Two failed attempts with technology today, just one of those days

Today I experienced two WTF moments while trying to use computers:

1) BrowserID ended up being a total failure for me

2) Accessing people.mozilla.org is next to impossible when trying to share files across computers

I have heard great things about BrowserID, and today was my first real chance at it.  I had an account on builder.addons.mozilla.org, and this was with my <me>@mozilla.com email address.  It has been a few months since I had been on there and now it uses BrowserID for all access.  Great!!  I had signed up with BrowserID with my <me>@gmail.com address, but that failed to log me in.  So I clicked the ‘add another email address’, and got a verification email in my inbox.  Trying to verify was impossible with some cryptic error messages.  10 minutes later after trying to log in, I finally found my way to #identity and was told to try it again.  It magically worked.  OK, let me log in to my addons account, no luck.  After 15 more minutes of poking around, I found that my @mozilla.com email address worked with BrowserID just fine by testing it on another site, but it still failed on addons.

Here is my take of the problem:

  • BrowserID is supposed to make logging in easier, 30 minutes of debugging and I still cannot login.
  • There are no useful error and help messages on the BrowserID site, nor AMO.  How could my mom figure this out?
  • Where in the world is my ‘I forgot my username/password’ link?  Honestly I could have signed up on AMO with a totally random email address and could have been wasting a lot of time.
  • I found it easier to signup as a new user with a different BrowserID email, than to figure out how to login with my normal account.

My next problem occurs with accessing people.mozilla.org.  I have been using this for 3.5 years on a regular basis.  I put log files up there for people to read, zip files when I want to share some code or an build, and sometimes I create a webpage to outline data.  I depend on this as a workflow since I know of no other file server at mozilla that I can just scp files up to.  Just this past weekend, some work was done on the server and the permissions got messed up.  This was fixed, then it wasn’t, it was fixed and now it isn’t.  I can detect patterns and that is a pretty easy pattern to detect.  What really gets me is this message when I log in:

Last login: Thu May 17 18:41:20 2012 from zlb1.dmz.scl3.mozilla.com
All files stored on this server are subject to automated scans.
You shouldn’t store sensitive information on this server, and you should
avoid having production services depend on data stored here.
Files in ~/public_html may be seen by anyone on the Internet.
[jmaher@people1.dmz.scl3 ~]$

Who in their right mind would think that putting files in a folder called ‘public_html’ would not be seen by anyone on the Internet?  I expect tomorrow I will have to sign a NDA to access my people.mozilla.org account.

The big problem here is that I wasted 20 minutes doing a task that I normally do in 2 minutes and delayed getting a perma red test fixed because I couldn’t find a place to upload a fixed talos.zip to.

Enough complaining and ranting and back to work on reftests for android native!

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5 Comments

Filed under general, personal, reviews

5 responses to “Two failed attempts with technology today, just one of those days

  1. mozmrz

    It’s surprisingly not obvious to some that ~/public_html is public. We’ve had to work through ramifications of someone putting not-for-public content there because it was easy to wget it from some other host.

    • elvis314

      Sad, but true. I guess being a techie I assume too much is obvious.

      On another note, it appears that the problem might be fixed. After further investigation it seems that all the data is in my group and not in the apache group as it was before. Changing some groups and permissions can solve that.

  2. aceman

    Completely agree. I can’t access MDN and mozillians properly since they changed to BrowserID.

    • elvis314

      Let’s hope this is growing pains. I just wish they would test this stuff first and create some simple docs for self help linked from the login pages.

  3. axelhecht

    2nding the issues around browserid.

    The point I really gave up on it was when I thought “you’re a good mozillian, file a bug instead of rant” and that just took more time, and I failed to find the approriate component.

    Yeah, for k9o, you can use core/identity or something, but for the most part, don’t file bugs, but bitch on their github repo? No, thanks.

    Yes, I ended up filing bugs to get Jeff to edit our page on mdn instead of doing a simple edit myself. What a waste.

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