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        * The tool will be controlled through a web UI presented to the end user         * The tool will be controlled through a [[attachment:mockup.png|web UI]] presented to the end user
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            * To install applications from this interface, the end user will simply select 'install' for the application they have selected and will
             
be able to access information about their server, issue backups, and edit the configuration.
            * To install applications from this interface, the end user will simply select 'install' for the application they have selected and will be able to access information about their server, issue backups, and edit the configuration.
  • Name: Brandon Fairchild

  • Contact/Email: csbit32 at gmail dot com, IRC: nerith on freenode/OFTC, Github: https://github.com/nerith

  • Background:I am a Computer Science student with an interest in free and open source software development and system administration. I was a Google Summer of Code student last year on the Debian Continuous Integration Project and I have continued maintaining my code and adding new features as a member of the project team. I have been involved in programming for the past six years. During that time I have programmed in C, Java, Python, Ruby, BASH scripting, and other languages. I have taught myself most of the languages that I know. Currently, I run Linux on all of my computers, specifically Debian. I am familiar with web development since I took some classes on the subject and practice it in my spare time and I am comfortable working with databases such as MySQL and SQLite. I also host my own ?OwnCloud instance and web server on a Debian server at home. I am the best person to work on this project because I understand what needs to be accomplished, have the skills that are needed, and I am willing to learn.


Project: Automated Configuration of Packaged Web Applications

https://wiki.debian.org/SummerOfCode2015/Projects/AutoConfigWebApps


Project Details

Presently, more applications are being moved to non self-hosted environments where control over a user's data may occur. Free software web applications have been created to allow users to self-host their web applications and give them more control over their data.

Unfortunately, although these services are available, non-technical users usually cannot have a good experience in getting these web services set up on their own systems in comparison to desktop applications. Many roadblocks exist for them, such as the information programmers and system administrators easily understand. This would include setting up the applications (installation, configuration, and/or databases), backups, and upgrading. This project aims to help fix this.

The goal of this project is to create a application that will install and configure packaged web applications. This application will be controlled by the end user through a web user interface to allow for easy installation and configuration of web applications on Debian systems. To do this, the web interface will send commands to the tool that the mentor is presently creating. To accomplish this, the tool will need an easily understandable web UI and not require the end user to use a terminal.

The following will be accomplished with this project:

  1. A tool that will allow 'userops' on a Debian system:

    • The tool will be controlled through a web UI presented to the end user

    • The web interface for the tool will allow for the installation of web applications by users less able to get it set up by themselves and manage upgrades and security.
      • The front-end of the tool will feature an easy to use UI which will run as a Rails application (it may use Plinth depending on what is chosen)
        • To install applications from this interface, the end user will simply select 'install' for the application they have selected and will be able to access information about their server, issue backups, and edit the configuration.
  2. Recipes for configuration:

    • Initially, the tool will support 3 popular web applications. Support will be included for ?OwnCloud or Wordpress (PHP), ?MediaGoblin (Python), and Redmine (Ruby, Rails)

      • These will serve as examples for future support of other web applications
      • The recipes will be contained in the project instead of having to download the recipes
    • The tool will run Chef to configure and install the packages with these recipes after a selection to install, remove, or configure is made in the web interface
  3. Patching of Debian packages

    • Some packages may need their config files externalized to /etc/<appname>/conf.d to prevent upgrades from breaking the configuration

      • This will be accomplished with patches to the Debian packages or the upstream project
  4. Documentation:

    • Documentation will be provided to allow others to test and use the tool
    • Documentation for non-technical users so that they can also understand the tool and how to use it
    • Show how to setup an instance of the tool for development purposes and usage
    • Detailed documentation on how the tool functions through the use of code comments and written documentation.
  5. Communicate with the UserOps initiative announced by ?MediaGoblin

  6. Communicate with the maintainers of the packages that will be initially supported by the tool


  • Synopsis: A tool with a web UI will be created that will simplify and automate self-hosting of web applications on Debian systems.

  • Benefits to Debian: It will allow Debian users to be able to self host web applications that require knowledge of system administration and web servers. This tool will simplify hosting these applications on Debian.

  • Deliverables: A tool with a web UI that automates the installation, automated configuration, and upgrading of packaged web applications through a web interface presented to the user; code documentation.


Project Schedule

[Note:] Code documentation will be done throughout the coding period.

BEFORE CODING PERIOD

  • From now until community bonding:

    • Get familiar with Chef, Plinth, Debian packaging, and get a feel for building applications with the required technologies
    • Research more PaaS providers (Heroku, Bitnami, etc.)

    • Work on UI mockups mockup.png

    Community Bonding:

    • Continue any research needed with Chef, Plinth, Debian packaging, and other technologies needed for this project
    • Communicate with the mentor, the Debian community, and others (MediaGoblin UserOps mailing list, the Debian webapps mailing list)

    • Work on the back-end of the automated configuration tool (any patches deemed necessary)

CODING PERIOD 1

  • May 25 - June 5

    • Write a Chef recipe module for a PHP web application (?OwnCloud or Wordpress)

    • Test the application recipe/module and make it usable through the tool
    • Write any necessary patches for the package for config file externalization
  • June 6 - June 13

    • Write a Chef recipe module for a Python (?MediaGoblin?) or another web application if it isn't packaged by then

    • Test the application recipe/module and make it usable through the tool
    • Write any necessary patches for the package for config file externalization
  • June 14 - June 21

    • Write a Chef recipe module for a Ruby web application (Redmine)
    • Test the application recipe/module and make it usable through the tool
    • Write any necessary patches for the package for config file externalization
  • June 22 - June 25

    • Testing, documentation, tool patching, etc.
  • June 26 - July 3

    • Midterm evaluations, testing, polishing, documentation work

CODING PERIOD 2

  • July 4 - July 13

    • Get a server running for the web UI
    • Implement the web UI with Bootstrap, HTML, CSS, and possibly ?JavaScript in a (Rails or Sinatra) application or use the Plinth UI

      • This will depend on what is chosen in the research phase, (currently I am choosing a small Ruby web application (Rails) for the web UI
  • July 15 - July 25

    • Continue implementation of end user web application (any additional backend API calls from the UI, display information, etc.)
  • July 26 - July 31

    • Work on support for additional packages for other packages in addition to the 3 main ones
    • Work on the any necessary UI changes and any backend improvements
  • August 1 - August 12

    • Work on support for additional packages for other packages in addition to the 3 main ones
    • Add these to the web UI
  • August 13 - August 20

    • Testing, polishing the function of the application, fix remaining bugs
  • August 21 - 27

    • Final evaluations

AFTER GOOGLE SUMMER OF CODE

  • Continue the development, testing, and maintenance of the tool


  • Exams and other commitments: I do not have any exams during the coding period.

  • Other summer plans: I have no other summer plans although I am thinking about attending ?DebConf15.

  • Why Debian?: Debian was one of the first Linux distributions that got me interested in Linux and free and open source software. It is one of my distributions of choice due to the stability and quality of releases. I want to give back to Debian for the value it has provided to me.

  • Are you applying for other projects in SoC? I am not applying for any other projects.