Monthly Archives: February 2006

Defining Web 2.0

I originally posted this at http://www.318.com/TechJournal

Chances are, with all of the hubbub surrounding overnight success giants MySpace.com and Flickr, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the second coming of the internet, commonly referred to as “Web 2.0” . Bloggers are frequently commenting on “Wiki” this and “tagging” that. But what is this Web 2.0 phenomenon and how can it improve how we manage our lives and businesses in a digital world? While there may not be a simple answer to these questions, there are a few suppositions that can be made as to what Web 2.0 is shaping up to look like and how its changing the way we exchange information.

In very general terms, Web 2.0 is commonly referred to as the upsurge in development of web-based services and applications utilizing open-source development platforms such as Ruby on Rails and Ajax. Which doesn’t really mean very much to, you and me, the non-developer community, except that what these developmental tools actually allow us to do on the internet are shaping up to be rather interesting prospects, indeed. For instance, last year, using their own Ruby on Rails technology, a company called 37 signals, released a completely internet-based project management and collaboration suite called Basecamp. For a rather nominal licensing fee, small businesses can manage projects and the people assigned to them in real-time, all within a web-browser. No more confusing licensing issues with project management software. One licensing fee, unlimited users. That’s it. Simple, easy. It’s the perfect example of what many developers are banking on. No more confusing licensing issues and expensive support.

What makes this technology so alluring, besides cost-effectiveness, is the collaborative capabilities inherent in tagging technology. In a nutshell, “tagging” or “Wiki” is the ability for users to link information to make it available to whomever they see fit. For example, Flickr.com, one of the more successful Web 2.0 outcroppings, gives users the ability to upload their pictures to their own personal Flickr website. They then tag their pictures, inserting keywords that describe the picture, which are then enabled as hyperlinks, making them searchable to other users that have similar tags. Other users have the ability to tag your photos, if you so desire. Allowing you to accept or deny these tags, thereby giving your pictures less or more visibility depending on what your level of participation might be. Essentially, the more you contribute, the more visible you become.

Taking online collaboration to a more global level, Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia, allows registered users to contribute to articles in encyclopedic entries, essentially tagging them with additional information they deem important to that article. Volunteers, or Wikipedians, as they’re referred to in the wiki-sphere, edit these entries and collaborate on whether they should be included or not. True global collaboration.

But this technology is not just reserved for the internet. Software developers are feverishly developing web 2.0 applications for the enterprise. SocialText, a Palo Alto based developer has just released server software that will facilitate easy online collaboration for documents and projects in an enterprise environment. Companies like design firms and media firms that rely heavily on collaboration for the success of their enterprise will probably want to take a good hard look at these kinds of collaborative solutions. Another interesting development comes from Joyent, a Marin County, CA start-up that is targeting small businesses with a completely web-based network server solution, literally, in a box. For just around $5K and a $65 monthly service fee for updates and support, this “out-of-the-box” server plugs into a company’s intranet and via a web-browser, hosts email, file-sharing, contact management, and calendar publishing, with tagging supported across the whole suite allowing for a true online collaborative environment.

If this kind of solution catches on, software development of this sort won’t be going away any time soon and is the stuff that might make server giants such as Microsoft and Apple rethink their strategies toward the small business market. Web 2.0 is still in its infancy; we’ll have to wait and see which of the many services and technologies being offered catch on and which will waste away in the cloud of cyberspace obscurity. But one thing is for certain, Web 2.0 development is paving the road for the future of online collaboration and productivity.

personal

Happy Valentines Day

That’s it.  Short and sweet, have plans, you should too…  :)

Mac OS X

lsof and processes

To see processes with open (aka ESTABLISHED) connections:

lsof -i | grep ESTABLISHED

Articles and Books Mac OS X Server

Mac Tiger Server Little Black Book in the Can

It’s done.  Finally.  You can buy it here:

http://www.amazon.com/Tiger-Server-Black-Little-Paraglyph/dp/1933097140

Xsan

Uninstalling Xsan

When the standard troubleshooting steps do not work for an xSAN client it is sometimes a good idea to just uninstall the software and reinstall it. You also may decide to repurpose an aging system out of the xSAN. To uninstall xSAN from a system:

  1. Open xSAN Admin from /Applications/Server
  2. Unmount all of the volumes for the system you are uninstalling.
  3. Backup the /Library/Filesystems/Xsan/config directory for the system.
  4. Open the Uninstall Xsan.pkg file from the CD or other location it is available at.
  5. At the Welcome ot the Xsan Uninstaller Installer screen click continue.
  6. At the Select a Destination for Uninstall screen, click on the volume you want to uninstall the xSAN software from and click Continue.
  7. At the Easy Install screen, click Install.
  8. Authenticate to the Uninstaller at the Authenticate prompt and click on OK
  9. At the warning that you will need to restart your computer, click Continue Installation.
  10. When the uninstall process is complete, click Restart to reboot the computer you just uninstalled xSAN from.

Note: You will need to uninstall Xsan using an uninstaller of the same version that is installed.

Mac OS X Server

Howto Install awstats on OS X

I originally posted this at http://www.318.com/TechJournal

Here are the steps for setting up AWStats on Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger Server.

1. Download the last stable release of AWStats from www.awstats.org to your desktop.
2. In the Finder, navigate to /var/log/httpd
3. Backup and remove any old web logs.
4. Open Server Admin.
5. Select Web:Settings:Modules
6. Make sure the “perl_module” and “php4_module” are enabled.
7. Click Save.
8. Select the “Sites” pane.
9. Double-click the entry for the site you are going to enable stats on.
10. Select the “Options” pane.
11. Enable CGI Execution and Server Side Includes (SSI).
12. Click Save.
13. Select the “Realms” pane.
14. Create a new Realm called “awstats_data” in the site’s root directory or “Web Folder”. If necessary, within the Finder, navigate to the /Library/WebServer/Documents directory and create a new folder called “awstats_data”. (i.e. /Library/WebServer/Documents/awstats_data).
15. Enable Browse/Author access for the local Administrator and the “www” user only.
16. Click Save.
17. Select the “Logging” pane.
18. Change the access logging Format to “combined”
19. Change the access log Location to /var/log/httpd/awstats_access_log
20. Change the error log Location to /var/log/httpd/awstats_error_log
21. Click Save.
22. Select the “Aliases” pane and add 127.0.0.1 as an alias.
23. Click Save.
24. Click the left-arrow icon to exit Editing the site.
25. Make sure the site is enabled and Web Services are running.
26. Open Workgroup Manager.
27. Verify ACLs are enabled on the volume containing the “awstats_data” directory you created earlier.
28. Change the posix permissions of the “awstats_data” directory to allow Read/Write access for the admin group.
29. Create an ACL to allow Read/Write access for the “www” user.
30. Click Save.
31. Close Server Admin and Workgroup Manager.
32. Expand the awstats.zip downloaded from awstats.org to your desktop.
33. Create a new folder named “awstats” in the /Library/WebServer directory.
34. Copy the contents of ~/Desktop/awstats-6.5/ to /Library/WebServer/awstats
35. Open a Terminal session.
36. Type cd /Library/WebServer/awstats/tools
37. Press Return
38. Type sudo perl awstats_config.pl
39. Follow the prompts…

—– AWStats awstats_configure 1.0 (build 1.6) (c) Laurent Destailleur —–
This tool will help you to configure AWStats to analyze statistics for
one web server. You can try to use it to let it do all that is possible
in AWStats setup, however following the step by step manual setup
documentation (docs/index.html) is often a better idea. Above all if:
– You are not an administrator user,
– You want to analyze downloaded log files without web server,
– You want to analyze mail or ftp log files instead of web log files,
– You need to analyze load balanced servers log files,
– You want to ‘understand’ all possible ways to use AWStats…
Read the AWStats documentation (docs/index.html).

—–> Running OS detected: Mac OS

—–> Check for web server install
Found Web server Apache config file ‘/etc/httpd/httpd.conf’

—–> Check and complete web server config file ‘/etc/httpd/httpd.conf’
AWStats directives already present.

—–> Update model config file ‘/Library/WebServer/awstats/wwwroot/cgi-bin/awstats.model.conf’
File awstats.model.conf updated.

—–> Need to create a new config file ?
Do you want me to build a new AWStats config/profile
40. file (required if first install) [y/N] ? y

—–> Define config file name to create
What is the name of your web site or profile analysis ?
Example: www.mysite.com
Example: demo
Your web site, virtual server or profile name:
41. site.domain.com

—–> Create config file ‘/Library/WebServer/awstats/wwwroot/cgi-bin/awstats.site.domain.com.conf’
Config file /Library/WebServer/awstats/wwwroot/cgi-bin/awstats.site.domain.com.conf created.

—–> Add update process inside a scheduler
Sorry, configure.pl does not support automatic add to cron yet.
You can do it manually by adding the following command to your cron:
/Library/WebServer/CGI-Executables/awstats.pl -update -config=site.domain.com
Or if you have several config files and prefer having only one command:
/Library/WebServer/Documents/tools/awstats_updateall.pl now
42. Press ENTER to continue…

A SIMPLE config file has been created: /Library/WebServer/awstats/wwwroot/cgi-bin/awstats.site.domain.com.conf
You should have a look inside to check and change manually main parameters.
You can then manually update your statistics for site.domain.com’ with command:
> sudo perl awstats.pl -update -config=site.domain.com
You will also read your statistics for ‘site.domain.com’ with URL:
> http://localhost/cgi-bin/awstats.pl?config=site.domain.com

43. Press ENTER to finish…
44. Edit the awstats.site.domain.com.conf file (in your favorite text editor, as root) and add these lines or augment existing lines for these variables.
LogFile=”/var/log/httpd/awstats_access_log”
LogType=W
LogFormat=1
SiteDomain=”site.domain.com”
DirData=”/Library/WebServer/Documents/awstats_data”
DirCgi=”/Library/WebServer/CGI-Executables”
DirIcons=”/icon”
AllowToUpdateStatsFromBrowser=1
AllowFullYearView=3
46. Move the remaining contents of /Library/WebServer/awstats/wwwroot to /Library/WebServer/Documents
47. Move the “tools” directory of /Library/WebServer/awstats to /Library/WebServer/Documents
48. Open Terminal
49. Type cd /Library/Webserver/CGI-Executables/
50. Type sudo perl awstats.pl -update -config=site.domain.com
51. From the server, open a browser and go to the site http://localhost/cgi-bin/awstats.pl?config=site.domain.com
52. If you see the data then you know that both your configuration and log file format is good.
53. Now it’s time to tell the system to update awstats on a regular basis.
Create a CRON job to run the command /Library/WebServer/CGI-Executables/awstats.pl -update -config=site.domain.com

On the Road

On the Road: Or Not…

So this week I was able to use WebEx to make it where I didn’t have to fly to New York.  Saving the client money and saving me the time in the airport is kindof a good gig. I love technology.