Odyssey Documentation

Overview

This page provides technical information about the Odyssey web application's online help.

Background

https://odyssey.uwaterloo.ca/overview/ - documentation about the examination management system and graduate application system.

http://www.postgresql.org/docs/current/interactive/ - documentation for the version of Postgres we are using. Section II on SQL, Chapter V.40 on PL/pgSQL, and Chapter VI.I. on SQL Commands are likely to be especially useful.

https://docs.python.org/2.7/ - documentation for the (major) version of Python we are using.

OdysseyIntroduction - notes from initial instruction into Odyssey.

Location of the Live Help Files

Odyssey's live (production) implementation is located on the linux.cs.uwaterloo.ca server at this path:
/.software/regional/odyssey-3_apache/data/vhosts/odyssey.uwaterloo.ca/
The help files are primarily in HTML format and are located mainly in the help subdirectory under the application root.

The GitLab Repository

A Git repository for the Odyssey project has been created on UW's GitLab.

Although the repository has already been created and shouldn't need to be created again, this segment documents the process that was used to create the repository as an example in case you need to create other repositories on GitLab. In this first phase, we'll create a repository for the whole Odyssey application, but we'll deposit only the documentation. Source code and other project files can be added later.

Collect the Files On Your Workstation

We're going to copy files and directories from the live implementation to the workstation.

  1. On your workstation, create a directory called "odyssey". This will be the root directory of the repository. The whole application, with its entire directory structure will eventually be under this directory.
  2. Under "odyssey" create a directory called "doc". This will be the documentation branch of the repository. Later, sibling directories (project, java, etc.) can be added to hold the application files.
  3. Under "doc" create a directory called "html". This will hold the existing documentation, which is mostly in HTML format. Later, other types of documentation could be put into sibling directories as needed: pdf, mpeg, etc. You should now have a directory structure that looks like this:
    Top three directories in the repository
    Figure 1: The Top three directories in the repository
  4. Open an SSH connection to linux.cs and copy these items from the path indicated above to the workstation's "html" directory:
    • the ".htmenu" file
    • the "index.shtml" file
    • the "help" directory and all of its contents
    • the "overview" directory and all of its contents
    • the "system" directory and all of its contents

Make a Local Git Repository

  1. Install Git on your local machine if you haven't already.
  2. Open a command window and configure Git with your name and e-mail address, if you haven't already.
    >git config --global user.name "Joe Schmoe"
    >git config --global user.email "jschmoe@uwaterloo.ca"
  3. Go to the "odyssey" directory that you created in Collect the Files On Your Workstation, above.
  4. Turn this directory into a Git repository. This will create a ".git" directory under "odyssey", where versions, state, and history will be stored.
    >git init
  5. Add all of the contents of the current directory (odyssey) to the repository.
    >git add .
    >git commit -m "Initial creation of repository.  Documentation only."
  6. Create a README file in the "odyssey" directory on your workstation.
    Project: Odyssey
    
    Waterloo Odyssey is a web application that provides the following services:
        Instructional Support  Examination Management, TA Assignments
        Graduate Admissions  Support for processing of applications for graduate studies
    
    It is written primarily in Python and uses a PostgreSQL database and an Apache web server on a Linux host.
    
    The production implementation is located here:
    https://odyssey.uwaterloo.ca/
    
    Internal documentation is available at:
    https://cs.uwaterloo.ca/twiki/view/CF/OdysseyDocumentation

    If you would prefer to use a richer document format than plain text, name the file "README.md" and use GitHub Flavored Markdown (GFM).
  7. Add the README file to the local repository.
    >git add README
    >git commit -m "Added README file"

Create the Project on GitLab

  1. In a web browser, go to https://git.uwaterloo.ca/.
  2. Sign in on the LDAP tab, using your WatIAM credentials. If they fail, have an administrator set up access to GitLab for you and try again.
  3. On the Your Projects page, click the New Project button.
  4. In the New Project page, fill in details:
    Field Value
    Project path odyssey
    Namespace cscf
    Description Odyssey instructional support and graduate admissions web application
    Visibility Level Private
  5. Click the Create project button.

Send the Repository Contents to GitLab

  1. On your workstation, define a remote repository called "odyssey", pointing to our new GitLab repository.
    >git remote add odyssey gitlab@git.uwaterloo.ca:cscf/odyssey.git
  2. Push the local repository to the remote repository.
    >git push -u odyssey master
    Counting objects: 141, done.
    Delta compression using up to 8 threads.
    Compressing objects: 100% (127/127), done.
    Writing objects: 100% (141/141), 567.36 KiB | 0 bytes/s, done.
    Total 141 (delta 7), reused 0 (delta 0)
    To gitlab@git.uwaterloo.ca:cscf/odyssey.git
     * [new branch]      master -> master
    Branch master set up to track remote branch master from odyssey.
  3. See your README file displayed on the main page of the GitLab Odyssey repository here:
    https://git.uwaterloo.ca/cscf/odyssey

Working With the Documentation Files

Clone the Project For Local Development

To make a development copy of the Odyssey project on your workstation, follow these steps.

  1. Get access to the CSCF Git Repository. You will have to be added as a user by someone with authority, such as Daniel Allen. You will also need to provide an SSH key for your local machine.
  2. If you have not already done so, install Git on your local machine.
  3. If you have not already done so, configure Git with your name and e-mail address. Open a command shell in Linux or DOS.
    >git config --global user.name "Joe Schmoe"
    >git config --global user.email "jschmoe@uwaterloo.ca"
  4. In a command shell, go to the directory under which you want to put your Odyssey repository.
  5. Clone the repository.
    >git clone gitlab@git.uwaterloo.ca:cscf/odyssey.git
    This will create an odyssey directory at your current file system location, with the project under it. The odyssey directory is also your local copy of the repository.

Update the Repository

There are a variety of workflows that one can use with Git, some optimized for collaboration among many project participants and overkill for our purposes. The centralized workflow is a reasonable place to start; the basics are detailed just below. Since it is likely that only one person will be working on Odyssey documentation at any time, you can simply update your local working copy, stage the changes using the git add command, commit them to your local repository with the git commit command (or combine those two with git commit -a), and then push them to the central repository on GitLab.

Do your editing and development right in the odyssey directory and its sub-directories in your working copy. As you complete changes, add them to your local repository's staging area. The stage is a list of files that have been modified, but have not yet been committed to your local repository. Git keeps track of them. When you have a complete and integral set of changes in the stage, commit the changes to your local repository and then send them to the Odyssey repository on GitLab.

Here's a walk-through example. We'll modify the project's README file.

  1. Verify that you have a remote called "odyssey" pointing to the GibLab repository and, if not, define it.
    >git remote -v
    
    >git remote add odyssey gitlab@git.uwaterloo.ca:cscf/odyssey.git
    
    >git remote -v
    odyssey gitlab@git.uwaterloo.ca:cscf/odyssey.git (fetch)
    odyssey gitlab@git.uwaterloo.ca:cscf/odyssey.git (push)
  2. Refresh your local repository and your working files from the central repository on GitLab to ensure that your files are current.
    >git pull odyssey master
    From git.uwaterloo.ca:cscf/odyssey
     * branch            master     -> FETCH_HEAD
     * [new branch]      master     -> odyssey/master
    Already up-to-date.
  3. Edit a file. Let's add a note to the bottom of the README file, indicating how to define a Git remote for the repository.
    Project: Odyssey
    
    Waterloo Odyssey is a web application that provides the following services:
        Instructional Support  Examination Management, TA Assignments
        Graduate Admissions  Support for processing of applications for graduate studies
    
    It is written primarily in Python and uses a PostgreSQL database and an Apache web server on a Linux host.
    
    The production implementation is located here:
    https://odyssey.uwaterloo.ca/
    
    Internal documentation is available at:
    https://cs.uwaterloo.ca/twiki/view/CF/OdysseyDocumentation
    
    To define a Git remote called "odyssey" for this repository, use this command:
    git remote add odyssey gitlab@git.uwaterloo.ca:cscf/odyssey.git
  4. Stage the changed file for updating in the local repository.
    >git add README
    You might repeat steps 3 and 4 several times, making and staging changes to various files, before you commit them to your local repository.
  5. Commit all staged files to the local repository and include a message describing the change.
    >git commit -m "Added Git note to README"
    [master 78d8fb5] Added Git note to README
     1 file changed, 3 insertions(+)
  6. Push the update to the master branch of the central repository on GitLab.
    >git push odyssey master
    Counting objects: 3, done.
    Delta compression using up to 8 threads.
    Compressing objects: 100% (3/3), done.
    Writing objects: 100% (3/3), 429 bytes | 0 bytes/s, done.
    Total 3 (delta 1), reused 0 (delta 0)
    To gitlab@git.uwaterloo.ca:cscf/odyssey.git
       287761e..78d8fb5  master -> master

Deploy the Updates

To deploy your documentation changes, simply open an SSH connection to linux.cs and copy the new or updated files to the correct locations at or under this path:

/software/odyssey-3_apache/data/vhosts/odyssey.uwaterloo.ca/

An automated deployment method using scripted Git commands to pull updates from the GitLab repository is possible.

Using Git

When the main Odyssey project—source code, schemas, etc.—has been added to the GitLab repository that current contains only the documentation, there may be multiple people working on different aspects of the project. Then a more complex (and more common) Git workflow involving multiple branches—one master branch and one or more development or 'feature' branches—and merging may be in order. (The WWW is replete with workflow descriptions and examples.) That's when you might need some of the more advanced features and commands of Git.

Here are some handy resources.

Most Common Git Commands

Here's a succinct summary of the most common Git commands in an easy-to-grok diagram.

Git commands

Git Resources


-- JeffGuild - 2015-11-09

Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
PNGpng git-transport.png manage 43.0 K 2016-02-16 - 17:30 DanielAllen git data transport commands
PNGpng topthreedirs.png manage 1.8 K 2015-12-16 - 16:27 JeffGuild Diagram of the top three directories of the repository
Topic revision: r10 - 2016-08-30 - DanielAllen
 
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