Maintenance of the La Silla Paranal Observatory Web Site

WARNING: In April 2011 the LPO and Paranal Web have been migrated to the ESO Content Management System. The migrated content is currenly being tested and is planned for release by end May. Consequently, the previous mantenaince pages are out of date and have now been replaced by this page  The La Silla Web is still maintained in the "old ' way.

In case you need further details about the LPO, Paranal and La Silla Web content and its maintenance please check with ESO Web Editor.


The La Silla and Paranal web sites  are part of La Silla Paranal Observatory (LPO)  web. The LPO web site basically contains four main areas:

  • User information that is site-independent and applies for the whole La Silla Paranal Observatory. E.g. safety information, news, contact addresses;
  • Paranal Facilities that contains all information specific for Paranal: telescopes and instruments, site information, science operations, astroclimatology;
  • La Silla Facilities which contains similar information specific for the La Silla site.
  • ESO internal information that is relevant for the staff of the La Silla Paranal Observatory.

The first three information item are publicly accessible (Internet); the ESo internal information is accessible from within the ESO domain only (Intranet).

The main LPO web site can be reached via the URL: or via the "Science Users" area of the ESO Web via the menu item "Observing Facilities". The menu on the left shows the La Silla and the Paranal Facilities menus items, in addition to the links for the general LPO information.

This page contains some detailed information about the La Silla ParanalWeb and how it shall be maintained. This information is intended for all staff that have responsibilties for maintaining the LPO/Paranal/La Silla content, either the public (Science) content or the content that is located in the Intranet section of the ESO Web.

Structure of the LPO Web Site

The structue of the LPO, Paranal, La Silla is designed following the idea that both the Paranal  and the La Silla Facilities Web sites shall be self-contained. Consequently, Paranal and La Silla have their own navigation menu and all site-specific information is accessible from these site-specific menus.

For each site the information is grouped in five main catagories: Telescopes, Instrumentation, Site and Logistics, Astroclimatology, and Science Operations. You will find these categories as items in the menu. In addition, you will find menu items for Emergency Procedures, News, and Contact Information

Each of the main menu items  have a number of subcategories. E.g. the "Paranal Instrumentation" menu item habours the full set of Paranal instruments which becomes visible when scrolling the mouse over this menu item. In the case of selecting an instrument the submenus items for the instruments become visible as pop-ups.

Maintenance and Authoring

Web Content Management

The La Silla Paranal Observatory Web Content is maintained  with the ESO Web Content Management System (Day Communique WCMS , CQ), running in Garching. The CQ WCMS is fully Web-based. Hence, in order to author the LPO Web content a network connection to the CQ server shall be available. Also, in order to author LPO content one needs an account on the CQ system which can be obtained for the Web Editor. Requests for CQ accounts shall be addressed to Before starting using the CQ WCM system is highly recommended to get instructions either from the Web Editor (Rein Warmels) or from a LPO CQ expert (Sandy Strunk).

Note that the La Silla Web content is still located and maintained using the old systems (w4 and epu). The La Silla content will be migrated to the CQ system in the course of 2011.

Access, Permissions and Authorisation

A number of accounts have been created to enable the maintenance of the LPO Web. These accounts are a mix of personal and generic accounts and have slight difference in authoring and replications permission. Below follows an overview of the account that  are currently available and assigned. Personal accounts will be granted to staff that do regular maintenance work on the LPO web, i.e. several times a week. To apply for a personal account pleasde check with the ESO Web Editor.

To avoid editorial clashes, specially for instruments, it is suggested to use the appropriate account. E.g. use the lpout1 account for maintenance of the UT1 instruments.  Also, obviously, please inform your colleagues when changing of account credentials of generic accounts.

Authoring Group Members Users Authoring and Replication Permissions
lpoass sstrunk, amena sstrunk, amena /sci/facilities/lpo, /intra/org/lpo/
sciops lpout1, lpout2, lpout3, lpout4 SciOps Astronomers /sci/facilities/lpo/, /sci/facilities/paranal/, /intra/org/lpo/
traindoc traindoc1, traindoc2 SciOps Training and Documentation Group Members /sci/facilities/lpo/, /sci/facilities/paranal/, /intra/org/lpo/

Structure and Menus

In CQ, all LPO content is located in folders under /sci/facilities/lpo, /sci/facilities/paranal and /sci/facilities/lasilla. For the Paranal and La Silla sites the files are grouped in subdirectories basically according to the items in the site-specific menu:

  • news: contains news;
  • telescopes: contains the telescope information;
  • instruments: contains the instruments-specific information;
  • site: for site, safety, logistic and astroclimatology details;
  • sciops: contains the Science Operation page.

All navigation menus items are directly managed  in the CQ WCMS. Although authors have to possibility to add and removed menu items, it is hightly recommended to make menu changes only after consulting and having agreement with your colleagues and with the ESO Web Editor. After all, we do want to keep a workable and consistent navigation menu. 

Publishing and Synchronisation

Content publishing is done in CQ and is called activation. This replaced the old webcp tool. As the content is exclusively maintained on the CQ WCMS further synchronisation is not required.

Whereas the LPO Web content in maintained with the ESO WCMS, once a week a local static copy of the LPO content is stored in the Paranal odyssey5 server. The copy is made to ensure the LPO web is locally available in case of a network drop-out. The local copy on odyssey5 is available by substituting with in the URL. Note that the copy is read-only and cannot be used for authoring or maintance purposes.

Content NOT maintained with CQ

Currently most of the static LPO Web content is maintained and mangement with CQ. This include the "html" web pages as well as all assets, i.e. images, videos, diagrams, documents that are used in the pages. Clearly the CQ WCMS shall not have an archive function and shall not be used as an ftp server or a document management system.

Some LPO  has not (yet) been migrated to the CQ WCMS. Below follows the list. As time evolved this may change due to continuous development and experience.

  • Large Files
    Although the CQ WCMS can contain any kind of file or file formats, the system is less optimal for storing large data sets. Uploading large data volumes is relatively slow. This applies in particular for FITS and other data files coming  e.g. instrument commissioning and science verfication. The recommendation is to store this data on the public ftp server  A special area is made available. Please contact the ESO Web Editor for further details.
  • Forms and Scripts
    The LPO content contains a number of php forms and perl scripts that are not (yet) migrated to the CQ WCMS (EoM and ToO). These forms and scripts still live on the old w4 and odyssey5 (directory /sci/php/) server and still have to be maintained using the good old webcp command.
  • Dynamically generated Information
    The LPO content contains a limited amount of dynamically genereted content, currently being the RRM and CALITRA files that are generated daily. As for the forms adn scripts these files are stored on w4 (and odyssey5) and need to be maintaiend and published with webcp. You can find the files in the directory /sci/php/sciops/.
  • Internal Information
    Whereas the Science and ESO Intranet content is maintained using the CQ System, LPO/Paranal/La Silla internal information is maintained on odyssey5. This internal content includes SciOps team_only, departmental information, TWikis, etc. This information is available on (odyssey5) ONLY and is NOT copied the web servers in Garching. Hence this information is also NOT available on With time LPO can decide to migrate part of the information to CQ.

CQ Support

For all ESO Web CMS support (Day CQ) please contact the ESO Garching helpdesk via In case of emergency a copy to the ESO Web Editor can be helpful. For LPO Sandy Strunk is the Local CQ Expert. She will be available in case you have questions about CQ, how to use it and if you would like a shoprt demonstration.