Wednesday, August 15, 2012

More helpful help... with your help!

While we've been constantly iterating on SUSE Studio, we realize our help documents haven't kept up. That's why we're rebooting our help system, and giving you the opportunity to contribute as well.

Instead of the existing mix of static documents and wiki pages, we've started a new project to consolidate our help docs: studio-help, hosted on github.  We've gone through and updated all the screenshots, and have already revised more than half the text.  Since this is an open project, you can see the changes we're making in the documents' history.  Most importantly, if you see an omission, error, or just something needing improvement, you can now fork the project and submit your change as a pull request.

The biggest change we've made, though, is in getting updates online fast. We're taking advantage of a post-commit hook to automatically deploy the current documents. The end result is that changes go online about five seconds after they're accepted.

We still have some work to do; some documents are stubs, some areas just don't have any coverage, and a few inline help items need to be moved.  We've created issues for everything we know needs work, so feel free to grab an item and help out.

We look forward to your pull requests, and hope you find , well, helpful ;-)

Google login issues fixed

We are happy to announce that the broken Google logins to Studio are now fixed!

What happened?

In short, it was a bug in Google's OpenID service. After entering your credentials, Google sends us an unique OpenID URL that Studio uses to identify you and associate your Google and Studio accounts. However on August 9, Google started sending different URLs, so Studio couldn't match it to your existing account and presented a new one instead.

We initially suspected it was a bug on our side (eg. we recently upgraded to Ruby 1.9, among other things). But after inspecting all recent Studio code and configuration changes, as well as communication logs, we still didn't find anything wrong. Eventually we were convinced it was a Google bug and reported the issue. To our pleasant surprise, Google responded and pushed a fix within 48 hours.

What now?

Signing in via Google should work just fine now. If it doesn't, let us know in our forum (linked to a mailing list) so we can investigate. Please include your Google account name and display name in Studio. You can also use the Send feedback link within Studio once you're signed in, to report issues privately.

What we learned

When working on this issue we noticed a few sub-optimal things within our code and infrastructure. For example, we don't keep logs of the OpenID communications with the various providers. We will implement measures to help us detect and resolve such problems more quickly in future.

Monday, August 13, 2012

API v1 dropped today

As announced one month ago, we are dropping SUSE Studio's API v1 today. API v2, which has been available for over a year, is now the only supported API version.

The API v2 is mostly an extension (a superset) of v1 so almost all code that worked with v1 should work with v2 without any modification. The only important incompatibility between v1 and v2 is that HTTP status error codes returned in certain situations may be different (v2 is more consistent in this regard). In most cases, the only change in your code will be replacing the URL prefix by

If you encounter any problems using the newer API version, have a look at the API documentation. If that does not help, you can ask on our forum (linked with a mailing list) and we will try to help.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Google authentication issues

We noticed yesterday that users authenticating via Google accounts, well, weren't: instead of accessing your existing accounts, you were being assigned a new account. With a quarter million users authenticating to SUSE Studio via Google, that's a big problem.

We've been working hard at fixing the situation, but we've not yet found the solution. In the meantime we have found a workaround.  Authentication via Google uses OpenID, and the unique identifier we receive back after you login with your credentials is an OpenID URL.  We keep that URL on file, and that's how we connect you back to your account.  Although directly requesting authentication via Google isn't working right now, logging in via that OpenID URL works.

In order to get that URL, you'll need to have us email it to you.  Visit and enter your email address or username. We'll email you a list of methods you can use to login, including the OpenID URL of your Google account.  With that URL in hand, head back to, select OpenID, end paste in the OpenID URL.  Google may ask you to verify that you want to login to SUSE Studio, after which you'll have access to your full account, as if nothing had happened.

Logging in via an OpenID URL

We're working hard to fix the problem, but in the meantime, we want to make sure you have access to your work.  We'll update here and on Twitter when we have things resolved.  Sorry for any inconvenience caused.
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