[foaf-dev] FOAF site fixes: Drupal updated (thanks scor!), Wiki despammed (thanks libby!), trust stuff

Dan Brickley danbri at danbri.org
Fri Oct 15 17:29:41 CEST 2010

Hi folks

Just a quick update on FOAF site practicalities.

As you might remember from
"FOAF site - unscheduled downtime" we had some spammer-related
trouble. This turned out to be relatively isolated to the Mediawiki
installation, http://lists.foaf-project.org/pipermail/foaf-dev/2010-September/010406.html
...  and to avoid further damage, Libby and I turned off the Wiki.

This morning Libby brought the Wiki back up and de-spammed it, and we
have implemented a more conservative editing policy: only registered
users who are in the "bureaucrat" admin group will get an 'edit'
button, for now.  Editing such a wiki should not be a hassle, but
contributors should also feel that their content is safe from being
trashed by spammers; it's a balancing act. Hopefully we can use this
as a practical testbed for FOAF-related trust ideas, and perhaps make
some collaborations with other public-facing projects whose wikis face
similar issues.

The "bureacrat'' users can be hand added, but there is also a rough
system in place for loading up lists of trusted OpenID-capable URIs,
as described in http://wiki.foaf-project.org/w/DanBri/MediawikiOpenid
and http://danbri.org/words/2009/10/25/504 ... currently it takes a
feed from my own blog, and 'trusts' each user that has had a comment
accepted there. This is not 100% safe of course, but it's better than
being wide open.

So - if you want to be able to edit the Wiki and can't, the first step
is to get set up with an OpenID. This should also work via WebID (i.e.
the FOAF+SSL protocol); any WebID can apparently be used with
http://openid4.me/ to give you an OpenID. We should probably make a
nice way of adding people by hand too, either from an RDFa FOAF page
or via identi.ca / twitter etc. Basically if any of you on this list
can engineer a handy list of trustable OpenIDs, then I can wire those
into a Mediawiki group. Currently these are all going in as
'bureacrat' users but the next step is probably to make a new group
for 'community' and give them edit powers but not the higher
bureacratic privileges. For now, if you want to edit the wiki and
can't, send me a mail Cc: libby too, and we'll get you in the right
Mediawiki group. Longer term, this should obviously be using machine
data feeds.

Also just FYI, Stéphane Corlosquet has kindly upgraded Drupal for us
on the main (and still fairly small) http://www.foaf-project.org/
wrapper site,
#foaf [16:00]  <scor> updated foaf-project-org to latest Drupal 6.19
...for now this is still in Drupal 6; at some point we will get to
play early-adopter with the Drupal 7 RDFa work (but not yet!).

There is plenty more to do, as ever, but this puts the basics back on
healthy track, while also opening up some possibilities for
syndicating trust data. If you have any lists of trustworthy OpenIDs
with interesting metadata about them, do let us know here!

Libby and I will meet again in IRC around this time next week (friday
euro-afternoon) to take stock of where we're up to. An ongoing concern
is high load on the EC2 server, which we think is mainly from sporadic
spam attacks, but needs more investigation.  There might also be some
modest downtime this week as I migrate us to a new EC2 instance, but
I'll let you know if that goes ahead.



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