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From "Andrew Kenna" <andr...@stamina.com.au>
Subject RE: mirror coordination and a few more ideas
Date Thu, 11 Apr 2002 02:33:46 GMT


-----Original Message-----
From: Karsten W. Rohrbach [mailto:karsten@rohrbach.de]
Sent: Thursday, 11 April 2002 10:58 AM
To: mirrors@apache.org
Subject: mirror coordination and a few more ideas


hey folks @apache.org and the mirror list!

==1==

you are doing a great job, providing the world with free opensource
industrial strength web server software and more. the software and
partly the web pages are mirrored by the folks who all should read this
mailing list.

==2==

perhaps i did miss something, but is there any kind of roadmap, design
document or even a changelog on how the organization of the mirrors is
doing? reading from several posts here, you have in mind to use "apache
1.3.22+" features and all the perhaps really fancy stuff to come in the
future, i think it would make sense to use this list for a more detailed
way of announcement, to get the word out to the mirror sites before the
actual updates are done. some of us are very restrictive in our setups,
because we host a bunch of domains and simply cannot afford such a risk
as putting "allowoverride all" into some vhosts' config.

as a solution for these and the upcoming issues i propose the following:
- creation of a structural design document, giving an overview of what
  is mirrored in what rsync package/dist from what live server
  (httpd.apache.org et al); this might prove useful for you, too,
  because the apache.org project is growing and growing...
- give us some more transparency in the form of "hey we will require
  this and that functionality as of xx/xx/xxxx for the mirrors to work",
  "upgrade to at least 1.3.23 or your mirrors will break"
<p mode="asbestos_suit_on">
- rewrite /dyn/closer.cgi to decide on a per-network basis or the like,
  perhaps some heuristics mixed with randomization? if you want me to
  delve into writing a closer.cgi replacement, shoot, i might give it a
  spin.
</p>
- maintain a changelog somewhere, where in case of trouble a mirror
  maintainer can look up what has been done that introduced breakage

I tried suggesting to someone in here that all mirrors should run the
latest version of apache or they not be counted as mirrors until they
upgrade but from memory someone shot me down in flames.

I have some mirror pages that I have worked on located at
http://www.apache.org/~andrewk/, but am waiting for someone to put them
up into the live apache site



==3==

as i pointed out in one of my last posts to this list, there might be a
way to check the frequentation of the mirrors by embedding "something"
transparently into the main index.html and running a log analyzer to
see how popular apache currently is. i've got statistics online for me
internally and so do the other mirrors, but there's no real correlation
done and nobody knows how many downloads are made and the like. there
might be some more, alternative, ideas to see a little more than
netcraft provides. one list member proposed log aggregation, but i doubt
that anybody would spend a machine for fetching all the logs, storing
them (large fs needed) and doing analysis jobs on them. there might be
different methods and you, of course, might not be interested in this at
all (but then you should tell me to shut up instead of saying nothing).
if i got some spare time i might volunteer in thinking a little more
about this, but i would want some feedback first to not reinvent the
wheel the eighth time.

There is a way we can keep an eye on how the mirroring is going, by
putting a date onto the main index page that is visible to the main user
and if the date on the mirror does not correspond to the date on
apache.org the mirror is in need of updating.


==4==

where do the references to nonexistant files come from in our
error_logs? i analyzed the problem a bit and i see a lot of those
oh-so-fuzzy-warm-feeling-giving vc startup "online community" sites that
direct-link to files on the mirrors and do not check their links. i am
quite fed up with those "community sites", them being just plainly
ignorant, spammers, or worse (i won't go into the gory details here).
some of them just have a short blurb about apache and that you need it
badly for your system in a short text block and a direct link to the
downloadable files on the mirror. no word about apache.org, no word
about docs, no word about mailing lists, no word about support. i
already thought about placing a locked-down 404 errordoc in my dist tree
and point the poor user fellows to the apache.org site. it would, IMVHO,
make sense to get this problem solved with a little bit of strategy. it
will improve the spread of apache httpd and educate users to look at the
right place for the right bits of information. opinions?

just a few thoughts some hours past midnight.
waiting for the flames to roll in ;-)

regards,
/k

-- 
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