[nos-bbs] xNOS Web Based VNC/Mailbox/Whatever - fixes and documentation

Maiko Langelaar (ve4klm) maiko at pcs.mb.ca
Sun Jul 12 10:01:35 EDT 2009

Good morning to all,

First of all, thanks to everyone that tried it out.

My DNS problems turned out to be my ISP's problem. It's been fixed.

The amount of traffic almost startled me, after I posted the initial
message about the Web based interface being available. I got alot of
useful information out the exchanges, and as a result, I finally have
a prototype (first experimental release) that I am quite happy with.

It is currently running on my system like it was before :


There are a few glitches left (NETROM connects still plague me), but I
have been able to do CONV and TELNET with little to no problems so far,
basically you *should* be able to do anything that you would normally
do in your console (F1 to F10) sessions. If something does not work,
then let me know.

Some of you have commented about the lack of lines when sending a
message. I know it's a pain, but one thing at a time. This is what
I had initially planned. I have made it so that the Command field
will get the focus on each reload. So you don't even need the mouse
anymore, just the ENTER key.


Documentation will be released when I put out the first patch, but
it's pretty basic. After you login with your callsign and password,
you will see a page that is supposed to look like the BBS screen
when you are connected to a JNOS system.

The jist of the system is that you can hit (click) the ENTER/REFRESH
button as many times as you want (without anything in the command fld)
which will cause the browser to refresh the display. It will NOT send
an ENTER to the BBS, it will just refresh the display.

In some cases, when you put in a COMMAND and hit ENTER, the browser
will come back before all the data for that command has had a chance
to be written to the session file that the browser reads. Hitting the
ENTER key will simply reread the file and show you the rest of it type
of thing (if that makes any sense). So use ENTER as much as you need
to if it looks like the 'command did not finish'.

IF you are connecting or telneting to another station, and you want
to cancel the connection, then CLICK the 'CTRL-T' and hit ENTER, which
is the same as doing a CTRL-T on the console session. You can't pass
the CTRL-T in the command field, since CTRL-T is interpreted by the
browser itself as a Browser command.

IF you want to clear the page or it's getting too big (note I have
scrollbars on the session area), then click 'Clear' and hit ENTER,
which will clear the session file. Every call has it's own session
file, at present it is '/tmp/<callsign>.www

This takes a bit of getting used to. A very good example is when
you telnet to another system. When the browser comes back to you,
you may not see all of the prompt right away. No problem ! Just
hit Enter until you see it. 'But wait, if I hit Enter too many
times, it will just go to the password' you might say. NO, remember
when you hit ENTER/REFRESH, NOTHING is sent to the BBS, it just
refreshes the screen. It will only send the user if you type the
user into the command field and then hit Enter. Same thing with
the password. Once you get used to that, it's nice.

One last important thing. IF you do not use the BYE command when
you terminate your browser (or if you just close your browser, or
it crashes without going BYE) - then the next time you use the
browser to point to your Web interface, it will just come up
again. It remembers sessions (based on IP address of the web
client). At this time, there is no returning password, I need
to think about the security a bit more. The previous system
did not have this, and that is why many people reported typing
in commands but getting nothing back. That's becuase multiple
mailboxes were being created for incoming sessions, messing
up all the flow and logic. This became very obvious when I
observed all the people trying this out. Thanks again.

Hope that makes sense. I will put a patch for this prototype
onto my website in a few days, so that you can play with this
on your own systems. I'll try and make this a bit more flexible
as well (for example, specifying your own html and/or style
sheets in the form of config files), but that's for later.

Maiko Langelaar / VE4KLM

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