SpringNet v0.1.0 (Drupal 7.x) Release — initial module release for Drupal

Today we have released the first version of the SpringNet plugin for the Drupal 7.x Content Management System.

While a seemingly low version number — this module provides the full feature set of the WordPress plugin (Currently at v0.3.0) and enables a site powered off Drupal to connect and interact with the network in a way that shares consistency with the WordPress plugin. The services provided are the current core services (Bulletin, Organisation Profile and Certificates) and are integrated as seamlessly as possible into the Drupal way of doing things. There are two Content Blocks provided (widgets) that can be placed in the structure of a site: Latest Bulletins and Bulletin Explorer.

The module can be downloaded from our download page here.

The User Guide provides instructions for installing and configuring the module.

Posted December 9, 2016 2:19 pm by Charlie Fyvie-Gauld
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SpringNet v0.3.0 Release – Protocol update and bug fixes

This slightly delayed 3-week-cycle release is pretty boring and brings in the protocol changes that enables multiple responses to be combined effectively into a stream of responses, with a ‘service/multi’ header and an End of Transmission response code to complete the stream. This is technically a cleaner approach compared to using delimiters as it locks the size of a chunk to a size instead of a special sequence of characters used to end a response, thus allowing any sequence of characters to be in the chunk without having to escape them. It also makes the stream data format agnostic. This protocol update makes breaking changes to previous version of the plugin.

Also in this release is a small HTML5 canvas widget that displays the topology of the network. A couple of bug fixes to do with certain widgets using other widgets’  javascript so causing them to fail if the other widget is not loaded with them.

Posted November 15, 2016 2:26 pm by Charlie Fyvie-Gauld
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SpringNet v0.2.0 Release – Categories, Widget and more

This 3-week-cycle minor release makes the bulletin service more powerful by introducing categories. With categories, the bulletins can be rapidly sorted into relevant groups enabling a user to quickly find the information they need on the network within their area. As demonstrated on our frontpage, we can view all bulletins that provide information about events or services while filtering out the ones that we’re not interested in.

Included in the release is the widget `Explorer` that enables this category exploration. Neater interface changes mean clicking on a node URI automatically opens a popup with their profile.

Another addition to the system is the ability to get a node’s certificate with a given URI which can then be used to import into the keyring.  This feature is found under Keyring > Import. Finally, a pull request of a certificate can be made once it is signed, allowing distribution of updated certificates across the network. This feature can be found in Keyring > Certificate.

Note: Patch release 0.2.1 was made shortly after the 0.2.0 release which made a critical fix — the new Explorer widget lacked a public facing gateway, resulting in a situation where only administrators could us it. This has been fixed, along with a couple of minor styling issues.

Posted October 19, 2016 2:02 pm by springadmin
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SpringNet v0.1.2 Release

This out-of-cycle release is a patch to fix a problem with the update mechanism temporarily overwriting other plugin version information (change log, description etc.) when requested off the WordPress dashboard and leading to breakage in the Add Plugins section. The update mechanism now behaves as expected.

Minor alterations were changing the error banner order in the Settings > SpringNet > Node page so they reflected the order that configuration should be taken, and auto-setting the node_hostname option in the Network settings controller on a fresh install (or whenever it is blank) which helps supply information for configuration when it is available.

Posted October 6, 2016 2:40 pm by Charlie Fyvie-Gauld
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SpringNet v0.1.1 Release

This out-of-cycle release fixes a critical bug, a minor bug and a couple of changes and additions.

Fixes the critical bug in the certificate settings that would allow malformed or blank keys to be associated with the node in the database, which in turn would cause a failure of the key system. The problem is rectified and error messages have been added if this occurs.

Fixes a minor bug where the /key/ resource path in the certificate service did not point to the public key of the node. As per specs, this has been fixed.

Other notable addition is the ability for an administrator to reset the keys associated with the node. The license has been altered to GPLv3 since our other code is Apache 2.0 which doesn’t play well with GPLv2 (libre software legalities).

Posted September 30, 2016 10:06 am by Charlie Fyvie-Gauld
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SpringNet Initial Release

SpringNet enables a WordPress installation to run a node as a native plugin. This is a critical release and forms the simplest means of allowing a site to join the network: download and install the plugin, configure it through the WordPress settings page and you’re away. It has the same features as the stand-alone web software but is built as seamlessly as possible into WordPress, providing the familiar feel.

You can view more information in the User Guide.

It is the first public release (version 0.1.0) but is equivalent to version 0.9 of the stand-alone software in terms of functionality. This functionality has been tested on our development systems and is stable enough to use — we’re shifting ours over to this release. The version number will increase over time as we head toward a feature set that represents version 1.0.

 

Download: http://spring.care-connections.org/release/?package=wp-springnet

Posted September 28, 2016 9:37 am by Charlie Fyvie-Gauld

Web of Trust, Public Keys and Certificates

The latest version of the underlying node software has functionality for managing private and public keys and certificates for the nodes on the network.

This technology provides many useful things — including straight forward data encryption — but for this post we’ll look at trust models. Since the network is designed to avoid reliance on any one central point for it to continue working, we are harnessing tried-and-tested public key cryptography; more specifically the GnuPG implementation of the OpenPGP standard and the web-of-trust model which allows for a distributed trust network. Each node possesses a certificate that can be signed by other nodes on the network. This certificate provides the means of verifiable identification; the more other organisations on the network verify your node as belonging to your organisation and sign your nodes certificate the more weight that certificate holds as a means of identification on the network. In addition, since this is an open platform, it also allows the flexibility for groups of organisations to set up their own certificate authority within the network for their relevant nodes. For example, use of certain services could be restricted to only nodes that have a certificate with a particular signature.

The benefit of using the GnuPG technology is that the software it is freely available for almost all platforms. This means, if you wish, you can manage all your certificate signing completely offline.

Posted September 9, 2016 7:42 am by Charlie Fyvie-Gauld