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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd 2009

    The hopefully unique experience of crashing the n-Lab three times in one weekend (please, everyone, use belts and braces), made me think about mirrors. Admittedly this may be something for a little further down the line and may be more a general Instiki thing than n-Lab, but it may be worth thinking about it now.

    A mirror (or more) would be there so that if the main site crashes, people can still use the n-Lab. Now, having a complete copy of the n-Lab seems a recipe for disaster as there will be conflicts in edits from different sites. However there could well be some value in having static mirrors so that people can still use the n-Lab as a reference, and they can still plan their edits for when the original becomes live again.

    A static mirror can be set up easily by exporting the html. However, it should be kept up to date, probably daily, for which exporting the html every time seems a little overkill. Suitable use of wget can get around this but this still downloads a whole page for a small change.

    Obviously the best solution for bandwidth purposes would be for instiki to be able to export dated diffs. However, that's a feature request and Jacques may like to know whether or not there's any demand for it before investigating so ...

    Do mirrors seem like a good idea?

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2009
    Static mirrors might be a good idea, but I'm not sure they would be worth the trouble; it depends on how frequently we expect to be crashing the site! (-:

    I'd be more interested in having a reliable backup system in place so that we can be sure of not losing the data permanently in the event of, say, a hard drive failure.
    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2009
    I would like to be able to download the entire database of both current and old edits. That shouldn't be hard to set up, but of course it's big. On the other hand, all one really needs to do is to download, each day or week or whatever, the edits that have been added since the last time, which is not so big but which requires programming to make available.
    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2009
    My thought for the mirrors was that it would be best if they were mirrors of what is actually seen via a browser and not a mirror of the whole engine. Since one shouldn't edit a mirror, it doesn't need to have all the wiki software on it. The distinct advantage of this is that the mirror site only has to have a web server and not a full instiki installation.

    Of course, one might also like to have a local mirror of the whole thing in order to work on something offline for a bit before committing the whole thing. That's slightly different. I'm not sure that exporting the whole database (or chunks of it) is going to be allowed as it also contains things like passwords.
    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorTobyBartels
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2009
    Certainly a mirror only needs the current pages in HTML (well, XHTML+MML) format. It's backups that want a database of all edits. (That's only edits, preferably with user names and timestamps attached, not passwords. But if passwords are mixed with edits in the software, then that may not be so straightforward to allow, even if one ignores size.)