Wrestling with insects …

… DragonFly in this case. Turns out that I had a wrong database setting that nuked one of our major functions. It would run the code. It just wouldn’t return anything. Turns out this was due to a missing column (do’h!).

How a column goes missing … I dunno. Ok, we moved it from an old machine to a newer dedidcated machine. Maybe a column fell out of the bits when we trucked the data over.

Also had to roll back some of the file manager changes. Turns out they … er … had some of their own creepy-crawlies.

On a positive note, I realized some nice API simplifications that could go on as a result of this review. The basic model is still pretty sensible. The frontend is still doing to much of the backend work though. Need to pull this out and make it “restful”. Leave all the heavy lifting to the backends, and simplify the interfaces.

1.0 of DragonFly did get out and in use. 2.0 should be even better. Yeah, will work on making the interface more “Web 2.0++” ish. Its ok right now. Need to make it better.

The big issue is that no one has a good sense of authentication or data motion for clusters … small or large. That is, one group might use Active Directory. Another will swear by Globus. Another still will map all users into one user (eeek!!! security? We don’t need no security). There are as many different models as there are users. Sadly, a number of these are in use at multiple organizations.

The data motion is a problem as well. Some users want to use ftp for everything. Security? What security? Others want an explorer drag/drop like interface. Still others don’t mind web upload/download.

So the question is how do you make all of these work, all the time, on all OSes?

Abstraction. Speed is not as important for most of these interfaces as usability/programmability. Have local adaption layers handle specific types of issues as they arise. Have a graded interface (we have this now with the file manager … not happy with the file manager overall, but I now have good ideas on how to make it better).

All we need is time (well, and capital to pay the bills while we work on it).

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