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TJ Website Editing Guide

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Revision as of 03:45, 2 March 2010 by Andrew Hamilton (talk | contribs) (Added mysql configuration information, fixed filename, and added slideshow picture information)
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File Organization

  • Anything put in the AFS filesystem appears on the website for existing domains. No webserver configuration for special directories is required.
  • All files now have a logical place in AFS, rather than some files being under /afs/csl/web/site, some others in /afs/csl/web/www, and other amounts of mess.
    • http://domain.tjhsst.edu/directory1/directory2/file.html translates into /afs/csl/web/domain/directory1/directory2/file.html. This is true for all main website documents, including main pages on the website that use the TJ theme.
    • The converse is NOT true: /afs/csl/web/directory does not mean directory.tjhsst.edu exists. Currently, this is only true for the user directory and the tjpf directory. If /afs/csl/web/domain does not exist, then some configuration will be required to setup the webserver.

Editing a Page

The Main TJ Website is now contained in a git repository. To edit a page, first checkout a copy of the staging area into your local web-docs folder. For example, I used git clone /afs/csl.tjhsst.edu/web/staging tjwebsite in my web-docs folder. After you clone the website, you will need to copy the following files in includes/php/: config-example.php -> config.php, mysql-example.php -> mysql.php, mysqlrw-example.php -> mysqlrw.php. You will then need to edit the webroot variable in config.php to match the path to your staging site; for me it was http://www.tjhsst.edu/~ahamilto/tjwebsite (no trailing slash!). If you want to use a mysql database besides the generic staging one (credentials for which are included in the mysql example configs), fill in the appropriate details in the mysql configs. mysql.php should provide read-only access to the entire database while mysqlrw provides limited write access as well. Finally, if you want your index page slideshow to display pictures, you will need to copy them from /afs/csl.tjhsst.edu/web/staging/show/images into your staging area. This directory is ignored by git since the images are managed through the slideshow management interface.

Now you have a complete sand-boxed copy of the website in which to make and test your changes. When you are ready to commit them, run git commit -a to commit your changes. You will be prompted for a commit message which should provide a useful summary of the changes you have made. If you are making lots of changes, you may want to break them up into a series of smaller commits to make the history more legible.

Once this has been done you can pull your changes into the main staging area by running git pull <username> master from within /afs/csl.tjhsst.edu/web/staging/. If git reports that <username> does not appear to be a repository, then you should add your repository to the .git/config file (follow one of other existing entries, changing the username and path as appropriate). At this point you should test everything again to make sure that it plays nicely with any other changes that may have been made recently. You should then ask one of the Lead Admins or Mr. Washer to pull the changes into the main website (this may take a little while to happen, please be patient).

Misc Notes

  • It's generally a good idea to run git pull origin master in your sandbox before starting to make changes to make sure that you have the most up-to-date copy of the code. This reduces the risk of merging conflicts as well as bugs due to unforseen conflicts with other code.
  • If you want to move or delete files, use git mv or git rm instead of just rm or mv; this will make sure that git interprets the changes properly. Otherwise, moves especially tend to be seen as deleting a page and adding a completely new page which is not what you want.
  • Links to pages that are part of the main website repository should almost certainly be prefixed with <?php echo $webroot; ?> or something similar; this is what makes the sandbox links stay there. Links to club websites should not be prefixed in this manner since the club sites are not cloned as part of the sandbox.
  • If you are making a new directory, you will probably want to symlink the main includes directory into the new directory (see the site for an example). The main header and other parts of the site currently rely on this symlink to function. Includes that are intended only for a specific part of the site should be put into an includes-local directory in the relevant portion of the site.

User Web-docs:

  • Only accessible via http://www.tjhsst.edu/~someuser, instead of being accessible from many different subdomains.
  • All users, excluding teachers and the legacy teacher webdocs directories, that have web-docs permissions are listed in /afs/csl/web/user/ (teachers and the legacy teacher webdocs directories automatically are given web-docs permissions, although the web-docs directory must still be created and given the proper access rights).

Granting web-docs permissions

  • The user must have a web-docs directory in the volume used above. This directory must give the AFS www-data user at least read (rl) access to the directory in order for the webserver to be able to read the data. The user's home directory must also give www-data at least list (l).
  • Once authorized as your /admin user, execute the following command: fs mkmount -vol volume -dir username in the /afs/csl/web/user.temp directory, where volume is the name of the user's home directory volume. An easy way to find the volume name is by using "fs lq" in the user's home directory. For new student home directories, this is currently in the form year.username.

Removing web-docs permissions

  • Once authorized as your /admin user, execute the following command: fs rmmount username in the /afs/csl/web/user/ directory.

Banning a user

Banning a user will show the banned error page, instead of showing the 404 error page.

  1. Remove permissions, as shown above.
  2. Add a line in /etc/apache2/conf.d/macros on the webserver in the StandardUserDir macro, following the example given in the comments.


The website can be themed! Have a new idea to try, or want a few changes in the design? This can all be done in one place under /afs/csl/web/media/themes/. The current theme is selected by changing the current symbolic link, which is why it is necessary to use current in the include paths mentioned above in creating a document. A printer-friendly page, a part of the current theme, is automatically used when printing any portion of the website that uses the TJ theme.

Legacy webdocs

Right now, these sites are housed under /afs/csl/web/webdocs_legacy/. This should change in the future. These directories are left over from the old Novell webserver.

Previous TJ Websites

A copy of the previous TJ website can be found at http://web1.tjhsst.edu/

A copy of an even older TJ website can be found at http://oldsite.tjhsst.edu/