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Apache OpenOffice Notice on Extensions

Since 2012 we at SourceForge have been proud partners of the Apache OpenOffice community. We’ve maintained both the Apache OpenOffice Extensions and Templates sites and made sure to spread the word about their latest news and developments.

It’s been reported that extensions that haven’t been updated in a while are displaying this warning message:

“This extension was not updated recently. It might not work with latest versions of OpenOffice.”

For registered users, there’s an additional message that allows them to contact the original author and apply to be a co-maintainer. As co-maintainer they can edit the extension description and create releases.

Improvements for Maintainers
Registration emails and password-related communications can now be delivered in the language of the user’s choice. For those willing to help with translations, .po files can be provided and if needed, localization files may also be uploaded to the Apache Pootle server so that existing translation teams can help.

Password recovery has been simplified to allow users to reset their passwords with just a simple link, and a more efficient anti-spam system has also been set up to improve handling by extension maintainers.

For more information on this and the new Apache OpenOffice sites, you can take a look at the official blog post. See you there!

SourceForge Hosted Projects to Participate in This Year’s Google Summer of Code

It’s an exciting time for open source as once again, Google Summer of Code brings together numerous open source organizations and students from all over the world. Google Summer of Code is an annual program that introduces students to open source software development through the course of the summer. Each student is paired with a mentor organization, and we’re proud to report that among the 180 open source projects chosen to be mentors this year, many of them are also SourceForge projects. These include but are not limited to:

ArchC – an architecture description language based on SystemC
Ascend – equation solving software for engineering system modeling
Blender – a free/open source 3D creation software
BRL-CAD – a powerful cross-platform constructive solid modeling system
Chapel – an emerging parallel programming language
Civicrm – web-based Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) software for non-profit and other civic-sector organizations
Gambit – software for analysis of game theory models
ModSecurity – an Open Sourced Web Application Firewall
Moodle – a learning management system designed to create personalized learning environments
MuseScore – free and open source music notation software for Windows, Mac and Linux
OpenCV – Open Source Computer Vision and Machine Learning Library
ScummVM – a cross-platform interpreter for many point-and-click adventure games
Strace – a diagnostic, debugging and instructional system call and signal delivery tracer
SymPy – Computer algebra system in Python
XWiki – generic platform for developing collaborative applications on the wiki paradigm

Also among the roster of mentor organizations is the Apache Software Foundation. This is the community behind Apache Allura, which powers all the developer tools on SourceForge.

The organizations were selected from more than 360 applicants, and over the course of the summer will be aiding students in contributing to open source. We applaud all of these projects for earning their role as mentors and wish them well with their endeavors.

Google Summer of Code will officially commence with mentoring on April 23, 2016. For more information visit https://summerofcode.withgoogle.com/

Lessons We Can Learn from the Linux Mint Hack

It’s been two weeks since the Linux Mint hacking incident was first reported. It was no doubt a major blow to the project but thankfully, the people behind it have pulled through and taken every measure to ensure this never happens again. It was certainly a learning experience for the developers of the distro, and for the rest of us as well.

So what can we all learn from this? A few things:

1. Anyone can be hacked.
In response to the generally negative views towards Mint and the hacking, many redditors have commented that this event was actually not that shocking. Many of them pointed out that if large companies like Sony experience being breached multiple times despite tight security, how much more distros like Mint? This is not to downplay the issue, but to inform the general public that it’s really a situation that can happen to anyone. Unlike Sony however, Mint had to deal with more negative press than they could handle, which brings us to the next lesson:

2. Manage your press.
Many Mint users agree that although the situation was bad, it received far more bad press than it should have, with plenty of vitriol along with it. It’s difficult to handle such things, but if the entire Linux community gave their full support and Mint had acknowledged and addressed the situation sooner, then perhaps the negative press would have been minimized. Unfortunately, this wasn’t entirely the case.

3. Always be aware.
According to Silviu Stahie of Softpedia, though the Linux Mint team claimed the hacking to be a recent event, they were already given a warning about it a month prior. On January 16 Pieter Vlasblom, a freelance Information Security Engineer and Developer informed the team of the breach via Twitter, and even had an image to prove it. But as we all know now, the team only publicly recognized the existence of hacked ISOs over a month later. Stahie suggests that this may be because the Mint team simply didn’t check their Twitter account often. This just goes to show that it pays to check on all sources of project-related information especially those served on a silver platter, like your own social media pages.

4. Strengthen security.
This is perhaps the most crucial and pertinent lesson of all. Although it started out as a small project, Mint undoubtedly became a very popular distribution. When distros reach this level of popularity it’s crucial for the developers to have the necessary security structures in place. There’s no room for compromise here, especially for a serious distribution like what Mint turned out to be.

Anything else you’ve learned from this series of unfortunate events? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

SourceForge Acquisition and Future Plans

At the end of January, SourceForge and Slashdot were sold to BIZX, LLC by DHI Group, Inc. As the new owners of two iconic sites, we are excited about the future and what we can do together. We’ve already started to take action, and are developing further plans for the site. We encourage your feedback to help us shape the future direction for the site.

Our first order of business was to terminate the “DevShare” program. As of last week, the DevShare program was completely eliminated. The DevShare program delivered installer bundles as part of the download for participating projects. We want to restore our reputation as a trusted home for open source software, and this was a clear first step towards that. We’re more interested in doing the right thing than making extra short-term profit. As we move forward, we will be focusing on the needs of our developers and visitors by building out site features and establishing community trust. Eliminating the DevShare program was just the first step of many more to come. Plans for the near future include full https support for both SourceForge and Slashdot, and a lot more changes we think developers and end-users will embrace.

Stay tuned for future announcements about how we’re making SourceForge better for everyone.

Logan Abbott

President

SourceForge Media, LLC

New Apache OpenOffice sites

Over the last fours years I’ve been lucky enough to be paid for volunteering for Apache OpenOffice, something I’ve personally shared on my own blog. And now, wearing my SourceForge hat, I am here to shine some light on the latest Apache OpenOffice developments.

Take a look at these new extension, template, administrative, and search options:

  • aooe_homeThe new extensions home has a strong focus on the search box, a brand new logo, and an overall redesigned look and feel, where all menu items have icons for better readability.

 

 

  • aoot_homeThe new templates home is similar to the Apache OpenOffice Extensions site, with a similar redesigned look and feel and different colors to highlight which application a given template can be applied to.

 

 

  • aooe_creationThe new administrative interface includes a navigation bar at the top for Extensions’ authors that links to the most common actions. We also improved the GUI, making it more intuitive for uploading extensions.

 

 

  • aooe_searchSearch has been completely redesigned too. It’s worth mentioning that there are other changes sprinkled here and there, including an alert for outdated extensions that provides an easy way to contact the original author.

 

Remember to be sociable and share the good news!