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Instructions for Mirror Sites Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
Instructions for Mirror Sites

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Instructions for Mirror Sites

Instructions for Mirror Sites Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia is mirrored around the world. It doesn't take much to set up your own version of this website; just download and install it on your webserver. However, if you make your version of the website available to Internet users, consider becoming an offical mirror site, listed on freesoft.org's mirrors page.

Before becoming an offical mirror site, please ensure that all CGI scripts and the search engine work correctly (see installation), and arrange for periodic updates as the master web site changes by polling www.freesoft.org periodically. This isn't difficult; on UNIX systems, a cron job run every 24 hours works fine. Both rsync and mirror are designed for incremental updates.

If you operate your own search engine, you can either mirror the index files on freesoft.org, or maintain your own. In either event, you'll should flush the search cache of old search results whenever the index files are updated. Just delete the files in CIE/cgi-bin/results; the only thing kept in this directory is the search cache. Please arrange to have a list of the search cache emailed to reindex@freesoft.org as it's deleted. I like to know what people search the encyclopedia for; it gives me important feedback to know what's missing. The simplest way to acheive this is to put a MAILTO=reindex@freesoft.org entry in the crontab, and make sure the cron script lists the search cache as it's deleted.

Mirroring freesoft.org's index files (using the rsync modules CIEindex and RFCindex) might be more convenient than maintaining your own search indices, but you'll have to make sure to keep your version of Isearch in sync with Freesoft's. Here's a sample cron script that mirrors the encyclopedia and indices using rsync. Notice the -v switch to rm, which causes it to list the search cache.

If you want to maintain your own search indices, don't mirror CIEindex or RFCindex, and arrange to run CIE/cgi-bin/reindex.pl after every mirroring operation. Make sure this script runs with sufficient privilege to write CIE/cgi-bin/index and CIE/cgi-bin/results. The output of reindex.pl is fairly verbose; in particular it lists the contents of the search cache before flushing it. Here's a sample cron script that mirrors the encyclopedia using rsync, then runs reindex.

Please contact me via e-mail (at baccala@freesoft.org) if you set up an Internet mirror site, and subscribe to announce@freesoft.org by sending a SUBSCRIBE request to announce-request@freesoft.org.


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Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
Instructions for Mirror Sites

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