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'[OT] Recommendations sought for FTP & POP3 servers'
2005\02\16@172228 by Russell McMahon

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Have just ventured into the new (for me) world of running a website
from own LAN.
Trial page here (*very* slow uplink )(just a randomish collection of
pictures at present).

       http://www.russell.servepics.com

Server is the free and marvellous Apache 2 running on Windows XP home.

Requirement:

1.    I'm looking for recommendations for an FTP server to allow both
upload and download of web content, also running on Windows. Ideally
it would be the same price as Apache (ie free) but for-money products
OK if there's an excellent reason to use them. Ideally would run on
all flavours of Windows. Would consider using Linux in due course (of
course) but at present Windows is what's available and easy for me.
Aims are: works, easy to install and run, no surprises.

I could Google on this (and have) BUT "the eyes and brain of the
PICList" are liable to be able to identify a far better solution that
I am liable to by myself. [eg Googling: "ftp server" freeware gives
8000 hits including eg
http://www.gold-software.com/ThePersonalFTPServer-review8282.htm].

2.    Also possibly a POP3 email server, although that, as far as I
understand it, may need special external support and can not be a
totally free solution.

Getting Apache running was surprisingly painless (only a little blood
and sweat and no tears)(fighting the router/firewall was the greatest
hurdle).  If adding FTP access (and possibly email) is as easy I can
see the possibly of writing it up as an integrated procedure for
others.



       Russell McMahon

2005\02\16@173356 by Neil Cherry

picon face
Russel please check into sftp instead of ftp. The S is for secure
and I'm sure there's a Windows version (freeware probably).

--
Linux Home Automation         Neil Cherry       spam_OUTncherryTakeThisOuTspamcomcast.net
http://home.comcast.net/~ncherry/               (Text only)
http://hcs.sourceforge.net/                     (HCS II)
http://linuxha.blogspot.com/                    My HA Blog

2005\02\16@175917 by Rolf

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Russell McMahon wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Hmmmm Linux is my friend.... but still.

Regardless of your intended OS, you will find that FTP is very "blood
sweat and teard" when behind a firewall. The FTP protocol requires 2
socket connections between client and host. The problems is that the
"old" way of doing things was to have a "control" connection FROM client
TO server, and then a data connection FROM server TO client. This
presents a great deal of frustration if the Client is "Natted" behind a
firewall (the firewall will block the incomming data connection (well,
most do). The "new way" is to use "passive FTP", where the client makes
the data connection from the Client to the Server. The problem here is
that the Server's firewall will block the new data connection.

You need to have a fancier-than-most firewall on your server side to
manage FTP.

Do some research.

Rolf

2005\02\16@182022 by Bob Blick

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Pure-FTPD has been ported to windows:
http://www.pureftpd.org/windows/

-Bob


2005\02\16@185425 by John Mullan

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Hi Bob.

I personally use "Internet Anywhere eMail Server".  I use "Serv-U" FTP
server.  While both work very well, the version of Serv-U I am using is WAY
outta date.  But I'm sure their current offerings are great as well.

Visit:  http://www.serv-u.com  for the FTP Server

         http://www.tnsoftware.com  for the email (pop3, smtp) server.

Cheers,

-----Original Message-----
From: .....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam@spam@MIT.EDU [piclist-bouncesspamKILLspamMIT.EDU]On Behalf
Of Bob Blick
Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 6:20 PM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: Re: [OT] Recommendations sought for FTP & POP3 servers


Pure-FTPD has been ported to windows:
http://www.pureftpd.org/windows/

-Bob


2005\02\16@185747 by Bradley Ferguson

picon face
On Thu, 17 Feb 2005 11:22:16 +1300, Russell McMahon
<.....apptechKILLspamspam.....paradise.net.nz> wrote:
> Have just ventured into the new (for me) world of running a website
> from own LAN.
> Trial page here (*very* slow uplink )(just a randomish collection of
> pictures at present).
>
>         http://www.russell.servepics.com
>
> Server is the free and marvellous Apache 2 running on Windows XP home.

You may want to consider whether this is really cost-effective as you
have to keep up with software updates for your system when you expose
it to the outside world like this.  I know that most Linux
distributions require a bit of work up front to secure them and I just
plain don't trust Windows.  Of course, if you do actually have a lot
of pictures maybe this will work out for you in the long run without
having to pay for hosting + disk space.

Just a consideration
Bradley

2005\02\16@193021 by Russell McMahon

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> Pure-FTPD has been ported to windows:
> http://www.pureftpd.org/windows/

Thanks.
I note that there is no mention whatsoever on the home page of Windows
and that the Windows distro files are mid to late 2002.

Apart from that it looks excellent.


       Russell McMahon

2005\02\16@193555 by Russell McMahon

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> You may want to consider whether this is really cost-effective as
> you
> have to keep up with software updates for your system when you
> expose
> it to the outside world like this.  I know that most Linux
> distributions require a bit of work up front to secure them and I
> just
> plain don't trust Windows.

Nor I. But I keep all mine right up to date with auto update. Not
perfect, but as close as Microsoft can get at any moment.

> Of course, if you do actually have a lot
> of pictures

50,000+ :-)
But most would not be on the website.
But being able to easily move what I want to on and off and having
essentially unlimited capacity when wanted are substantial
attractions. Bandwidth is my overwhelming limit.

> maybe this will work out for you in the long run without
> having to pay for hosting + disk space.

The FTP server requirement is so a limited number of others can share
the website capability remotely.
Volume and traffic would be low. These would only be applications
where being on my system would add value.


       RM


2005\02\16@204948 by Carey Fisher - NCS

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I'm quite fond of Cerberus FTP program (http://www.cerberusftp.com) and it's free.
Here's the description from their website:

Cerberus FTP ServerTM provides powerful, multithreaded
FTP server performance without sacrificing ease-of-use.
Designed to use very little CPU and memory, Cerberus
features a user-friendly interface that can be easily
hidden or accessed from the system tray. The server is
able to listen for connections on multiple interfaces
(Multi-homed PCs), run as an NT service, resume failed
transfers, and offers an easy-to-use manager for
controlling user access to files and file operations.
Connection limit, timeout, and IP access can be
controlled by the administrator as well as a variety
of other settings. In addition, Cerberus FTP Server
offers statistics on connections as well as robust
logging capabilities. The server adheres to RFC959  and RFC1123.

This product is "free for personal use and not-for-profit charitable
organizations".

I find it works quite well.
Carey

2005\02\16@234637 by Herbert Graf

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On Thu, 2005-02-17 at 11:22 +1300, Russell McMahon wrote:
> Have just ventured into the new (for me) world of running a website
> from own LAN.
> Trial page here (*very* slow uplink )(just a randomish collection of
> pictures at present).
>
>         http://www.russell.servepics.com
>
> Server is the free and marvellous Apache 2 running on Windows XP home.
>
> Requirement:
>
> 1.    I'm looking for recommendations for an FTP server to allow both
> upload and download of web content, also running on Windows. Ideally
> it would be the same price as Apache (ie free) but for-money products
> OK if there's an excellent reason to use them. Ideally would run on
> all flavours of Windows. Would consider using Linux in due course (of
> course) but at present Windows is what's available and easy for me.
> Aims are: works, easy to install and run, no surprises.

Any chance you're open to switching to Linux instead? Most distros have
all that by default, no searching needed. TTYL


-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2005\02\17@003749 by Russell McMahon

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>> Would consider using Linux in due course (of  course)
>> but at present Windows is what's available and easy for me.

> Any chance you're open to switching to Linux instead? Most distros
> have
> all that by default, no searching needed. TTYL

As I said, long term it is an obvious thing to look at.
Right now it would be a major learning curve addition that i could do
without.
If it had not been for some router / firewall issues I would have had
Apache running from go to whoa in under an hour.
amazingly friendly

The "Windows distro" also has it by default :-) - and but there are so
many options just a Google away that I was seeking the voices of
experience.

It's been suggested that operating from behind a firewall is going to
cause me some ftp headaches and/or run the risk of opening up my
security somewhat. We'll see.



       RM

2005\02\17@050259 by ThePicMan

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At 17.33 2005.02.16 -0500, you wrote:
>Russel please check into sftp instead of ftp. The S is for secure
>and I'm sure there's a Windows version

which someway contraddicts the "S". ;)


2005\02\17@093123 by Howard Winter

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Russell,

On Thu, 17 Feb 2005 11:22:16 +1300, Russell McMahon wrote:

> Have just ventured into the new (for me) world of running a website
> from own LAN.
> Trial page here (*very* slow uplink )(just a randomish collection of
> pictures at present).
>
>         http://www.russell.servepics.com

Looks good - wasn't unusually slow, some nice pictures.  But why is there apparently a dragon flying along
behind the pictures at the top?  :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\02\17@111354 by jrem

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www.pablovandermeer.nl/downloads.html

the ftp server works great, no probs.  I haven't upgraded since 1.77,
though.  
Can't help on the pop, but I'll be watching . . .



--- Russell McMahon <EraseMEapptechspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTparadise.net.nz> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2005\02\17@123314 by Aaron

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>
>
>Looks good - wasn't unusually slow, some nice pictures.  But why is there apparently a dragon flying along
>behind the pictures at the top?  :-)
>
>Cheers,
>
>
>Howard Winter
>St.Albans, England
>
>
>  
>
I second what Howard said.

Where did you shoot the windmills?
Looks like some I've seen in California between San Francisco and Modesto.

A short blurb about each photo would be neat. :)

Aaron

2005\02\17@140711 by Peter L. Peres

picon face


On Thu, 17 Feb 2005, Russell McMahon wrote:

{Quote hidden}

You can force the ftp server to accept only passive ftp requests by
default. That can cause troubles for the users who can't use that.

Peter

2005\02\17@154402 by Russell McMahon

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>>         http://www.russell.servepics.com
>
> Looks good - wasn't unusually slow, some nice pictures.  But why is
> there apparently a dragon flying along
> behind the pictures at the top?  :-)

Because it can ? :-)

That was a Picasa logo.
I was just demonstrating to a visitor that it was a GIF that could be
changed to an animated one.

   RM


2005\02\17@213749 by Nate Duehr

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Russell McMahon wrote:

> Have just ventured into the new (for me) world of running a website
> from own LAN.
> Trial page here (*very* slow uplink )(just a randomish collection of
> pictures at present).
>
>        http://www.russell.servepics.com
>
> Server is the free and marvellous Apache 2 running on Windows XP home.

Yay Apache!

{Quote hidden}

What?  Your OS of choice doesn't come with a good FTP server?  And you
pay how much for it??  ;-)  (GRIN)

To be honest, I haven't done servers on Windows in so long I don't have
much input on what to use for FTP...

However a couple of comments on the general "plan" below...

> 2.    Also possibly a POP3 email server, although that, as far as I
> understand it, may need special external support and can not be a
> totally free solution.

Go straight to IMAP, do not pass Go, do not futz around with POP3.

For reasons why, I guess you could read this rambling blah blah blah
weblog posting I did last night for some unknown reason on my website...
http://www.natetech.com/index.php?p=172

Server-side sorting, spam filtering, virus scanning, yadda yadda
yadda... and all mail safely backed up and available on the server from
anywhere at anytime with any standard mail client.  Having the mail
pre-sorted before even opening up the mail client is a wonderful thing.  
I don't know how people live without it.  (And waiting on the client to
do sorting which really should be a server-side job, and having to keep
the rulesets synced between multiple clients on multiple OS's in my
case, isn't going to happen.)

Plus something I didn't mention on the webpage... I also have
SquirrelMail running on that server and set it up under Apache with SSL
support and a self-signed certificate.  Thus, my own secure webmail
system available world-wide from any browser on any machine... have had
it since around the time Hotmail started up.  Great for anytime you find
yourself at a computer and need to check e-mail.

Seriously -- it's nice to have mail services all handled on your own
box.  Even if you go with POP3 you'll like having your own server if you
deal with lots of mail.

> Getting Apache running was surprisingly painless (only a little blood
> and sweat and no tears)(fighting the router/firewall was the greatest
> hurdle).  If adding FTP access (and possibly email) is as easy I can
> see the possibly of writing it up as an integrated procedure for others.

Apache is great software.  Super flexible but also always just
outperforms just about anything out there.

Apache/Tomcat and JSP's will do amazing things, as will Apache/PHP.

If you haven't looked at it, you may want to see if Gallery will run
under Windows/Apache/PHP if you're dealing with photos.  Very nice
software.  http://gallery.menalto.com/  You'd need PHP installed to use it.

Let's see -- what else... FTP insecurity... yeah, that could be a
problem for you if you are uploading anything sensitive or think anyone
might be watching the upload in real-time or logging packets anywhere
between you and the server... usernames and passwords in FTP are
cleartext and viewable easily on the wire.  Someone mentioned SFTP,
which is really just a sub-set of ssh and scp.  You can run a stock sshd
on Windows using Cygwin for free, and it'll do all that... not as pretty
or easy to set up as commercial $tuff... but available.

Speaking of security, if you use any software on the Apache server to
handle the uploads of the pictures, or stuff like that, it'll be worth
looking into what I mentioned above... SSL support for Apache.  mod_ssl
works.  You can create a free self-signed certificate and if you access
the site via you'll get warnings from your browser, but at
least you'll know that session is encrypted if you're doing remote
administration work on the pictures, etc.

Ah... that's all I can think of right now... it's too big a topic, two
bullet points doesn't cover it all!  ;-)

Nate

2005\02\18@142611 by Bradley Ferguson

picon face
On Thu, 17 Feb 2005 13:34:44 +1300, Russell McMahon
<apptechspamspam_OUTparadise.net.nz> wrote:
> > You may want to consider whether this is really cost-effective as
> > you
> > have to keep up with software updates for your system when you
> > expose
> > it to the outside world like this.  I know that most Linux
> > distributions require a bit of work up front to secure them and I
> > just
> > plain don't trust Windows.
>
> Nor I. But I keep all mine right up to date with auto update. Not
> perfect, but as close as Microsoft can get at any moment.

Yeah, I don't trust auto update, either, so...  I can't wait until
someone finds a vulnerability in auto update itself so that it
automatically installs a virus. :-)

> > Of course, if you do actually have a lot
> > of pictures
>
> 50,000+ :-)

Somehow that doesn't surprise me.  And I suppose that's just this
months, so far?

> > maybe this will work out for you in the long run without
> > having to pay for hosting + disk space.
>
> The FTP server requirement is so a limited number of others can share
> the website capability remotely.
> Volume and traffic would be low. These would only be applications
> where being on my system would add value.

You might want to look at http://www.wikipedia.org as a system to run.  Set
up is a breeze and then everyone or anyone can edit, which includes
uploading images.  You can set permissions and whatnot, of course.  I
am working (slowly in my spare time) on setting one of these up where
I work for product and technology research and development
information.  I have mine running on Windows XP with mySQL, Apache,
and PHP.  If you poke around http://www.wikimedia.org, you'll find they have
one wiki setup solely for public domain images.

I think piclist.com should switch to something based off of the
wikimedia engine instead of the, uh, wonderful homemade, uh, system
that it is currently running.

Bradley

2005\02\18@194018 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
AFAIK wikimedia doesn't address ownership. The "homemade" system at
piclist.com allows private content as well as preventing newbie's from fing
up content that is owned by a page editor. This is the main reason why I
built the system.

The other reason is that the actual site is just raw, pure HTML that I can
browse directly here with AOLpress (a browser that is actually a wysiwyg
editor at the same time) and can be transferred to CD (after a script
extracts the private parts) for transfer to others.

Any suggestions on making the "homemade" parts seem more professional would
be very appreciated.

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2005\02\19@050336 by Nate Duehr

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Bradley Ferguson wrote:

>I think piclist.com should switch to something based off of the
>wikimedia engine instead of the, uh, wonderful homemade, uh, system
>that it is currently running.
>  
>

Read up on wiki-spam before you recommend that.

Any "popular" wiki that's open to the public is going to get some really
obnoxious advertising "submissions".  Automated and annoying.

(My WordPress blog software gets these, and I had to install software to
combat them -- it looks for specifc spam-like behaviour and keeps them
from posting "comments" on my blog that are actually advertisements...
uggh.)

Sometimes "homemade" truly is better -- no automated tool for this junk
knows how to interface with it.

Nate

2005\02\19@085246 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Peter L. Peres wrote:

> You can force the ftp server to accept only passive ftp requests by
> default. That can cause troubles for the users who can't use that.

Why would you do that? If I understand it correctly, passive ftp hasn't
been created to make ftp servers more secure or more firewall-friendly, it
has been created to make ftp clients more firewall-friendly. So I don't see
a reason to block traditional ftp requests on a server...

BTW, I can second the Serv-U ftp server. Very easy and comfortable to use,
no problems in many years online.

Gerhard

2005\02\19@085858 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Nate Duehr wrote:

> What?  Your OS of choice doesn't come with a good FTP server?  And you
> pay how much for it??  ;-)  (GRIN)

FWIW, XP Home doesn't, it's a consumer system not intended for running
servers. XP Pro and 2000 do come with http, ftp and smtp servers. Instead
of XP Home you could use 2000 Pro here -- maybe you have an old 2k Pro
license... ?

Gerhard

2005\02\19@131317 by Peter L. Peres

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On Sat, 19 Feb 2005, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> Peter L. Peres wrote:
>
>> You can force the ftp server to accept only passive ftp requests by
>> default. That can cause troubles for the users who can't use that.
>
> Why would you do that? If I understand it correctly, passive ftp hasn't
> been created to make ftp servers more secure or more firewall-friendly, it
> has been created to make ftp clients more firewall-friendly. So I don't see
> a reason to block traditional ftp requests on a server...

When you run a reasonably restrictive NAT router and allow ftp access,
then the router will usually run a stateless firewall. That, and the
lack of a ftp proxy running on the router may preclude ftp access from
the outside (the connection may succeed only hang on the first transfer
attempt when the data connection is attempted to a non-ftp port on the
server, port about which the firewall in router cannot know, so it will
block the client's attempt to connect). By forcing the server to run in
passive mode the data connection originates with the server behind the
router and the firewall lets it through.

Peter

2005\02\20@101140 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Peter L. Peres wrote:

>>> You can force the ftp server to accept only passive ftp requests by
>>> default. That can cause troubles for the users who can't use that.
>>
>> Why would you do that? If I understand it correctly, passive ftp hasn't
>> been created to make ftp servers more secure or more firewall-friendly, it
>> has been created to make ftp clients more firewall-friendly. So I don't see
>> a reason to block traditional ftp requests on a server...
>
> When you run a reasonably restrictive NAT router

On the server side?

> and allow ftp access, then the router will usually run a stateless
> firewall. That, and the lack of a ftp proxy running on the router may
> preclude ftp access from the outside (the connection may succeed only
> hang on the first transfer attempt when the data connection is attempted
> to a non-ftp port on the server, port about which the firewall in router
> cannot know, so it will block the client's attempt to connect).

If I understand you correctly, it seems you are wrong. With "normal" (that
is, non-passive) ftp, the /server/ initiates the data connection to the
client. The data connection in normal ftp is from server port 20 to a
non-ftp port on the client. So there is no problem with firewalls at the
server side in normal mode: the control connection is incoming to port 21,
the data connection is outgoing from port 20 (server) to a non-ftp port (on
the client). The firewall problem with such a connection is at the client,
not at the server.

> By forcing the server to run in passive mode the data connection
> originates with the server behind the router and the firewall lets it
> through.

No. In passive mode, both the initial connection and the data connection
originate at the client (it's the server that's "passive" in this mode,
compared to the normal mode). Passive mode was invented to solve the
problem with routers or firewalls at the /client/ side, not at the server.

Thus, I still don't see a reason to force a server to accept only passive
ftp. You can leave that up to the client -- if normal ftp works for the
client, that's fine for the server, too.

Gerhard

2005\02\20@163412 by Peter L. Peres

picon face

On Sun, 20 Feb 2005, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> If I understand you correctly, it seems you are wrong. With "normal" (that
> is, non-passive) ftp, the /server/ initiates the data connection to the
> client. The data connection in normal ftp is from server port 20 to a
> non-ftp port on the client. So there is no problem with firewalls at the
> server side in normal mode: the control connection is incoming to port 21,
> the data connection is outgoing from port 20 (server) to a non-ftp port (on
> the client). The firewall problem with such a connection is at the client,
> not at the server.

You are right, by bad.

Peter

2005\02\21@112701 by Bradley Ferguson

picon face
On Fri, 18 Feb 2005 16:40:14 -0800, James Newtons Massmind
<@spam@jamesnewtonKILLspamspammassmind.org> wrote:
> AFAIK wikimedia doesn't address ownership. The "homemade" system at
> piclist.com allows private content as well as preventing newbie's from fing
> up content that is owned by a page editor. This is the main reason why I
> built the system.

AFAIK, you're right about ownership.  As to private content, if you
are referring to the collections of your personal information (e.g.,
solar heating), you could run a seperate wikimedia engine (which is
really just php scripts) for that.  As to newbies, it requires no
hacking of the scripts to prevent anonymous edits and turn off account
creation.  If somebody makes a mistake, revert their edit.  If
somebody becomes abusive, remove their account.

Theoretically, you could hack the Wikimedia scripts to add in
additional features, but perhaps you don't have the time for that
these days (as compared to when you did the initial work on your
current system).

> The other reason is that the actual site is just raw, pure HTML that I can
> browse directly here with AOLpress (a browser that is actually a wysiwyg
> editor at the same time) and can be transferred to CD (after a script
> extracts the private parts) for transfer to others.

The wikis are not raw HTML, so you wouldn't be able to edit them, but
the internal Wikimedia editor, although not wysiwig, allows fairly
easy content creation and editing.  You wouldn't be able to easily
burn the wiki to a CD directly, but you could just run a site ripper,
which would allow the PHP scripts to convert the internal database
data to HTML.  You might have to run a find/replace on the result to
remove references to "special" pages, which the wiki would normally
dynamically create.  Your private (personal?) information would reside
under a different subdirectory and so would not be picked up by the
ripper.

> Any suggestions on making the "homemade" parts seem more professional would
> be very appreciated.

Don't get me wrong, I think you've done a great job.  What I refer to
is only little things like javascript, the use of font size=+2, and
the cluttered appearance of many of the pages.  The clutter may simply
be the nature of the beast--where it is a collection of thoughts from
a multitude of people instead of an organized article.  I mention
Wikipedia because, there, a collection of thoughts there can be
reformed into an organized article, but perhaps that wouldn't even be
the correct thing to do as you would lose ownership of the information
fairly quickly unless editors were very careful to maintain footnotes.
There seem to be so many committed members to the list; it would be
interesting to see what kind of definitive PIC resource they could
develop if given the encyclopedic nature of a wiki.

I hope this doesn't explode on the mailing list, though, it was just a
brief comment.

Bradley

2005\02\21@162059 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
I doubt many people care enough to comment.

My comments below:

---
James.



{Quote hidden}

No, I meant that it is possible to post content to the site which is ONLY
available to the member who posted it. E.g. there are a number of trade
secrets in the site that are not publicly viewable. On a single page, for a
single subject, there can be paragraphs that are removed before the page is
displayed.

It allows me (and I hope others) to document everything in one place while
still keeping parts of that documentation out of the public eye.

>  As to newbies, it requires no hacking of the scripts to
> prevent anonymous edits and turn off account creation.  If
> somebody makes a mistake, revert their edit.  If somebody
> becomes abusive, remove their account.

I like the current systems ability to allow anonymous page _appends_ while
allowing only page editors to modify and organize the content of the page.
Sadly, the volunteer rate for page editors has been abysmal. David Cary has
done a lot of work. E.g.
http://www.piclist.com/techref/app/protel.htm
Surducan Vasile edits a page or two.
www.piclist.com/techref/piclist/pcbcontest.htm
Sergio Masci keeps the assembly language page in order.
www.piclist.com/techref/microchip/language/asms.htm
I may have forgotten some, sorry if I missed you.

> Theoretically, you could hack the Wikimedia scripts to add in
> additional features, but perhaps you don't have the time for
> that these days (as compared to when you did the initial work
> on your current system).

Having invested this much time, I'm loath to toss it. I'd rather spend the
time cleaning up and improving.

{Quote hidden}

With 3 Gigabytes of content, rippers are the bane of my existence. It takes
a long time just for the script that removes private content, and that has
direct access to the file system rather than employing the web server.


> > Any suggestions on making the "homemade" parts seem more
> professional
> > would be very appreciated.
>
> Don't get me wrong, I think you've done a great job.

Thank you.

>  What I
> refer to is only little things like javascript,

Most of the functions will work without javascript, the scripting is there
to "enhance the experience" <GRIN> if you will. Is there a better way to do
it?

> the use of
> font size=+2,

Where did I do that? I try to use heading tags, not FONT tags. Or did you
mean the use of H1 at the start of each page? Other suggestions?

> and the cluttered appearance of many of the
> pages.  The clutter may simply be the nature of the
> beast--where it is a collection of thoughts from a multitude
> of people instead of an organized article.  I mention
> Wikipedia because, there, a collection of thoughts there can
> be reformed into an organized article, but perhaps that
> wouldn't even be the correct thing to do as you would lose
> ownership of the information fairly quickly unless editors
> were very careful to maintain footnotes.

Some of the ownership information is important, but page editors can
reformat that easily. E.g. "Jack shit says: [blockquote] what he says" can
easily be changed to "what he says [sup][a title='Jack Shit']1[/a][/sup]"
when they bring the separate quotes together.

The real problem here is the lack of page editors. And my unwillingness to
allow anonymous page editors. Do you think it would help if I allowed people
to add comments anywhere in the page rather than just at the end?


>  There seem to be so many committed members to the list; it
> would be interesting to see what kind of definitive PIC
> resource they could develop if given the encyclopedic nature
> of a wiki.

Again, I fail to see what the current site does not provide that a wiki does
provide. I think of the site as a wiki, but one with a different user
interface to allow more protection. In fact, I think the user interface is
much easier for new users or those who are not familiar with wikis. The
little form at the end is so simple to use, compared with all the codes,
etc.. For formatting wiki content.

> I hope this doesn't explode on the mailing list, though, it
> was just a brief comment.

I'm grateful for the attention. I hope it provides some critical feedback
that will allow me to get the sort of involvement that some of the existing
wikis have commanded.

> Bradley
> -

2005\02\21@200238 by Bradley Ferguson

picon face
On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 13:20:53 -0800, James Newtons Massmind
<TakeThisOuTjamesnewtonEraseMEspamspam_OUTmassmind.org> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Frankly, I don't see the point of that.  If you're going to have an
open resource, have an open resource.  With the people that I interact
with, I see that if you give them the option of hiding information
(from other engineers in the same company) they tend to overuse it.
That being said, I can see that being very useful for your own work.
There would also be the issue of trust with trade secrets that might
be sold on CD accidentally because I didn't format it correctly or due
to a heisenbug in the script that removes such information or due  to
someone installing a file sharing program on a computer with access to
the 3gig of data files that shares them automatically.  Generally, I
tend towards more openness and if something can't be placed in the
public domain, I would not put it on a web server outside my sphere of
control and/or trust.

{Quote hidden}

As I understand it, a single editor to a page?  He or she has the sole
responsibility of fixing typos, maintaining accuracy in rewrites of
the content--it seems like a lot of responsibility and a lot of work.
An aggressive editor should be able to keep a nicely organized page
with the realization that some information is going to be removed
because it is not on-topic.  But, most people don't want to step on
other's toes and you end up with a somewhat well written page with a
bunch of miscellaneous cruft that doesn't belong, but the editor
doesn't want to remove.  (I'm speaking in general here, not anything
specific to piclist.com.)  The aspect of the wiki I like, is that
anyone (with access) can make small or big corrections.  In the end,
the contents ends up naturally filtered through many minds and
produces a fairly good product.  It is difficult to find a balance
between openness and protection, though.

> > Theoretically, you could hack the Wikimedia scripts to add in
> > additional features, but perhaps you don't have the time for
> > that these days (as compared to when you did the initial work
> > on your current system).
>
> Having invested this much time, I'm loath to toss it. I'd rather spend the
> time cleaning up and improving.

I understand that completely and recognize that this discussion is
mostly academic given that.  In your position I would be very
reluctant to scrap something that works well for me for a pipe dream.

{Quote hidden}

Yes, I imagine it would be an overnight or even over the weekend
project to effectively "compile" the site for burning to CD if you
used Wikimedia.  It would also probably have a larger disk load given
that it maintains page revisions automatically.  Out of curiosity, how
much of that 3gig is maintained content and how much is mailing list
archive?

{Quote hidden}

A button that counts down to zero is not very common in most user
interfaces.  It is more common to simply have a wait page with a nice
simple animated GIF to occupy the user while the browser counts down a
redirect.  Though not everyone has javascript enabled and not everyone
follows redirects.

> > the use of
> > font size=+2,
>
> Where did I do that? I try to use heading tags, not FONT tags. Or did you
> mean the use of H1 at the start of each page? Other suggestions?

On the main index page, you list 10 items, 6 of them use bold or
font+2, 6 of them use the work PicList with two different
capitalizations, 4 of them are FAQs.

I'm never really sure if I want to go to the PIC FAQ, PICLIST Mailing
List FAQ, PICLIST Mailing List Archive, or the PICList.com Source Code
Library, each of which with varying levels of emphasis.
Interestingly, I go to the PIC FAQ and then see that PICList is the
/ultimate/ PIC resource, which then brings me back to the page I was
just at.  One more thing I notice is that the top of the PIC FAQ page
is title MicroChip Technologies, which isn't even the capitalization
that Microchip uses let alone standard capitalization.

Minor issues I would agree, but, of course,  I enjoy reading sites
like http://www.theslot.com/sharp.html  There are a lot of small
issues like that, which I would fix as I came across them in a wiki,
but wouldn't bother emailing anyone about.  (Present email excluded.)
:)

I like a simply, clean, elegant interface (compare http://www.google.com to
http://www.yahoo.com), but I'm also no good at creating much of anything
attractive with HTML.  I can write it and copy/paste/modify other
content, but I'm not much good at creating a page from the ground up.
Back to the dead horse, the wiki takes care of most of the appearance
making content creation easier and automatic page creation and
accidental linking make organization easier.

As I said in a previous email, I'm currently trying to implement a
wiki within the company I work for.  These engineers don't know HTML.
I don't want to be the sole editor.  I want hyperlinking.  It seems
like a very nice solid foundation.

Bradley

2005\02\22@014930 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
<SNIP>

> As I understand it, a single editor to a page?  He or she has
> the sole responsibility of fixing typos, maintaining accuracy
> in rewrites of the content--it seems like a lot of
> responsibility and a lot of work.
> An aggressive editor should be able to keep a nicely
> organized page with the realization that some information is
> going to be removed because it is not on-topic.  But, most
> people don't want to step on other's toes and you end up with
> a somewhat well written page with a bunch of miscellaneous
> cruft that doesn't belong, but the editor doesn't want to
> remove.  (I'm speaking in general here, not anything specific
> to piclist.com.)  The aspect of the wiki I like, is that
> anyone (with access) can make small or big corrections.  In
> the end, the contents ends up naturally filtered through many
> minds and produces a fairly good product.  It is difficult to
> find a balance between openness and protection, though.

I've tried to make it less intimidating by allowing people to "give up" or
release the position of page editor. Technically, you can take a page,
change it, and release it. There is a slight delay in each part of that, but
not much.

<SNIP>

> Yes, I imagine it would be an overnight or even over the
> weekend project to effectively "compile" the site for burning
> to CD if you used Wikimedia.  It would also probably have a
> larger disk load given that it maintains page revisions
> automatically.  Out of curiosity, how much of that 3gig is
> maintained content and how much is mailing list archive?
>

I actually don't know. I think its about 2 GB in the archive and another gig
of additional content.




{Quote hidden}

You must be referring to the search delay page? That is true, but the "try
again" button is not scripted and can be pressed manually for none-script
browsers.

{Quote hidden}

Oh, yeah. That page is a nightmare. I've tried a few times to organize it.
Maybe the truth is that I'm not a good page editor <GRIN>. Please let me
know if you have better ideas.


{Quote hidden}

Guilty, guilty.

{Quote hidden}

Hummm... Maybe HTML allows too much control? I could try for page
templates...


> As I said in a previous email, I'm currently trying to
> implement a wiki within the company I work for.  These
> engineers don't know HTML.
> I don't want to be the sole editor.  I want hyperlinking.  It
> seems like a very nice solid foundation.
>
> Bradley
> -


'[OT] Recommendations sought for FTP & POP3 servers'
2005\03\27@124240 by Morgan Olsson
flavicon
face
Russell McMahon 23:22 2005-02-16 posted this request.
As I have quite a backlog on PICLIST mail i respond now:

I am using, and have by customer installed
http://www.robtex.com/viking.features.html
running on any MSWindows >=Windws95
(there is a patch to get more sockets on win95)

Viking handles a lot protocils by itself, thus is efficient even when running on slower computer.
Download it, put the file in a folder where you want it to live and start it, and it installs itself.  All easily configured by web interface.  Surf to it at http://127.0.0.1/viking and set it up.
90day trial.  Even if the author was not my brother, i would still recommend it ;)
There is a discussion list where also the autor responds.
/Morgan
--
Morgan Olsson, Kivik, Sweden

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