The Complete How-To for Web Authoring @ SchonLAN using Mozilla and Secure Shell

  1. The Schonland Web Server
  2. Basic File and Directory discussion
  3. Running a remote secure shell session on our webserver
  4. Transferring files between your computer and our webserver
  5. Modifying an HTML document with Mozilla
  6. The basics of HTML
  7. How to start - Make a small change in a file
  8. How to start - Make a new HTML document, with text and pictures
  9. How to start - Make a whole set of documents with links to other documents 
  10. How to start - Make your own personal home page  
  11. Final Check-list



Introduction - The Schonland Web Server  
                                                        

The Internet Address of the Schonland web server machine is
                        www.src.wits.ac.za

A web-server program called apache runs on this machine.   This is shown below, but obviously not in full detail.

 

The URL or Unique Resource Location always has a structure
http://machine.internet.address/directory/sub-directory/filename.html Note that we have
The accounts who have permissions to work in given subdirectories on the
directory structure shown above are organised into groups. The names of
these groups, their subdirectories and their ambits are shown in the table below.

Group
Diriectory
pages
webmast
pages
General Schonland pages
psi
groups/accel
For the accelerators,
The Particle Solid Interactions Group
iaea
groups/iaea
For the Post Graduate courses
inplanter
groups/implanter
The Ion Implantation and Surface Science
psi
groups/jpfs
The Particle Solid Interactions Group
nsg
groups/nsg
The Nuclear Structure Group
outreach
groups/outreach
Personnel involved in outreach
psi
groups/psi
The Particle Solid Interactions Group
geology
groups/vredefort
The Nuclear-Geophysics Group

Please consult the LAN Administrators if you find you are not included in the appropriate groups
for your work.

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Basic File and Directory discussion

There are things called "file permissions" in the UNIX operating system.
These allow different "accounts" different privileges. These are grouped into
three groups of three types of privileges
Groups
Privileges

A directory is similar to a file in UNIX, so it also has permissions.
If you are from a Windows or Mac background, or if you are a beginner Linux user, then
you may know a directory as a folder.

Caution
Now, I am telling you this because you can't go to places on the disk where you are not
authenticated and do things which you are not authenticated to do.
You have now a great responsibility, because where you are authenticated,
you may make a terrible mistake, and delete stuff. You wont be popular if
you do this. Avoid problems by being careful, and make your own backups. Don't just
take it for granted that the system admin can clear up any mess ....

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Running a remote secure shell session on our webserver
You will do this with a secure shell client, which is a program that encrypts its communications
while enabling you to "log on" to the web server, in a text window.

If you are using windows, do this with the program putty.
If you are using linux, then issue the command
        ssh <account>@www.src.wits.ac.za
from a shell prompt. Authenticate yourself.

If you are using a Mac ....... find some-one to show you what to do.
You will have to search the web for a "secure shell client" and install it

You now have your text window session open on your computer, so that
you are remotely logged on to www.src.wits.ac.za. You will be in your
personal "home" directory. Now point your
browser here and do the
tutorial on "Shell prompt basics". Don't just read, actually perform the commands
and study the responses.

Don't be lazy, it only takes an hour.

You MUST be familiar with the following material from that chapter.
The parts I highlight in red.
11. Shell Prompt Basics

Why Use a Shell Prompt
The History of the Shell
Determining Your Current Directory with pwd
Changing Directories with cd
View Directory Contents with ls
Locating Files and Directories
Printing From The Command Line
Clearing and Resetting the Terminal
Manipulating Files with cat
Using Redirection
Appending Standard Output
Redirecting Standard Input
Pipes and Pagers
The more Command
More Commands for Reading Text Files
The head Command
The tail Command
The grep Command
I/O Redirection and Pipes
Wildcards and Regular Expressions
Command History and Tab Completion
Using Multiple Commands
Ownership and Permissions
The chmod Command
Changing Permissions With Numbers
Now I will assume you have done this.
Congratulations .... this is your first step to joining the world of computer geeks.
Soon you too can sign up at geek.com

You now have the basic capacity to manage files on the webserver,
in areas where you are authenticated.

Go back to the figure above on the webserver "document root"
directory structure. Explore your way around and familiarise 
yourself with the territory. Don't be lazy .... do it now

I use this process to manage files and directories ... housekeeping.

Caution - a common reason for failed document availablility
 
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Transferring files between your computer and  our webserver
You will do this with a secure copy client, which is a program that encrypts its communications.

If you are using windows, do this with the program winscp.
If you are using linux, then issue the command from a shell prompt and authenticate yourelf.
        scp from-path to-path
where
        to-path = <account>@www.src.wits.ac.za:/var/www/html/directory/subdirectory

with obvious interpretations.

Use "-r" as a switch to recursively transfer directories and sub-directories.

Type
        man scp
to learn more abuot this command

If you are using a Mac ....... find some-one to show you what to do.
You will have to search the web for a "secure copy client" and install it

I usually use this method when I need to transfer a lot of images or a ready made page.

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Modifying an HTML document with Mozilla.

You will need to obtain and install Mozilla, if you don't already have it.

If you are using windows, then this program is on the Schonland netdata machine in
/home/
apps/Windows/INTERNET/mozilla. Install it by clicking the
mozilla-win32-1.4-installer.exe
file's icon.

If you are using linux, it should already be on your machine.

If you are using a Mac ....... it has to be the latest OSX operating system.
The
program is on the Schonland netdata machine in /home/apps/MAC.
I
nstall it by clicking the mozilla-mac-MachO-1.4.dmg.gz file's icon.

Mozilla will have to be configured, like any web browser.
You should explore the options in the the edit menu, sub-menu "preferences".
The least you will need to do is set the "proxy server" in the advanced section.
This should be the "manual" mode with the server set to "proxy.wits.ac.za" on port "80".
You can fill the field for "no proxy" with "wits.ac.za".
  1. Use the Mozilla browser to view the document and choose the edit page option from the file menu.

    edit page


  2. This will load the document into the Composer HTML editor, where you can make any required changes.

    edit document


  3. Choose the Publishing site settings from the edit menu (you will only have to do this once).

    select publishing site settings



  4. Proceed as follows
    1. Make sure the Settings tab and not the Publish tab is active
    2. Give the site a name (anything you like), but note my sensible choice
      or select the name from the drop down list if you already named it previously
    3. set the publishing address to http://www.src.wits.ac.za  
      and the http address to 
      http://www.src.wits.ac.za
      Note that the publishing address can also have a directory name in it, as in my example.
    4. Fill in you authentication details.





  5. Now press the Publish tab and proceed as follows
    1. Make sure the site name is filled in correctly
      or select the name from the drop down list if you already named it previously
    2. Set the page title and make sure the page name is correct
    3. Make sure your document goes into the right directory.
    4. I usually uncheck the inclusion of images. This is because
      I transfer them onto the site with the secure transmission client
    5. Check "use same location as page.
      DO NOT check "Use this site subdirectory ... unless you have much more experiment
    6. Finally, press the publish button, and the document will be uploaded onto the
      webserver  / modified on the webserver.
    7. You will get a report on the success / failure of your publish effort.

      creating the publish settings
  1. That's it !!!!

  2. Check with your browser that the document has been updated satisfactorily
    (you may need to reload the page - depending how you have configured your browser).  

  3. Next time you publish from this PC there should be no need to redo the 'settings' dialog.
    You should be able simply choose the Publish icon from the toolbar to publish the document after making your edits


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The basics of HTML

I found so many HTML guides on the web (more than 5M) ..... so let me
ask any of you if you can put in a link here to your favourite guide.

Mine is going to be very simple as written, but you will have to do some self-taught learning..

BASIC CONCEPT invented at CERN
So .... make the file simple ..... this means a text file.

The basic web document is therefore just a text file .... very cheap in storage space.

Let the file be processed by a browser, like Netscape, Mozilla, or Internet Explorer.
Now ....   how do you proceed ?

Reverse engineer
any document you like -- go exploring .... load it into
Mozilla's Composer
and see how its tags work.
 For example,
If you really did this, you now know BASIC HTML documents.



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How to start - Make a small change in an existing web document
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How to start - Make a new HTML document, with text and pictures

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How to start - Make a whole set of linked documents
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How to start - Make your own personal home page

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Final Check-list
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 Produced by Simon Connell 7.4.2004