GSOC 2017/Student Application Ilias95

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Contents

Synopsis

The 389 Directory Server is an enterprise class LDAP server, used in businesses globally to authenticate and identify people. A python administration framework, lib389, has been designed recently to replace existing legacy perl tools. It contains tools and libraries for testing and interacting with the 389 Directory Server, but it is still a work in progress. The purpose of this project is to pick one or more existing 389 DS plugins and write the parts into lib389 to manage them.

The Problem

But why all the hassle? Why don't we just stick with the already existing tools? The administration of the Directory Server has always been a complex issue. There is a variety of helper perl scripts that are installed along with it. These scripts administer specific parts of the server, but the server cannot be managed with them alone. Often people have to use the Java Console or apply LDIF files. Both have their own drawbacks. The Java Console is easy to use but has its own issues, whereas the application of LDIF files is highly complex. It becomes clear that we need a new way to administer the Directory Server.

The Solution

This new way to administer the Directory Server should be a complete one stop while command line focused. The goal of lib389 is to make the setup, administration, and eventually the decommission of a DS instance possible, without ever applying a LDIF file. Two additional tools have been developed; dsadm and dsconf. These are just wrappers on lib389 since the testing framework already has all the parts needed to make an administrative toolkit. dsadm will be used to create, start, stop, backup, restore and destroy instances and manage the components of DS that exist on the local host or container. dsconf is the tool to manage configuration of DS instances and can be run remotely, administrating the server completely via the LDAP protocol. It will be used to manage backends/suffixes, indicies, plugins, logging and more.

My role in the project will be to write a few lib389 modules and their appropriate hooks to dsconf. Which specific modules will be decided during the bonding period and will depend on the current needs.

Schedule and Timeline

Iterative commits with descriptive git messages will be used instead of big patches. This will make it easier for both the reviewers to provide feedback and for me to apply the feedback and organize my work. Since a solid background in OO programming and design is a prerequisite for this project, I will follow the SOLID principles throughout the whole process of producing and refactoring code.

Bonding Period (4/5 - 29/5)

  • Setup a DS server, install the lib389 source code, try running dsconf, test everything out.
  • Read and interpret some of the existing perl and shell scripts.
  • Understand the contributing cycle and try to submit a few bug reports and/or patches.
  • Discuss about the modules to be developed throughout the working periods.
  • Get to know the community, discuss the project in general and exchange ideas.

Working Period 1 (30/5 - 26/6)

  • Write unit tests for the first module.
  • Implement the first module. Make the unit tests pass.
  • Write hooks to dsconf in order to make it possible to use the module.
  • Document everything.

Working Period 2 (27/6 - 27/7)

  • Repeat first working period's steps for another module or modules.
  • Start reviewing other team members' work.

Working Period 3 (28/7 - 29/8)

  • Probably continue with implementing another module.
  • Deal with any unexpected issues that we didn't foresee in advance.
  • Optionally: Write a report on the whole experience.

About Me

My name is Ilias Stamatis. I am a CS student in my final (4th) year at the Alexander Technological Institution of Thessaloniki, Greece.

I am a FOSS enthusiast and I have been actively contributing to the open source community for the last several years.

I have been using Linux for the last 7 years. I started with Ubuntu and then moved to Arch where I have stayed for 5 years now. In the meantime I am experimenting with a lot of different distributions. Although I had no prior experience with Fedora, I quickly set up my working environment on it and read Fedora-specific topics from the official documentation and the wiki pages. I'm here to stay!

Multilingual in Greek (Native), English (Fluent) and Spanish (Conversational).

Experience and Contributions

Projects

The majority of my personal projects (mostly written in Python, C and Java) can be found on my github profile: https://github.com/Ilias95

A graphical front-end for multimedia conversions on Linux developed using python and pyqt5.

This is the most successful open-source project of mine, since it has a continuously growing user base. It has also been packaged by the open source community for all popular Linux distributions and it has been translated to more than 20 languages.

Implementation of a complete TFTP server using python and following the RFC 1350.

A dynamic web application developed using django and modern web technologies such as AJAX, JQuery and Bootstrap.

Arch Linux Contributions

Why Fedora

I love Linux and I love Open Source. Fedora is a Linux distribution driven by a massive community made of volunteers around the world. I was always looking forward to making bigger and more significant contributions to such a large open-source project. Everything done here has a significant impact on the whole FOSS community and that motivates me even more. Last but not least, apart from Linux and OSS, I really love python and luckily Fedora seems to be sharing this feeling as well.

Inside Fedora I can offer my skills, knowledge and hard work and I definitely plan to continue contributing after the GSoC period. This will let me obtain new technical skills and gain significant experience on communication and collaboration with users and developers of such a large community.

Why This Project

I couldn't have more reasons. First of all, there's a big professional team behind DS distributed all over the world. This serves as a great opportunity to learn how to collaborate with such teams, the ways and the techniques to achieve it, the whole "report, test, document, submit, get feedback, re-submit" cycle and much more. Good engineering principles in general. Additionally, learning to communicate effectively with distributed teams like this one is also challenging and a very important skill to obtain. Besides that, 389 DS is a really big project used in businesses globally. It has to meet certain standards and satisfy certain needs such as 100% uptime. Enganging with a project of this nature will provide me with hands-on experience on real-world situations. I also enjoy working with the technologies involved such as python and I'll have the chance to get to know the internals of an LDAP server, which will help me to obtain a lot of extra tech skills and more. Last but certainly not least, I know that with the work that I will do here, I will provide solutions to existing real-world problems and I'll satisfy real-world needs that users have all around the glob. Hence, the importane of this work and its global impact probably serves as the biggest motivation of them all.

Why I Am a Good Fit for This Project

  • Experience with a lot of open-source projects and the Linux ecosystem.
  • Plenty of years of experience with python which is required for this project.
  • Very familiar with collaboration and communication techniques such as version control, issue tracking, IRC, mailing lists, etc.
  • Ability to take on new technologies with ease and quickly become efficient and productive.
  • Really keen on engaging with a sizeable software team, obtaining new engineering skills and gaining hands-on experience on real-world situations.
  • FOSS enthusiast.

Other Commitments

I am following only 2 university courses this semester. My examination period is in June (no exact dates yet). I do not have other commitments until the 1st of September so I will be able to focus exclusively on this project.

Contact Info

Ilias Stamatis, stamatis.iliass <> gmail.com

My IRC nick is Ilias95 and you can find me on #389, #fedora-devel and #fedora-python.