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Midgard Weekly Summary, 25th of October, 2000 (#50)

Oct 25, 2000, 20:46 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ken Pooley)

Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 15:23:24 -0500
From: Ken Pooley kpooley@sewanee.edu
To: marty@linuxtoday.com
Subject: MWS, 25th of October, 2000 (#50)


It has been a very slow week for big Midgard News. Having said that, however, there is a lot of work going on. There was a problem with hosting the Midgard-project.org site, which is covered below. The CVS notifications have been fast and furious and there are several documents in the Annotations Forum at http://www.midgard-project.org for community review and comment. There is a relatively new and more detailed proposal by Jean-Phillip Brunon for implementing Midgard Name Space storage using an LDAP server. It is a good publication and includes a useful summary of the issues involved, for those who need to get up to speed.

We are working on a few big articles for the next several issues but would welcome suggestions and submissions from anyone. MWS #51 will be published on November 8, MWS #52 on November 22, and MWS #53 on December 6.

Editor's Note
Big IP problems lead to server move and a quick mirroring strategy.
        Tales of servers on the move and spreading through the world.
Asgard is available for public beta.
        Closing in on a last 1.4 beta release.

Big IP problems lead to server move and a quick mirroring strategy.

It started with a poorly configured DNS server, stopped in the middle with the Midgard-project site being offline and carried around in a server with no country, and ended up with a new home for the project's website and new mirrors all over the place. A few weeks ago we reported that the Midgard-project.org server was in the process of being moved from an unofficial home in a northern European university to a permanent home at a colocation facility with the bandwidth to handle all of our traffic and failsafe resources to protect the server. An ISP in the American Midwest seemed to provide the requisite resources for the project's needs and the site was moved in late June before the Paris Midgard meeting. Problems began to crop up pretty soon after arriving; a faulty or misconfigured router was causing frequent outages and the ISP was unable, or unwilling, to address the problem. Everything came to a head around October 16, when it was decided that the server should be moved. Further complications arose when the ISP took the 24-hour notice of intent to relocate as an opportunity to shut the server down, leaving the Midgard community in the dark and little grumpy. Quick action from Scott Dier with help from Dana Baily and Tim Feeney in Minneapolis had the server out the door, down the street, and into a new home in pretty quick order. The physical location of the server proved to be the easy part. More difficult was getting Network Solutions to recognize the change in location and then wait as upstream DNS servers figured out that the change had occurred. Scott worked with the server to try to prod upstream servers into recognizing the change as quickly as possible. Emile worked with Network Solutions and finally resolved the DNS issues from the top, but it took a while for servers downstream to decide to remap their domain references to the new address. While most servers are set to keep their cache for a week, others are less frequent in their updates, and so there may well be places on the Web where our URL still points to the old IP number. Availability of the main site should be pretty consistent at this point and should improve as the few remaining name servers figure out that we've moved.

The problems with the main server brought home forcibly the need to have a more effective mirroring strategy. The failure of the site brought a great response from the extended community. Paul Gillingwater and Torben Nehmer offered to host Swiss and German locations right away. Armand Verstappen designed an update system which periodically reconciles the mirrors with the main server. This avoids uploading the whole site every time, while ensuring that the mirrors are relatively in sync with the rest of the sites. There are a few features that are not yet working on the mirrors, including the Annotations forum and the search features. The mirrors are also still reached independently, although automatic redirection strategies are in the works.

The current mirror locations include:

and in the next week or so:

Asgard is available for public beta.

David Guerizec has continued to work away on a ground-up rewrite of the admin site, Asgard to us all. It can be downloaded from the CVS at:

for the Database, and:

for the blobs directory containing the images.

The site implements the new features of Midgard 1.4 but also adds a number of new features. Asgard is one of the last major parts of 1.4 to be finished before work on a final candidate release is started. There will still be at least one more beta release of the whole package.

Main features of Asgard Final Release:
- Frame-able (in just a click) (*)
- Manage attachments, parameters, sitegroups, snippets, events... in a word: all the new features of Midgard 1.4 (*, though maybe not events in beta1)
- Manage all objects in a tree fashion (or a list if the objects don't have children) (*)
- Customizable (*)
- Template/Theme system (*)
- Language independent (*)
- Section protection (i.e., a user belonging to the group 'Editors' can only view and edit the Topics/Articles section)
- View source feature
- Links to elements (elements from a page will be linked either to a style element or a page element, depending of the precedence of the inheritence)
(* are included in beta 1)

About Midgard

Midgard 1.4 is a content publishing tool for small and medium sized sites. It is based on Apache, MySQL and PHP. The application and its documentation are licensed GPL, LGPL and GFDL. This licensing strategy guarantees that developers, webmasters, ISPs, and business managers are investing in a strategy where they're free to share solutions and participate in the application design.

-> http://www.midgard-project.org

About MWS

The Midgard Weekly Summary is a bi-weekly newsletter for the Midgard user and developer community, as well as the extended web community. If you would like to release it or publish it, please contact Ken Pooley

Previous issues of Midgard Weekly Summary can be found archived at the Midgard web site.

-> http://www.midgard-project.org/topic/169.html

Midgard mailing list.

The Midgard mailing list is one of the most vital and visible aspects of the Midgard Community. Questions get answered, suggestions debated and work gets done. E-mail:midgard@greywolves.org

Places to see Midgard in Action:

-More to come