RFC - extra sync functionality...

Oliver Fromme olli at lurza.secnetix.de
Fri Jun 13 07:33:05 PDT 2003


I like the comparison with DNS and zone transfers.  And I
also like your proposal.  Just a few minor comments ...

Ken Smith wrote:
 > I thought that maybe there could be a top-level directory in the
 > FTP repository named "serial_numbers" and inside that would be an
 > individual file for each of the modules making up the FTP site.

I would give it a different name.  "Serial numbers" sounds
a bit like registration codes for commercial software.
Those are also called "serials" (or rather "serialz", in
warez-speak).  Could be misleading.

Maybe simply "mirror_info".

 > [...]  The serial
 > numbers are the standard one recommended in the DNS docs, YYYYMMDDXX
 > where XX is just two extra digits in case you decide to change the
 > contents more than once in a day (e.g. today would be 2003061300).

Personally I often just start a zone with serial 1 and
increase by at 1 each change.  Less error-prone, IMO.

I don't think that the RFC recommends using YYYYMMDDXX,
it merely suggests it.

Anyway, I don't care much in what particular way the
serial numbers are constructed for mirroring purposes,
as long as it is clearly documented.

 > The perl script then only calls your transfer script (you get to
 > [...]
 > the perl script writes the new serial number to your local directory.

Uhm, why perl?  It rather sounds like a good job for a
shell script.  I do have machines which don't even have
perl installed at all (those are not FreeBSD FTP mirrors,

 > We would probably recommend (or implement in this some sort of force
 > mechanism...) running a real transfer pass once a week or so "just
 > because" in case someone(s) don't quite play nice with the serial
 > number generation and update content by mistake.  I know there have
 > been times I've forgotten to update the serial number in DNS SOA
 > records when I should have...

There could be a cron job on the server, which goes
through the tree, checks the mtimes of all files and
complains loudly if there are any which are newer than
their corresponding "serial numbers".  It could even
update the numbers automatically.

 > Is this a good idea?

Yes, I think so.


Oliver Fromme, secnetix GmbH & Co KG, Oettingenstr. 2, 80538 München
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