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Small Bulletin Board forum in Ruby
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♞ C H E S S B O A R D ♜ ************************************************************** * NOTE: THIS IS UNMAINTAINED SOFTWARE. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. * ************************************************************** Chessboard is a forum-mailinglist gateway software. The web interface acts mostly like an ordinary web forum, but in the background each post is send to and received from one or more mailinglists the forum mirrors. Since it does only very minor modification of the posts received, it can serve as a mailinglist archive as well. It can also be run standalone if required, i.e. without a mailinglist to mirror. Chessboard is a little inspired by DFeed (<https://github.com/CyberShadow/DFeed>), which powers the D programming language's forum. Chessboard however is written in Ruby and is based on the popular Sinatra library rather than RubyOnRails, which makes it a rather slim application with little dependencies. ♟ How to install ♟ Chessboard is currently in the testing phase, thus there are no stable releases yet. The v0.0.1 tag you find in the Git repository is an old attempt that should not be used. Thus, you need to download the Git repository: $ git clone git://github.com/Quintus/chessboard.git You need to install the Ruby Programming Language and RubyGems before you proceed; both should be available from your Linux distribution's repositories. Then you need to install the Bundler package manager: $ gem install bundler With that available, you can install the actual dependencies of Chessboard: $ cd chessboard $ bundle install --path .gems --without development test I try to keep the amount of gems required low, but a little number is unavoidable. Some of these gems require native extensions, mostly rb-inotify, so if you don't have a C compiler available, the above step will fail. Since Chessboard is mainly intended to be used as a mailinglist mirror, you need to have a mailinglist available that will be mirrored. This file assumes that you use mlmmj (<http://mlmmj.org/>) to manager your mailinglists and you have a mailinglist you want to mirror under /var/mlmmj/my-ml. Other mailinglist managers can be used as well, see below. Chessboard also needs to send emails. All posts made via the board are not stored into the database directly, but instead send to the mailinglist under the email address of the posting user. To achieve this, Chessboard automatically subscribes the user to the no-mail version of the mailinglist before sending an email under his address to it. You shouldn't notice much of this if you use one of the pre-made configuration snippets. Most importantly, however, Chessboard relies on a working “sendmail” binary to be available at the path given in the configuration file. If “sendmail” fails to work, no posts made via Chessboard will become available. ♟ How to configure ♟ There is a comprehensively commented configuration file in “config.rb” that you should consult and edit before you do anything else. At the bottom of this file, the actual mailinglist mapping is configured. Chessboard ships with two pre-made configuration snippets for the mlmmj mailinglist manager and for running standalone without a mailinglist backend. If this does not cover your needs, you need to write your own mailinglist manager configuration mapping, which is rather complex. Take a look at the file doc/mailinglist_manager_config.rdoc if you want to know how this works; for now, I assume you use the mlmmj configuration snippet. There's little runtime configuration of Chessboard, nearly everything happens in config.rb. Once you're done with it, you need to populate the database with the minimal setup required. To do so, run these commands: $ export RACK_ENV=production $ bundle exec rake setup This will ask you some questions with regard to the administrative user. Answer them, and you're good to go. ♟ How to run ♟ For taking a first glance at the software, simply run this command and then browse to <http://localhost:3000>: $ bundle exec rackup -p 3000 This binds to localhost by default. If you are running this on a server, you need to explicitely specify that it should be reachable from the outside by passing an extra -o option: $ bundle exec rackup -p 3000 -o 0.0.0.0 This will bind to the wildcard address. You can then reach the application under your server's IP address or DNS host name at port 3000. The interface will be fairly empty, as no mailinglist is configured yet. Head over to the administration panel, add a new forum, and for the “mailinglist” attribute you say “/var/mlmmj/my-ml”, which is where you have your mlmmj-managed mailinglist stored. Finish the configuration and click “Synchronise”. Chessboard will now pull in all posts ever made to that mailinglist and assign all of them except those made under the email address you gave for the admin user to the Guest user, as no users have registered yet. It is important to note that Chessboard will never automatically create any users for you. If it encounters an unknown email address, the post will be assigned to the Guest user. This way, it does not interfer with the user management of your mailinglist manager. If synchronisation fails, please check that the user you run Chessboard as has sufficient privileges to read the files inside the archive/ directory of your mlmmj mailinglist. mlmmj tends to set the file permissions very strictly. It is not recommended to run Ruby's default web server (WEBrick) in a production environment as it is known to perform badly, albeit it is handy for testing. Instead, use an optmised web server like thin or puma. To do so, create a file named “Gemfile.local” next to the “Gemfile” and add a line like this: gem "thin" If present, the “bundle install” command given above will automatically honour the content of the “Gemfile.local” file. Once the forum itself is up and running, you need to start the mailinglist monitor, i.e. the software that watches the mailinglists for new posts and adds them to the forum. If you forget this, any new posts made to the mailinglist -- including those made via Chessboard -- will not show up in the forum. Only if you choose to run Chessboard standalone without a mailinglist backend you don't need this step. To start the monitor, execute this: $ ./bin/ml_monitor start The command will fork and run as a daemon by default. Ensure it has the required privileges to read the mails in the mailinglist archive. Lastly, be sure the environment variable RACK_ENV is set to the string value "production" whenever you run a command related to chessboard, be it the server start, the monitor start, or Rake tasks. If this environment variable is unset, Chessboard assumes a development environment, which is not what you want if you are not developing it. ♟ How to maintain ♟ Chessboard needs to do some occasional cleanup work. For this, a Rake task is provided that needs to be executed at least once a day from Cron. The command you need to execute is this one: $ bundle exec rake maintenance ♟ License ♟ Chessboard is a forum<->mailinglist gateway. Copyright © 2016 Marvin Gülker <email@example.com> This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Affero General Public License for more details. You should have received a copy of the GNU Affero General Public License along with this program. If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>. ♚ ♛