Weekly Report 2013-07-21

Completed Work

  1. Created additional documentation: for using installing PEAR extensions for PHP
  2. Did further research on OpenID support, including reading the OpenID standard, reading through the official PHP OpenID library source code, and reading a bit through the MediaWiki and Drupal 7 OpenID modules source code.
    1. This is pursuant to what I understand from an email received this week to be an intention to set up aclweb.org as an OpenID provider
    2. To that end, I've set up a database for pairing ACL usernames with OpenID endpoints

Installing PEAR Extensions (PHP)

1and1 gives us PHP out of the box, but not necessarily all the standard PHP extensions. This document shows you how to add standard PHP extensions (PEAR modules) to the default setup. You can read more about PEAR at the PEAR homepage.

Creating the .pearrc config file

For PEAR to work, you'll need to create a config file. This has already been done on the current server at:


Weekly Report 2013-07-14

Completed Work

  1. Created additional documentation: for using Python virtual environments, adding new Python versions, and using Mercurial. The new main site is now under Mercurial version control.
  2. Created many, many user ids for the adminwiki, presumably because the deadline was this week. Academics are not good at meeting deadlines!
  3. Installed Mercurial, put main site under version conrol
  4. Did further research on OAuth and OpenID support. Here are the pros and cons of all Drupal 7 modules encountered so far:

Python and Virtualenv

1and1 doesn't give us a modern version of Python, so it is necessary to use virtualenv - a Python sandboxing script. .

virtualenv replaces the system Python (and assicated libraries and install packages) with locally-installed versions for as long as the environment is active. (Read about virtualenv here)

Apache Virtual Host Configuration

1and1 uses the Apache web server, and it is assumed that most development sites created to work on the acl main page will want to use it locally as well for maximum environment duplication. The best procedure for creating a development site probably involves setting up a virual host in the local Apache instance to serve the site from the local machine as though it were a standalone website. This page documents how to do that.

Weekly Report 2013-07-07

Completed Work

  1. Created additional documentation: for restoring site from backup and creating a development version on a local machine
  2. Started work on upgrade of Portal to Drupal 7
  3. Completed (?) Changes to menu structure requested by Kenneth Church and Graeme Hirst
    1. Reorganized main menu bar
      1. This involved the creation of a lot of (implicitly) suggested pages - especially for lists of conference sites

Mediawiki Extensions

The site wikis currently run on Mediawiki, the wiki engine used for Wikipedia. There is broad community support for Mediawiki, including a robust ecosystem of third-party addons. The following is the general procedure for adding third-party modules to MediaWiki sites. Note that this may vary for individual modules.

Upgrading Drupal (minor versions)

Upgrading Drupal to the latest version is a simple process. NOTE: These instructions involve upgrading Drupal from one minor version to another (e.g. 7.2.1 to 7.2.2). THEY DO NOT cover the much more complicated process of upgrading from one major version to another (e.g. 7.2.1 to 8.2.1). Major versions of Drupal are NOT cross-compatible, and upgrades generally involve creating a new site and importing content from the old site into it.


Subscribe to ACL Member Portal RSS