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Transition Guide for AFS Static Websites

Library and Technology Services is making a minor change to the way in which we provide hosting for simple static web sites at Lehigh. The change involves the file system wherein the pages are stored, and it should be completely transparent to most users. All of the files will automatically be migrated to the new system, and visitors to the web sites will not see any difference. For anyone who has made changes to their sites within the last year or so, the procedures for making changes to your site going forward will not change. You will use the same software (MobaXterm, for Windows users), log into the same host name (ssh.lehigh.edu), and follow the same file path to get to your files (/home/account/public/www-data).

The few users who may encounter noticeable differences are those who are doing more advanced things with their sites. The existing site will automatically be translated to the new way of doing things (so you don't need to do anything right away), but if you need to make changes to one of these advanced features going forward, this will need to be accomplished with a different procedure than you may have used in the past. There are two main things that this affects (if you weren't doing either of these things, you don't need to worry):

If you are using access control files (".htaccess") in order to force users to authenticate before viewing the pages on the web, or to restrict who can view them (such as "only people on-campus"), the syntax of the commands in the access control file have changed slightly. If you make changes, you need to make sure you are following current documentation (in preparation)--examples in older documentation may not be correct. In particular, the directives "Order", "Allow", "Deny", and "Satisfy" are no longer used--instead the directive will involve some form of "Require". Other access control directives, like "Redirect" and "DirectoryIndex" have not changed.

If you have set up directory permissions, so that site maintainers log in using their own personal Lehigh accounts in order to make changes to the site, the way this is done has changed dramatically. Again, existing configurations will be translated, so that whatever you have set up will continue to work as expected. However, if you set up AFS permissions and groups using the "fs" and "pts" commands (such as "fs setacl" or "pts adduser") and you need to make changes, you need to contact LTS before going any further. Do not attempt to alter directory permissions on your own.

Note that access control files only affect who can access the page on the web, while directory permissions only affect who can add, delete, and edit pages where they are stored--these two functions are completely independent of one another.

For additional help, please contact Doug Reese at 610-758-5152 or doug.reese@lehigh.edu