1.8 BETA Preview/Review (so far)

These are my initail comments on the new InterWorx 1.8.0.RC1

I will be posting followups to this in the same thread this weekend as I have time to play (err . . . test) the software and features. :wink:

From what I can see, Chris is right. It IS the most significant upgrade yet

The software seems to load faster; not sure if this is something you changed or just my connection.

NodeWorx:

I like the fact that it now shows disc usage on the main screen.

I like the fact that it now shows the OS Distribution on the main screen.

Looks like you added a feature to allow SiteWorx accounts to add SSL certificates. Excellent.

Looks like you’ve beefed up the monitoring screen in InterWorx. More graphs for specific things/services (this is new, isn’t it? I don’t go to this screen that often).

The new themes management looks nice. It appears to work much smoother than some of the othe php software I have used. The one looks to be text only. People with slower boxes will be pleased.

On the Updates screen it now only lists OS updates, not InterWorx updates. Have you consolidated the two or is the InterWorx updates crippled in the beta? The list of old ones only has the software updates so I’m guessing it’s the latter.

New Apache, php, mysql – excellent!

SiteWorx:

Looks like you beefed up the logs section. Great!

Other than that I don’t see any real changes here.

What I still would like to see:

(some I’ve posted before some not)

FrontPage support (Version 2000 is fine)

Spamassassin support

Enhance the backup tool – Give the user the option to either download the backup file to their local machine (for those with fast connections) or save it to a file on their server. My prefference would be to save these files in the directory /home/username/domainanme.com/html/archive [or backup]. The file name would be sonething like mmddyyyy-hhmm-domainmame.com.zip and InterWorx would keep track of these updates (a simple listing would suffice) and a user would be able to generate a direct url to the file so he or she could use wget (or some other protocol) to copy it to a different machine or download it at a later time. The ability to schedule an update (daily/weekly/monthly) would also be nice. And of course a user should be able to restore any of these saved backups in case of an emergency. Anyway, my two cents.

** from what I’m hearing from users these first three are high demand options and I’d suggest you move them up the list a bit if they aren’t already **

A limited ability to edit the httpd.conf (or domainname.com.conf) file from the InterWox screen.

The ability to change settings in php.ini and other config files from NodeWorx (i.e. turn register globals on/off, safe mode on/of). Not necessarily every option here, but the common ones. I’ve looked at some of them so I know how complicated they can be.

Multiple domains per SiteWorx account. A reseller panel would do this and give people that feature at the same time.

Either a file manager in the NodeWorx account or a way to install things like phpBB in a SiteWorx account (both Plesk and cPanel have this). This is more of a “dream” but a number of my sites use phpBB on them and it is a bugger to do with the file manager. I always log in with my shell account, do it from there, and chown the files back to the SiteWorx account.

Long range thoughts:

Beef up NodeWorx to have more contol over server wide things like Webmin does. For example a listing of all of the RPM’s that are installed and the ability to add/remove them (through yum). I know this is easier said than done, but it’s something to look at down the road. I know I’ve said it before and I’m sure it’s a pipe dream, but I can dream can’t I?

Anyway, thanks Chris, Paul, Greg, and all the other members of the InterWorx team for their hard work.

The software seems to load faster; not sure if this is something you changed or just my connection.

This is the 2nd time we’ve heard this but (to my knowledge) we haven’t done any direct perf improvements targeted at the interface, at least in this release… But I’m glad regardless :).

NodeWorx:

I like the fact that it now shows disc usage on the main screen.
I like the fact that it now shows the OS Distribution on the main screen.
Looks like you added a feature to allow SiteWorx accounts to add SSL certificates. Excellent.

:slight_smile:

Looks like you’ve beefed up the monitoring screen in InterWorx. More graphs for specific things/services (this is new, isn’t it? I don’t go to this screen that often).

Actually, I believe this wasn’t touched (yet).

The new themes management looks nice. It appears to work much smoother than some of the othe php software I have used. The one looks to be text only. People with slower boxes will be pleased.

We have a draft of the theme author’s tutorial up at: http://interworx.info/support/theme.php. The “Cool Freshness” theme was authored by Bojan, one of the InterWorx developers with the direct goal of having it avoid image use to speed things up.

On the Updates screen it now only lists OS updates, not InterWorx updates. Have you consolidated the two or is the InterWorx updates crippled in the beta? The list of old ones only has the software updates so I’m guessing it’s the latter.

We actually unified all iworx/os into just 1 “updates” interface, which is what you see. This a more logical way to do it since our new yum.conf is unified as well. You can now easily update interwrox-cp or any OS updates by simply typing “yum update” on the command line, and this goes for any interworx-cp supported OS. We now have a cross-distro standard that will make a distro switch as painless as can be update wise.

New Apache, php, mysql – excellent!

We listen :). And this goes for all distos as well.

SiteWorx:
Looks like you beefed up the logs section. Great!
Other than that I don’t see any real changes here.

Other changes include the SSL cert interface itself, theme support, MySQL permission additions (LOCK and CREATE TEMPORARY TABLES) and a few other things.

What I still would like to see:

(some I’ve posted before some not)

FrontPage support (Version 2000 is fine)

I know you’ve done this on your box, and while I personally hate frontpage if you’d like to send me your ‘howto’ on the subject I’d be happy to look it over.

Spamassassin support

This is coming (no ETA), we’re spending considerable time making a robust and easy interface.

Enhance the backup tool – Give the user the option to either download the backup file to their local machine (for those with fast connections) or save it to a file on their server. My prefference would be to save these files in the directory /home/username/domainanme.com/html/archive [or backup]. The file name would be sonething like mmddyyyy-hhmm-domainmame.com.zip and InterWorx would keep track of these updates (a simple listing would suffice) and a user would be able to generate a direct url to the file so he or she could use wget (or some other protocol) to copy it to a different machine or download it at a later time. The ability to schedule an update (daily/weekly/monthly) would also be nice. And of course a user should be able to restore any of these saved backups in case of an emergency. Anyway, my two cents.

Backup needs mucho work and is targeted as well.

** from what I’m hearing from users these first three are high demand options and I’d suggest you move them up the list a bit if they aren’t already **

On the “super high priority” list right now is spam, resellers, mutli-domain support and backup, definitely. They won’t be released together (most likely) but will be done as soon as we can get them implemented/tested.

A limited ability to edit the httpd.conf (or domainname.com.conf) file from the InterWox screen.

The ability to change settings in php.ini and other config files from NodeWorx (i.e. turn register globals on/off, safe mode on/of). Not necessarily every option here, but the common ones. I’ve looked at some of them so I know how complicated they can be.

I won’t comment on these yet, I agree these things would be nice, but are lower priority at this point.

Multiple domains per SiteWorx account. A reseller panel would do this and give people that feature at the same time.

see above.

Either a file manager in the NodeWorx account or a way to install things like phpBB in a SiteWorx account (both Plesk and cPanel have this). This is more of a “dream” but a number of my sites use phpBB on them and it is a bugger to do with the file manager. I always log in with my shell account, do it from there, and chown the files back to the SiteWorx account.

We’re leaning toward the latter. A “fantastico” type mod if you will.

Long range thoughts:

Beef up NodeWorx to have more contol over server wide things like Webmin does. For example a listing of all of the RPM’s that are installed and the ability to add/remove them (through yum). I know this is easier said than done, but it’s something to look at down the road. I know I’ve said it before and I’m sure it’s a pipe dream, but I can dream can’t I?

The 1.8 release, while it has some new features, was really an infrastructure building release. Just getting all the distros working 100% and all packages configured / built / released was a undertaking. That said, the foundation package-wise is solid now so we’re focused on making the user experience better with the features that you’ve laid out here (and then some).

Anyway, thanks Chris, Paul, Greg, and all the other members of the InterWorx team for their hard work.

Thanks for the feedback as always Tim :).

Chris

Boy do you seem to respond to these things fast! Do you live in the forums? Or just check your email every five minutes :wink:

Anyway, before people start writing me about FP, let me clairify.

I had FP loaded and working (sort of) on my FIRST box (the Celleron I had back in January). I’ve never tried to do it on this machine, however if it isn’t forthcoming I am going to give it another try. It’s okay if it’s not. I like a challenge.

I don’t particularly like FP for most things either, but a lot of people do and it’s a big marketing thing to be able to support it. You are marketing this (InterWorx) for ease of use and the fact is many of the people who are looking for ease of use also use FP because of it’s (percieved) ease of use. I generally find DrewmWeaver even easier to use because I don’t have to go back and edit my code all the time. But that’s because I understand the basics of HTML. (adding a height attribute to a table cel drives me crazy!)

I use DrewamWeaver for about 90% of my web design these days (especially since upgrading to MX 2004 from 4.0) but still use FP for text intensive documents because it has Word’s writing tools integrated. Anyone who reads my forum posts knows I can’t type worth a darn. Underlining my typos helps me catch them easier;-)

The biggest obstacke I had to getting it running is that it wants a “root web” and on an InterWorx box there is no such thing. All of the sites are parellell to eachother not subs of /var/http/html (or whatever it is I’m tired lol). Any ideas how to get around this? The way it was installed before was on the one domain I was using for FP.

If I do get things working I will certainly share the knowlege :slight_smile:

Tim

PS I may respond to some of the rest of this tomorrow, but I think I am going to get some sleep in a few minutes.

I don’t particularly like FP for most things either, but a lot of people do and it’s a big marketing thing to be able to support it. You are marketing this (InterWorx) for ease of use and the fact is many of the people who are looking for ease of use also use FP because of it’s (percieved) ease of use. I generally find DrewmWeaver even easier to use because I don’t have to go back and edit my code all the time. But that’s because I understand the basics of HTML. (adding a height attribute to a table cel drives me crazy!)

I use DrewamWeaver for about 90% of my web design these days (especially since upgrading to MX 2004 from 4.0) but still use FP for text intensive documents because it has Word’s writing tools integrated. Anyone who reads my forum posts knows I can’t type worth a darn. Underlining my typos helps me catch them easier;-)

The biggest obstacke I had to getting it running is that it wants a “root web” and on an InterWorx box there is no such thing. All of the sites are parellell to eachother not subs of /var/http/html (or whatever it is I’m tired lol). Any ideas how to get around this? The way it was installed before was on the one domain I was using for FP.

If I do get things working I will certainly share the knowlege :slight_smile:

Tim

PS I may respond to some of the rest of this tomorrow, but I think I am going to get some sleep in a few minutes.

I never took the time to fully comprehend the whole “root web” thing in FP. You can setup ‘webs’ on a per domain basis even given the cur directory structure (we do it on our older servers) so I’m not sure how critical the root web actually is.

Chris

Another suggestion that I can’t believe I missed last night. In NodeWorx make an interface so users can install their own SSL certificate for the server itself so someone logging into NodeWorx gets myserver.com instead if interworx.info if they so desire. I think it’s a logical extention of what you’ve put in already or am I missing something.

agreed, this is good one Tim.

Chris

Now that I’ve had time to take a closer look and play withthings a little bit more let me respond to some of this.

Either way, it’s good.

Actually, I believe this wasn’t touched (yet).

My mistake. I guess I don’t use that screen that often.

We have a draft of the theme author’s tutorial up at: http://interworx.info/support/theme.php. The “Cool Freshness” theme was authored by Bojan, one of the InterWorx developers with the direct goal of having it avoid image use to speed things up.

I’m sure a lot of people will find that usefull. Themes editing isn’t something I’ve gotten into yet (even for phpBB) but am sure I will eventually.

We actually unified all iworx/os into just 1 “updates” interface, which is what you see. This a more logical way to do it since our new yum.conf is unified as well. You can now easily update interwrox-cp or any OS updates by simply typing “yum update” on the command line, and this goes for any interworx-cp supported OS. We now have a cross-distro standard that will make a distro switch as painless as can be update wise.

In the header of the table where the dropdown manue is located it still reads InterWorx Updates: OS Updates. You may want to drop the “OS Updates” part to avoid confusion. Also, as near as I can tell the server is only showing past OS updates and no InterWorx updates on the list of past updates.

We listen :). And this goes for all distos as well.

Yes you do and it’s appreciated by all.

One of the things I like about InterWorx is that we as users can discuss things directly with the developers and see how our feedback is being utilized.

Other changes include the SSL cert interface itself, theme support, MySQL permission additions (LOCK and CREATE TEMPORARY TABLES) and a few other things.

I haven’t looked at the SQL admin interface yet, but I should say for anybody reading this that the SSL access is an option that has to be turned ON by ckicking on the EDIT button next to the SiteWorx account in NodeWorx. [Editing the “plan” that the domain is assigned to does not work.] Having an SSL certificate also requires a dedicated IP so it won’t work for existing SiteWorx accounts on a shared IP. As of yet InterWorx does not allow you to change the IP that a SiteWorx account is on (Why is that? I’ve talked to belople who edited the source files to do the same thing with no advers effects.) Also, why can’t you turn on/off cgi access on a siteworx account?

Regarding Spamassassin:

This is coming (no ETA), we’re spending considerable time making a robust and easy interface.

Glad to hear it.

Backup needs mucho work and is targeted as well.

Deffinitely

On the “super high priority” list right now is spam, resellers, mutli-domain support and backup, definitely. They won’t be released together (most likely) but will be done as soon as we can get them implemented/tested.

Sounds like we are onthe same page

We’re leaning toward the latter. A “fantastico” type mod if you will.

Sounds good. You should support:

phpBB
vBulleten (for those who choose to pay the liscence)
Invision PowerBoard (for those who choose to pay the liscence)
PHPNuke
PostNuke
Xoops
PHPMyWebsite

and possibly other popular scripts.

The 1.8 release, while it has some new features, was really an infrastructure building release. Just getting all the distros working 100% and all packages configured / built / released was a undertaking. That said, the foundation package-wise is solid now so we’re focused on making the user experience better with the features that you’ve laid out here (and then some).

Sounds good.

Thanks for the feedback as always Tim :).

Not a problem Chris. Thanks for listening.

Tim

agreed.

I feel this is one of our biggest assets. We are driven by the users, and not (just) by marketing :)l

Sounds good. You should support:

phpBB
vBulleten (for those who choose to pay the liscence)
Invision PowerBoard (for those who choose to pay the liscence)
PHPNuke
PostNuke
Xoops
PHPMyWebsite

At least :).

Chris

As I understand it if you don’t have a “root web” then each additional webs are fresh installs of the extentions. I may have misunderstood. I haven’t looked at this since January and IIRC a lot of things I was reading was over my head. I’ve learned a lot in the last seven months about Linux so perhaps it will make more sense to methe next time I read through it.

Tim