Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 15:23:24 -0500
From: Ken Pooley email@example.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.
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
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 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
(* are included in beta 1)
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
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.