MonthSeptember 2012

Plain old user/password authentication

We have added support for standard username-and-password registration.

If for any reason you don’t have – or don’t want to sign up with – an account on Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo!, Github, Bitbucket, or any other custom OpenID provider, worry not. Now you can also create a login and password on FreedomSponsors.

If in the future you want to connect a social account to your profile, that’s ok too. Both login types (password and OpenId) will be available to you – on the same account (meaning you won’t have to remember your password).

This feature was implemented by adding the django-registration framework in our codebase (with a few tweaks). Feel free to look at the code!

As always, please let us know if you have any feedback!

New logo and brand


I’ve been trying to find time to write a little blog post about this. Now I have.
This is just to announce that FreedomSponsors now has a decent logo and brand.
You might also have noted that it’s now live on the main site.

This beautiful piece of art was crafted by the amazing webdesigner, my friend Rafael Augusto.

Rafael is a talented artist and he also has a deep knowledge of CSS, HTML and javascript, thus making him a valuable professional on any web development team.

It was a great honor having him design our logo. Thank you so much Rafael!

The idea behind the logo is that it is based on the open source logo (that green, round shape).
By placing a gray socket under it, it kinda looks like a light bulb. The intended meaning is “A Great Idea for Free Software”.
The “< >” is also a reminder that there’s some programming involved.

The light bulb is also a pun with my nickname – Tony Lâmpada. Lâmpada means light bulb in portuguese. I love it! :-).

How do you like it?

Feel free to comment below!

Notable feedback: Richard Stallman

Last week we received a message from a very special person:

“Please write to Richard Stallman to
He could not send you a message through the page himself because of the requirements for logging in.”

We were both skeptical and thrilled at the same time – this is Richard Stallman after all and you simply don’t joke with things like this. So we sent him a message – which got through – and we were really pleased to receive a rich piece of feedback on our project.

Here’s the list of points raised by RMS – and following our answers to each one of them. It’s very important to us to share this kind of feedback – so everyone knows where we stand and why we are doings things the way we do.

- Instead of saying “open source”, how about saying FLOSS, so as to give the free software movement a little recognition and publicity?

That was a great idea – we changed the slogan in the home page and also updated the “about” page in the blog. We also included a link to the free software definition as stated on the FSF website ( This is a very big deal for us – by using “open-source” instead of  ”free” we might have failed to express what we really mean (and we apologize for that). The concept of “free software” is very important to why we started this project in the first place – therefore the updates.

- Accept payments by bitcoin, not just paypal. Why is it important to have one payment split among several receipients rather than multiple payments done by the same payer?

We have other payment methods in our roadmap including Bitcoin. It’s important to stress that one of the Paypal’s features we depend today is the ability to make “parallel payments” (so we can handle payments for more than one developer from a single account/transaction). It’s important to note that this feature in particular is not an essential requirement but a desirable functionality; it just made sense to us. We wrote a more detailed explanation on the e-mails (which you’ll be able to see later here in the blog).

- Loosen up about how people log in.

We just added support to custom OpenID providers – however the discussion shed a light on the anonymity question. We never thought of it as a requirement (since it didn’t see it as an issue in the whole scenario) but he gave us a different point of view – anonymity is a right, not an feature. Users that want to remain anonymous should have the right to do that. That really makes sense – and Bitcoin could fill this gap in the payment process so we wouldn’t have a break in the model. That being said, he offered himself  to discuss parallel payments support (transactions with one payer and multiple receivers) with the Bitcoin experts he’s meeting in Bitcoin2012 this weekend in London (they might be able to help). Of course, at the same time we invite anyone who wants to help us implementing it on our project – we’re already looking into that but help is always welcome.

We’d like to finish this post by thanking Richard Stallman for both the feedback and the permission to disclose the whole conversation – we’ll have it linked here very soon.


Attack from the Anonymous group brings down FreedomSponsors

Yesterday freedomsponsors operations got disrupted.
Our website went down for approximately 5 hours.
The root cause was an attack made by the Anonymous group to Godaddy DNS servers.
We replicated our DNS registers on Amazon Route53, so next time they’ll have to bring down Amazon too.

Login with custom OpenID providers

We have just enabled support for logging in with custom OpenID providers.

The login page now has an optional “Enter your OpenID Url” field.

If for some reason you don’t have an account in any of the “big providers” (we have received feedback from users with legitimate reasons for that), now you can still use FS, even if you run your own OpenID provider server.

This question on stackoverflow has a short list of other openId providers if you have an account on them.

FS authentication is implemented with django-social-auth, and here’s the code for the login page.

Markdown Formatting and Syntax Highlighting

Now you can use markdown formatting not only in comments but also in offers’ acceptance criteria and in your personal profile page.

Sample: tables and syntax highlighting

Syntax highlighting is also supported for code snippets. The formatting syntax is similar to the Github Flavored Markdown.

Please see the original issue for formatted text examples.

In the case you are interested on how we did it – here is how :-).

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