Reshaping the community portal.

I know! It may be a bit excessive to both run a WordPress-info-portal AND a community forum-portal in the same time, as WordPress have quite ok tools for running forum-ish stuff from there. However, I’m not entirely pleased with that, especially since I like the old community-threaded non-Facebook-forum form. vBulletin 5 left this concept for a few years ago, but it really is possible to reorganize things and make them work quite well. And this is what I’ve done the last day.

Once upon a time, there was “Tornis”. It was a realityshow based forum that had Big Brother Sweden as the primary target. However, when Facebook took control over forums with the group-concept many forums went into a graveyard of dead forums. Some of “us” (me) still appreciate the simple overview of threads instead of the compact Facebook view where everything is mixed up in 2 sublevels of comments and all text exposed in the same place. So the decision to reorganize this place have been there for several years. I still feel there might needs of some other kind of privacy than Facebook monitoring all your information. Besides, you still can be reported for practically nothing and get banned.

The purpose over time has therefore changed. There are ongoing projects that has been planned to be placed in this forum. The first problem to fight was to clean up the forum without being forced to delete everything. This is now finished. There is a Facebook-group mirrored to this portal (Making internet a better place), where I was supposed to support and update information about the API that should have been making internet a better place. This project has been delayed for a long time now, but since the reorganization FINALLY have taken place, the future might be a bit more brighter. However, there’s a few things left to do before we can go all in on it…

https://www.tornevall.net/portal/articles/1062744-reshaping-the-community-portal

Establishing WordPress Portal

To make life a bit easier in the Tornevallverse, a new portal for creating WordPress sites is currently taking form.

You can find out more, what you can do with it at https://wordpress.tornevall.net/. Currently user registration are available, but not the site itself (since it requires an automation of building and linking domain names properly). The two primary portals (this site and TorneAUTH) is not going to be migrated into that service yet.

DNSBL Slave DNS offering

Do you feel that the DNSBL resolvers are too slow for your requests? In cases where this happens, you might want to apply for an own DNS slave server. You can do this by sending a mail to support@tornevall.net – you can also send a mail if you would like to contribute with more slave servers to extend the reachability of the services. If you think the service is worth donating to, so that it can be extended furthermore, take a look here.

The current DNS servers are located in following countries:

  • Stockholm/Sweden
  • Scania/Sweden
  • Tokyo/Japan

Reaching milestones for SpamAssassin and DNS editor

There are several side projects going on right now. One of the completed “milestones” is the SpamAssassin configurator that was finalized today. For a few hours ago, we’ve started to work on a DNS editor, that makes it possible to update entries into two of our master DNS-servers. This is another milestone as much of the changes today are being made manually with regular zone files. We’ll still go that way, but in a near future, it will be possible to update records live. This work might speed up our DNS Blacklist a bit, which might give us a chance to live update both the primary master server and the second backup without hourly reloading. The DNS API was besides of this not even planned – it was “just a test” to see if it was possible and suddenly, there was an almost complete interface for it in the API.

Any plugins?

Yes, there was recently a minor release of the DNSBL WordPress-plugin also (not a milestone), but the release was too small to set up a whole post for it. But here goes, 2.0.6 gave us one minor update, as we had problems with blacklisted users requesting for delisting in the delisting-page comment fields. Those fields are less checked than the support mailbox, so the patch was based on removing comment abilities in the removal page as an option in the admin configuration.

  • [DNSBLWP-49] – comments_open has a problem that might open for comments again, if other plugins has it disabled

DNSBL for WordPress 2.0.5 CHANGELOG

This also includes 2.0.3 and 2.0.4 as they only contained minor fixes

2.0.5

  • [DNSBLWP-42] – duplicate () in link (readme.txt)
  • [DNSBLWP-47] – Ability to disable comments on removal page
  • [DNSBLWP-48] – Make notice on “comments disabled”-page, that admins are blacklisted (if they are)

2.0.4

Translation update (text domain fixed)

2.0.3

Text and translation

“Help us survive”-page is back

Our donation-page “help us survive” is back on track again.

As this site is not owned by any company or organization, our finances for it is also zero and handled completely privately on spare time – and time is something that we do not have much of.

Would you like to give us financial support, by donations? Check out the alternatives here!

Portals Update

Tornevall Networks are now live with following upgraded platforms:

  • Primary Portal and components
  • AUTHv4
  • DNSBL

Primary portal and components

Site changed to what was supposed to be TornevallWEB v6. As many visitors already seen, we’ve left the API-WEB creation to speed up projects that is more important to fix, than sites that requires too much time and work too finish. Therefore, most of the site is now in the root based on WordPress and all API integrations are being primarily made with this platform. In the same time, we win a community compatible platform. However, WordPress is not the only part built here.

First of all https://tornevall.net has now become https://www.tornevall.net to somehow support a standard webaddress naming. It is used to comunicate news and happenings, whatever that might be. Besides of this, there is a community forum located under https://www.tornevall.net/portal. The purpose with this forum is supposed to be supportive when there are bigger needs of communication. This is still a work that has to be processed a bit more.

The DNSBL removal tool used on this site is currently completely based on WordPress and available for download here. Just remember, to get everything like delisting etc to work, it is important to have an API key (read below).

Things that is built around the portals has a base tracker here.
The WordPress plugin has its own tracker here with the development source code here.

AUTHv4.0

This is a replacement of the less known site AUTHv3, which was supposed to host API based configuration. That project, aswell as the main portal, became too big. So in the same way, this site is built around WordPress. However, the big difference here – compared to the primary above – is that this authentication service also serve other users (meaning, it is possible to register an account there, to get API keys etc). So, to get API keys that handles DNSBL requests, this is the place to be. This service is a frontend gui to APIv3.

DNSBL ending phase

We’re about to finish the long work of WP-DNSBL v2.0.0 which is a WordPress based plugin that will from this new release support and run with TorneAPIv3. APIv3 has much better documentation of how to use the DNSBL API (here). From this release, the API can also be configured via TorneAUTH v4, which will be located on https://auth.tornevall.net very soon, where API keys can be created automatically. All this together is planned to be a huge facelift (so the forum will hopefully also be updated in the same time and work as an extra support for the portal visitors).

Finishing this plugin has been very welcome by both me and other visitors, that during a long period have had a lot of problems with delisting themselves from the blacklist. For the moment, much of this is handled manually when the standard dnsbl site does not coorporate with us.

Changes

  • One big update for the new interface is that visitors can do CIDR-lookups (to see their entire network from a blacklist perspective).
  • Another update is that it should be more user friendly. Instead of impossible interfaces, there will be a raw, plain POST-form, with captcha support so system admins can run their delisting requests from another computers (where console is not supported)
  • The delisting and blacklist views are handled from a wordpress plugin, which means it might not be necessary to use the regular dnsbl server for delistings. By requesting special permissions, other servers might be able to communicate with the remote API too
  • The API is documented with more details than APIv2 was. This also means that own implementations of the DNSBL is made easier
  • Since we’re using a plugin for this, protecting admins from being banned from their own site is extra important
  • All bugs from DNSBLWP v1.x is hopefully fixed and removed

A complete CHANGELOG of what’s been fixed will be released soon. If you can’t wait for a status update you can take a look here. If you feel that something is missing, feel free to join the project and add requests!

When all this is done, there will be a whole new view for what could come next…