[Server-devel] Web-based Management Interface for the XS

Martin Langhoff martin.langhoff at gmail.com
Sat Mar 22 18:05:11 EDT 2008

On Sat, Mar 22, 2008 at 3:49 PM, Aaron Huslage <huslage at gmail.com> wrote:
> I just want to make a quick point. One main reason that many web-based admin
> interfaces don't work is because the problem is extremely difficult.

I agree with you. Nothing beats the cli, text based config files and
log wranging. We won't even try to go where webmin/e-box/vhcs have
gone. However, what they do have of valuable is the libraries and

Some of the scenarios I want to cater for are:

 - I want to install optional feature X ( - a high level
package/service manager that shows only certain metapackages and
starts/stops services)
 - Can't see the internet/wan or can't see a specific XO - network
status overview and diagnostics
 - Stuck with a problem, need to send some logs to the OLPC team (via
network or USB key)
 - New HD is plugged in, and the OS might choose one of a few things
to do with it (more storage, mirror the data for backup purposes, etc)

considering these tasks are to be performed by a user with a
reasonable skill in using the XO UI. So designing the UI will be a lot
of fun, but from the overall project POV, perhaps 10% of it. 50% will
be making them _really_ belts-and-suspenders failsafe. Once we are out
in the field, everything that can go wrong will go wrong somewhere,
for someone.

We might get a power brownout/blackout while we edit a config file,
the drive we are writing to will be yanked out or crash, and everytime
we have to recover gracefully.

That is why the backend is 80 to 90% of the job, and the first step is
to research the backends out there.


 martin.langhoff at gmail.com
 martin at laptop.org -- School Server Architect
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 - don't get distracted with shiny stuff  - working code first
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