[unclassified] [Box Backup] Portability and public source depot

Chris Wilson boxbackup@fluffy.co.uk
Sat, 22 Oct 2005 21:54:02 +0100 (BST)

Hi Stefan and all,

On Wed, 19 Oct 2005, Stefan Norlin wrote:

> We are referring  to the command-line one. The Win port
> of the "core" Box product.
> I agree there is a need for a user interface in a longer perspective.
> I have not looked at the boxi stuff yet, but that might be something
> that is portable to Windows as well. It seems it runs under Cygwin
> currently but claims to have the possibility of being cross platform.

Boxi was designed specifically to be cross-platform portable, and written 
using the wxWindows toolkit for that reason. I would be very interested 
and happy to help with the porting.

Since I don't use Windows and don't have any non-free compilers, it may 
not be easy for me to do all the work myself. Any contributions would be 
gratefully accepted :-) The source code is in Sourceforge CVS and anyone 
can download it and play with it. I'd be interested to know what breaks 
when compiling with MSVC or whatever compiler was used for the Box Backup 
win32 port.

The main thing that I know needs doing is to change the communication 
method used by Boxi on win32 from Unix sockets to TCP/IP ports, to match 
the native client. It should also be possible to compile for either 
version on Cygwin.

> As of now we are mainly interested in putting together a more
> user-friendly installation with the possibility of entering config
> parameters during the installation process. Then it would be
> easy/easier to get it up and running on a Win box.

I've been considering writing a web service with an HTML GUI that allows 
for easy registration and setup, but I haven't written any code yet. This 
would allow Boxi to generate new keys, upload them to the server, and get 
a signed cert automatically after the server admin has authorised it.

I think it's not easy to create keys and certificates on Win32 at the 
moment (OpenSSL is required?) and that should definitely be fixed. I think 
the code could be built into Boxi without too much trouble, but OpenSSL's 
APIs are complex and not well documented as far as I can see (if you know 
better then please point me to right part of TFM :-)

To make Boxi friendlier, it needs more information from Box Backup about 
backup progress and files which couldn't be backed up. I've already 
extended the command socket API but that needs to be merged into the newly 
open tree, and further work is necessary. It might be easier Boxi was 
itself a full-featured bbackupd, and didn't require a separate executable, 
but that would take quite a lot of work.

> If yes, maybe you could have a closer look at boxi and see what
> it would take to get it up and running on a Windows box natively.

By all means, please do, and let me know what I can do to help.

Cheers, Chris.
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