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Thursday, 16 August 2018 Dereel Images for 16 August 2018
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Object storage, day 2
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

OK, now I have the local tools to move data to object storage. Time to take the plunge.

What issues do I still have?

  1. Which supplier? An obvious choice would be Amazon S3, but the web documentation looked confusing. DigitalOcean at least has better-looking documentation, including on how to use s3cmd. They also give me 2 months for free, after which I will pay probably only round $5 a month, compared to $30 odd that I'm currently paying over and above the price of a virtual server.
  2. How to get the data there? I can move it from here or from www.lemis.com.
  3. How do I modify my scripts to serve image URLs from the new server? My oneimage.php script is nearly 3000 lines long, and the function showphoto () alone is 800 lines of code that I wrote when I understood neither PHP nor my aims very well. I have a horror of modifying it.
  4. How do I modify my file upload scripts?

First, set up an account with DigitalOcean. That was straightforward enough, but creating a space and setting up s3cmd wasn't. It took me over an hour to work my way through a maze of twisty little menus and terms, all different.

How do you generate keys? How do you save them? It tells me to visit the API page, conveniently linked, which shows nothing about keys. When I finally found it, I couldn't work out how to generate the keys. I was presented with this page, with no explanations:


This should be Digitalocean-9.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Digitalocean 9          Dimensions:          1435 x 1311, 135 kB
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All images taken on Thursday, 16 August 2018, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 16 August 2018, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 16 August 2018 Complete exposure details

 
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Image title: Digitalocean 9 detail          Dimensions:          1186 x 228, 47 kB
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Diary entry for Thursday, 16 August 2018 Complete exposure details

 

Select More V, right? Wrong. By trial and error I discovered that I was supposed to click on the blue tick mark to the right of the space name in order to save the key that had already been generated.

Next, set up s3cmd, using this page as a guide. Suddenly there's a mention of a “bucket”. What's that? Some storage subdivision, presumably, but they're too polite to assume that I've never heard of it before, so they don't say.

Test the configuration:

Test access with supplied credentials? [Y/n] Enter
Please wait, attempting to list all buckets...
      ERROR: Test failed: 302 (Found)

Not quite “Error 0 (Success)”, but close enough. What's wrong? The obvious thing in the setup was that there is nothing there to identify my space. What's this dubious-looking statement?

Because Spaces supports DNS-based buckets, at the next prompt, supply the bucket value in the required format: %(bucket)s.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com

%(bucket) looks like some variable substitution. Should I substitute my space name? Tried that to no avail. Much discussion on IRC, most of which missed the point.

Authentication issue, maybe? It didn't look like, but what happens if I try the wrong key. Exactly the same thing! Is this its way of telling me that my key was wrong? Checked it, along with the secret key, and both looked correct. But they're only displayed on a web browser, and the Copy function doesn't work. That secret key takes up the entire width of its field on the browser. Could it be truncated? How do I tell? It's a secret key, so I can't get it displayed again. Maximize the browser window? No difference. Change the font size? No difference. Look at the source? Not there.

Finally tried setting up on a different system. This had all been on www, so I tried teevee (eureka is too old to install the software easily). And how about that! It worked.

What was different? Only one thing:

-use_https = True
+use_https = False

The instructions were to use https, and there was no reason to change them, but somehow I had managed to anyway.

Finally done, t+90 minutes! What I learnt:

  1. “Bucket” is a synonym for “storage space”.
  2. The entry %(bucket)s.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com is meant literally.
  3. The Copy function requires a clipboard, something that X normally doesn't provide. I needed to run xclipboard to provide a destination for the Copy function.
  4. You must use https:. http: not only doesn't work, but gives you unintelligible error messages.

OK, step 2: copy data to the storebucket. First, how do I organize them? The modern way seems to be to assign them random names, but then, that's one of my objections. I currently keep my photos in a clear hierarchy, like http://narrawin.lemis.com/grog/Photos/20180816/, where 20180816 is (today's) date. Inside this directory are some auxiliary files, including a list of images and their sizes, and three subdirectories big/, small/ and tiny/, which contain the original files, a smaller version (about 270 kP) and even smaller images (about 67 kP) respectively. I only really need to move the images. So why not keep the hierarchy as-is? Yes, it's not modern, but it Makes Sense To Me.

That's a s3cmd put or s3cmd sync. The latter looks more appropriate:

=== grog@www (/dev/pts/1) ~/www.lemis.com 58 -> for i in grog/Photos/19640828; do s3cmd sync /big/ /small/ /tiny/ s3://lemis//; done
WARNING: Skipping over symbolic link: grog/Photos/19640828/big/KL-24.jpeg
WARNING: Skipping over symbolic link: grog/Photos/19640828/big/KL-2.jpeg
...
upload: 'grog/Photos/19640828/tiny/Bank-Negara-Malaysia.jpeg' -> 's3://lemis/grog/Photos/19640828/Bank-Negara-Malaysia.jpeg'  [1 of 29]
 47441 of 47441   100% in    0s   555.11 kB/s  done
upload: 'grog/Photos/19640828/tiny/Bikini-1.jpeg' -> 's3://lemis/grog/Photos/19640828/Bikini-1.jpeg'  [2 of 29]
 39759 of 39759   100% in    0s   379.06 kB/s  done
upload: 'grog/Photos/19640828/tiny/KL-1.jpeg' -> 's3://lemis/grog/Photos/19640828/KL-1.jpeg'  [3 of 29]
 50248 of 50248   100% in    2s    22.48 kB/s  done
upload: 'grog/Photos/19640828/tiny/KL-10.jpeg' -> 's3://lemis/grog/Photos/19640828/KL-10.jpeg'  [4 of 29]

The good news: it works. The bad news: not the way I wanted. Losing file system semantics also means losing symlinks. I'll have to work out how to handle that. The other is easier: it dropped the final part of the directory names, so grog/Photos/19640828/tiny/Bikini-1.jpeg ended up in grog/Photos/19640828/Bikini-1.jpeg. So did grog/Photos/19640828/big/Bikini-1.jpeg. OK, that's trivial:

=== grog@www (/dev/pts/1) ~/www.lemis.com 59 -> for i in grog/Photos/19640828/big; do s3cmd sync $i/ s3://lemis/$i/; done
...
upload: 'grog/Photos/19640828/big/Bank-Negara-Malaysia.jpeg' -> 's3://lemis/grog/Photos/19640828/big/Bank-Negara-Malaysia.jpeg'  [1 of 29]
 1286811 of 1286811   100% in    0s     3.75 MB/s  done
...

Finally I have images in the space. Point a web browser at http://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/19640828/big/Bank-Negara-Malaysia.jpeg and what do I see? HTTP error 413: You are not permitted...

Where did that come from? The files that I uploaded had permissions 644 (owner read-write, group read, other read). Why are they not accessible? Ah, that's a feature, not a bug. By default, files are not world-readable. As Benno Rice said on IRC:

<benno>: If you want to know how much fun it is when the default is to public
there's plenty of examples out there.

Yes, the more I have to do with this concept, it seems that the thrust of object storage is not storing publicly available content. But that's not the point. There's no way to change the default! Peter Jeremy came up with the s3cmd setacl command, but it proves that the -P option to the sync subcommand sets public access.

One of the few advantages that I found that object storage has over file systems is a more modular permissions system, using ACLs. But there's little to be seen of that here. All the documentation I have seen so far has reduced the 512 permissions that Unix offers down to two: public or private. O brave new world! As Henry Spencer said,

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly.

While trying to fix the permissions, ran into one of these poor reinventions:

=== grog@www (/dev/pts/1) ~/www.lemis.com 63 -> for i in grog/Photos/19640828; do s3cmd setacl $i/big/ $i/small/ $i/tiny/ s3://lemis/$i/ -P; done

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    An unexpected error has occurred.
  Please try reproducing the error using
  the latest s3cmd code from the git master
  branch found at:
    https://github.com/s3tools/s3cmd
  and have a look at the known issues list:
    https://github.com/s3tools/s3cmd/wiki/Common-known-issues-and-their-solutions
  If the error persists, please report the
  following lines (removing any private
  info as necessary) to:
   s3tools-bugs@lists.sourceforge.net

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Invoked as: /usr/local/bin/s3cmd setacl grog/Photos/19640828/big/ grog/Photos/19640828/small/ grog/Photos/19640828/tiny/ s3://lemis/grog/Photos/19640828/ -P
Problem: AttributeError: 'S3UriFile' object has no attribute 'has_object'
S3cmd:   2.0.2
python:   2.7.10 (default, Nov  5 2015, 01:15:39)
[GCC 4.2.1 Compatible FreeBSD Clang 3.4.1 (tags/RELEASE_34/dot1-final 208032)]
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/local/bin/s3cmd", line 3172, in <module>
    report_exception(e)
  File "/usr/local/bin/s3cmd", line 3047, in report_exception
    sys.stderr.write(u"environment LANG=%s
" % unicodise_s(os.getenv("LANG"), 'ascii'))
  File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/S3/Utils.py", line 321, in unicodise_s
    return unicodise(string, encoding, errors, True)
  File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/S3/Utils.py", line 312, in unicodise
    return unicode(string, encoding, errors)
TypeError: coercing to Unicode: need string or buffer, NoneType found

This is s3cmd's way of saying “You may only specify one path name (I think). My error (I had forgotten to remove the source paths from a previous command), but what a message! The most important part is “unexpected error”: it doesn't cater for incorrect syntax. By comparison, chmod says:

=== grog@www (/dev/pts/1) ~  -> for i in grog/Photos/19640828; do chmod 644 $i/big/ $i/small/ $i/tiny/ s3://lemis/$i/ -P; done
chmod: grog/Photos/19640828/big/: No such file or directory
chmod: grog/Photos/19640828/small/: No such file or directory
chmod: grog/Photos/19640828/tiny/: No such file or directory
chmod: s3://lemis/grog/Photos/19640828/: No such file or directory
chmod: -P: No such file or directory

OK, finally I have things going the way I wanted them:

=== grog@www (/dev/pts/1) ~/www.lemis.com 64 ->  for i in grog/Photos/1*; do for j in big small tiny; do echo $i/$j; s3cmd sync $i/$j/ s3://lemis/$i/$j/ -P; done

And away that ran, copying all my data. But not exactly with the warm fuzzy feeling that everything was OK. Apparently at random I got:

grog/Photos/19630502/small
grog/Photos/19630502/tiny
WARNING: Retrying failed request: /?prefix=grog%2FPhotos%2F19630502%2Ftiny%2F ([Errno 54] Connection reset by peer)
WARNING: Waiting 3 sec...
WARNING: Retrying failed request: /?prefix=grog%2FPhotos%2F19630502%2Ftiny%2F ([Errno 54] Connection reset by peer)
WARNING: Waiting 6 sec...
WARNING: Retrying failed request: /?prefix=grog%2FPhotos%2F19630502%2Ftiny%2F ([Errno 54] Connection reset by peer)
WARNING: Waiting 9 sec...
grog/Photos/19630905/big
grog/Photos/19630905/small
WARNING: Retrying failed request: /?prefix=grog%2FPhotos%2F19630905%2Fsmall%2F ([Errno 54] Connection reset by peer)
WARNING: Waiting 3 sec...

Finally I have my 20th century photos copied; hopefully these ECONNRESET errors won't happen when people access the images. But it's clearly something to keep my eye on.

While waiting for the sync, I took a look at showphoto (). Surprise, surprise! Only one line needs changing:

  $servername = "https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com";

Good luck or good programming? Probably neither. That's what I got for sticking to the same file system hierarchy as on the local machine. And, of course, yet another indication that file system semantics are still important.


Garden flowers in late winter
Topic: gardening Link here

Middle of the month, time for the monthly flower photos.

Spring is clearly on its way, and some flowers are way ahead of the season. The red Anigozanthos has progressed further since last month, though the yellow ones in the driveway appear to have died, possibly because of inappropriate soil:

 
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The Grevilleas are also doing well:

 
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On the other hand, the Banksia, while clearly healthy, has not changed much:

 
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I had had hopes that one Canna would survive the winter cold, which it might have done had the wind not put paid to it:

 
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The Echium that we planted earlier this year (and which I didn't mention) is looking very healthy, and we can expect flowers soon:

 
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And one of the Carpobrotus is flowering sporadically long before its time:

 
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The Euphorbia that we planted only last month is flowering happily:

 
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The Chaenostoma cordatum that we bought in April have partially survived:

 
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One died, two survived. It was a silly idea to buy them in April.

The Hebes are gradually recovering, for the most part:

 
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We've never seen a flower on any of the variegated ones, and though this one looks particularly bad, I'm wondering if some cockatoos have been having fun with them.

The mandevillas have had a varied fate. The white one at the entrance to the house looked quite good until a couple of weeks ago, but that has changed dramatically:

 
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I'm not sure what caused that. Yes, they're (reasonably) frost-sensitive, but the position was relatively protected, more so than the red one, which seems to be doing much better:

 
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And the roses never cease to surprise me. We still have new buds, not pretty, but interesting:

 
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The tomatoes are still not dead:

 
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I'm hoping for a harvest in the spring.

And the Tropaeolum continue to show the difference between the two beds:

 
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The first one is the original bed planted 3 years ago, and the second is only 18 months or so old. What's wrong with the soil round the water tanks?

And there are also still a couple of resistant Buddlejas:

 
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Friday, 17 August 2018 Dereel Images for 17 August 2018
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Huevos a la tigre again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Another attempt at huevos a la tigre today. The big issue is still cooking the eggs correctly, with yolks soft and whites firm but not leathery.

Today I added another variable: a new serving dish of roughly appropriate proportions. Heat the mixture in the microwave oven to about 72° and then add the eggs, heat at 600 W for another two minutes with a cover on the dish. Leave to stand for 2 to 3 minutes. The result:

 
This should be Heuvos-a-la-tigre.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Heuvos a la tigre
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Doesn't that look nice? Well, yes, until you realize that the space between the two eggs is covered in completely raw egg white. And the yolks were firm. At least nothing was leathery.

Clearly this is more of a problem than I had expected. How do I proceed? One possibility would be to group the yolks in the middle and the whites towards the outside. Another would be, of course, to just do it in an oven, as the recipe intended, and to ensure that it doesn't get hot enough to turn the eggs to leather.


Object storage, day 3
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Overnight my syncing of the data to DigitalOcean completed. How many errors? Who knows? Re-ran the sync operation and was reassured by the fact that nothing else was copied, so I started copying this century's photos. But I'm still getting these request failures and timeouts:

upload: 'grog/Photos/20020601/big/domingo-4.jpeg' -> 's3://lemis/grog/Photos/20020601/big/domingo-4.jpeg'  [8 of 42]
 317099 of 317099   100% in    0s   516.75 kB/s  failed
WARNING: Upload failed: /grog/Photos/20020601/big/domingo-4.jpeg (('The read operation timed out',))
WARNING: Waiting 3 sec...
...
WARNING: Upload failed: /grog/Photos/20020601/big/domingo-4.jpeg (('The read operation timed out',))
WARNING: Waiting 15 sec...
upload: 'grog/Photos/20020601/big/domingo-4.jpeg' -> 's3://lemis/grog/Photos/20020601/big/domingo-4.jpeg'  [8 of 42]
  65536 of 317099    20% in    0s   496.12 kB/s
upload: 'grog/Photos/20020601/big/domingo-4.jpeg' -> 's3://lemis/grog/Photos/20020601/big/domingo-4.jpeg'  [8 of 42]
 317099 of 317099   100% in  300s  1055.80 B/s  done
WARNING: Too many failures. Giving up on 'grog/Photos/20020601/big/domingo-4.jpeg'
ERROR: Upload of 'grog/Photos/20020601/big/domingo-4.jpeg' failed too many times (Last reason: )
upload: 'grog/Photos/20020601/big/domingo-5.jpeg' -> 's3://lemis/grog/Photos/20020601/big/domingo-5.jpeg'  [9 of 42]

That happened over the space of about 3 minutes. Apart from the wait times specified, there were the timeouts. What causes this? It can't be network activity: the next file transferred without a hitch. I should try from a different system, but for the time being it looks as if it's DigitalOcean's fault.

On the positive side, I found:

 25926 of 25926   100% in    0s   162.58 kB/s  done
upload: 'grog/Photos/20051015/tiny/Barbecue-9.jpeg' -> 's3://lemis/grog/Photos/20051015/tiny/Barbecue-9.jpeg'  [13 of 13]
 25224 of 25224   100% in    0s    88.11 kB/s  done
remote copy: 'Barbecue-1.jpeg' -> 'barbecue-1.jpeg'
...
remote copy: 'Barbecue-9.jpeg' -> 'barbecue-9.jpeg'
Done. Uploaded 363417 bytes in 32.5 seconds, 10.92 kB/s.

What does that mean? These files are not links; by my error, they're real copies of the same image. So clearly sync has looked at the checksums and sizes and established that they're the same thing. That looks like the way to handle the symlink issues that I noted yesterday.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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