Interesting Stuff Security Sys Admin Web Apps

Chrome 70 vs Symantec Certificates

Chrome 70 is about to dis-trust a whole lot of certificates

So you paid lots of money for a “proper” certificate for your HTTPS website after Google gave non-HTTPS sites a hard time? Well, hopefully you aren’t still using an older Symantec issued certificate as Google (and others) is about to stop trusting those certificates.

Chrome version 70 is due for release in September for beta users and will NOT trust certificates issued before December 1 2017 from Symantec, Thawte, GeoTrust and RapidSSL.

This is obviously a big deal and as the Chrome browser release happens before your 12 month (or longer) cert will expire, means there’s work to do. While you’re revisiting the process of procuring another certificate, perhaps also have a think about why you might not be using the free service from Let’s Encrypt. That’s good enough for most websites unless you’re after one of the more fancy looking icons to show up in the browser for things like shopping carts.

Why is this happening?

The Certificate Authorities (aka CAs like Symantec) that are used to issue certificates that secure our web browser traffic MUST be absolutely trusted. Without that trust, the process fails and we might as well just create our own certificates. The reason why we don’t do that is that the browser vendors effectively have a list of those highly trusted CAs and each site’s cert must have a mathematical relationship to one of those.

In 2017 a number of issues were raised about how Symantec had been running one of their CAs (they have a few). Inconsistencies and bad-practice were highlighted such that both Mozilla (who have a list of the issues) and Google decided to implement a change in trust of certs issued by that CA.

Code Web Apps

Doc5 Wiki Available for Download

Slightly behind with this post but I finally have a new release of Doc5 available for download.

New features include,

  • Full WYSIWYG editing and no more trying to get used to the markup. (Not that it was difficult but people are used to risch editors these days)
  • Complete redesign of the UI.
    Bootstrap makes for an easy to use, clean interface and I really like the design anyway.
  • Easier to use more finely grained permissions.
    Per user permissions for categories and pages and inheritance for pages.
  • Much better file management and easier to link files into pages.
  • Bug fixes and support for different databases with faster access.
  • HTML email templates.
    This will make it easier to extend and handle language translations in the future.
Code Web Apps Web Design

Doc5 Beta Now in Testing

After many years I have got a version of Doc5 up and available to use. It’s a vastly different wiki app than the previous version and most of the changes have been made in the last 9 months. The last version released for download was a different name and appeared before my son was born. He starts school in two weeks.

My 9-5 job takes up enough time that for a couple of years I left this project alone and considered dropping any thoughts of pushing it out. But writing web apps is my hobby, so it’s been good to dig through all the old code and clean it up.

So a list of the major changes:

  • WYSIWYG editing has arrived and the previous wiki engine is gone
  • Permissions have been simplified but also extended to categories
  • Full UI make over, although I have gone with a pretty basic Bootstrap view of things.
  • Better file uploads and management.
  • Templates for email notifications

I think a full release should be available for download in the next two months. Testing on the web will help tune spam catching and there’s some bug fixing to roll out as well as plenty of test cases to run.

Code Web Apps

Git Hosting and Issue Tracking

I’ve been looking about for some free Git hosting and found that most options like Github require you to make the code available to everyone. So I was pleasantly surprised to find Bitbucket from those ingenious Aussies at Atlassian.

There’s some excellent documentation, the system is easy to use and your first push from your local repository can be done with a few minutes after you’ve signed up.

An issue tracker is available for each of your projects and can be made public while your code is still private. So for a small team or individual it’s a valuable tool even just to use as a backup for your local code repos and keeping track of the odd bug.

Web Apps

Kisimi: a wiki for normal people

Kisimi is a free and simple Wiki, based on DokuWiki, with more than a few handy features that’s designed to look good and cover the basics.

Can’t find Kisimi? The wiki app is now called Doc5 and is available at

What’s a wiki?

Pages in a wiki-enabled web site have the ability to be edited by anyone using pretty much plain text. This allows content to be added by people around the world, providing a collaborative space for your ideas and documentation. Each  change is tracked and credited to the different authors which allows for easy editing and infinite versions of each page.

A site running Kisimi can be used for things like simple note taking or a place to store ideas or technical documentation. Pages can be opened up to the world or restricted to you and your friends or colleagues. You can also upload your documents and images or other files for use in your pages. You don’t have to know anything about HTML or programming, just jump in and start writing.

Features of Kisimi include Privacy and Protection of pages and files and the concept of Ownership of categories (collections of pages). Changes to each page are saved with differences immediately available via History. To learn about other features, have a read through the Manual or suggest a feature on the Feedback page.

To see what Kisimi can do, try the SandPit. Anyone can make and save changes to these pages, although until you sign in you won’t be able to Protect pages, mark your own as Private or claim Categories.

Current Release

Kisimi version 20091025 has been released and is available for download (7zip, zip, tar.gz) now. Please check back here for the documentation and let me know how things go. Kisimi source code is made available under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

If you find a bug (we’re still working on perfection), would like a new feature or want to tell us your views, please use Mende to submit a Ticket, message mike from your Kisimi account, email or visit the Feedback page.

Kisimi is best viewed with a modern web browser like Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer 8 (not IE6) at a minimum screen resolution of 1024×768. Feel free to send me an email with any feedback,

The Name

The name Kisimi comes from Kisimi Kamara of Sierra Leone who created the Mende language of the region to encourage literacy among his people.