Draft of email to the Foswiki community ... care to edit?

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
3 messages Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Draft of email to the Foswiki community ... care to edit?

George (Foswiki)
Hi Foswiki community,

We need your help. 

The bin/configure configuration script has undergone a significant transformation for the upcoming Foswiki 1.2.  We believe that the new features are a big step forward, but at the same time we've probably unintentionally broken a few things, especially compatibility with some of the more unusual configurations.   Most of our testing has been done using Apache, with typical Apache Config Generator style configurations.   Those of us who have been working on configure probably are missing a lot of the "hard knocks" experience with older versions of Foswiki on some of the more unusual deployments.

We would like to fix these issues, but can't identify them without your help.  We've created a page to try to capture what we need to validate, or address for 1.2.  http://foswiki.org/Development/ConfigureRequirementsForDeployment

Of course the rest of Foswiki should be validated in these environments,  so formalizing this is important to the project.

Here are some of the features and more significant changes.  Most of the work has been done by Timothe Litt:
  • Use of Javascript / AJAX for checking of settings.  In many cases the "auto-check" happens when you move away from a changed field.  This means that you know *before* you save the configuration that a setting is invalid. 
  • Checkers are automatically materialized for common types.  There is no need to write custom Perl "Checker" code for every item to be checked.  Many more fields are now automatically checked.
  • Javascript is now required to access configure.  (This is probably the most significant change that could impact users.  Is a fall-back to non-Javascript required?) 
    • We intend to add some fall-back code,  but configure would be "feature limited" without Javascript.  So a minimal list of non-js features (if required) would be very helpful.
  • Many of the very time consuming checks have been deferred to "Audit" buttons.  For ex. the extensive scan of permissions of all files in the installation is done only on request.  Configure *should* be faster, though a very slow PC / or issues with the Javascript interpreter might slow some things down.
  • Login is now done with a Javascript popup for user/password.  The intention is to eventually provide some protection for the configure password, rather than passing it in the clear as is currently done.   HTTPS for configure is still preferred.
  • Configuration Audit will also scan and validate all Extension dependencies.  This should make it easier to detect dependency issues without digging through web server error logs.
  • Configure now establishes a CGI session, honoring any HTTP authentication if available. 
  • Session model for configuration changes.  You can step away and/or tolerate dropped connections and come back later to a set of pending changes.
    • The session model allows you to "refresh" the screen, testing a proposed set of changes without impacting the running wiki.
  • Major improvements in a couple of very common "problem areas"
    • The web server url paths are verified.  Configure will verify that the configured bin and pub URL paths serve expected contents. The checkers will hopefully avoid the common error of "I just see plain text".
    • The "Shorter URL" configuration is detected, and a "fix me" button is presented to set a valid view script setting.  This avoids the issue that many sites have encountered with page reloads when following anchor links, because of the incorrect view script url.
    • The new Configuration Audit shows the environment for the runtime (Foswiki engine) environment as well as the Configure environment and highlights differences.  This helps debugging issues that only occur in the Foswiki execution environment.
    • Email configuration can be done with a wizard, which probes the specified email server and finds the most secure working configuration, including full support for SSL and STARTTLS, port detection of 25, 465 and 587,  verification of the userid/password,  and good diagnostic messages if a valid AUTH algorithm cannot be negotiated.
      • NTLM Authentication (used by some Windows AD, exchange and SAMBA environments) is now supported by a contrib.
    • Email test uses a realistic message that allows one to validate that the mail is delivered AND readable end-to-end.
    • Wizards to assist with SSL certificate settings for email server verification (avoid hijacking) and Email signing using S/MIME
  • Summary button to list all errors and/or warnings without saving the changes
  • Summary button to list all pending changes without starting the save process.
  • A Log viewer to display the Configure logs and the Foswiki logs (warning, debug, event) is under development.  Once completed it will show merged Foswiki logs by timestamp., so that when debugging, the event, debug and warnings are all displayed in time sequence, making correlation much easier.
  • Admin (sudo) password is now optional.   Some sites would view the shared password as a violation of 'one user, one password' policy/best practice that is rigidly enforced in many corporate environments.  Now you can *choose* to not set a password and configure will continue to work.  Obviously it is *strongly* recommended to use http authentication for configure when running without an admin password.   (This feature still needs a bit of work.)
  • Configuration save logs an optional comment to document why the change was made. and if the configure session used authentication, who made the change.
  • Configuration resources (javascript, graphics) are now loaded using a cachable URL path instead of a query string. This significantly improves page load time.  Also the non-image resources are compressed, and Etag's are provided to further optimize performance.
  • Architectural improvements make it much easier to add future "Wizards",  and Type based checkers  (Specifying numeric bounds in the Config.spec for example)

What we need from you:

Please take some time to review http://foswiki.org/Development/ConfigureRequirementsForDeployment and contribute to any requirements that we might have missed or have broken with these changes.   And when you get a chance, please test the new configure and report your results.   You can open tasks for any issues and set the Component to "Configure".

If you're responsible for an extension that has configuration items, please update its checkers/Config.spec and DEPENDENCIES to take advantage of the new capabilities.  It's easy, fun - and will ensure a consistent user experience.

Thanks,
George Clark
Timothe Litt


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Master Visual Studio, SharePoint, SQL, ASP.NET, C# 2012, HTML5, CSS,
MVC, Windows 8 Apps, JavaScript and much more. Keep your skills current
with LearnDevNow - 3,200 step-by-step video tutorials by Microsoft
MVPs and experts. ON SALE this month only -- learn more at:
http://p.sf.net/sfu/learnnow-d2d
_______________________________________________
Foswiki-discuss mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/foswiki-discuss
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Draft of mail to the Foswiki community ... care to edit?

George (Foswiki)
That last message I just sent was NOT a draft.

Sorry about that.   I edited everything except the subject.  

Anyway... feedback on the new configure would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
George

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Master Visual Studio, SharePoint, SQL, ASP.NET, C# 2012, HTML5, CSS,
MVC, Windows 8 Apps, JavaScript and much more. Keep your skills current
with LearnDevNow - 3,200 step-by-step video tutorials by Microsoft
MVPs and experts. ON SALE this month only -- learn more at:
http://p.sf.net/sfu/learnnow-d2d
_______________________________________________
Foswiki-discuss mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/foswiki-discuss
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Draft of email to the Foswiki community ... care to edit?

Michael Daum-3
In reply to this post by George (Foswiki)
Hi George, Timothe,

this is a massive contribution with lots of new features and improvements.
I am really excited testing this out. Excellent work Timothe.

I am not too worried about requiring JavaScript in the browser other than
paying more attention to IE8 and IE9.

IE6 and IE7 are probably out of the loop anyway, although the project did officially state so.
IE10 is yet hard to get a hands on version without updating the OS at the same time.

One day I'll have to find out how to integrate VirtualHostingContrib in this cool interface.

Michael.

--
-- Board Member Foswiki Association e.V.
-- http://foswiki.org/Main/MichaelDaum

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Master Visual Studio, SharePoint, SQL, ASP.NET, C# 2012, HTML5, CSS,
MVC, Windows 8 Apps, JavaScript and much more. Keep your skills current
with LearnDevNow - 3,200 step-by-step video tutorials by Microsoft
MVPs and experts. ON SALE this month only -- learn more at:
http://p.sf.net/sfu/learnnow-d2d
_______________________________________________
Foswiki-discuss mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/foswiki-discuss