[Balug-Admin] BALUG Website Update

Andrey Kuznetsov deathowl@gmail.com
Mon Nov 19 18:47:17 PST 2007

First of all, I like the new basic layout, though some graphics help
is definitely needed.

by the way is that my Golden Gate Bridge picture Xavier is using? :P

I agree with Andrew the blue is a bit darkish, it should be much
lighter, perhaps closer to the tone of the clouds.
the Golden Gate Picture could use some borders or something, it's too
abrupt. And the left menu should get a divider.

No copyright, bottom of the website signatures yet?

Aside from graphics, it'd be nice to fit all the current info on the
subpages on the test site, but I suppose that's coming along.

On Nov 2, 2007 7:37 PM, Andrew Fife <afife@untangle.com> wrote:
> Michael, etc.:
> Thanks for the update.  It sounds like you guys are making good progress
> and I appreciate your keeping me in the loop on these below the surface
> issues.
> A couple of points to clarify:
> 1)I see the domains as only upside for BALUG because I've never had any
> expectation about being reimbursed for them.  If we can use them in a
> "redirect" scheme make BALUG less depending on control of BALUG.org,
> great, but if not, no big deal.  Also, I assume we'd pick the least
> confusing domain for the person being re-directed to rather than try to
> use all six domains.
> 2)I would be very happy with the website that had a softer background
> (personally I think Xavier's blue with the cityscape background is pretty
> cool) and that clearly focused around two key messages: the next up coming
> event & how to join the mailing lists.
> 3)In the future, I think it would be great to have a deeper website with
> member profiles, forums, distro-downloads and maybe job postings *if* they
> were done in a non-offensive manner and whatever else we can think up.
> Lots of stuff we could do, but I'm thinking it would be tough to even
> consider any of this stuff until Q2 of next year.  Basic & functional is
> my immediate goal.
> 4)Any idea what it would cost hire a consultant to work on the database?
> Maybe I can convince Untangle to cough up enough cash to help fix the
> underlying issues.  There really is no harm in me asking for the money, so
> give me an estimate and I'll go to bat for it next week.
> 5)I believe that I am now on the balug-admin mailing list.  My bad on
> that, between speakers coordination, steering committee & webmaster, I
> thought I was on all of the relevant lists.  Are there others that I
> should be on?  If so, please let me know.
> -Andrew
> ----------------------------------------
> Andrew Fife
> Untangle - Open Source Security Gateway
> download.untangle.com
> 650.425.3327 (O)
> 415.806.6028 (C)
> afife@untangle.com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Michael Paoli [mailto:Michael.Paoli@cal.berkeley.edu]
> Sent: Friday, November 02, 2007 1:56 AM
> To: balug-admin@lists.balug.org
> Subject: Re: BALUG Website Update
> My comments/replies in-line, some of the referenced stuff very slightly
> edited (e.g. some personal information removed)
> And I'm putting this one on the list (so, use due care if one hits
> Reply-all,
> as the list is publicly archived) - see also one of my comments towards
> the end of this e-mail (one is also not obligated to reply on list).
> Andrew - I'm also Bccing you - you ought to be subscribed to the "admin"
> list, but it appears you're not subscribed.
> Quoting Andrew Fife:
> > Hi Xavier & Michael:
> >
> > Just a quick note to check in regarding website issues and ask whether
> or
> > not you guys have been able to figure out getting Xavier root access to
> > the dreamhost box so that he can help work on the website.
> Well, you might want to check with the technical folks / sysadmins on some
> of this stuff first ...
> None of us have nor will we have root access on DreamHost.com ...
> period.  Only DreamHost admins have that access.  It's a hosted service.
> There's a lot of stuff we *can't* do there, and *don't* have access to
> change - or in some cases even view/inspect (e.g. http.conf) there.
> Nevertheless there's still a fair amount we can do there to get by
> at least semi-reasonably until we're set to completely move off of
> DreamHost.com.
> Work is significantly progressing - though it may not be
> highly visible at the casual glance. I alluded to at least some of this
> in some e-mail(s) I sent approximately last weekend or so.  For those that
> might have bothered to peek (e.g. any and/or all of BALUG's webmasters
> (Andrew - you're on the alias to keep you informed of that stuff too,
> but you don't have the access to the stuff (and probably best that way,
> as we can much better use your skills and time in other areas)), things
> *are* changing.  E.g. the webmasters now have much more freedom
> to change stuff on:
> http://[www.]new.balug.org/
> http://[www.]beta.balug.org/
> I've also added subdomain test.balug.org, and there's also
> http://[www.]php.test.balug.org/ (for our PHP volunteer(s) to muck around
> with trying some PHP fixes and such there (the PHP environment is also
> definitely not yet fully configured/available)).
> Though it might not be readily apparent, if one peeks a bit closely and/or
> looks at the configurations, they have separate DocumentRoot, so their
> pages can be mucked about with relatively independently.  I did also set
> up
> earlier mechanism to automagicly update main page on
> http://[www.]balug.org/
> from
> http://[www.]new.balug.org/
> ... that's still in place, but I have in mind mechanism to expand that, so
> that "all" (with some very limited and clear exceptions) changes/updates
> including changes on pages and also adding/droping pages on
> http://[www.]new.balug.org/
> would get relatively quickly (e.g. within 15 minutes or less)
> have their same changes made to
> http://[www.]balug.org/
> It's still a work in progress, but it's not too horribly far away from
> having those capabilities (fairly likely I'll get that wrapped up this
> coming
> weekend).  For those webmaster(s) that haven't peeked and/or played with
> it,
> poke around on the new.balug.org. host - you can change *most* stuff
> in
> http://[www.]new.balug.org/
> and
> http://[www.]beta.balug.org/
> ... do note however that if something is changed on the main page of
> http://[www.]new.balug.org/ it *will* cause that change to get propagated
> to
> http://[www.]balug.org/
> I may also setup
> http://[www.]test.balug.org/
> as an additional area (e.g. for doing non-production (and non-beta)
> tests (http://[www.]new.balug.org/ should be treated like production,
> as it does (presently a bit) and will (quite a bit more not too horribly
> far into the future from now) automagicly (at least by default)
> propagate most all its changes to the production
> http://[www.]balug.org/
> web site.
> Anyway, I'll provide a bit more details on that stuff once it's slightly
> more settled (it's still a work in progress - much of that work
> having gotten done between last weekend and this week).
> > Also, I recently bought the following urls:
> >
> > Bayarealinuxusersgroup.com/.net/.org
> > Bayarealinuxusergroup.com/.net/.org
> Uhm, ... I presume you mean domains, ... but in any case, ...
> well, we might be able to do *something* with those, ... but perhaps not
> nearly as useful to us as you might have guessed/presumed.  You might
> want to ask "us" (technical / sysadmin) folks a bit more about that
> first ... but that's a slightly moot point now.  We could point those to
> the new.balug.org. host, or the to be hosted by Untangle virtual host
> or wherever ... could point them at one of the already separate areas
> on the new.balug.org host, or create yet additional separate
> NameVirtualHost setups on that host as may be desired.  I think we
> should create as many separate areas as makes sense for their respective
> separate functions/uses ... but probably not more than that, otherwise
> we have inactive unnecessary gunk hanging out there.
> > Maybe we should forget about <registrant> and just setup a redirect to
> one
> > of these URLs.  That way the legacy web server issues won't get in the
> way
> > of effectively switching hosts and at least getting up cosmetically
> > prettier interim site up.
> A) Catch-22 - redirect won't remove dependency, can't do an HTTP
>    redirect without httpd.conf access - and we don't and won't have
>    that on DreamHost.com, and meta redirect wouldn't work very well and
>    has all the preceding problems and more.  We can't move balug.org.
>    off of DreamHost.com without a bit of assistance from <registrant>
>    (I need to do a bit more follow-up on that again ... not critical to
>    us *yet*, but will be at some point in our future).
> B) As noted in some earlier e-mails, I think we've got a good game plan
>    for being able to do a much better site, while still allowing us to
>    recover the legacy stuff and migrate critical legacy stuff (e.g. lists)
>    without inducing undue pain for over 400 BALUG list subscribers.
> > What do you guys think?
> A) Have some patience, we're getting there, but not overnight.  I'd
>    guestimate by late this year / early next year we'd be set to fully
>    migrate off of DreamHost ... but that's an approximate guestimate.
>    I'd think a fair bit sooner than that (e.g. mid to late this month,
>    perhaps significantly sooner) we'll be well poised to be able to make
>    lots of changes to our web pages - and rather easily (add/drop
>    changes pages, with any of the webmasters being able to do so).  I
>    also anticipate we'll soon have much better access "completed" for
>    webmasters to be able to pretty darn freely muck about with most any
>    relevant content that they should be able to change.
> B) Xavier - have a poke around
>    http://[www.]beta.balug.org/
>    You should be able to go relatively hog wild changing things on there
>    as the whim may strike you (I had in mind to plop copy of the pages
>    you did there as one reference starting point ... but haven't gotten
>    around to it yet, ... I think I've an older copy sitting around
>    somewhere, but not sure if that matches whatever current version you
>    may have on your ftp site).  Also keep in mind (we'll probably want
>    to "discuss" this) I've also got some ideas on how to do the web
>    pages ... I really like much of what Xavier's done (and stuff Mae
>    Ling Mak has also drafted), but I've got some ideas too, ... I think
>    by combining a number of features of both we can probably get what's
>    likely a "best of both worlds" - or at least nearly so.  If you have
>    a peek at the relevant configuration files (world readable) and
>    sudo -l, you should get a pretty darn good idea of what you can do
>    and where (feel free to ask me/us if anything isn't particularly
>    obvious - between BALUG trying to keep things sufficiently separate
>    from SF-LUG to avoid accidental interference, and multiple
>    NameVirtualHost setups, and some redirects, there may be a few
>    layers to look through to get familiar with how things are
>    configured and where the various pieces are).
> C) Andrew - those bayarealinuxusers?group\.{com,net,org}\. domains you
>    acquired - we should have a discussion about what you may wish to do
>    with them, and what's technically feasible ... then figure out from
>    there what we may care to do with them.
> D) Those domains you bought - as long as they're already bought and paid
>    for, we probably ought to at least point them to something useful, ...
>    in the meantime they basically look like a highly unimpressive parked
>    site page (mostly a bunch of advertising). ... they're using DNS
>    wildcard records too, ... so, ... we've got an exceedingly large number
>    of (sub)domains that all lead to quite unexciting web pages.
> E) I also think, where feasible, we should do more of these
>    communications on applicable publicly archived lists (dropping
>    specific bits as/where appropriate, etc.).  I think, where feasible,
>    having the conversations in "public" has several general advantages:
>    * others can catch up more quickly (point them at the archive)
>    * it's often easier to find/reference earlier items (search out /
>      provide URL)
>    * it's more visible:
>      * more folks see it, others might suggest useful stuff that we
>        might not have considered or may have forgotten or overlooked,
>        etc.
>      * other folks can lean from what we do/attempt (what works, what
>        doesn't, what is/isn't feasible (and why), etc.
>      * and (e.g. for the "admin" list) folks can generally be more
>       informed of some of the bits and pieces that are going on "inside"
>       BALUG (e.g. this may be one of the more public items I've done in
>       quite a while that gives folks a better "feel"/understanding of
>       where we are (and aren't, and have yet to go) on doing many of the
>       balug.org changes we wish to do.
> "For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat,
> and wrong."
> - Henry Louis Mencken
> "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler."
> - Albert Einstein
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deathowl@gmail.com - http://kandrey89.dyndns.dk

Live Long and Prosper,
by Andrey Kuznetsov aka "Death Owl"

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