[GSoC 2015: Hawk Authentication] Week 14: Concluding Summer of Code

Submitted by Dragooon on Tue, 08/25/2015 - 17:07

This would be my last weekly update as far as Google Summer of Code 2015 is concerned. The long road is coming to an end as the season closes on Friday, 28th August 2015. This week I tackled a bug in core of Drupal which I discussed in my last week’s update.

Fixing WWW-Authenticate

This issue is #2553531 on the Drupal bug tracker. Previously when a user was accessing an area which required them to be logged in without logging in, Drupal would call authentication providers for a “challenge”. This challenge allows Basic Auth to specify it’s WWW-Authenticate header and send a HTTP 401 unauthorised error telling the user that they need to be logged in and can use Basic Auth as a means to log-in. This was good, as basic was the only protocol which would communicate via WWW-Authenticate until Hawk came along.

WWW-Authenticate can have multiple values, a server sending WWW-Authenticate: Hawk, Basic for example is saying that the client can use hawk or basic auth protocol. This wasn’t possible in the current code base as Drupal did not allow multiple Auth providers to specify the challenge. I modified the code to allow multiple auth providers to send their challenge which gets compiled by the authentication provider manager into an exception. Previously, the auth provider would send an exception itself which is why multiple auth providers could not specify their own challenge.

This fix is still to be accepted into Drupal core, although I hope it would get accepted soon.

Concluding Summer of Code

This would probably be the last coding I will be doing during Summer of Code, but it’s not last related to Drupal or my project as I plan to continue it’s development after GSoC as well and hopefully I get to stick around Drupal for a long time.

I had a lot of fun during the summer, and I got to learn a lot of new things as well as got introduced to Drupal and it’s community. I worked on implementing a new protocol within PHP, developing a general purpose library which can be used by anyone willing to use the protocol with PHP and implemented the protocol as a Drupal module. All things that I have never done in the past, and the things I struggled with at times but ultimately learned them and managed to succeed to the best of my abilities. I also improved my understanding of concepts such as Dependency Injection, unit testing, composer, authentication and authorization as well as security concepts related to them, encryption, hashing and general Drupal architecture and development.

For students participating in the future, don't hesitate to ask around the Drupal community via the forums or IRC if you get stuck doing something as they are very helpful. Drupal is a complicated beast and there are a lot of people apart form your mentor who are willing to help, it would also be faster at times when your mentor might not be available. I took a lot of help from the community during my project and the community really helped around.

I’m glad to have taken part in this year’s summer of code and I will remember this experience forever. A big thanks to my mentor Jingsheng Wang (skyred) and the Drupal community for their support as well as Avantika Agarwal for proofreading my blog and documents related to Summer of Code. I will continue with what I started this summer of code and try to learn and share as many things as I can.

Thank you!

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