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From Dave Fisher <>
Subject Re: Extensions and templates
Date Fri, 09 Dec 2011 00:35:26 GMT

On Dec 8, 2011, at 4:06 PM, Gavin McDonald wrote:

> Dave,
> I already have access and have been speaking with Lance over this over the
> past week.
> It is in hand, as they say.

Yes! And we all appreciate this (or should!).

Forums - check, MWiki - check, other wikis - check, Roller - check! You do a lot to support
AOO, you have a track record. Thank you, Gavin!

Best Regards,

> Gav...
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Dave Fisher []
>> Sent: Friday, 9 December 2011 10:03 AM
>> To:
>> Subject: Re: Extensions and templates
>> On Dec 8, 2011, at 4:00 AM, Andrea Pescetti wrote:
>>> Gavin McDonald wrote:
>>>>> From: Andrea Pescetti
>>>>> On 29/11/2011 Rob Weir wrote:
>>>>>> ==Option 1: Remain at OSUOSL==
>>>>>> We could remain with OSUOSL hosting.  However, the existing site
>>>>>> very unstable.
>>>>> This would be best both for short and long term. ...
>>>> Sorry, OSUOSL don't want anything to do with these any longer
>>> As I wrote, Options 1 and 3 (i.e., staying with OSUOSL or cloning to
> another
>> host) are fundamentally equivalent to me. My point is that the best first
> step
>> is starting from the current websites or a clone of them.
>>>> The hosts themselves cannot cope with all the memory and cpu these
>>>> are consuming all the time, let alone the bandwidth.
>>> Then someone should explain why they were absolutely stable in 2010,
>> with a traffic that can be safely assumed to be similar to the one they
> are
>> receiving in 2011. Something broke, and since the Drupal code hasn't
>> changed I still think that the malfunctioning components are somewhere
> else
>> (or, if in Drupal, not in the site itself but in the interface to caching
> engines).
>> Send an email to and start a conversation with Lance
>> Albertson. He's willing to tell you all about it. The short answer is that
> Oracle
>> was making changes when the plug was pulled on OOo. They left it broken.
>> The other part is that the two sites were in such a state that OSUOSL's
> Nagios
>> checks on E&T were like Peter, the boy who cried wolf. They turned them
> off
>> and they don't notice when varnish gets frozen.
>> Possibly with a little care you may be able to fix this.
>>>> I've had a look around
>>>> the drupal sites and it is not optimal to say the least.
>>> It would be helpful to know what level of access you obtained to make
> this
>> assessment. Could you read the site code, or did you receive administrator
>> credentials for the website, or did you get shell access to the machine?
>>> That the sites are not optimal is fairly obvious, especially considering
> that
>> Extensions is a Drupal 5 site and thus creates sessions even for anonymous
>> users; Drupal 7 is much better in this respect and offers more scalability
> out
>> of the box and better integration with caching engines, so it seems a
> natural
>> candidate for medium-term and long-term improvements ("Option 5").
>> I don't see any reason why you shouldn't ask for access.
>> If you and Gavin can both look then we are the correct path to resolving
>> these troubles. Just agree to work it through!
>> Best Regards,
>> Dave
>>>>>> ==Option 2: Move Critical extensions to stable host==
>>>>> Indeed, as you write, this would be an extreme option.
>>>> More extreme would be to do nothing, as you'll end up with nothing.
>>> Of course. What I meant to say was: cherry-picking "important"
> extensions
>> and creating a repository for them from scratch is more or less the same
>> work of Option 1 or 3  (i.e., fix the current site or a clone of it) for a
> much less
>> interesting result.
>>>>>> ==Option 3: Clone OSUOSL repositories to another host==
>>>>> This is not significantly different from Option 1; i.e., if there
>>>>> are other hosting options available the mere cloning of the site
>>>>> would not take long, but again the problem is not with the site but
> with
>> caching.
>>>> Do not blame caches for poor performance. the caches are improving a
>>>> bad situation
>>> OK, no matter what we think about the root cause for the current bad
>> performance it seems that we both agree that cloning the site will give us
> the
>> possibility to tweak it (or the environment) and improve performance.
> Since
>> I've seen it working perfectly in 2010, I'm confident this is achievable.
>>>>>> ==Option 4: Host repositories elsewhere, using new UI==
>>>>> As I used to say, everybody who thinks that the Extensions or
>>>>> Templates sites can be replaced easily has never tried submitting a
>> template!
>>>>> Thorsten did a lot of customization work on the two sites; any
>>>>> replacement would provide a largely inferior user experience.
>>>> I think you don't think very highly of other peoples abilities, a poor
>> outlook.
>>> That was just a warning: people should know (and they would know, if
> they
>> had ever uploaded a template...) that the sites extract and use a lot of
>> information specific to and ODF files. This is often
> overlooked
>> when people see these sites as "some form of file repositories" and
> propose
>> to rely on different solutions: they should be aware that, to provide an
>> optimal user experience for our use case, a significant amount of custom
>> code must be added.
>>>>>> ==Option 5: Re-architect the Repositories== This is the option I
>>>>>> personally favor for long term. ...
>>> OK, it seems we have agreement, at least at broad scope, that the long-
>> term solution will be along the lines of Option 5 (i.e., encourage or
> enforce
>> external hosting; allow for a scenario involving several different
> repositories).
>>>> here is the route I intend to take:
>>>> 1. Move the services to a newer more modern host at the ASF
>>>> (temporary) 2. BandAid the installation to stabilise it for the short
>>>> term (this is still more work than it sounds)
>>> So it seems we agree on these steps, and it's great (for planning Step
> 1)
>> that you have access to information that is not available to me.
>>>> 3. Stick Apache TrafficServer in front (not varnish) to improve
> response
>> times / caching.
>>> I don't have enough knowledge on Apache TrafficServer to comment on
>> this specific step.
>>>> 4. Go with the choice of Option 5. that is, to allow the hosting and
>> downloading of the templates
>>>>   and extensions to be with the 3rd party authors.
>>> It's already allowed; it is just not enforced. I mean, it already
> happens that
>> some extensions form the Extensions site are downloaded from external
>> sites like SourceForge.
>>>> the status quo can not continue, for benefit of all.
>>>> Help welcomed at any step of the way.
>>> Just make sure to get permission to transfer and modify the site code
> from
>> Oracle, or clarify that such a permission is not needed. I can't have any
> active
>> involvement with this until this issue is solved, even though I completely
>> share your desire to bring the sites back to normal operations as soon as
>> possible.
>>> Regards,
>>> Andrea.

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