Steve Kemp's Blog Writings relating to Debian & Free Software

Rebooting the CMS

Sat, 9 Aug 2014 12:32:38 GMT

I run a cluster for the Debian Administration website, and the code is starting to show its age. Unfortunately the code is not so modern, and has evolved a lot of baggage.

Given the relatively clean separation between the logical components I'm interested in trying something new. In brief the current codebase allows:

  • Posting of articles, blog-entries, and polls.
  • The manipulation of the same.
  • User-account management.

It crossed my mind the other night that it might make sense to break this code down into a number of mini-servers - a server to handle all article-related things, a server to handle all poll-related things, etc.

If we have a JSON endpoint that will allow:

  • GET /article/32
  • POST /article/ [create]
  • GET /articles/offset/number [get the most recent]

Then we could have a very thin shim/server on top of that whihc would present the public API. Of course the internal HTTP overhead might make this unworkable, but it is an interesting approach to the problem, and would allow the backend storage to be migrated in the future without too much difficulty.

At the moment I've coded up two trivial servers, one for getting user-data (to allow login requests to succeed), and one for getting article data.

There is a tiny presentation server written to use those back-end servers and it seems like an approach that might work. Of course deployment might be a pain..

It is still an experiment rather than a plan, but it could work out:



Comments On This Entry

[gravitar] Nux!

Submitted at 16:51:37 on 5 August 2014


Tried to do the same, but ended up with a email address and no way to link it to my mobile number. Confused :-/

[gravitar] Steve Kemp

Submitted at 22:17:07 on 5 August 2014

That is odd.

When I got to visit I can login with my mobile number and password - and I'm shown my mailbox.

I see this, for reference:

As you can see there is the SMS-link at the bottom-left, also visible via "My Settings".

[gravitar] Nux!

Submitted at 10:52:19 on 6 August 2014

Right, there is definitely something that I missed, mine looks much more spartan:

It probably requires some sort of subscription, not a lowly PayGo sim. :-d

[gravitar] Steve Kemp

Submitted at 10:53:35 on 6 August 2014

Does this link help at all?

That was shared on IRC last night.

[gravitar] Aaron Toponce

Submitted at 16:34:52 on 6 August 2014

It should be mentioned that many cellular telephone carriers provide an email->SMS gateway as part of their service. Not all, mind you, but many. See for a fairly comprehensive list.

[gravitar] Nux!

Submitted at 17:41:48 on 6 August 2014

Thanks, Steve, but that page leads me nowhere useful; asks me to login with webmail credentials then shows me the Inbox page, with SMS stuff missing.

Trying to register my phone number from the same page says it's not valid (it's EE, perhaps belongs to the T-mobile side of it). I'll check if EE has such a service themselves.

Aaron, thanks, will check it out.

[gravitar] MJ Ray

Submitted at 01:28:46 on 7 August 2014

It's worth paying for an SMS delivery service just not to have to deal with bloody Orange, isn't it?

[gravitar] Nux!

Submitted at 09:27:27 on 7 August 2014


Luckily I also have an O2 in my dual-sim phone, it literally took 10s to enable mail2sms using Aaron's link. Thanks for that!


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