Category Archives: Uncategorized

FileSender space on Assembla phased out

Since we started FileSender back in 2009 we’ve used the Assembla platform to host all important data for the project in a central place: documentation, tickets, files, source code.

As of today the FileSender project space on assembla.com no longer exists. All existing data (wiki, tickets) has been captured and made available (read-only) on Github in a separate repository: https://github.com/filesender/assembla-export

We believe the data that still was on the Assembla space all pertained to version 1.x releases, which we are no longer maintaining. We will keep the old data on Github for historical reference. If there is anything you’re missing from the old Assembla space, please let us know on filesender-dev@filesender.org. If you believe it needs to be put on the current docs.filesender.org website, the fastest way forward is to create a markdown (.md) file with the content and submit it as a pull request.

Why the Assembla phase-out?

Those of you following the FileSender programme know we have been moving away from Assembla for quite some time. We moved the code from Assembla’s SVN to Github in September 2016. We then moved all version 2.0 documentation and the main project landing page to Github and publish both through github.io. s well and publish it through github.io on docs.filesender.org. and www.filesender.org. Last but not least we have been using the Github issue tracker for all v2.0 development since we moved the code.

Until recently there was no cost associated with keeping the old Assembla project space alive. Assembla changed this in August this year when they introduced their new subscription model where free spaces for open source projects were no longer an option. When this happened we decided to fast-track the shut down of our Assembla space. It served us well but it’s now time to move on.

FileSender 1.6.1 released!

We’re happy to announce that FileSender 1.6.1 is now available for download and in the FileSender package repositories.

This is a bugfix release correcting the Safari 9.0.x upload problem and a XSS-vulnerability in the admin page. It is recommended to update as soon as possible.

Changes since 1.6

  • Fix: upload problem with Safari 9.0.x (#1217)
  • Change: new HEAnet and UNINETT logo (#1218)
  • Security: escape PHP_SELF variable in admin page (#1240)

Download details

Documentation

https://www.assembla.com/spaces/file_sender/wiki/Documentation_v1-6

Upgrading from a previous (major) release

If you are upgrading from a previous (major) release be sure to read the important installation and upgrade notes:

 https://www.assembla.com/wiki/show/file_sender/Upgrade_notes

Feedback

Please use the filesender-dev mailinglist for feedback, bug reports and comments

 

 

 

Update FileSender roadmap: terasender, multi-file and file encryption

A summer update on the current roadmap for FileSender.  The next update is expected in the week of 22-25 July.

Next release: version 1.6 “TeraSender”

The next release is slated to be version 1.6 nicknamed “TeraSender”, leveraging the results of the FileSender TeraByte Challenge.  Release 1.6 will include:

  • significant upload speed improvement with new TeraSender upload module with upload speeds realistically enabling terabyte file sizes
  • improved MyFiles clearing the way for multi file transfers and changes in email flow
  • partial download support

As of this weekend code integration for the first beta is completed and a thorough work flow test cycle is now being planned.  After that test we expect to announce a release planning date for the first 1.6-beta.  You can track progress on the cardwall for tickets related to the 1.6 release.

We do expect a second beta with improved upload authentication handling and configurable CSS, tickets #905 Modify session validity check on upload to allow for very long uploads and #892 CSS Configurable.  These were postponed for the time being.  From previous releases we know it takes about 6 to 8 weeks to cycle from one beta to the next one.  Knowing we plan a 2nd beta the current dead line for a release candidate for the 1.6 release is 1 October.

Release 2.0: multi file with improved email flow options

UNINETT hired two summer students, Jack Kittridge and Vegard Polden, to work full time on FileSender for 2 months.  The project decided to use this opportunity to make a serious stab at support for multi-file transfers.  During the last month we’ve planned release 2.0, which we envision will be fully multi-file transfer capable: uploads, MyFiles, downloads and email receipts.  With email already being reworked it seems a good opportunity to include better user control of email receipts: we plan 5 email options that’ll allow a user control of email receipts, including the often asked for “stop spamming me” option.

After 3 weeks of work Jack and Vegard have made good progress prototyping all necessary functionality and most of what we envision looks to be possible.  We had a question mark with downloading multi-file transfers; there is no consensus across browser vendors for a fileWriter API like there is for the HTML5 fileReader API.  This lack of open standard support meant an alternative solution had to be found, we envisioned streaming zip download which now mostly works.    With the addition of 250 lines of code and no extra dependencies streaming all files into a single downloaded zip file is not a problem and it looks to work without a performance hit.  At the moment the resulting zip file refuses to be unzipped with the Mac archiver but this looks like a solvable problem.

The prototyping phase for multi-file is expected to last another 3 to 4 weeks after which we’ll start putting together the actual 2.0 release.  What we aim at is a rough and ready release 2.0 that we can then polish through a beta cycle during the remainder of 2013.

Close tracking of the progress of release 2.0:

2014: native browser-based file encryption and time stamping

We have functional prototypes for file encryption and for cryptographic time stamping.  Once the multi file release is sufficiently advanced we will use that as a basis to support native browser-based file encryption as well as an option to leverage FileSender as the user front-end for cryptograhpic time stamping.

The file encryption functionality will open up use cases for transfer of sensitive data: health research, HR data, sensitive research, personal data etc.  An ability to encrypt files of any size directly in a browser against zero per-user license cost is something we haven’t had before so who knows, it might help us bring encryption to the masses.

The cryptographic time stamping functionality we envision will enable a role for FileSender in protecting research data and protecting research ideas (draft publications).  A cryptographic time stamp proves a certain (collection of) file(s) existed at a certain point in time and hasn’t been changed since.  This type of proof is crucial if you want to re-use scientific data sets to validate scientific results, or to build new research on.  A cryptographic time stamp combined with the user’s identity is also very useful to prove a certain idea documented in a draft publication existed on a certain point in time.  In the world of competitive academic research such functionality ought to be good to have.

We expect to start work on integrating native browser based file encryption as well as time stamping in 2014 and will use the time until then to sharpen our vision and scope these new features.

Summer student working on standard usage reporting module

UNINETT has engaged a summer student, Vegard Polden, to work on a standard usage reporting module for FileSender.  We target this module to become part of the standard FileSender code base.  It should be ready in a usable form before the end of August.

It will feature an overview page with various standard graphs reporting over standard time periods.  Through the configuration file you will be able to indicate which graphs are of interest for your install, and whether they are public or for admins-only.  Should Vegard have enough time, we may be able to add an additional “formulate your own query” interface.  And for those of us who have to report numbers at the end of the year, it’ll show those.

The design includes a poller/anonimiser taking log entries from the FileSender log table, anonimising them and putting them in a usage statistics table.  This setup might in the future be leveraged to aggregate and compare statistics of various sites.  That would make it easier to judge the relative impact of new FileSender features and would help us guide our development effort.

You can track the progress on https://filesenderstats.uninett.no/.  Please note this is a development machine and its contents change continuously.  If you have feedback please share it on the filesender-dev@filesender.org mailinglist.

FileSender at NORDUnet 2011 conference!

Guido will deliver a talk about FileSender on the NORDUnet 2011 conference that is taking place this week in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The talk is tomorrow, Wednesday 8 June, 14:00-15:30 Iceland local time (GMT) in the Collaborative Tools session of the Services and Applications Track.

Details in the programme.

There will be a live videostream.

FileSender 1.0.1 released!

After a well attended session at the TNC 2011 in Prague on FileSender we’re happy to announce that FileSender 1.0.1 release is now available for download and in the FileSender package repositories.

Details at: http://www.assembla.com/spaces/file_sender/wiki/Download

This is mainly a bug fix release. Most notably it’ll allow for:

  •  a semi-colon to be used to separate To: addresses, making copy/paste easy for Outlook users
  •  use of SimpleSamlPHP 1.7+
  •  an experimental feature for a different way of handling email bounces and SPF

We also took the opportunity during this release cycle to create a new-and-improved Test Workflows wikipage which was used to test the 1.0.1 release but also will be used as a starting point for test automation for future releases.

http://www.assembla.com/spaces/file_sender/wiki/Test_Workflows

Many thanks to Chris for the bugfixes and Wendy for the testing including the workflows and as usual tell us if things are or aren’t as they should be (please use filesender-dev@filesender.org).

Xander, Jan and Guido