Posts by Anthony Johnson

Build Image Upgrades

Starting this week, we’ll be deploying a new default image for our documentation build environments. This image will change the default Python versions that are supported.

We aren’t expecting any issues to arise from this change, but be sure to raise any issues on our issue tracker if you notice any strange behavior. The new build image supports Python 2.7 and Python 3.5, dropping support for Python 3.4. If you require access to Python 3.4, we suggest you sign up for access to our next beta image.

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Securing Subdomains

Starting today, Read the Docs will start hosting projects from subdomains on the domain readthedocs.io, instead of on readthedocs.org. This change addresses some security concerns around site cookies while hosting user generated data on the same domain as our dashboard.

Changes to provide security against broader threats have been in place for a while, however there are still a few scenarios that can only be addressed by migrating to a separate domain.

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Read the Docs Awarded Mozilla Open Source Support Grant

Several months back, Mozilla launched a new initiative – the MOSS program – to provide financial support to the open source software projects it relies on. Mozilla allocated $1 million to the MOSS fund to provide grants for up to 10 projects matching the program’s criteria.

Read the Docs is among the first round of awards made for the MOSS program. Our proposed grant, for $48,000, is to build a separate instance that integrates with the Python Package Index’s upcoming website, Warehouse. This integration will provide automatic API reference documentation upon package release, with authentication tied to PyPI and simple configuration inside the distribution. API reference documentation on every release will be the starting point of this work, prose documentation generation will be more difficult here, as not all packages use Sphinx or rST for documentation.

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Securing Build Processes

We’ve recently introduced a new build container subsystem based on Docker to readthedocs.org, which should go mostly unnoticed for users. We’re still ironing out some bugs with the system, so raise an issue on our issue tracker if you are noticing any new issues with your project builds.

This new system is part of an over-due security update to help isolate arbitrary code execution. As Read the Docs has grown, protecting against arbitrary execution was a rapidly growing concern. This build isolation layer was developed as part of readthedocs.com, where security concerns are paramount due to private repository access. We’ve been testing it for roll out on the community site since then, but hadn’t committed to switching production build servers over due to the number of possible side effects.

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State of the Docs

August has historical significance for Read the Docs, so it seemed fitting to wrap up August by taking a moment to step back and reflect on what we’ve done in the last year.

What makes August so significant for us?

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Report - July 2015

August was a hectic month for us. So busy, in fact, we never wrote this update. We dropped the ball on getting this report out on time, but hope to keep on top of future updates.

July was a month of stability fixes, with some substantial changes to our infrastructure. First, here’s an update on some of the goals we had set with our last monthly update:

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Report - August 2015

August was a busy month for us. Write the Docs Europe was at the end of the month, and our focus has been on getting readthedocs.com into a public beta state. We’re nearing the end of the 3 month period that we budgeted for as part of our fundraiser and have a few more tasks to push out.

First, an update of the goals we set for this month:

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Report - June 2015

With the Write the Docs conference wrapped up in May, we shifted our focus back to Read the Docs for the remainder of May and June. Following our post on contract positions available with Read the Docs, we hired two contractors to work with us and focus on support and stability for readthedocs.org. Gregor Müllegger will be working on support and development, and Andrew Kreps has helped us on building and improving our operations infrastructure.

Read the Docs had the following major updates in June:

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Fundraising Wrapup

First off, a big ol’ thank you is in order for everyone that helped support us. You all helped us hit our funding goal, and with time to spare. We’re humbled to have such an abundance of support, and to know so many people share our vision for great documentation.

Really, thank you all. ❤

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