CGI and Perl

Summary of Archive Management Issues

The topics we've discussed so far form the basis of the important issues and considerations for managing an archive on the Net. As I mentioned earlier, the needs and requirements for a configuration management plan vary from site to site. Even the simplest plan should include instructions and policy for the following actions, derived from the policies and problems listed earlier in this chapter:

  • Naming Conventions--Choosing long names versus ISO9660 names, and implementing appropriate and uniform extension naming.
  • Archive Layout--Creating hierarchy that is easily navigable but usable and useful for classification of elements.
  • Version Control--The ability to reconstruct any previous version of any of the archives element, at any given time.
  • Access Control--Access to elements based on dynamic needs and changing personnel duties, allowing possibly for off-site modification. Configuring the elements' permissions appropriately.
  • Sequential Changes--One and only one change to an archive element at a time.
  • Updates--A specific process to merge changed elements back into the archive as the new release. May include approvals or a consensus, and ideally should be automated.
  • Creation--Based on the layout plan and organization of the current elements and directory structure.
  • Accountability--Must have the ability to verify who made a change or creation, what was changed, and when, where, and why a change or creation occurred.
  • Verification/Testing--Manual or automated verification of the correctness of the new release, and that it hasn't affected any other component of the archive's functionality.
  • Reporting--The ability to report to anyone who might be interested, and has a right to know, regarding the usage and access of, and changes to, the archive. This task might possibly be automated, sending out reports on a nightly basis, for instance.

The rest of this chapter focuses on the specific tasks within these topics that you might face in the day-to-day management of the archive. The focus also now returns to how you can use Perl to implement these tasks.