Web Development Status Report

March 2, 2007

Jennifer Oxelson and Tom Yoksas


Mailing lists and forums

The mailing list migration continues. Jen has been working with Unidata developers to migrate package-related and support-related mailing lists to the Mailman mailing list manager and integrate with the Jive when requested. We have solicit any requests for the use of forums (with or without mailing list integration) from the Unidata staff. To see a history and requirements list of this project, please visit: http://www.unidata.ucar.edu/unidata_only/Pv2/mailinglists/requirements.html (you must login to see this page — contains sensitive information about our system architecture)

NEXRAD-ITR project MapServer

Unidata is collaborating with the University of Iowa, Princeton University, and NCDC to make Level II NEXRAD metadata available on-line for browsing via a MapServer. MapServer is an Open Source development environment for building spatially-enabled Internet applications to render spatial data (maps, images, and vector data) for the web. Based on the preliminary testing, it was decided the MapServer (when put into production) would be hosted on a separate server from our main web site (due to the numerous configuration differences between suEXEC and PHP). The MapServer, PHP, and accompanying files have been installed and run under the domain of mapserver.unidata.ucar.edu. Unidata and University of Iowa are currently transforming the programs that derive the metadata from the level II radar data (level 4 metadata) and recoding these programs to allow implementing the LDM to generate and propagate the data to the community and to populate Mapservers at both Unidata and University of Iowa. For more information and detail, please see the NEXRAD ITR status report.

Subversion and TRAC for THREDDS development

A subversion (version-control) server was installed on an internal Unidata server for use by the THREDDS and LEAD development team. A new host was established to provide read-only web access has been enabled for the THREDDS and LEAD repositories http://svn.unidata.ucar.edu. (Authentication is required for access to certain repositories.)

The THREDDS group is looking at utilizing the Trac bug/issue tracker. Jen has been evaluating Trac to see how it will integrate with Subversion and our environment:

Next steps: Jen, John, and Mike will look into installation of Trac at the end of March 2007 for testing.

New log statistics for THREDDS group

An additional log stats package was installed on Motherlode for use by the THREDDS group (awstats). This package was also installed on the primary Unidata web server to offer an alternative to Sawmill for use by the rest of the UPC staff.

Evalute HTTP authentication Single Sign-On (SSO) for THREDDS group

John Caron and Jen worked with Cams Single Sign-On developers to add HTTP SSO authentication for the TDR. (Unidata is using Cams to handle web site authentication.) John and Jen installed a Cam servlet filter web agent on a development server and successfully tested SSO authentication against Unidata's main Cams Policy Server. Next steps are to test an HTTP Basic authentication mechanism as soon as it becomes available (Cams currently only supports form-based authentication. Unidata has volunteered to be a test environment for the Cams developers during their development of the HTTP authentication mechansim).

RSS feed for the Unidata newsletter

An RSS feed was created for the CommuniteE-Letter as an option for newsletter readers. The feed is updated when the new issue of newsletter is released.

Signed certificate for Unidata's web site

Jen evaluated and selected an signed SSL certificate for purchase. Certificates are to be purchased for the main Unidata web site and for Motherlode. Once procured, the certificates will be installed and a web-based mail client then can be installed on Unidata's main web site for staff use.

Re-design of the Unidata web site

Jen is in the initial stages of re-designing the Unidata web site. The site redesign will correct some usability issues in the current web site and serve to 'freshen up' the look and design.

Integrate eSupport user web interface with our web site

Jen and Tom are developing an alternate method of integrating eSupport into Unidata's web site. eSupport developers web site-integration functionality on their list of things to do, but have not given an estimate as to when this will be available. Jen has started looking at a way of 'bridging' the two pieces of software and databases as a means of integration. After the eSupport solution is available, Unidata will utilize that.