Forum OpenACS Q&A: now running on OpenACS 4.5

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It took a long time and a lot of work but finally, we are proud to announce that we changed the DNS yesterday and you will start to see the new site running on OpenACS 4.5.
It might take as much as 48 hours to have all the DNS have the new IP address and some time as well for Akamai to get the new images and URLs, so you might see some errors still.

I want to publicly thank Don Baccus and Furfly, Lars Pind and Collaboraid, Museatech (Luke Pond and Talli Somekh), Open Force (Ben Adida and Joshua Hecht), Dave Bauer, Bart Teeuwisse and of course ALL of you that make this software a reality (coders or not).

In the Amsterdam Social tomorrow, we will try to explain a bit more the history on how we got to this point ... For those who won't be able to make it, we have plans to write some "lessons learned, experience on building a site from scratch using OpenACS" docs.

We, at Greenpeace, really think that this software and the community around it, are great assets for the NGO world and we will continue to work and collaborate as we have tried so far.

Hope you enjoy the new site and that you help us make this a better world to live in. (I can't help being a Greenpeace activist as well) :-)

Posted by Carl Robert Blesius on

Nice job!

Talk about a lightning rod for OpenACS! I am not sure how you all did it... but you did! This gives me a chance to use some of the terminology used here: the site is a visually compelling, complex, Media Mind Bomb for OpenaACS -- good work!

I look forward to watching it grow as you combat and conquer the Goliath-like forces that will present themselves as you develop the website for the World (literally). I also look forward to the future collaboration, mutual benefit, and momentum resulting from Greenpeace using OpenACS.


P.S. Who is going to post this to the sites.html page?

Posted by Caroline Meeks on
Congratulations Bruno! Looks great.  Very much looking forward to your lessons learned document and hopefully using much of your work in the future.
Posted by Bruno Mattarollo on

Just a small note for the people that are interested in the traffic to this site:

Total hits: 352746 
Total page views: 105537 
Total visitors: 16148 
Total bytes transferred: 3087.83 Meg 
Starting day: 28/Jun/2002 
Ending day: 28/Jun/2002 
Total days covered: 1 

These stats are for the OpenACS based website of

Posted by Roberto Mello on
Congratulations to all involved for this great accomplishment!
Posted by Don Baccus on
The Netherlands version of the site went live this evening (Amsterdam time). Check it out!
Posted by Jorge Garcia on
Hola, Bruno:

Enhorabuena por el sitio!.

Could you give us a hardware description of the machines who are supporting the site?


Posted by Bruno Mattarollo on

We are hosting our site @ COLT.

The hardware specs are:

  • 2 x86 web servers (PIII 866MHz) with 512MB RAM each and 18GB UWSCSI RAID-1 hdd's
  • 1 Sun UltraEnterprise 60 with 2 processors, 1GB of RAM, 18GB UWSCSI RAID-1

So far, the stats for the site are:

Total hits: 2545485 
Total page views: 897959 
Total visitors: 73357 
Total bytes transferred: 23.14 Gig 
Starting day: 19/Jun/2002 
Ending day: 02/Jul/2002 
Total days covered: 14 
Posted by edwin ho on
is the site running oracle or postgres?
Posted by Bruno Mattarollo on
Oracle enterprise edition is what COLT is providing us.
Posted by Don Baccus on
Bruno's posted some stats.  It's worth noting that we're doing some caching of these highly dynamic pages (each of the menu panels you see are constructed by queries on content, as well as the main content portion of the page).  While serving 100,000 pages to 16,000 users on one day with caching of much content set to five minutes, the load on the two webservers was in the 0.3 range, while the database server was barely ticking over.  We're only doing partial caching of dynamic content so we're pretty happy with the performance thus far.  A modern dual-processor AMD-based system with DDR would outperform the Sun server, but we're doing OK with what we've got and Sun systems are extremely well-built, of course.
Posted by Jorge Garcia on
Hi from Spain, Bruno and Don:

Could you provide us with some more detailed description about the use of the three computers?.

It will be very useful for all of us.

We are triying to figure a configuration in the 'real world' with a site with a good volume of requests.

We think something like this will be very useful for a possible hardware addendum to the manual Rafael Calvo is creating.

have you dedicated one processor in the SUN wk, only to the Oracle database?

We assume the Oracle runs in the SUN. Maybe not.

the other processor, is used to something specific?

the two webservers are used with a balancer (like LVM, Cisco LocalDirector or something like that)?

One webserver owns static pages with Zope and the other is using the OACS?

In this case, are you using Apache mod_proxy to send a request to one webserver or to the other webserver?

Maybe it's more simple that all this :)

I don´t know.

I hope my english could be readed and understanded.

Seria mas facil preguntartelo en espanol, Bruno. ;-))


Posted by Bruno Mattarollo on

Hello Jorge

I will reply in english for the rest of the list as well :-)

The two intel based machines are used as web servers only, and the Sun server only for Oracle. Oracle might use the two processors, I don't really know the inner details on how multithreaded Oracle is and how it works on Solaris but I presume that it will make use of the second processor when needed.

We have a site, called the cybercentre, built in Zope and it's not static at all, it has some discussion forums, a la slashdot. The main site ( is built using OpenACS.

And yes, the two web servers are behind a load balancer. I don't have the details of it since that is provided and maintained by the hosting company. I never had to deal with that, fortunately :-)

Posted by Michael Feldstein on
Bruno, I'd be curious to hear more about your experiences working with both OpenACS and Zope. What is your sense of the relative pros and cons of the two systems?
Posted by Bruno Mattarollo on

Michael ... I will post some experiences as soon as I get back from holidays :) I am leaving now ... Just wanted to post a bit more stats:

Total hits: 10000827
Total page views: 3224922
Total visitors: 293629
Total bytes transferred: 77.48 Gig
Starting day: 01/Jul/2002
Ending day: 31/Jul/2002
Total days covered: 31