File API

File API Panel and Follow-Up Media BOF

Wednesday afternoon/evening (starting at 5:15), Andrew Morton (drewish) and I will be co-presenting The Future of Files and Media in Drupal 7, where we'll talk about the big changes to the File API from 6 to 7, and efforts to backport some of the functionality into 6. Following this, we'll segue into a BOF with Arthur Foelsche (arthurf), where we'll discuss some of the exciting things coming from the Media Sprint 2009. (In fact, he and I worked on the Media module some tonight, putting in some exciting md5 hashing to allow jQuery to communicate indirectly with Drupal about uploaded files without compromising security or speed).

See you then!

Media Code Sprint: Status Report One

As announced, we've begun the Media Code Sprint to put better media handling into Drupal core!

It's been a great time so far. In the morning, drewish compiled a file function guessing game (free beer!), and andreiashu took the bait and completed the first round with great feedback about how unusable the current state is.

Next, we've sat down and begun writing SimpleTests for the hook_file patch. This has been great fun for me personally; though drewish is an old hand at building tests, this is completely new for me. And to top it off, webchick, Queen of Drupal testing, dropped by our table and got involved!

Even the process of writing tests has been helpful; we found at least one case for validation that had been missed in the original patch, and drewish decided that file_scan_directory needed refactoring. (He's currently chasing other problems as well, and cursing about finding himself going down rabbit holes.)

There's more fun to be had for all! If you want a quick 15 minute task that everyone is qualified to do, go play the File API Function Guessing Game. If you want to do more, then ping me (aaronwinborn), drewish, or dopry at #drupal in IRC, or leave a comment here!

Future of Drupal FTP

On IRC, Károly Négyesi (better known as chx) asked me about the status of the Drupal FTP project. He was concerned that it stores FTP usernames and passwords, which could open up the possibility for security holes and malware if extended or used improperly. Additionally, one of its stated goals was as a possible means to automatically download and install modules on one's site, which is also a stated goal for the Plugin Manager Summer of Code project.

At first, I said that I would remove the project entirely, as I hadn't worked on it in over a year, and had no intention of continuing development in the near future. Even at that time, although I saw the possibility for using it to install modules on your site, I wasn't really that interested in pursuing that aspect, as I really didn't want to get into the security issues involved.

However, I decided to post to the Developer's list first, to get further feedback before removing the project. I had had a few queries regarding the project over the past year, and suspected that there might be some developers actually using it. Additionally, I wanted to find out if there were any compelling reasons to actually keep the module in the project repository.

Turns out to have been a good thing, it looks like. Not only are there a few people actually using the module, I was reminded of other efforts to use FTP with Drupal, most notably Media Mover and, of course, the upcoming Plugin Manager module.

Read on...

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The Society for Venturism has chosen me as the recipient of its charity for this year, to hopefully offer me cryonic preservation when the time comes. And this month, Longecity, an excellent forum for the discussion of issues related to extending the lifespan of humans, has offered up a matching grant of up to a thousand dollars to help out! So help out! Please.