All YouTube videos running on edX.org and Open edX platforms will break at the end of July because of a serious bug in the platform’s codebase. This problem, reported by edX yesterday, will happen unless a fix is developed and implemented soon.
This bug appeared because Open edX uses a deprecated YouTube API v2 to retrieve metadata. And YouTube has plans to turn off the Data API v2 entirely this month, in order to force users to migrate to the Data API v3. YouTube Data API was deprecated in April.
EdX’s engineering team is working now against the clock on a solution. However, the fix is incomplete so far. “The fixes haven’t been adequately reviewed yet, and have not yet been merged to the master branch of the edx-platform & configuration repositories. Now that we know that the Data API v2 is going to be turned off very soon, edX is going to focus on getting this fix out the door ASAP: without it, edx.org will break as well”, explained hours ago Sarina Canelake, one of the lead engineers at edX.
Once the fix is completed, edX will provide a patch for Birch release-named installations, while the new Cypress-based releases, expected for the end of month, will include this fix by default.
Administrators of existing platforms will need to apply the fix in order to avoid that any site fails to play YouTube videos.
In addition, the YouTube API v3 will require everyone to sign up for an API token and set it up on the Open edX site.
Guest Post: Sarina Canelake, edX | 07.17.2015
This post originally ran on Google Groups on July 17, 2015
WARNING: YouTube videos will break soon for Open edX sites. Here’s what you need to know
We just discovered a problem with the Open edX codebase that will cause all YouTube videos to break very soon. We don’t yet have all the answers, but we wanted to tell the community what we *do* know ASAP, and we will continue to post updates as we learn more and develop a fix the problem.
Open edX uses the YouTube Data API v2 to retrieve metadata from YouTube about videos. The v2 API is deprecated, and a hack was put in place to read data from the deprecated API endpoint.
This morning we discovered this blog post on the YouTube Engineering blog, which says: “While you should migrate your app as soon as possible, these features will work in the Data API v2 until the end of July 2015 to avoid any outages.” It’s nearly the end of July 2015, and we haven’t yet migrated to the Data API v3. At a certain point, YouTube will turn off the Data API v2 entirely, at which point any Open edX installation that is still trying to use the Data API v2 will fail to display YouTube videos. The good news is, we’re working on a fix. The bad news is, the fix is incomplete: we also need a corresponding change to the configuration repository to make it work properly. The fixes haven’t been adequately reviewed yet, and have not yet been merged to the master branch of the edx-platform & configuration repositories. Now that we know that the Data API v2 is going to be turned off very soon, edX is going to focus on getting this fix out the door ASAP: without it, edx.org will break as well!
Once the fix is complete, reviewed, and merged, we will let everyone know by sending out another email to this mailing list. We will try to provide a patch for Birch that incorporates this fix. We are currently testing a release candidate for Cypress, the next named release, and Cypress will definitely include this fix as well.
Please note that edX fixing the problem in the open source codebase does not automatically fix the problem for already-running installations of Open edX. If you are running an Open edX site, your site will fail to play YouTube videos at the end of July unless you add the upcoming fix to your codebase, so please monitor this mailing list and be prepared to apply the fix as soon as we make it available. In addition, the YouTube Data API v3 requires everyone to sign up for an API token, so you will have to get your own API token for your own Open edX site. Once the fix is ready to go, we will have more information for you about how to get it set up with your API token.
I apologize for the urgency of this email, and for the fact that we don’t have more information for you right now. We should have planned for this API removal better, but we didn’t realize the actual date of the removal until today. We recommend that you wait for edX to release a complete, well-tested fix for this problem. If you choose to implement the incomplete fix that we have so far, we cannot provide any support or answer any questions about it: we need to use all our time and attention in developing a complete, well-tested fix. Thanks for sticking with us, and for being an awesome community.