CAcert board voting system running at https://motion.cacert.org/
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README.md

CAcert board voting service

This project contains the source code for the CAcert board voting software.

Ideas

The board voting system is meant to be used by the elected committee members of CAcert Inc. to allow them to do votes on decisions in a distributed way. The system keeps track of the individual decisions and votes. It takes care of authenticating board members using client certificates and performs timekeeping for decisions. The system sends voting requests to all board members and takes care of sending reminders as well es decision results.

There is a concept of proxy votes that mean that one member of the board is allowed to vote in representation of another member of a board.

License

The CAcert board voting software is licensed under the terms of the Apache License, Version 2.0.

Copyright 2017-2022 Jan Dittberner

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this program except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

   http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an " AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

History

The CAcert board voting software is a Go reimplementation of the ancient PHP implementation that had been serving the CAcert board. The Subversion repository at https://svn.cacert.cl/Software does not exist anymore, so the last available version from http://community.cacert.org/board/ has been taken from the system. The latest file changed was proxy.php with a change date of 2011-05-15 23:13 UTC. The latest svn revision was:

Path: .
URL: https://svn.cacert.cl/Software/Voting/vote
Repository Root: https://svn.cacert.cl/Software
Repository UUID: d4452222-2f33-11de-9270-010000000000
Revision: 66
Node Kind: directory
Schedule: normal
Last Changed Author: community.cacert.org
Last Changed Rev: 66
Last Changed Date: 2009-07-12 04:02:38 +0000 (Sun, 12 Jul 2009)

Development requirements

Local development requires

  • golang >= 1.18
  • sqlite3 and development headers
  • GNU make
  • nodejs, npm and gulp (only needed if you intend to update the jQuery or Semantic UI CSS and JavaScript)

On a Debian 12 (Bookworm) system you can run the following command to get all required dependencies:

sudo apt install libsqlite3-dev golang-go make gulp

Getting started

Clone the code via git:

git clone ssh://git.cacert.org/var/cache/git/cacert-boardvoting.git

To get started copy config.yaml.example to config.yaml and customize the parameters. You will also need a set of X.509 certificates and a private key because the application performs TLS Client certificate authentication. You might use openssl to create a self signed server certificate and retrieve the CAcert class 3 root from the CAcert website:

openssl req -new -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout server.key -x509 -out server.crt -subj '/CN=localhost'
curl -o cacert_class3.pem http://www.cacert.org/certs/class3_X0E.crt

It is advisable to have a local mail setup that intercepts outgoing email or to use email addresses that you control.

You can use the following table to find useful values for the parameters in config.yaml.

Parameter Description How to get a valid value
database_file a SQLite database file (production value is database.sqlite) keep the default or use something like local.sqlite
client_ca_certificates File containing allowed client certificate CA certificates (production value is cacert_class3.pem) use the shell code above
server_certificate X.509 certificate that is used to identify your server (i.e. server.crt) use the filename used as -out parameter in the openssl invocation above
server_key PEM encoded private key file (i.e. server.key) use the filename used as -keyout parameter in the openssl invocation above
mail_config.smtp_host Mail server host (production value is localhost) localhost
mail_config.smtp_port Mail server TCP port (production value is 25 see how to setup a debugging SMTP server below and choose the port of that (default 8025)
mail_config.base_url The base URL of your application instance (production value is https://motions.cacert.org) use https://localhost:8443
mail_config.notice_mail_address email address where notifications about votes are sent (production value is cacert-board@lists.cacert.org) be creative but do not spam others (i.e. use user+board@your-domain.org)
mail_config.vote_notice_mail_address email address where notifications about individual votes are sent (production value is cacert-board-votes@lists.cacert.org) be creative but do not spam others (i.e. use user+votes@your-domain.org)
mail_config.notification_sender_address sender address for all mails sent by the system (production value is returns@cacert.org) be creative but do not spam others (i.e. use user+returns@your-domain.org)
timeouts.idle idle timeout setting for HTTP and HTTPS (default: 1 minute) specify a nano second value
timeouts.read read timeout setting for HTTP and HTTPS (default: 5 seconds)
timeouts.read_header header read timeout setting for HTTP and HTTPS (default: 5 seconds)
timeouts.write write timeout setting for HTTP and HTTPS (default: 10 seconds)

Generating random byte values

dd if=/dev/urandom bs=32 count=1 2>/dev/null | base64

Debugging SMTP server

You can use aiosmtpd to setup a small testing SMTP server that logs to stdout:

sudo apt install python3-aiosmtpd
python3 -m aiosmtpd -n

Build and run

make
./cacert-boardvoting

Build UI resources

Fomantic-UI is used as a CSS framework. Configuration is stored in semantic.json in the project root directory.

Building the UI resource requires

  • NodeJS >= v8
  • NPM >= v5

To install fomantic-ui and build the UI resources do:

npm install
cd node_modules/fomantic-ui
npx gulp build

Code structure

.
├── boardvoting
│   ├── migrations
│   ├── static
│   └── templates
├── db
└── semantic

The boardvoting directory contains the application code, database migrations, static assets and Go templates for HTML pages and mail content.

The db directory contains the initializer for database migrations.

The semantic directory contains a download of Semantic UI

The entry point into the application is boardvoting.go in the top level directory. Makefile controls the build Jenkinsfile contains the pipeline definition for the Continuous Integration Job. package-lock.json contains the pinned versions of external JavaScript and CSS assets (use npm install to download them into a local node_modules directory). semantic.json is the configuration file for the Semantic UI CSS framework.