Installing Act on your system

This doc is being rewritten. Here's the new outline:

    install pre-requesites
      postgresql 8.x apache 1.x mod_perl 1.x
      cpan modules
    create databases
    download act
      svn co
    configure act
      create sample conference
        mkdir actdocs;
        cp -pr skel/
        cp -pr skel/actdocs actdocs/sample
      configure act
        cp -pr eg/conf .
        configure act.ini
    make test
    configure apache
       vhost stuff

Installing and configuring Apache

NOTES on compiling Apache 1.3 on Ubuntu

Use : bash ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/httpd --enable-shared=max --enable-module=rewrite --enable-module=expires

Because under Ubuntu, sh is a symlink to dash, which breaks configure.

    make && make install

compiling mod_perl

    perl Makefile.PL USE_APXS=1 WITH_APXS=/usr/local/httpd/bin/apxs EVERYTHING=1

Install (or svn checkout) Act in a directory. In this document we'll use /home/act, and refer to it as Act's home directory.

The required modules are tested for in t/01cpan.t. You'll find the complete and up-to-date list of prerequisites in that file.

First thing is to enable Perl (and mod_perl) to find the Act modules.

    export PERL5LIB=/home/act/lib

Act needs to know its home directory so that it can find its configuration file. This is done by setting the ACTHOME environment variable:

    export ACTHOME=/home/act

Make sure both ACTHOME and PERL5LIB are set and exported when running httpd or 'make test': include these settings in both your shell profile (~/.bashrc or equivalent) and Apache startup script (apachectl or equivalent.)

Next, define a virtual host in your Apache configuration file (httpd.conf) for Act. Here's an example:

    <VirtualHost *>
      ServerName   localhost
      DocumentRoot /home/act/wwwdocs
      Include      /home/act/conf/httpd.conf

For code development it is useful to install the Apache::Reload module. Enable it in httpd.conf (outside of any VirtualHost containers):

    PerlModule Apache::Reload
    PerlInitHandler Apache::Reload
    PerlSetVar ReloadAll Off

Then add this inside Act's VirtualHost container:

    PerlSetVar ReloadModules "Act::*"

If you don't want to mess with name-based virtual hosts and DNS, an easy setup is to use a port-based virtual host:

    Listen 9000
    <VirtualHost *:9000>
      Port 9000
      ServerName   localhost
      DocumentRoot /home/act/wwwdocs
      Include      /home/act/conf/httpd.conf

Create the directory where photos will be uploaded, by default $ACTHOME/wwwdocs/photos. Make sure it is readable by all, and writable by the user running Apache.

Setting up the Act databases

In order to use the database with Act, you need to follow the procedure explained below. Act's preferred database is PostgreSQL, so the examples use Pg's syntax.

As the postgres superuser, create a database user for yourself:

    $ createuser user
    Shall the new role be a superuser? (y/n) y

Still as the postgres superuser, create three databases named act, acttest and actwiki:

    $ su - postgres
    $ createdb act --encoding=UTF8
    $ createdb acttest --encoding=UTF8
    $ createdb actwiki --encoding=UTF8
    $ ^D

Grant access from localhost to these databases by adding these lines to pg_hba.conf:

    # "local" is for Unix domain socket connections only
    local   all         all                               trust
    # IPv4 local connections:
    host    all         all          trust
    # IPv6 local connections:
    host    all         all         ::1/128               trust

and restart the PostgreSQL server.

Run the output of bin/dbinit in this directory. This will create the tables in databases act and acttest:

    $ bin/dbinit | psql act
    $ bin/dbinit | psql acttest

Run wiki-toolkit-setupdb to create the tables in database actwiki. (This utility is installed by Wiki::Toolkit.)

    $ wiki-toolkit-setupdb --type postgres --name actwiki --user act --pass xyzzy

Update $ACTHOME/conf/act.ini (or $ACTHOME/conf/local.ini) with the database names and credentials.

    name   = act
    dsn    = dbi:Pg:dbname=$(database_name)
    user   = user
    passwd = xyzzy
    test_dsn    = dbi:Pg:dbname=acttest
    test_user   = user
    test_passwd = xyzzy

    dbname = actwiki
    dbuser = user
    dbpass = xyzzy

Note that for a developer install, the password is not needed, since the database is configured to trust.

From the package's top level directory, run the test suite to verify that the software is able to connect to the database.

    $ make test

Now edit conf/act.ini and enter your conference settings:

    conferences = act-2004
    dir_ttc     = /tmp/act/ttc

The dir_ttc directory stores the compiled TT templates.

To make sure that your system has all the requirements to run Act, and that Act works correctly on it, you can now run Act's test suite. This test suite requires Test::More.

    cd $ACTHOME
    make test

Adding a new conference

Decide the name of your conference. We'll use act-2004 as an example.

          conf/             # local configuration
          static/           # "static" multilingual .html pages
          templates/        # local templates or global overrides
      wwwdocs/              # static files
          photos/           # user photos (general_dir_photos conf item)


Philippe Bruhat, Éric Cholet


This module is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.