OverLord (was Re: MPCS? and source code discussion (semi-long))

Bill Woodland (wcw@bga.com)
Wed, 22 Jul 1998 03:47:36 -0500


At 06:20 AM 7/21/98 -0500, Jason Williams wrote:
<snip>
>I know Bill Woodland is creating a nice WP 2.1/MPCS configuration program
>called Overlord. In talking with him, he PURPOSELY didn't include stuff
>like the "who" commanf to show who's on the reflector. His idea is the
>same as mine. Refmarshal works and works great. Why mess with
>perfection? Why step on Dale's toes when what he has with Refmarshal is
>great. If there's some aspect that you don't like about Refmarshal, email
>Dale. I'm sure he could get around to it at some point if it wasn't too
>hard to do. The same with my reflector scanner. I've had people email me
>suggestions.

Very true. I've been asked to put a WHO window into OverLord, but my
intention is to make a program for MANAGING reflectors, not for MONITORING
them.

In the same way that you took the Peoplesnet scanner and improved it,
that's what I'm trying to do with OverLord. When White Pine released their
2.1 reflector, it came with a nice little GUI program (wpmanage.exe) to
manage the reflector. Instead of using telnet to connect to the reflector
and type in the commands by hand, it allowed you to fill in the blanks and
push a button to make changes to the reflector configuration. I happened
to like this GUI, but unfortunately, it had a few bugs. Sometimes the
mouse pointer would disappear, making it difficult to click in a field or
on a button. Also, it seemed to work fine if I was running it from
127.0.0.1, but I was rarely able to get it to show ALL of the conferences
when I used it from a remote location.

White Pine's next version (MeetingPoint Conferencing Server 3.0 ) came
with a java based GUI, and WPMANAGE won't work on that reflector version.
I happen to hate java (personal reasons) and with the java GUI there's a
catch: you can't use the java GUI if you put in a telnet password. Without
a telnet password, you wouldn't want to open up the allow-wpconfig to the
entire world, so Refmarshal can't be used from my home unless I enter
allow-wpconfig statements for each class C net that my ISP uses. It can be
done, but it's a pain.

I developed OverLord to give us back the "fill in the blank" interface,
without the disappearing mouse pointer, and support the new MPCS refs. It
uses a standard telnet (or TCP to be more accurate) connection, but the
reflector commands have been tucked away behind the scenes. It's also nice
that I don't have to memorize the 50 or so reflector commands.

Some of the features:

works with WP 2.1, or 3.x reflectors (some features not available yet, like
MC, UC, NV, and VAT settings)

reflector phonebook for people that manage multiple reflectors

edit, create, delete, or even copy a conference

term and shutdown commands

options to confirm deletes, cancel, disconnect, and applies so if you feel
comfortable, you can turn off the "Are you sure?" questions

settings for a default email address, URL, name, phone, and user
description to be sued in the global and conference info settings

The preview MOTD shows you EXACTLY what your MOTD will look like before you
save your changes (including the reflector version line at the top, the
GLOBAL MOTD and the MOTD for that particular conference.

Thanks to Streak for the idea he suggested White Pine (which I doubt will
ever be implemented), I've also put in an option to delete all of the
unused deny tokens with the click of one button.

The PRIVATE attribute is disabled in the global settings, since setting
this to true disables your ability to conenct with their java GUI,
refmarshal, telnet, or even OverLord itself. This BUG has existed since WP
ref v2.1 (circa October 1996) and still hasn't been fixed yet in that
version, and also exists in the later MPCS reflector code.

****************************************************************************
*************
Thanks to Andrew Clarke for the VERY helpful suggestions on regname
encryption.
****************************************************************************
*************

If anyone wants to take a look at the program, go to
http://topdeals.com/overlord
The version you can download from there is quite buggy, but I hope to have
the next, very much improved version up there by this weekend.

Frank:
I wrote this program with Visual Basic version 5, after going to a one week
class called "Mastering VB5". I started out with some PUBLIC VB4 source
code to do the winsock calls, and the rest of is 100% mine. I've been
working on this just about every free minute for the last two months.

Yes, I have copied White Pine's IDEA for the GUI interface, but I believe
I've made MAJOR improvements to it. I didn't steal their code and claim it
as my own.

Bill Woodland (Squeek ) PC questions only, please.
OverLord Reflector Manager at http://topdeals.com/overlord
Cornell version 1.0 users guide at http://topdeals.com/cu
Cornell help pages at http://cu-seeme.cornell.edu/~WCW