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accessing SageMath from Second Life

asked 2012-06-12 14:03:26 -0500

MathBear gravatar image

updated 2012-06-12 14:20:51 -0500

kcrisman gravatar image

Grreetings to all from Math Bear! This question deals with a very serious issue that I really need help with. I have a virtual school at Math Bear Education Initiative in the virtual world of second Life. My emphasis is on math teaching. Second Life in its Viewer2 has greatly expanded its ability to access the internet in a superior way that resembles most standard web browsers. I do not want to burden the saggemathnb.org server with all the activity involved in multuple users simultaneously accessing the server and actively publishing worksheets. As a result I have set up my own sage math server (v.5.0 for 64bit Ubuntu) at https://198.101.203.91:8000 on the RackSpace cloud. this server is accessible from the internet and seems to be quite stable. It implements perfectly all the various special features of current Sage Math. My problem is security considerations prevent me from accessing it from Second Life. I have absolutely no trouble accessing the sage math server from www.sagenb.org I can sign in to my sage math account there from within Second Life on a web active whiteboard surface that I have opened in my classroom. The sign in page comes up and if I sign in it takes me to my notebook and shows me available pages. The pages open up and function just as they are supposed to, the one exception being that JMOL graphics, although they show up within Second Life perfectly well cannot be interacted with but are frozen in place. Since the Second Life media capabilities are rather limited currently with respect to JAVA applets, this is not surprising and not really a problem for me. Indeed I am amazed that JMOL works at all! Canvas3D works also and unlike JMOL is interactive inside Second Life. Tachyon, of course, works fine. Unfortunately, I cannot access my own sage math server at the address listed above from within Second Life. I cannot even access the published worksheets page. In both cases I get the message "SSL handshake failed". I did try running the sage math server in non-secure mode, but besides giving me all sorts of dire warning messages on doing so, it simply refuses to work at all in non-secure mode. Now I think I can safely assume that sagenb.org is being run with security active at all times, no? I DESPERATELY need to know how to make my sage math server accessible in Second life! my plans for math education are centered around making major use of sage math for math teaching in virtual reality (I am also using Geogebra and Twiddla in my classrooms). I know it can be done because sagenb.org is fully accessible from within Second Life. But what can I do to convince my sage math server to accept contact with Second Life and allow me to use sagemath inworld? It will be a huge setback for my plans to adapt Sage Math ... (more)

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I think that the comments on your previous question at http://ask.sagemath.org/question/1463/ssr-security-access-issues are a place to start. I'm sorry that I don't know enough about the security issues to say much.

kcrisman gravatar imagekcrisman ( 2012-06-12 14:23:38 -0500 )edit

Also, I'd point out that a concise, precisely formulated question is far more likely to get answers - not because anyone doesn't like long questions per se, but because if it's hard to figure out what the question IS, that makes things challenging. You may also want to try the sage-support email list. Good luck.

kcrisman gravatar imagekcrisman ( 2012-06-12 14:24:34 -0500 )edit

Its pretty clear that your problem is with the self-signed certificate. You can run without ssl (secure=False) and it should work. Note that http://www.sagenb.org doesn't use ssl, which is why it works for you. Post details of how you start up your Sage server if you want help.

Volker Braun gravatar imageVolker Braun ( 2012-06-13 00:22:33 -0500 )edit

As I stated, the server refuses to run if I set "secure=False".

MathBear gravatar imageMathBear ( 2012-06-13 19:44:27 -0500 )edit

In my experience, being concise in asking questions all but guarantees misunderstanding, It is better to rephrase the question several different ways in the hopes it will be understood. Let me try a different tack. How do I get the notebook server to function if secure is turned off. The server seems designed not to function if you turn SSL off.

MathBear gravatar imageMathBear ( 2012-06-13 19:50:18 -0500 )edit

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answered 2012-06-13 20:44:25 -0500

MathBear gravatar image

Well, well, well! I figured out the problem and all seems well (or so I hope!) The problem was simply where I was using the command to activate sage. I was doing it from within my sagemath folder and that kept it from working in insecure mode. when I changed to activating sage from the root folder, it worked fine in insecure mode and at the same time is easily accessible from Second Life. I can sign in and open spreadsheets and they will work as expected except of course JMOL images will not work. Second Life does not handle the necessary JAVA applets though it can deal with mainstream JAVA. Tachyon and Canvas3D work just fine though. I require no more to use SageMath in Second Life and if JMOL is needed, everyone in the class can open up FireFox and access the server to do this. You have to use Tachyon anyway to see graphs in published spreadsheets. now, I suppose I can run the server in "secure" mode most of the time unless I want to use it in Second Life then temporarily run it in "insecure" mode to make it accessible. But I want to ask you, How do you secure the sagenb.org server if you arent using SSL on it? I would like to run my server in a mode that is both secure and accessible from Second Life. Could any of you adepts of the mystic order of Sage help me with this? Cheers, MathBear ^,..,^ P.S. For anybody who wants to run their own server (about ten bucks a week on RackSpace if you use 1GB RAM), use the appropriate UBUNTU build and use wget to install Ubuntu64bit sagemath 5.0. You must also use apt-get to download the "screen" tool and run it first to have a stable running sage server.

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Asked: 2012-06-12 14:03:26 -0500

Seen: 297 times

Last updated: Jun 13 '12

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