Etherpad!

I am a big fan of etherpad, a realtime collaborative editing tool.  After first introduced to it by the Teaching Open Source folks at the first fosscon, I've used it for authoring emails that I wanted others to look at before sending, for looking at code snippits with other eyes, and even for things as mundane as sharing the family grocery list.  There are a number of public etherpads out there, but they seem to come and go, and are sometimes down or unreliable.   I decided to see if I could get my own instance up and running, at least for my own purposes.

After following the linux install instructions, I had an instance up and running on port 9001.  I edited the json.settings that ships with it to move it to 127.0.0.1 on port 8080 and to point it to a mysql database instead of the built in database. Now that it's listening only on localhost, I have to get it behind apache for it to be publicly accesible again.  Since my box also has apache on it, and I wanted it on 80, I had to do some fiddling with apache reverse proxy to get it all working the way i wanted.  After mucking with it for a bit, I came up with the following (This is a new site in sites-available for apache)

<VirtualHost *:80>

ServerName etherpad.scrabby.org
ServerAlias etherpad.scrabby.org
ServerAdmin jsimpson@scrabby.org

ProxyRequests Off
ProxyPass / http://localhost:8080/
ProxyPassReverse / http://localhost:8080/
ProxyPreserveHost on

<proxy *>
Options FollowSymLinks MultiViews
AllowOverride All
Order allow,deny
Allow from all
</proxy>
ServerSignature Off
</VirtualHost>

After linking into sites-enabled, and an apache restart, I had my etherpad up on http://etherpad.scrabby.org, running behind apache.

So, if you like etherpad, but are as frustrated as me at the lack of availability of some of the public ones, it's not too difficult to setup your own, and to have it share an ip and port with an existing apache instance.

Final warning.  While my etherpad is public for the moment, I'm not sure if it will remain so at it's present address.  Use it at your own risk, and if you want a depenadable one, go set it up yourself :)

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