[ubuntu-za] Ubuntu-ZA Moving Forward

David Rubin drubin at ubuntu.com
Mon Apr 12 22:51:06 BST 2010

Hi Stefano, Stefan

Thanks for both of your posts they were very insightful and I do
appreciate both your offers. See below for comments and explanations.

On Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 4:15 PM, Stefano Rivera <ubuntu-za at rivera.za.net> wrote:
> Hi David (2010.04.11_20:01:02_+0200)
>> 1) one person is burdened with the task of all the maintenance
>> 3) responsibility of all the costs involved with hosting.
>> 2) any thing else that might crop up.
> To some degree, things are a lot simpler when there's only one active
> sysadmin, but this breaks down when they no longer have the time.
>> 1) Wiki  (media wiki, our base website) -- Hosted by Jonathan
>> 2) Planet (Aggregation of ubuntu-za bloggers) -- Hosted by Jonathan
> As the chairman of CLUG, I can offer you hosting on our servers.
> http://wiki.clug.org.za/wiki/CLUG_Servers
> Options that may be of interest:
> 1. soda, our (donated) Xen machine at Frogfoot running our mediawiki and
>   planet
> 2. dreamcoat, a beefy old box in UCT Chemical engineering that hosts the
>   CLUG mailing lists and www.leg.uct.ac.za, but otherwise sits very idle.
> Pros:
> * CLUG already has multiple sysadmins (although I'm probably the only
>  reasonably active one, and we could use more help).
> * Shared sysadmin load between ubuntu-za and CLUG+LEG.
> * No cost to either party
> * You'll be locked into CLUG's hardware upgrade cycle (very slow)
> Cons:
> * Our webserver at frogfoot only has 256 MiB of RAM, which may be a
>  problem. Maybe you should ask Frogfoot for sponsorship of your own Xen
>  instance?
> * UCT's IT department are a pain and they sometimes cause trouble with
>  their traffic shaping equipment and firewalls. They also routinely
>  break the University's internet connection for a whole day during
>  their monthly Sunday maintenance.
>> We are going to switch over to a proper  CMS for our home page. In the
>> past we have mainly used our wiki as a CMS -- this way it allows us to
>> have a nice pretty home page linking to other things (planet, mailing
>> lists, forums, wiki ie moving our wiki related stuff to
>> http://wiki.ubuntu.com/ZATeam) The pretty home page is something that
>> I feel strongly about since it is the first thing new users see.
> Sounds sensible. Drupal isn't fantastic for Photo gallery type stuff at
> the moment, but the next release should be a lot better. It also has
> pretty crummy wiki plugins, so using Ubuntu's wiki for wiki tasks is
> sensible.
> You may want to try the planet plugin for Drupal.

That was one of the idea's that Raoul and I were playing around with.
I do think that using wiki.ubuntu.com is a great idea because it means
we can link to other wiki pages with in the greater Ubuntu section.

What we have used ubuntu-za wiki in the past was a simple news/blog
posting engine which I do think giving people editor access would be
sufficient for adding news reporting events and what not.

On the point of Photo gallery if they turn out to be rubish we could
always host a 3td party application todo the photos and link to them
from the main page.

> Can I suggest asking Frogfoot, Webafrica, IS, etc. if they'd be prepared
> to donate hosting? Frogfoot has always been very helpful to geeky
> causes.

While our hosting needs are pretty simple and we should be fine with
any hosting that becomes the easiest to maintain and implement. The
reason for me wanting to move away from Jonathans hosted solution is
exactly one of the pro's that Stefano mentioned of having an active
> * CLUG already has multiple sysadmins (although I'm probably the only reasonably active one, and we could use more help).

What ever solution we choose it would be nice to know that who ever is
in charge of the box/site/* has the *time* + access + knowledge
required to fix what ever issue might crop up. I have spoken to
Jonathan and I don't feel that due to his very busy schedule he would
be able to give us the support if things were to go wrong again.

> * Our webserver at frogfoot only has 256 MiB of RAM, which may be a
>  problem. Maybe you should ask Frogfoot for sponsorship of your own Xen
>  instance?

Maybe it might be a viable option to look at asking them to upgrade
the Xen instance and for us to share it.

My issue with dreamcoat is that you mentioned  UCT's IT department
doing funky things with out warning. This goes against things being
stable and having the access to fix them, With UCT's IT department one
would not have the access because as far as I know they simple do what
they want.

Hope this clears up my reasoning for wanting to move away from the
current solution.


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