blogs.perl.org security breach

We regret to announce that blogs.perl.org was recently the subject of a data breach.

An attacker gained access to the database that runs the site, and was able to take a copy of all users’ hashed passwords. We’ve therefore cleared all users’ passwords as a precaution.

If you have an account on the site, you should have received an email telling you how to reset your password. If you haven’t received it soon, please let us know.

Even though the passwords were stored in a hashed form, rather than as plaintext, the blogging software we use (Movable Type) uses a relatively weak hashing algorithm, so the attacker may be able to determine your old password.

It is therefore very important that, if you used the same password on any system other than blogs.perl.org, you change the password you use there, too.

We apologise sincerely for the inconvenience this has caused our users, and for failing to live up to the trust that the Perl community has placed in us.

New feature: automatic post truncation

Good news, everyone!

As authors on this site, you no longer need to be diligent about breaking your posts out among the misleadingly-named “body” and “extended” tabs of the new-entry screen. From now on, the front page will automatically truncate posts at a certain length, whether or not you thought to designate a section to place above the jump.

As readers, some of you have complained of unwittingly uncooperative authors in the past. You can now rest easy – this irritation is forever banished to history, and the front page will henceforth always be easily scannable.

Either way, you can now relax and enjoy your stay a little better.

PS.: the logic places the threshold at 225 words, but the exact cut-off point depends on your markup.

Site Front Page

The front page of blogs.perl.org is like an advert for the Perl community. It reflects the diversity of interests that Perl programmers have. We should try to make it as attractive as possible.

If the first three posts on the front page are huge essays or massive code listings then the front page doesn't look very attractive. It looks far better if we post teaser extracts of posts to the front page and make them enticing enough to encourage people to click through to the full story.

New feature: front page pagination

Some of you may have noticed that the blogs.perl.org front page recently acquired a new “Page 2” link. This is a feature we’ve been wanting for quite some time, to help readers scan back through the thousands of entries our users have posted in the nearly three years we’ve been running.

As ever, we’d be delighted to hear about any problems you find with this (or any other aspect of the site), as well as your ideas for making the site better. Please get in touch with us, or raise a Github issue on blogs.perl.org.

The code that drives the pagination can also be found on Github, and we welcome your ideas, bug reports, and pull requests for that, too.

Job postings on blogs.perl.org

The question of what standing job postings have on blogs.perl.org has come up a few times over the lifetime of the site. We discussed it informally among the team, but in the interest of clarity for everyone, we wanted to set something down in writing. These are our rules of thumb:

  • In general, we welcome job postings put up by developers or other technical members of the team being recruited for. If you want to put up a job posting on this site, chances are high that you are in this group by default. Particularly if you have a say in the hiring process for the job, please feel entirely free to post.

  • If however you are a HR person or recruiter, may we suggest jobs.perl.org as an appropriate venue to you?

We do not have hard and fast rules for cases that fall outside these clear buckets. Use your judgement; above all, don’t be annoying.

If you really feel unsure about whether your job posting is OK, feel free to get in touch with us directly via email to contact@blogs.perl.org. (Please do not use the comments on this post for this purpose. Among other reasons, you may go unnoticed.)