EdWeb cron

August 20, 2015

While investigating the latest Drupal security update on web.inf, I noticed again that the cron jobs were behind schedule. I was under the apprehension that EdWeb used Drupal’s poor mans cron (or some version of it), apparently this is wrong.

So I’ve added a system cron to call the site’s cron.php with the necessary key. I’ve added the following to the live/edweb-school.h
!cron.additions mADD(edwebcron)
cron.add_edwebcron * * * * * wget -O - -q -t 1 http://EDWEB_SITE_NAME/cron.php?cron_key=EDWEB_SITE_CRONKEY

According to https://www.drupal.org/node/2195391 it should be run every minute, so that’s what I’ve setup. In the machine’s profile I define the CRONKEY and it’s all working fine. Slightly concerned about how much noise it might produce if the wget start producing output. We’ll see.


Missing rich text editor

August 20, 2015

Julian reported that using Firefox on DICE he was missing the rich text editor (ckeditor) when updating web.inf.ed.ac.uk pages. Trying for myself on DICE and Firefox (SL7.1), I too noticed the rich text editor (RTE from now on) was missing. I tried using Chrome on DICE (which I normally use for Drupal), and indeed it works there.

I switched back to Firefox (FF) with the intention to inspect what was going on with the developer tools, but now the RTE was appearing fine! I tried Opera on SL6, and the RTE is missing for me, and no amount of visiting the same page with other browsers has made it reappear (like it seemed to do with Chrome and FF).

The old Plone site used to behave differently depending on which browser and OS you were using, I presume this is just a variation of that. With not all browser javascript/DOM models being equal. Though other seemingly complex bits that use Javascript, eg the SCALD media flyout, seems to work fine on all browsers.

While I was investigating this, I did the the browser developer tools reporting various CSS and Javascript errors/warnings. I’ll have to leave it for now, but when I next get a chance, I’ll see if the central EdWeb site gives the same behaviour and errors/warnings.


Old content warning banner and Google Analytics

August 11, 2015

Today Kenny asked for a couple of things. Since the replacement for www.inf.ed.ac.uk/student-services went live yesterday (web.inf.ed.ac.uk) he wants the old pages to have some sort of “Old content” warning and a link to the new site, until such time that we simply redirect old to new content. One snag is that not all the old content has moved, as we can’t support restricted pages on EdWeb yet, so they need to remain in Plone.

The correct way to do this, would be some clever Plone/Zope hacking, which some how decides to display the “Old content” warning or not. But I don’t know how to just do that, and I don’t think I should spend the time finding out, only for it to become redundant anyway. My hacky-ish solution is to update the Plone main template (which I’ve done for other tasks) – https://www.inf.ed.ac.uk/student-services/portal_skins/custom/main_template – and add the “Old content” text so that all pages get the warning. For those individual pages and sections (there’s about 6 in total), I’m going to then remove that markup via Apache filters https://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/mod/mod_ext_filter.html . Hopefully with little more than a sed script. I might actually just set the CSS to “display: none”, we’ll see.

The other thing Kenny spotted was that by default the standalone EdWeb distro doesn’t include the University Google Analytics code (which our existing Plone pages have). So the quickest way to add that was to add a new block to the footer, with the required javascript. We also needed to add a new Drupal Text Format to allow us to enter the raw markup, as all the default UoE Text Formats strip the necessary tags. We set it so that only “system administrators” can use this Text Format to hopefully avoid any unexpected problems.

As I write this, the GA stuff is up and running, but I’m still working on the Plone “Old Content” warning. I’ve updated the template with an empty bit of markup just now, so I can test the removal bit.

EdWeb (not yet a) Project

August 11, 2015

I’ve had a long standing action to create a new computing.project.inf.ed.ac.uk entry for work done on getting our EdWeb based replacement for the www.inf Plone content running. As per usual I don’t seem to have quite managed that yet, even though I’ve been keeping a track of effort that I would have assigned to that project.

Though I’ve been keeping sort of notes in my home directory and in my time log, I’ve not been “blogging” about the project as we are supposed to do, so this is me starting that now. Mainly because of the couple of things I’ve done/are doing today. But I’ll post separately about those in a minute. It will also let me see if the hiearchical WP categories work as I expect.


Ongoing work in Forum over Summer

June 30, 2015

This is a repost of an email sent to if-people by Dave Hamilton. The original can be found at https://lists.inf.ed.ac.uk/mailman/private/if-people/2015-June/002378.html (only accessible to list members).

Dear Forum Occupants,

Attached are the drawings showing where the hoarding will be going up on the 3 levels that will be affected by work over the next 6 to 8 weeks.

Note that if you are on level 2 the route you may need to take to your office may have to be adjusted and likewise for some occupants on level 4 when that level begins around 13th Jul.

In the event of an emergency all usual evacuation routes will be available (i.e. you may head through the construction area corridor if necessary. A clear route will always be maintained).

Please refrain from entering the construction area at all other times.

Rough schedule is;

  • Level 2 now to 13th Jul.
  • Level 4 13th Jul to 3rd Aug.
  • Level 5 3rd Aug to 24th Aug


Dave David Hamilton

Superintendent, School of Informatics

Level 2 hoarding

Level 2 hoarding

Level 4 hoarding

Level 4 hoarding

Level 5 Hoarding

Level 5 hoarding

iPhone 4s home button fix

April 5, 2015

My daughters iPhone 4s home button stopped working. No problem I thought, replacements are only a few quid from your favourite auction site, so I ordered one.

Went through the iFixit.com guide, which is quite some going, the screws are tiny, and you virtually have to dismantle the entire phone to get to the button. Anyway, got it all back together, powered up the phone, button still didn’t work! Now it could have been a duff button, or I could have knackered it during the replacement. Got another button, tried the same, still no joy!

With my multi-meter I did some buzzing out of the tiny home button and ribbon cable, and the dock connector ribbon cable, all seemed reasonable. I even got a new dock connector ribbon cable just in case, still the home button refused to work. So I reckoned I was now out of my depth, a motherboard problem, or some weird software issue (we had factory reset it in case that was the issue, it wasn’t).

Finally when reassembling the dock ribbon cable for the last time, I noticed the motherboard around the connector looked a bit of a mess. This was a second-hand iPhone, and its obvious that someone else has been inside it before me. It looked like there was some corrosion on some of the components just below the connector.

I went searching the interweb for a close up of what the connector should look like, and found one on anandtech.com. Comparing that to mine, it did look like two possible bits of something shorting pins/components. So I very carefully picked those away with a sliver of paper edge on. Reassembled it. Et voila! The home button works again.

Below is a close up of the connector from an image on anandtech.com, and the best I could get of our connector. The two lumps of stuff that I dislodged are circled.

iPhone 4s motherboard dock connector

Close up of iPhone 4s motherboard dock connector – new and mine

Fingers crossed that’s all it was.

SL7 Desktop bits

February 9, 2015

Just a place for me to note things as I start to use the early access SL7 DICE Desktop. Though I’ve since discovered wiki.inf.ed.ac.uk/DICE/SL7DICEEnvironment

Where’s fvwm – Compiled the Fedora 22 srpm and its no mostly working. Startup scripts not working fully. Sort of by .fvwm/config
.brc not used – symlink .bashrc
Has yum search replaced whererpms ?
Can I find our SL7 RPMs on a file system path?
xcal missing
pidgin cert error
firefox doesn’t trust EdUni CA sites.
svn on SL7 newer than SL6, interopability issues?
rfe doesn’t find maps

Gnome-classic stuff
Terminal black on white, subsequent xterms are my white on black. Possibly because XAPPLRESDIR isn’t defined soon enough. That seemed to be it, can be set in ~/.profile

Workspace switcher in bottom right, Windows+PgUp/Dwn or CTRL+ALT+UP/DOWN to switch

After Sensible

January 20, 2015

This is a post after the apacheconf sensible settings were applied.

Before Sensible

January 20, 2015

Testing iFriend post before apache sensible header.

Protected: Access Test Two

July 28, 2014

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: