Commit 8673563a authored by Leigh B. Stoller's avatar Leigh B. Stoller

Tim Stack's long nits message. Lots of good ideas. Do not work on them

without first checking with the power that be.
parent 4b5478e6
From: Timothy Stack <>
Subject: testbed nits
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2003 14:35:40 -0700 (MST)
I've attached some notes that I've compiled while using/abusing emulab.
* The Begin an Experiment page needs to be redone a bit to make
NetBuild and syntax checking more prominent. At the moment,
whenever I get to this page I start filling out the form until I
get to the "Your NS file" section and realize I forgot to go
through netbuild first. Then, after I stop cussing, I click on
the NetBuild link and end up losing all the stuff I just typed
in. I'd really just like the "Your NS file" section, syntax
checking, and NetBuild stuff moved to the first part of the
form. Somthing like:
| | | NetBuild |
| | Upload: | ________ Check |
| Your NS file: | On Server: | ________ Check |
| | | |
| Select Project: | ________ |
| Name: | ________ |
This is the most important change to me, if you do one thing
from this list, do this.
* ipv6? I'm not saying you should support it, but there doesn't
seem to be a mention of it in the docs.
* As a convenience, the per-node pages should have an option for
creating an image descriptor from that node.
* The "Create an Image Descriptor" page is inconsistent with the
rest of the world. I click on it expecting a form and instead I
get documentation with the link to the actual form buried
inside. I always end up ignoring the text and clicking on the
link, its annoying.
* Same page as above, has the line "(see the FAQ)", but FAQ isn't
a link... Lets put the HT back in HTML, okie ;)
* There don't seem to be any man pages... I'd rather not have to
bring up a browser to find the docs. Also, theres always
man2html if you want web pages.
* The "Emulab Software Distributions" has "New!" next to it, but
its completely empty. Either take out the link or put a note in
* The tutorial page:
The link to:, brings up a page
without the usual sidebar, etc... I'm guessing its supposed to
Change prolog to prologue. Unless your actually writing prolog
There doesn't seem to be any mention of NetBuild.
References to FreeBSD 4.5 and Linux RedHat 7.1 should be removed
or kept in sync with the real world. (Isn't it fbsd 4.7 now?)
And is Redhat really the default OS? For some reason i thought
it was fbsd...
"Begin Experiment" option -> "Begin an Experiment" option
The "Beginning the Experiment" section would need to be redone
if you make the above changes (please, please, please).
"`Name' and `Description fields" (the end quote is missing).
"place the local path of a NS file" -> "place the local path of
an NS file"
The "I've finished my experiment" section is stale.
The "My Emulab" page isn't mentioned.
"Starting your application automatically": has a stale reference
to the '"Experiment Information" link.'
"Customizing an OS (How to create a delta)": Is this relevant
In "Batch Mode": "Create an Experiment" -> "Begin an
Experiment", more "Experiment Information" refs.
In "Custom OS Images", the link:
is in the text and not something like, "here".
Also, why aren't the refs to "Begin an Experiment"/"My
Emulab"/etc. hyperlinks?
Is the wide area tutorial linked in anywhere? I can find it
with a search but its hidden to me otherwise.
The page is kinda long can it be reorganized a bit?
* The FAQ:
Will Emulab send me email messages?: Reword "Yes! Emulab uses
email notifications to you in several different ways." -> "Yes!
Emulab emails several types of notifications to you." or
Do I need any special directories in my PATH variable?:
Doesn't mention /usr/local/etc/emulab for tmcc and others.
Do you have a GUI to help me create experiments?: Can you add
a link here please (i.e. to NetBuild itself and/or its docs).
How many nodes can I ask for?: Maybe, mention that the free
nodes count also shows up in the sidebar.
Do my nodes have consoles I can look at?: Mention that the
experiment information page/email will provide the mapping
between pcXXX and the node names given in the ns file.
What is Experiment Restart?: Uh, wtf? You say what it is, but
not how to do it!
What names should I use to refer to the nodes in my
experiment?: "so that they visible anywhere on the Internet"
-> "so that they are visible anywhere on the Internet"
Can I modify the traffic shapping parameters on my links?:
^ typo
Change to "Can I modify the traffic shapping parameters on my
links at run-time?". And add hyperlinks to the delay_config
Can I load my own software (RPMs) on my nodes?: "If have an
RPM" -> "If you have an RPM"
Can I schedule programs to run automatically when a node
boots?: Stale ref to "Experiment Information" link.
How does my software determine when other nodes in my
experiment are ready?: Says the ready bits can't be reset,
which is contrary to the phantom "Experiment Restart" capability
mentioned above.
Can I run my own Operating System?: "We do provide an easy way
for you to boot FreeBSD from a memory based filesystem (MFS) so
that you can more easily work with the disk (in case it is not
possible to install your OS on a live disk)." Again, telling us
about something is not as helpful telling us _how_ to do it. ;)
Are there testbed-specific daemons that could interfere with my
experiment?: The healthd path is
/usr/local/etc/emulab/rc.healthd not /etc/testbed/rc.healthd.
* Testbed NS Command Extensions:
TCL, NS, and node names: "the value the variable" -> "the value
of the variable". "different syntax comes is to avoid" ->
"different syntax is used to avoid any problems that
parentheses". Mention that naming nodes makes it easier to use
delay_config (thats true right?).
tb-set-ip: "the next commands should be used" -> "the following
commands should be used".
tb-set-link-loss: "There are two syntax's available" -> "There
are two forms available" (and fixup later refs).
tb-set-node-lan-delay (also applies to
tb-set-node-lan-bandwidth, tb-set-node-lan-loss): "the switch of
the LAN" doesn't sound right to me. "traverse the switch
... possibly incurring additional latency from delay parameters
there", so the switch can have delay parameters? Also, I'm not
sure i understand what this does. Is it supposed to add a delay
between send() and the NIC actually sending the packet?
Virtual Type Commands: Its not clear from the title or the first
sentence that these are node types. "imagine we have network"
-> "imagine we have a network". "the same hardware" -> "the
same type of hardware". "the leaf nods" -> "the leaf nodes".
"but the specifics of this hardware do not matter" -> "but the
specifics do not matter". "of type router" -> "of type
<i>router</i>" (or some other emphasis) same for the leaf ref.
More "nods" typos. Do you get warnings in the experiment create
email if the soft vtypes aren't all the same?
Node Setup Script: Is the /etc/testbed path still correct?
ifconfig: The responses look stale. The MAC response shows
colons between numbers, but there are none when I run it on a
node. Also, contrary to the docs, the 'findif' command does not
like colons between numbers (imho, it should accept both ways).
Again, the /etc/testbed/ path is stale.
accounts: Doesn't mention the SERIAL field.
hostnames: "The intent it to provide" -> "The intent is to
* Security Issues:
Cookies: "Therefor," -> "Therefore,"
Accounts: "hierachy" -> "hierarchy"
* Project Groups:
"These are some important" -> "There are some important"
"other members of the same project, not in the group, will not
get accounts" -> "other members of the same project will not get
* Hardware Overview:
Stale links: ibm hard drives, asus motherboard, antec case,
intel 440GX+ motherboard, quantum hd, dell poweredge 2550,
ap9211, racks.
* Software Overview:
Link to pc600 is missing the sidebar and other ornaments.
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