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Friday, October 31, 2008

Autoguilt Status Update

So far this semester, the autoguilt team has assembled some requirements and planning documents as well as writing a bit of code. The code is available on the subversion repository ( and the current version of the main planning document is below.

One or more administrators define who needs to report what to whom by when (and when they need to be reminded/guilted about it).


  • Reports can be submitted via web interface or by responding to a reminder.
  • Reports can have a defined format.
  • Reports can be required from a list of entities including groups and individuals.
    • Two cases: All or x member(s) of a group.
  • Reports can be set to a list of entities including groups and individuals.
  • Reminders can be scheduled relative to due dates (positive or negative) on a per report basis.
  • Reminders can be one of many formats (email, sms, im, twitter, etc.)
  • Due dates can be specified on a recurring basis (see google calendar recurring scheduler).
  • Vacation mode (no reminders for some period of time).
  • Individuals can be assigned roles globally or on a report-by-report basis.
  • Roles consist of a set of permissions.
  • Groups consist of one or more individuals.
  • Reports can be posted to another service.
  • Other services can be checked to see if the report has been submitted.
    • Maybe use tags?


  • How is invalid input handled?


  • Reminders/Submission
    • Mail
      • Incoming
      • Outgoing
    • SMS
      • Incoming
      • Outgoing
    • IM
      • Incoming
      • Outgoing
    • Twitter
      • Incoming
      • Outgoing
  • User Management
    • User Management
      • Preferences
        • Vacation Mode
    • Group
    • Permissions Management
  • Report Format Creation
  • Reminder Scheduling
  • Web Report Management
    • Submission
    • Editing
  • Submission Detection (check services to see if it has been submitted)
  • Pipelining (taking submissions and sending them elsewhere)

posted by Zach at 4:30 pm  

Friday, October 31, 2008

Presentations to-date this Semester

I’ve given two presentations so far this semester, “Basic Web Programing and an Alternative” and “Developing with Drupal”. The former covered the basics of PHP and the latter covered Drupal module development (using the management module as an example).

I’ve also given an “Introduction to the Open Source Xen Hypervisor” with Wenjin Hu. See the post about the presentation for more information.

posted by Zach at 4:26 pm  

Friday, October 31, 2008

Xen Training Status Update

Wenjin Hu and I were approached by Stephen Spector and Usenix and will be running a presentation “Introduction to the Open Source Xen Hypervisor” at the upcoming Usenix LISA conference. We did two run-through presentations for small groups in the ITL. Attendees seemed to get a lot out of it, so we have high hopes for the actual presentation.

posted by Zach at 4:22 pm  

Friday, October 31, 2008

Benchvm Status Update

Benchvm development has been put on the back burner for another semester. It’s a project I’d like to see completed, but just haven’t had the time to make a lot of progress on it. The only notable progress this semester was to respecify the config files as follow

Definitions for

  • Installation
  • Tests

Specifications for

  • Machine organization (which guests are installed on which hosts)
  • Tests (which tests are run on which machines)

The project is in dire need of someone willing to take over and get things moving. If anyone is interested, I’d be more than happy to pass along all of my plans and ideas. If I don’t find someone, hopefully I can make progress during break or next semester.

posted by Zach at 4:17 pm  

Friday, October 31, 2008

Docs Status Update

Docs is still running smoothly; it hasn’t had any downtime other than general downtime for power outages and such.

Backups are still being made on a regular basis, and minutes are being uploaded regularly.

A few minor changes were made to information structure (namely adding a “How do I … ?” page and revamping the way the presentations page works).

posted by Zach at 4:13 pm  

Friday, October 31, 2008

SVN Status

A few weeks into the semester, I created a virtual machine to host a subversion server for the labs. Currently there are around half a dozen repositories (for projects, infrastructure and personal use). Backup is still under development.

For full details of the setup and configuration process, see

posted by Zach at 4:04 pm  

Friday, October 31, 2008

Management Status

For a presentation on Drupal I gave earlier this semester, I developed a web-based management system for our production Xen infrastructure. It supports starting, stopping, rebooting, and migrating vms on any number of domain 0s.

The source code is available on the cslabs svn server at (username, password = anonymous).

If you’re reading this, are interested in using it on your own setup, and can’t seem to figure something out, drop me an email or post a comment.

posted by Zach at 3:59 pm  

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Status Updates

I’ve managed to get a good bit behind on various status updates, so I’ll be trying to remedy that over the next few days.

As a general status update: I’m still alive.

posted by Zach at 10:27 pm  

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