Corporate blogs upgraded to WP 3.0

After all single-instance WordPress blogs were upgraded in the past nights, today we have upgraded the WPMU blogs collection to the latest release of WordPress.
The most significative advantage of this major release is that the multi-user and the single-instance versions of WordPress has been finally merged. The upgrade process has been divided in two steps: at first, we checked on a dedicated WP 3.0 installation that all themes, plugins and WPMU plugins were working well with the new release, then the production instance of WPMU was definitely migrated. With a bit of care (read the post “Upgrading WordPress MU 2.9.2 to WordPress 3.0“), all worked well at the first shot, without any issue.

Even if WordPress is working pretty well for our publishing needs, I’m still committed to migrate all corporate blogs to Drupal as soon as possible, because its architecture is much more clean than WP’s one, and because it’s the foundation of several web apps we are deploying both for us and our customers. But I know that the time I’ll be able to allocate to this activity is less than what I need to work it out… ūüôĀ

wpDirAuth versions

I’ve just read the “wpDirAuth-Versionen” post written in Dutch by Damian, who wish to have it published in English too. I do not know very much about Dutch neither English, but I think he had done a great job for the WordPress community, since this plugin has a tremendous impact on the usage of WordPress in the business environment, and I’m glad to post a translation of his article here.

wpDirAuth is a useful plugin to create WordPress user accounts connected to an LDAP directory service. Unfortunately Stephane Daury, the developer who built it, does not seem to be interested in or to have the time to maintain it, so the project page, the  official WordPress plugin page, and even the Google groups wpdirauth-support and wpdirauth-dev are become stale. Despite of this, the plugin still seems to be functional: Adam Yeraout published on wpdirauth-support the 1.3 release for WordPress 2.5 and newer, Andrew Valsania wrote a patch to fix a password-check bug on his blog and published the 1.4 release.

In order to take under control this versioning chaos, since the project-trac without an Administrator has become not usable, I’ve created my personal SVN repository, which also contains a revision history at https://www.delta-phi.net/svn/wordpress/wpDirAuth/tags/. Obviously I can commit other patches to SVN, but if someone would take over this work I could give him/her a dump of the repository.

I‚Äôll be glad if someone would publish the same post in English…”

Thank you so much for you work! I hope that someone would be interested in maintaining this plugin working and improving it even more.

First WPMU upgrade

Today I got the time to upgrade the WordPress MU platform which is running the¬†Valsania Corporate Blogs¬†collection from version 1.5.1 to the release 2.6 (which is based on WordPress 2.6). It has been the first time I upgrade a WPMU instance in a production envirnoment. The upgrade procedure has been extremely¬†straightforward, and I must say I’m quite impressed by that, since my WPMU configuration is very complex (many plugins and customizations were made, but all of them should have been made consistently with the architecture). At the same time I got all the others WP-based blogs I manage upgraded to the 2.6.1 release.

wpDirAuth 1.4 patch

Today I had to login into one of my WP powered weblogs, running the wpDirAuth 1.3 plugin which I wrote about in this previous post. Surprisingly, it returned me the error message “No directory server¬†available for authentication”. No change was made in the last few days in my infrastructure, and I soon discovered that all user accounts in my Active Directory were able to succesfully authenticate with the only exception of mine!

A few minutes have been necessary to understand that the problem was lying in the password I changed yesterday, which was including an apostrophe (‘). It seems that the function parsing this variable in WordPress automatically puts a backslash (\) escape character before the apostrophe, in order to pass it correctly to the builtin authentication function. The matter was the way the ldap_bind() PHP function was sending the password to my domain controllers, including the unnecessary¬†(in this case)¬†escape character.

I’m not a developer, but I think I resolved this issue, simply by adding the line in bold to the wpDirAuth_bindTest() function in the file wpDirAuth.php:

function wpDirAuth_bindTest(&$connection, &$username, &$password)
{
¬†¬† ¬†$password = strtr($password, array(“\'”=>”‘”));
    if ( ($isBound = @ldap_bind($connection, $username, $password)) === false ) {
        // @see wpLDAP comment at http://ashay.org/?page_id=133#comment-558
¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$isBound = @ldap_bind($connection,”uid=$username,$baseDn”, $password);
    }
    return $isBound;
}

Since the returned error message was also incorrect (it should be a “check credentials” warning, not a “server unreacheable” error), I’ve also included the change suggested by Clint in the last part of his message “I have a bug fix for 1.3…“.

I’ve also succesfully tested this modified wpDirAuth plugin against different Active Directory instances on WordPress 2.6 and I’ve genereted two patch to upgrade from both 1.2 and 1.3 version. Here are the links:

If you prefer to use directly the 1.4 release I’ve also prepeared a pre-patched copy that you can download it¬†here.

Since that’s not my job, I’m not sure to have done a good thing by defining this as the new 1.4 release, and I’ll be glad to receive any suggestion about it.

wpDirAuth

I finally got the time to make the wpDirAuth plugin function both on WordPress 2.5.1 and WordPress¬†¬Ķ¬†1.5.1. My need is to migrate to the WPMU platform from Telligent’s¬†Community Server as soon as possible, since I’m planning to port my entire corporate infrastructure from MSFT to the more dependable BSD Unix technology.

Unfortunately the 1.2 version of this plugin simply didn’t work on the latest versions of WP, so I had to apply the¬†Patch for WordPress 2.5 compatibility¬†kindly published by¬†Adam Yearout. As now, I’ve only got the time to test it against Microsoft Active Directory LDAP servers, but I plan to try it in an Apple Open Directory environment before put it in production. The pilot blog collection can be accessed at the well-known Valsania Corporate Blogs WMPU instance.

UPDATE:
I’ve just tried to bind against an Apple Open Directory LDAP service, and the process is quite straightforward: the only real difference is the user object’s attribute to search for to identify the user who is logging in (sAMAccountName for AD, uid for OD), ad shown in the following image.

Click to enlarge

As you see, in this example we have an OD domain named mydomain.local, and we are using the unprivileged user named dsquery to bind to the LDAP service.

NOTE: remember to populate the EMailAddress attribute of your users in Open Directory, if you whish to the required E-mail field in WordPress user profile to be automatically filled upon the first logon.

Again on WordPress

Just upgraded all Phoibos hosted weblogs to the latest 2.2.1 WP version, mainly because of new XSS bugfixes. I’d like to move as sson as possible the whole Phoibos blog hosting collection to a new FreeBSD server (6.2-RELEASE) with the latest versions of Apache, PHP and MySQL. I’ll post the results as a comment when I’ll finish. ūüôā

Phoibos blog hosting upgraded

Once more time our blogging service platform has been upgraded to the latest version of the WordPress engine (the 2.2 “Getz”). As usual, there has not been any problem in the simple upgrade process: this news is only to tell our users that we don’t sleep all around the day! ūüėČ

Phoibos blogs migrated to WordPress 2.1

A few days ago I noticed that the latest version of WP had been released with a lot of improvements. The new feature which made me decide to upgrade the whole Phoibos blog hosting environment has been the least important one, of course: the redesigned login screen from the Shuttle project. I was bored by the old login theme so, by following such a stupid reason, last night I upgraded from the quite recent 2.0.6 to the new 2.1 WordPress edition (codename “Ella”).
No technical problems at this time, surely because I ran a full MySQL and WP backup before step into the upgrade procedure. Quite simple upgrade: I think I finally got confidence with it!

I took the time also for redesign the Phoibos blog hosting home page by using the new style! Now it looks like the “Shuttle” login screen. If you want to give a look at the old one, it’s still available here.