Using OS 10.6.7, Safari 5.0.4, I am unable to upload to Blackboard from user accounts that do not have administrative privileges ie. accounts with parental controls enabled. The administrator at my school is unaware of other users using the Apple built-in parental controls and his eyes tend to glaze over when I use words like root access and file permissions so any help would be appreciated.
Here is the scenario. Attempting to upload from a user account with parental controls enabled will generate no error message on blackboard but the uploading now dialog never disappears and no file is transferred. Disable the parental controls (giving the user account root access) and the file transfers correctly.
My guess is that Blackboard is attempting to write security certificates or some other data to root directories that managed accounts do not have access to. If this is true, it's really worrisome since the idea of user accounts is provisioning permissions based on the needs of the user. Disabling parental controls also disables content blocking.
Is this correct? If so, what can be done to correct the problem?
When you say "upload files to Blackboard", which course tool or location are you trying to upload files? Are you trying to attach them to a discussion post, or submit them as an assignment, or add them to the Course Files area using WebDAV (drag and drop)? Also, do you know what Blackboard version your school is using?
I can't think of any reason why Blackboard would need to write an SSL certificate to the root directory for a file upload, but I also don't normally use a Mac. Are you seeing any log entries indicating that something is being blocked in either the system or the parental control logs?
One more question--it looks like you can use the MacOS parental controls to either restrict that users' access to specific URLs, or to only open certain applications. Which of these are you doing? From looking at a couple Mac-related discussons elswhere (like http://forums.dropbox.com/topic.php?id=33285 ), it sounds like parental controls can cause problems if the upload process requires access to URLs that are not approved, or if there are utilities (or Java apps?) that need to run which haven't been approved.
I've also experienced the problem with Parental Controls. Unfortunately, this is a problem with Parental Controls rather than a problem specific to Blackboard. I submitted a ticket with Blackboard last year, and the result was that Blackboard determined it was an Apple bug, and left it at that.
Does your school's Blackboard use https? If so, this article might offer some clues for configuring Parental Controlshttp://tech.kateva.org/2010/04/os-x-parental-controls-https-bug.html
Further, there is plenty of chatter on the internet about other applications that break when being run under Parental ControlsExample: http://tech.kateva.org/2009/11/lego-digital-designer-is-pure-evil-on.htmlExample: http://tech.kateva.org/2010/06/parental-controls-apple-and-google.html
Lastly, I think there is a bit of confusion between OS X Administrator accounts and normal accounts. An OS X account can either be marked as a regular account, or as an administrator account. Regular accounts can then be managed with Parental Controls (or not). A Regular account, whether managed by Parental Controls or not, does not have Administrator/root access.
I hope one of the above articles can help you find a solution.
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