GENUKI Maintainers' Pages

Version 2.5

The Transfer Of GENUKI To The New Website Hosted By Mythic Beasts

Transition To The New Website Hosted By Mythic Beasts

The new GENUKI website hosted by the company Mythic Beasts went live on Wednesday 9 July 2014 and public internet access transferred gradually over the following 3 days.

Maintainer Identities And Access Rights

Each maintainer has been assigned a unique Unix userid for the new GENUKI web server, and this allows the specification of access rights to GENUKI data to be dependent on maintainer identity.

Full access rights are provided to the files in those sections of GENUKI for which the maintainer is responsible, and read access is provided to all other sections. The consequence is that maintainers are able to make changes to only those sections of GENUKI for which they are responsible leading to improved data resilience.

Additionally, each maintainer is assigned a home directory which is separate from the section(s) of GENUKI data for which they have responsibility. The maintainers' home directory is not part of the web page tree but includes symbolic links to all the sections of the web page tree for which they are responsible. For example, the home directory for a maintainer responsible for county CCC contains a symbolic link to the web pages of county CCC:

The home directory for a maintainer responsible for the church database entries for county CCC contains a symbolic link to a file consisting of CCC church database entries:

The home directory for maintainers responsible for other sections of GENUKI contains symbolic links to the sections of the GENUKI web page tree for which they have responsibility. For example, the home directory for a maintainer responsible for the web pages and files in the /org/ and /css/ directories, as well as county CCC, contains the following symbolic links:

The system administrator is planning that, at some time in the future, all church database and gazetteer updates will be performed using the files and method devised currently specifically for church database maintainers. At that time, the home directory for a maintainer responsible for county CCC as well as its church database and gazetteer entries will contain symbolic links to the web pages of county CCC, and its church database and gazetteer files (see below):


As part of the arrangement whereby the company Mythic Beasts hosts the new GENUKI web server, we have agreed to acknowledge their contribution. This acknowledgement should be present on all web pages stored on the GENUKI web pages hosted by Mythic Beasts and is not required on pages stored elsewhere.

The acknowledgement should take the form of a line at the foot of every GENUKI web page, with the text "Hosted by Mythic Beasts Ltd." and a reference to the acknowledgement web page held in the root of the GENUKI web page tree.

If there is already a footer on the page, then the acknowledgement should follow that immediately. If there is no footer on the page then the acknowledgement should precede the </body> statement.

The system administrator provides a mass update service which will perform the HTML addition on the new server on request. If any maintainer wants to take advantage of this assistance, the system administrator will run the update at an agreed convenient time. Following this update the maintainer must download the changed pages to their local system in order to keep a current copy of the HTML source.

For those maintainers who wish to add the acknowledgement to their web pages personally, the HTML to use is:

<br><div class="mythic"><a href="/Acknowledgements.shtml">Hosted by Mythic Beasts Ltd.</a></div>

Uploading Data Using FTP

Any FTP application that supports secure FTP (SFTP) can be used to upload to (or download from) GENUKI, including WinSCP, Filezilla, WS-FTP (on a PC) or Transport (on a Mac). However, in the examples that follow, WinSCP is used.

When a maintainer first logs onto the GENUKI server, WinSCP will display only the maintainer's home directory (see above) which includes symbolic links to all the sections for which the maintainer is responsible. Selecting, the link CCC takes the maintainer to the CCC section of the web page tree, and similarly for any other symbolic links contained in the maintainer's home directory.

If WinSCP is displaying the CCC county section of the web page tree, then selecting the WinSCP home button (above the file list) will return the maintainer to the home directory. Selecting the uplink [..] displayed at the top of the CCC section of the county web page tree will display the complete GENUKI web page tree for which the maintainer will have read access rights to view the other sections.

WinSCP Note

Users of WinSCP will be aware that an option exists to "Remember last used directory" and this can be convenient in some circumstances. However, maintainers should note that doing so means that a subsequent logon will not necessarily result in display of the maintainer's home directory. The WinSCP home button will always return to a display of the maintainer's home directory.

Updating The Church Database And Gazetteer

Originally gazetteer and church database files could only be managed by the county maintainers and a strict file naming convention and directory structure was used. However, with the introduction of church database maintainers, and gazetteer maintainers, this has evolved to be much more flexible and support is available for different file names and directory structures.

With the introduction of home directories for maintainers on the new server, it is possible to include symbolic links to their church database and gazetteer files. This will provide the benefit that maintainers will be able to access all the GENUKI sections for which they are responsible from the one home directory.

However, on initial transition to the new server, the gazetteer and church database rebuild applications still use the previous method of a strict file naming and directory structure to contain the churches.csv and places.csv files for county maintainers.

County maintainers should therefore continue to supply their church database and gazetteer files for update purposes as before on the old server.

The new churches.csv and places.csv symbolic links in home directories will be established at a later date, and county maintainers should start using them as and when they become available.

Church database maintainers who don't also maintain the county, have space to store pictures and other files on the new server in /big/churchdb/CCC/ where CCC is the county. For these maintainers the symbolic link CCCchdb has been created in their home directory pointing to /big/churchdb/CCC/ and a second symbolic link CCCchurches.csv pointing to the csv file.

Web Server Structure (Technical Detail)

The following paragraphs have been included for information only, and need not be read by maintainers.

A change has been made which segregates the definition of the GENUKI conguration into several discrete units. This not only makes it simpler to understand and maintain, but also provides the capability to restrict maintainers to the sections for which they have maintenance responsibility. This aids clarity but also prevents maintainers from mistakenly damaging folders and files in sections of GENUKI for which they have no responsibility.

Previously the GENUKI web server was configured by means of a single file, and the folder hierarchy was defined only by the directory tree on the server. The new segregated configuration means that it is now the new GENUKI web server which defines the folder hierarchy of the web site as seen by users and maintainers, independently of the directory tree of page data.

This is achievable because the new GENUKI web server is running Debian Linux, which supports any number of configuration files. The GENUKI web server is now defined in a single configuration file which contains only the parameters used to define the virtual host, including the folder hierarchy. The remaining parameters are contained in separate section configuration files, each of which defines a section of GENUKI, where a section is that division of GENUKI used for maintenance purposes, e.g., in the spider report.

The result is that whilst the new web server appears to the users to function with the previous GENUKI hierarchical structure, the internal directory tree consists of separate sections without a hierarchy. This means that when maintaining one of the higher level sections, the maintainer will not see the subordinate sections maintained by other maintainers. For example, for update and maintenance purposes /eng/ (England) does not include the subordinate county directories, making it safer and easier to maintain.

It also means that the England files can be downloaded without the subordinate counties and a synchronise directive within the FTP package in use, e.g., WinScp, can be used to identify the files which need to be transferred between the web server and local computer.

For those counties which are hosted on a server other than the new GENUKI server, the relationship is defined by a simple redirect in the section configuration file pointing to the actual, detached, location. This has the advantage that such redirection does not need to be provided explicitly in the relevant county page.

For example, in the case of Devon the section configuration file for DEV defines a redirect to another, detached, server, and the web server will automatically satisfy page requests from the detched server. Hence references to, for example, /big/eng/DEV/Clovelly/ redirects page requests to pages on the detached server. This change also makes it easier to establish any new facilities that might need to be made on a county specific basis.

The server configuration also includes all the small files needed for the aliases we have registered for GENUKI, such as, and which simply redirect requests to the primary web server, To cater for the future a file is also in place for the alias

The new server configuration is flexible enough to provide for additional virtual hosts. For example, if we wanted to test the site with replacement style sheets, we could define a, with a copy of the normal configuration files, but pointing to a different css directory.

Changing Passwords

Maintainers can change their own logon password on the new server at any time. Using a Unix system this is achieved by means of a command line logon to the new server, using the ssh command.

However, most maintainers will be using Windows for which an additional application called Putty is required which mimics a Unix session. Putty can be downloaded from the website. Note that WinSCP includes a command called Puttygen which generates the parameter file for use by Putty. When running Putty, select the ssh connection option.

Once logged in to the new GENUKI server, by ssh or Putty, Unix commands can be entered, e.g "ls" to list files. The password change command is "passwd".

The "passwd" command first asks for the existing logon password, and then the new password chosen to replace it (it requests a repeat of the new password to try to ensure no typographical mistakes have been made). To logout from Putty or ssh, use the "exit" command.

Finally, the standard way to quit a Unix command in order to avoid it executing is to use "Ctrl-c".

[Last updated at 07.22 on Tuesday, 15 July 2014, by Mel Lockie. 2014]
Hosted by Mythic Beasts Ltd.