Sputnick's blog

Fixing Bugs - Quassel 0.12.4

Hi all,

while feature development is still slow -- too slow for my own taste, really, but what can you do -- some rather annoying bugs have been fixed that warrant another maintenance release. Most notably, Tucos (thanks a lot!) has figured out that invalid handshake data may cause the core to crash. Another annoying issue was the lack of support for the STATUSMSG feature available in some IRC networks. This one was recently abused by idio^Wpeople to pop up tons of spam queries for some of our users.

Long Time No See - Quassel 0.12.3

Hi all,

it's been a while that we did a new release, and it's still "just" a bugfix release this time. Turns out that real life is still keeping us busy... but it's the good kind of busy, so there's that. Thankfully, we have a bunch of cool people in the community who contribute patches, fixes and features while the core development team is on semi-hiatus -- many thanks to all of you!

Anyway, say hello to Quassel 0.12.3. Many fixes went into that one, and we encourage you to upgrade! One particularly nasty bug was fixed: if you have multiple users on a single Quassel Core, and use PostgresQL as a database backend, messages could be lost in earlier 0.12.x versions. So if you happen to run 0.12.{0..2}, and run a core for multiple users, you definitely should upgrade. A more extensive list of fixes can be found in the ChangeLog.

A short heads-up: The next feature release (0.13.x) will be the last one still supporting Qt 4 and, consequently, KDE 4. Supporting two diverging frameworks (Qt 4 and Qt 5), and two rather different desktop environments (KDE 4 and Plasma 5), proves to be increasingly challenging. Additionally, Qt 4 has officially reached end-of-life by now. So once 0.13 is release, we'll take the opportunity to clean up the codebase and remove a few hundred #ifdefs, wrappers and workarounds! This is still a few months away, and we plan to add a long-desired feature or two to the next release -- but now you know and can prepare for life after Qt 4!

That's it for today. Please head to the downloads page to grab the new source tarball. Binary packages for the various platforms will show up there over the next few days, and if you run Linux, I'm sure your friendly package maintainer is already working on getting an updated package near you soon!

Have a nice one!
~ Sput

A Bumpy Road - Quassel 0.12.2!

Hi all,

I'm happy to announce the release of Quassel IRC version 0.12.2! This version now fully supports KDE Frameworks, so Quassel behaves properly in a Plasma 5 environment. Other new features include an improved password hashing algorithm, proper unicode-aware message splitting for both normal and CTCP messages, improved handling of PostgreSQL database connections, a bunch of bugfixes and updated translations. If you connect to a 0.12.x core, you can also now change your core password from the client. Please see the ChangeLog for a more complete list.

Now you might ask: What happened to 0.12.0 and 0.12.1? This is the reason I titled this post "A Bumpy Road". Very shortly after tagging the 0.12.0 release, we've discovered a behavior change in Qt5 in regards to timezone handling in PostgreSQL databases. This resulted in backlog messages being stored with the wrong timezone information for some server setups. The fix for this went into the 0.12.1 release. Unfortunately, this fix also uncovered a more serious issue that has been around for a long time: restarting a PostgreSQL database while Quassel Core is running would not properly re-initialize the database session inside Quassel, bringing back an old security issue that we had deemed fixed. This forced us to create yet another release, so that's why we are now at version 0.12.2. The new issue is being tracked as CVE-2015-3427. Thanks to Pierre Schweitzer for registering this!

To be clear: We strongly recommend upgrading Quassel to 0.12.2 due to vulnerabilities in older versions, or backporting the patches referenced in the relevant CVE entries! We have also prepared a 0.11.1 release that contains the security fixes, but no new features. Older versions are no longer supported.

With that out of the way, we hope that you'll enjoy the new version of Quassel! Head on over to our downloads page to grab it, or wait for your favorite distro to provide packages!

~ Sputnick on behalf of the Quassel Team

New Cuties - Quassel 0.11.0

Hi all,

It's that time of the year again for another Quassel release! For 0.11.0, we've focused mainly on full support for Qt 5.2+ (in addition to Qt 4.6+, which will be supported alongside for the time being). Since Qt 4.x has not seen much development for quite some time, and subsequently we've missed out on much work that has been done by the Qt developers, this marks a major improvement in particular for our users on Windows and Mac OSX. Support for both platforms has seen many improvements in Qt 5, and thus our official packages for those platforms are now built against Qt 5. In particular Mac users should be much happier now!

For KDE users it is recommended to still use Quassel built against Qt 4, because KDE integration support has not been ported to the new KDE Frameworks yet. This is something we plan for Quassel 0.12, so stay tuned!

In order to make dual-Qt support easier, we fully revamped the build system, something that was long overdue. The existing build system still came from the dark CMake 2.6 ages, and it was increasingly hard to maintain. So now everything has been rewritten, taking newer CMake features into account. Some build options have changed as a result; in particular, we use package properties now for finding optional dependencies rather than CMake defines. After configuring the build, CMake will output a summary of required and optional packages that could or could not be found, alongside with information on what a particular dependency does and where to find it. The INSTALL file has been updated accordingly.

Starting with 0.11, we also increased the build requirements. A C++11 capable compiler, such as gcc 4.7+, Clang 3.1+, or Visual Studio 2013 (at least the November CTP), is now needed in order to build Quassel from source. In addition, at least CMake 2.8.9 is required. We feel that these are reasonable requirements that should be supported by most current distributions (and there were no objections when we asked around).

Besides these major changes, this release also contains a bunch of bugfixes, most generously provided by our awesome community. Among other things, the handling of database errors has been improved, we now split CTCP lines that are too long (important for role players using /me a lot, I'm told), and some issues with QuasselDroid have been fixed. For those of you who you only want to get those fixes, but not the build system changes, Qt 5 support and the increased build requirements, we tagged Quassel 0.10.1. This bugfix release marks the last of the 0.10.x releases; we will not provide further support for this branch (as usual).

And now, get downloading unless your friendly package maintainer has already done this job for you!

~ Sput

A Bleeding Heart

Hi all,

as you should have heard by now, a major security vulnerability was discovered in OpenSSL. This does affect Quassel as well, as by default the connection between a Quassel client and core is encrypted using SSL (or, rather, TLS); in particular, it affects you if you run a core that supports SSL and is exposed to the public internet (clients, both monolithic and stand-alone, are not affected because they don't offer an SSL-encrypted service).

Into the Double Digits - Quassel 0.10.0 Is Out!

Hi all,

we proudly announce the latest release of Quassel IRC, version 0.10.0! As promised, development has become more active in the past few months (both because we gained several new contributors (thanks a bunch!), and I myself have finally some more time for development), so besides a host of bugfixes that already went into 0.9.x, this development cycle also saw various new features as listed in the ChangeLog. Besides, for example, various improvements related to SSL connections, optional multi-line input field, support for the Snore notification framework, the ability to show backlog messages in the ChatMonitor (beware though; it will slow down your sync!), the possibility to hide inactive networks in your Chat List, more translations, and a new version of the inxi (/sysinfo) script, this release features a new core/client protocol: the DataStream protocol.

This new protocol is one (intermediate) result of the refactoring work that has been going on behind the scenes for several releases now, aiming for separating out protocol-specific code from the rest of the codebase in order to be able to do things like, well, replacing the protocol (and making it easier for third-party client authors to work with it). The DataStream protocol is not much different from the original ("legacy") protocol, but it removes some of the unnecessary overhead. Due to a change to data compression, QuasselDroid can finally use compression when connecting to a 0.10.x quasselcore! You can read more about the protocol changes in the Wiki (work in progress). Note that we kept backwards compatibility, so using a new client with an older core, or vice versa, is fine (but won't get you the new protocol, of course).

That's about it. Go now and grab the newest version from our downloads page, or directly from your friendly distro's repositories once it's there!

One last note for people following development closely and interested in the goings-on in Git: The master branch has seen a revamp of the build system and features full support for Qt5 now (minus some glitches). Soon, we will start using C++11, as announced previously; so make sure to update your toolchain if it's ancient!

~ Sput on behalf of the Quassel Team

Yet Another Important Update: Quassel 0.9.2

Hi all,

the last update in the 0.9.x series has been released only a few weeks ago, and now it's already time for another one. Besides various bugfixes (among those, Phonon notifications play sound again!), and a bunch of new and improved translations, the main reason for this one is, unfortunately, another vulnerability: with a carefully manipulated client, you can retrieve the backlog of other users on the quasselcore you're using. Proper authentication is still needed, so this will only affect people who allow untrusted and malicious users on their shared core. Still, an upgrade is highly recommended.

If you happen to be a distro packager, please be advised to backport (i.e. simply apply) this and, if you haven't done so yet since the release of 0.9.1, this patch to your packages, if you can't bump them to 0.9.2 for release process reasons.

Well, here's hoping that next time we won't have that sense of urgency again :)

Have a nice day, and happy updating,
~ Sput

We Have Mailing Lists!

Hi all,

finally (after years of pushing and prodding for it), we now have mailing lists for Quassel IRC.
While most of user support and discussions happens in our IRC channels (mostly #quassel on
Freenode), mailing lists have distinct advantages - in particular, there is an archive, and
people can chime in asynchronously.

So now we offer the following lists:

  • quassel-announce

    This is a read-only list, where the development team will send important announcements
    to. We highly recommend distro packagers to subscribe to this one, as we'll announce
    releases and other important information there.

  • quassel-users

    This list should be used for general user discussion about and around Quassel IRC -
    questions, tips & tricks, that sort of things.

  • quassel-devel

    This list is for discussion about development of Quassel IRC itself. Everything that is related
    to development should go there, and we'll share our plans and ideas there as well.

So, feel free to go ahead and subscribe!

Please note that this is my first time setting up a list server, so if the lists show unexpected
behavior or have configuration issues, feel free to poke me so I can fix it.

~ Sput

Mandatory Upgrade: Quassel 0.9.1

TL;DR: If you're running Quassel Core or the stand-alone, monolithic client with Qt 4.8.5+ and PostgreSQL, you need to upgrade immediately!

Looks like Qt changed the string escaping rules in their PostgreSQL driver for Qt 4.8.5, which unfortunately may cause database corruption or data loss if you're running Quassel Core or the monolithic client with a PostgreSQL database and that Qt version. Older versions of Qt are safe, as are the pre-built packages for Windows, MacOSX and the static core from our website. All other users (and distros!) should upgrade their core or monolithic build to the brand-new 0.9.1 version of Quassel immediately. Thanks in particular to Tucos and brot for finding that issue and its cause!

In addition to the fix for this issue, a number of other fixes went into this release, most notably several ones related to key handling for encrypted channels. Also, you should now see Quassel come up in your preferred UI language on MacOSX again (rather than in Japanese).

Note that because of the urgent nature of this release, we couldn't wait with the announcement until binary packages for 0.9.1 have been provided. Those will be added in the next few days.

That's it for now. Over and out.
~ Sput

Onwards and Upwards - Quassel 0.9.0!

Yes, yes, I know. Again I have been too quiet on this page, while several major changes have happened in my real life. However, things are slowly settling down, and I could spend more time on Quassel again during the past few months. And as usual, the community has been active as well providing patches, fixes and features - thank you all for that!

So without further ado, I present to you Quassel 0.9.0!

A list of the most important changes can be found in the freshly updated ChangeLog - improved certificate handling, improved OSX support, DockManager compatibility, channel-specific highlights just to name a few features that have been contributed by the community (special thanks goes out to Tucos, who is restless indeed).

Meanwhile, I am slowly continuing to refactor the heart of Quassel, which is the communication between the client and the core. My goal is to abstract the protocol, so in the future it will be easier to write third-party clients. Having a clean protocol abstraction is also a prerequisite for getting things like events and scripting going. Expect more news along those lines in the future!

Oh, we've also switched to GitHub as primary means for source code hosting and managing contributions. The main reason for this is that people were unhappy with Gitorious because it was slow, sometimes unreliable, and has a less advanced web interface. So please, if you like to send patches, use pull requests on GitHub - that way, we'll make sure they won't get lost.

For translations, please continue to use Transifex.

And that's it, I think. Thank you all for your patience and continued support of Quassel, and have fun with the new release!

~ Sput

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