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Re: [Audio-video] Instruction to help on Audio and Video projects

From: Luca Saiu
Subject: Re: [Audio-video] Instruction to help on Audio and Video projects
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2013 17:12:13 +0200
User-agent: Gnus (Ma Gnus v0.8), GNU Emacs, x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu

> I got an email from Mr. John Sullivan asking for a help on this
> project.

Hello Mauricio, and thanks for your offer.

> Could you please send me more details and instructions on how to help
> on?

I'm assuming that this is the first time you work on audio-video; please
bear with me if you already know how the thing works.

Here are the audio-video tasks:

A few seem to be here as well:
but since these have been submitted by users, I don't think we should
automatically comply.

audio-video is going to migrate to a new system based on GNU
MediaGoblin but the new infrastructure isn't ready yet, so we have to
live with the current interface for a while.

A few weeks ago I offered to help improve the documentation about how to
upload media files and how to update the corresponding web pages.  I
haven't kept my promise yet, but this may be the occasion to write
something down, in case this is the kind of help you're interested in

For uploading media files you need to be in the audio-video group on

I can't find your name in the member list at , but
maybe you're using some alias or nick I don't recognize.

There's a CVS repository for the web site, which however doesn't contain
audio or video files -- they are too large to manage with CVS.

You can get your working copy of a repo like this, using your Savannah account:
--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
export CVS_RSH=ssh
cvs -z3 -d:ext:address@hidden:/web/audio-video co audio-video
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

(If you don't have a Savannah account you can still fetch a copy, but you
won't be able to do much with it:
--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
cvs -z3 -d:pserver:address@hidden:/web/audio-video co audio-video
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

Differently from, the web pages on are
*not* automatically updated on CVS commit, so it's possible that the
repo copy is out of sync with respect to the web copy.  Be careful when
updating the web copy, because changes are destructive, and it's easy to
make a mess, as in fact I did, if you don't understand which copy is the
most recent one.

The "Readme" file in the repo says where the videos are on the
audio-video web server.  You can update the files (both HTML and
audio/video files) using rsync.

This is a kludge I used to get the current list of all the files on the
--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
rsync -avz -e ssh --list-only --recursive address@hidden:/srv/audio-video/
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

You should redirect the command output to a file, so that you can look
at the directory structure and understand the right place where to
upload files.

Beware, this is potentially fragile.  In case it were needed, I found
that it's also possible to use rsync to delete files, by copying from
the audio-video server to your machine while asking rsync to delete the
source file (--remove-source-files).  Let me stress again that when
copying files with rsync you are allowed to make destructive changes,
such as overwriting the current and only copy of a file.

I would suggest to *always* keep the CVS page up-to-date for each web
page change, because that way we can save the history of changes and
revert to a past version in case of mistakes with rsync.  If I were in
charge of writing the directives I'd require that; however I'm not, so
this is just my opinion as a volunteer among others.

I propose this procedure to update a web page:

1) update your local cvs repo
2) get a copy of the current web page via rsync
3) if it's not the same as in the repo then the last user forgot
   to update the repo: commit the current version with an
   appropriate comment
4) make your change in your local repo, and commit
5) upload your new version with rsync

If we systematically do this then CVS should protect us from losing
changes in case of concurrent updates of the same file.

I also propose to name media files so as to explicitly include date and
place in the file name.  This will make them easier to recognize, in
case of errors or later when we will re-upload them to the new platform.
I'd use this naming convention: 
For example 2005-11-18--rms--tunis--wsis.webm

Of course before uploading any media file you should ensure we have
permission to do so, that the license is acceptable to us, and that the
format is friendly to free software (Ogg/Vorbis or Speex for audio,
Ogg/Theora or WebM for video).

If I said something wrong, I hope someone else will let us know.  By the
way Mauricio, I will also work on these tasks.  We can synchronize like
this: the first one who decides to open a task *assigns* to him/herself,
via the Savannah web interface.


Luca Saiu
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