9 Mar 2007 robogato   » (Master)

Advogato Status Report

A new rev of mod_virgule went live yesterday on Advogato. See the changelog for the details.

With all the articles being posted lately, the need to edit an article to correct mistakes and typos resurfaced. The article code is a bit scary and looks way overdue for a complete rewrite. But until then, I've added one more kludge to allow editing. Articles are now editable by the author for a period of 30 days after they're posted. (If you can't fix your typos in 30 days, you probably never will!) Articles that have been edited will include a revision date in the article header.

Otherwise, mostly small changes this time around. The much maligned certification dialog text inherited from robots.net has been toned down to something more minimal. I made a few very minor security enhancements to the new accounts page. A CSS clear:both style was added to the recentlog post headers. This fixes the bug that allowed floated images in a post to overlap the next post. I've migrated a few more pages to the new header style.

I made a few minor tweaks to the profile pages to help control bandwidth wastage and security problems. Untrusted users no longer have RSS feeds or FOAF RDF support on their user profiles. This is to prevent abuse by spammers but will also help cut down on bandwidth slightly. The biggest change is that RSS feeds don't exist until an account has at least one diary entry. This removes about 9,000 RSS feeds that were empty (but still being checked several times an hour by a hundred different aggregators).

I've banned a misbehaving web robot, named VoilaBot, used by a French search engine. Despite retrieving our robots.txt file several thousand times per day, it appears to ignore it. This robot was using gigabits of our bandwidth (up to 10% of the total so far this month). We get no inbound traffic from this search engine in return (which isn't suprising since Advogato isn't a French language site).

I've also banned several other robots that appeared to be harvesting email addresses for spammers. One of these had an agent string only one character different than pipeman's XML-RPC client. A typo on my part blocked him for a few hours. Sorry about that.

Google Summer of Code Mentor Application

I filed a mentor application in Advogato's name for the 2007 Google Summer of Code. If Google accepts it, I'm hoping maybe we can recruit a student or two to help with some of the mod_virgule work.

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New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!