As usual, I sent out my weekly Linux & open source newsletter this Sunday. Lots of good content in there, you should probably have a read; cron.weekly issue #96: LogDevice, qmail, redis, Linus, HAProxy, libraries, concert, restic & more .
But as it was sent, I received a fair amount of feedback regarding 2 links I shared in the newsletter.
concert has been deprecated
I wrote the newsletter on Saturday, and by Sunday morning, this commit had landed;
+*\*DEPRECATED – This project is deprecated and not maintained anymore.**
+*\*It is recommended all users use https://certbot.eff.org/ instead.**
Interesting: between me discovering the project & adding it to the newsletter, it got deprecated.
Things move fast in open source.
`publicfile` HTTP server does not support “?querystring” arguments
Ok, quick summary: I linked to an article about qmail’s security guarantee & bounty program, which hasn’t been breached since as early as 1997. That’s impressive.
So naturally, I wanted to include it in the newsletter. By default, I translate all links a bit, to get better tracking of the source/medium through Google Analytics. It still keeps the URLs readable – as opposed to an actual click tracker, which would scramble all links. It transforms them like this;
- Original: https://cr.yp.to/qmail/guarantee.html
- Modified: https://cr.yp.to/qmail/guarantee.html?utm_source=cronweekly.com
Pretty harmless, usually. I added some logic that I don’t try to add query strings to an URL if it already contains any, as not to accidentally break any functionality.
However, if you check the links above: the first one works, the second does not. I didn’t see that one coming.
However, the webserver doesn’t support query string arguments.
*Queue the security vs. flexibility/usability debate*
A couple of gotcha’s;
- Maybe visit each link again right before it goes out
- At least test the final new URLs it they still work
Those are things I did at the very beginning of the newsletter, but after a while it becomes routine and you start to take things for granted. That’s when things get interesting!