based install, you will need to upgrade however you usually do - this will depend on how exactly you have pump.io set up.

As always, if you need help, get in touch with the community.


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.