Sunday, July 5, 2009

Planned upgrade: new account system

It's been a bit quiet here for some time, since I've been working on some larger changes in the aprs.fi back-end system (and learning how to fly, crash and repair an RC airplane). I'm planning to install the changes on the production servers early on Tuesday or Wednesday morning (7th or 8th of July 2009, around 4:00 UTC). The outage shouldn't be a long one, if all goes well.

One of the visible changes is a new authentication and authorization layer, which is based on a conventional email address + password model with a team-based authorization system. It'll enable some new features and services later (once I get around to implementing those) - in the first phase it just lets you sign up for submitting AIS data without manual work on my part.

There's no need to worry, as a normal user viewing data on aprs.fi, you won't need to sign up for an account. Logging in is completely optional, and I won't encourage or beg everyone and their cat to sign up. In fact, the "login with your nickname to see the map" model will go away - you'll end up directly on the map page when you arrive on the site, and the "most usual" site entrance path will be easier and quicker than before.

I will be adding an "introductory" entrance page for first-time visitors later, so that there's a chance to let them know what this site is all about. But it'll only be shown once for each visitor.

3 comments:

Erwin said...

Looks more interesting, now, it's not always easy to let "guests" folow my position. Is there a possibility to add a "counter" to a station ? I would like to know how many people have watched my position in the past?
And for the users who login, a way to download the position log in a CSV file ?

Erwin de ON8AR
ON8AR

oh7lzb said...

It would be possible to add a counter, but not before I have completed some architecture changes, so that the increased I/O load will not hurt the performance too much. Currently I only need to read some data for the viewers (and for most viewers all of the data comes from the caches), adding counters would add a write operation for every viewer.

Yes, track history download will be done eventually, for logged-in users, with some limiting so that it won't be possible to try to download the whole database. :)

Mark said...

Great site, I am a private pilot and ham and love APRS.FI!!! THANKS!
I agree with the above, I wish family members can track my progress without a login screen. (I think this confuses non-hams) Also a way to download a track log would be great to save a record, or create a map of past flights. I am using a MT-AIO. Thanks again, oh7lzb, and good luck on your R/C plane!