Frequently Asked Questions

User questions

How do I log out?

Q. I don't see any command to log off when I'm done.

That's right, there isn't such a command. You don't need it.

However, there probably should be a way to log in as a different user, in case two people both want to use ACME News from the same computer. Currently the only way to do this is to exit and restart your browser. When you come back to ACME News it'll ask you to log in again, and you can specify a different user. This really ought to be made easier.

Host questions

Link to unlisted conf?

Q. How do I link a topic to an unlisted conference? It doesn't appear in the conference names popup.

Right, this is a security measure, to keep the names of unlisted conferences secret even from other hosts. To make such a link you have to send mail to a system administrator.

Administrator questions

Add/remove admins?

Q. How do I add or remove admins?

There's no form to do this via the web. This is a security measure, I guess. You have to do it from a login shell - just edit the file system/admins.

Installation questions

"`LOCK_EX' undeclared"?

Q. When I try to compile the programs I get the above error message. What's up?

You're probably on a Solaris machine, or other System-V type of Unix. Try changing from FLOCK-style locking to LOCKF-style locking. Look in the Makefile, there's a configuration paragraph about it.

File list in /acmenews?

Q. Pointing my browser at the acmenews dir just shows a list of files.

This means that your web server doesn't recognize index.cgi as a default CGI script to run for a directory. You have a few options:

  1. You can work around the problem by using more explicit URLs. Instead of .../acmenews/ use .../acmenews/news.cgi, and instead of .../acmenews/login/ use .../acmenews/login/login.cgi.
  2. You can try to reconfigure your web server to support index.cgi. You want to add a DirectoryIndex index.cgi directive to srm.conf, although in some old NCSA servers you can only have one of these directives so that's a problem.
  3. Or, you can switch web servers. Apache supports index.cgi.

"Internal Server Error"?

Q. Bringing up any of the pages in my browser just shows a problem page.

The most likely cause of this is that when you compiled the programs, you didn't get the CGI_DIR setting right. Change the setting in your Makefile, do a make clean, then a make install again, and then run bin/fixpaths again too.

help page, welcome page, login page.
ACME News Admin <>