About an hour ago we turned blogs.perl.org back on. There’s also a blog post where we explain what happened in a lot more detail.
If you have an account on the site then you will have received an email explaining what you need to do now. Basically, we’ve invalidated all of the passwords so you’ll need to ask the system for a new one.
Sorry again for the inconvenience. And huge thanks to the rest of the blogs.perl.org team (particularly Aaron Crane) for fixing this.
It seems that last night blogs.perl.org was hacked. I first became aware of it when someone pointed me at this story a few hours ago. As you’ll see, the contents of the mt_author table have been made public.
We’re still investigating the extent of the hack. But, as a precaution, we have configured the site so that all dynamic pages return a 404 response. This will, unfortunately, prevent you from logging on to the site.
We will publish more information when we have it.
Apologies for the inconvenience.
- As I said, the mt_author table was leaked
- This contains both your username and password
- The password is salted and encrypted (with crypt)
- If you use your blogs.perl.org password elsewhere, we strongly recommend that you change it
Here’s a cut-down version of the published data that includes only the name columns. Hopefully you can use this to work out whether or not you have an account on the system.
A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post about a Google Custom Search that I had set up to create a specialised search engine for Perl.
Recently I’ve revisited this idea. I’ve given the search engine its own subdomain and I’ve added some new sites to the list of sites that it covers. I’ve also given it a simplified look (thanks Bootstrap) and it’s now being hosted on Github pages.
It lives at http://search.perlhacks.com/. Please give it a try and let me know what you think.
If you were at YAPC::Europe this week you might well have seen Richard Jelinek’s talk about how to increase Perl’s popularity (update: the slides are here). As part of that talk he suggested that the Perl community needed to run more of its infrastructure using Perl and (amongst other examples) he mentioned a discussion he had with an unnamed Perl News administrator about why Perl News is run using WordPress (which is written in PHP).
I’m happy to admit that I’m the unnamed Perl News administrator. But I think that Richard’s report of our conversation omits a lot of the detail in the points I tried to make to him. So I’d like to take the time to clarify my thoughts on this. There are three points in particular that I’d like to make.
I have a lot of projects on the go. I should probably cut back a bit. Yes, I could start a project to create a WordPress clone in Perl, but that would mean that I would need to shelve a few other projects for some considerable time. The alternative is to quickly build Perl News using an existing tool. You know which option I chose. Of course, you’re free to disagree with me.
2/ Network Effects
Even if there was a capable WordPress replacement written in Perl I probably wouldn’t use it. You see, WordPress isn’t just the software. There’s also a huge community behind it. And that means that there are a huge number of themes and plugins available – with more being released all the time. Every time I want to add a feature to WordPress site, I just find the appropriate plugin and install it. Without that huge community, I would have to implement lots of stuff myself. Which would mean that either I’d be working on Perl News full-time or Perl News would be missing lots of features (for example the social networking hooks).
Don’t forget that I’m also involved in running blogs.perl.org. That runs on Movable Type (which is written in Perl). And have you seen the list of issues that we have with that site?
3/ Patches Welcome
Leo and I built Perl News because we thought it was a useful site for the Perl community to have. You can probably tell from the frequency of updates on the site that it’s not exactly a top priority for either of us. Personally, I’d be very happy if someone else took responsibility for it. So if you think that you can do better, or if you have a Perl system that you think could be used in place of WordPress without any removal of functionality, them please let us know. I’d be really happy to give you a dump of our database (so that you have all the existing stories) and update the DNS to point the domain at your server.
If it matters to you to have Perl web sites running on Perl code, then just go ahead and do it. I would be happy to see it happen. I just don’t have the time to do it myself.
Does Saint Pierre and Miquelon mean anything to you? It’s a small French-owned territory just off the coast of Newfoundland.
Why would this be of any interest on a Perl blog? Well, it’s a French territory with it’s own ccTLD. And that ccTLD is .pm.
Ever since Perl Mongers started we’ve looked longingly at that TLD, thinking how cool it would be to own a .pm domain. But domain registration in .pm is run by the French registry, AFNIC and for at least the last thirteen years they have refused all registrations under that domain. This made many Perl Mongers very sad.
But that is about to change. It appears that from 6th December, AFNIC are going to open registrations under a number of their previously suspended domains – including .pm. I think you’ll need to be in the EU in order to register a .pm domain, but I don’t think that will be a huge problem.
And it’s not just for Perl Monger groups. You’ll also be able to have domains for your favourite Perl modules too (or, at least, the ones without ‘::’ in their names).
Which .pm domains do you have your eye on? And what are you going to do with it.
Maybe one year we should have YAPC::NA in Saint Pierre and Miquelon and YAPC::EU in Poland.