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The Dice Project

Operational Meeting

Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 25th March 2015 in IF-4.31

Neil Brown, Roger Burroughes, Alison Downie, Ian Durkacz, Jennifer Oxley, Iain Rae, George Ross (convener and minutes), Craig Strachan
  1. Minutes of the last meeting
  2. Actions and blog articles

    Actions discussed:

    Actions added:

    Actions completed:

    Blog articles suggested:

  3. Report from Computing Executive Group

  4. Reports from units

  5. Topics for discussion

    (Nothing in the wiki list.)

  6. Items for the Computing Systems blog

    Craig expects to be writing something about the removal of some of the Forum mono printers.

  7. AOCB

    1. Roger's "secure web server"
      • From his email to COs: "The coming-soon 'secure web' service operating on sweb.inf accesses AFS space with minimal necessary permissions via the WaklogLocationPrincipal directive and a <user>.sweb ID, and this all runs fine. However, suexec must be used to perform a similar function for non-AFS filespace, and the vanilla suexec code only triggers this behaviour if it sees a '~user' in the URL.

        "This is all fine and dandy, but I wonder if users might find the need for the tilde form confusing/annoying? We COULD hack the suexec and Apache/userdir code to fix this, but that's very definitely Not Recommended, and would mean future updates (are there any other kinds?) would require patching too. We already rebuild suexec (reconfigured, not patched) and additional work to keep track of other changes may not be worth the effort.

        "I'd be inclined to keep the ~user URL form, and have static pages and scripts in a user's secure web space, then just document it (exectable URLs would need a tilde, static pages wouldn't). Keeping things as vanilla as possible just seems like A Good Thing to me.

        "Failing arguments to the contrary, I think I'll just run with tilde - but thought I'd see if CO crowd-surfing came up with any arguments against."

      • The general consensus was that it would be better to avoid patching.
      • However, if homepages is ever moved to this kind of implementation then there would be corresponding changes there, which might be problematic for some.
      • How would "secure" group pages be handled? '~' probably wouldn't work for these.
    2. Open area ports

      Open area ports were discussed at CEG on Monday 23rd, where it was agreed that these should be enabled on Conf110. Craig is looking into possible ways to provide printing.

  8. Next meeting

    The next meeting will be on 8th April 2015 at 10:00 in IF-4.31 chaired by Alison.

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