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SEUL: Reasoning for www.xx.seul.org (in other countries)
Doug has asked me to clarify why we might want other machines not
in the US as part of the SEUL infrastructure. Here are some reasons:
* Redundancy. A mirror in Europe might be useful for people in Europe,
a mirror in Africa might be useful for people in Africa, etc. Not a
strong reason by itself, but useful.
* Legal issues. Putting crypto-based stuff outside the US is the only
legitimate way to do it. Project Independence at least might want to
have an archive somewhere with crypto-based packages that is more
under their control than (say) replay.
* Hosting crypto-based projects. I have dreams one day of being able
to offer nice mirror or hosting capabilities to projects like stegfs
and mcrypt. Since these wouldn't be my machines that we'd be using,
this would be highly dependent on which machines we get.
* First impression. Apparently seul-edu and independence are in a less
favorable light because they're hosted by a "US Project". On the
other hand, nothing says SEUL has to be US-centric or even US-based.
I have no problem expanding to cover the world. :)
* Translations. Doug brought up the idea that the mirror in Brazil
would be translated by them, the mirror in France would be translated
by them, etc. This does not in and of itself require us to have the
actual *machines* located anywhere in particular. On the other hand,
if they do it for the translation and then just happen to have space
free for a project that suits their country's laws better than
elsewhere, that's a good enough reason for me...
As to the details of how this would work, I propose setting up a
subdomain for each country. That is, fr.seul.org, br.seul.org, etc.
The zone file for that subdomain would specify which hosts are in it,
and we can either store that zone file with a different dns server (if
the people in that country have a nameserver they like) so they can
modify it themselves, or I can keep it on belegost along with the other
seul subdomain zone files. In the former case, we actually *are*
decentralizing and distributing control of the seul domain. In the
latter case, things are still based in the US, but it might be more
convenient (say, if people in .br don't have a reliable nameserver).
This choice can be made on a case by case basis.
What this *does* require is enough control over the server in each
case to add virthosting lines to the apache config file. I can walk
people through this. (And it's not technically necessary if the machine
*only* serves the SEUL pages, but I expect that most machines we use
will be primarily used for something else.)
We should brainstorm for a while as to what we might use these other
machines for. So far, I see:
* stegfs and mcrypt mirroring, but only if we have a very nice site.
* french-based translations in .fr
* does independence actually have packages that should be located
outside the us?
* backups (in case the US falls off the earth (though we'd have other
I get the feeling I'm missing some good ideas. Please feel free to
bring up whatever suggestions come to mind. :)