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19 March 1998

February 1998 ECTC Status Report

by Randall Severy

February was another active month for the Electronic Communications Technical Committee. The ASI web site received a record number of 187 updates, including 71 new documents, which put the total number of HTML documents on the site over 2000 for the first time. These updates occurred despite a file quota problem on the ASI web site that prevented any updates from being made for a full week. Many of the updates to the site were part of a new effort to establish mirrors of the site in languages other than English. The first new languages to be supported are Dutch and German, which are now being set up in mirror images on the ASI web site. The Moon Miners' Manifesto project continued to add new MMM articles to the site, and the Missing Links project began tackling a new set of missing links on the site. The ASI web site also saw the first new "feature" in quite some time, with the addition of the "A Walk Around the Moonbase" page.

The commercial version of WebSite Director Lite 1.2 was installed in the private directories on the ASI web site. A new mailing list was set up for the ASI Dallas chapter. Two major new systems, the New Volunteer Interview System and the New Member/Membership Renewal System, are ready to begin testing on the ASI web site. The February ECTC IRC meeting was another excellent meeting, with a lot of progress achieved on projects such as the New Volunteer Interview System, the Mailing List Requirements Document, the ADB Outline, and several of the Web Team projects.

The ECTC membership grew by one in February. Mike Delaney, Troy Peterson, and James III joined the team. Mail to Terence Clark started bouncing and his address was removed from the list. And Brian Cesar has left the ECTC to devote more time to personal matters. Stephen Rymill and Dale Amon changed e-mail addresses this past month. At the end of February, the ECTC had 27 active members, with another 46 people in the Observer or Rep categories. You can find the complete ECTC membership listing, including ICQ numbers, at . As always, there is still a lot of room for new volunteers for ECTC tasks. If you would like to join the ECTC and help with any of those tasks, you can use the form on the ECTC task list page at .

Here is the latest status information from the individual work areas within the ECTC:

Help Desk

Joelle Cowan and Chris Verwey polished off the backlog of guestbook entries that needed responses and are now keeping up with the incoming messages. Nanci Brasket continued manning the Comm and Info Center, responding to a variety of questions and requests for information about the Artemis Project. The New Volunteer Interview System was again a key topic of discussion at the February ECTC IRC meeting. Tim Cadell continued development of that system, with some design help from Bobby Will and Candace Dicks. That system is about ready to install on the ASI web site for initial testing and review.

Listserver Mailing Lists

Bobby Will completed the configuration of the ASI Dallas mailing list, which is now in operation. Bobby also updated the configuration of several other ASI mailing lists during the past month. After a series of spam attacks on all of the mailing lists hosted by IO early in the month, IO's mailing list administrator disabled the "lists" command that allows spammers to find out what mailing lists are hosted on IO's machines. The complete list of ASI mailing lists is available at . Scotty Gammenthaler completed an update to the Electronic Communications Procedure Guide.

World Wide Web Server

The ASI web site went through some major growing pains early in the month. On February 5, the number of files on the ASI web site exceeded the file quota established for the site, which was set at 5000 files. The file quota prevented any additional updates from occurring to the site, essentially shutting down the ASI Web System. Since the quota problem occurred at the same time that IO was overhauling the quota system for all of their clients, it took a full week for the cause of the update restrictions to be found and resolved. In mid-February the file quota on the ASI web site was increased to 15,000 files and updates to the site began to work properly.

Despite losing an entire week, the ASI web site continued to see a large volume of updates in February, including a lot of new links to external web sites, updates to many of the FAQ pages and the beginning of a new Dutch mirror of the ASI web site. The high volume of updates continued to keep the Web System approval stages filled with requests, but the Web Team and Editing Team have been valiantly trying to keep up with the flood of update requests.

During February, a total of 187 updates were published to the ASI web site, most likely a new record. These updates included 71 new documents, 54 modifications to existing documents, 51 deleted documents, and 11 moved documents. The new updates brought the complete total of documents on the ASI web site to 2204 HTML documents and 761 GIF and JPEG images. Most of the work in editing and approving the updates was done by Greg Bennett, Candace Dicks, Luanne Jorewicz, Scotty Gammenthaler, Jeremy Kraemer, Bobby Will, and Ian Strock. Some of the new documents and other updates were submitted by Olaf van der Zalm, Richard Marsden, John Wertz, Tim Cadell, and Simon Rowland.

At the end of the month, the latest commercial release of WebSite Director Lite, version 1.2, was installed in the private directories on the ASI web site. This new release adds support for granting "read-only" access to certain users of the private directories, as well as improved file downloads and a variety of other new features.

In addition to setting up the Dutch mirror of the ASI web site, Greg Bennett also began work on a German version of the site as well. He started working on a tutorial document for translating the ASI web site into languages other than English. Greg also continued to work his way through the large number of summary file updates for many sections of the Artemis Data Book. And if all that wasn't enough, Greg also completed a major project called "A Walk Around the Moonbase". This web page allows the user to virtually "walk" around the planned moonbase, using a Javascript interface and a collection of images of the moonbase from Vik Olliver.

John Wertz began tackling the major project of overhauling the ADB outline as part of his role as ADB Book Boss. John also organized the latest round of the Missing Links project. Several people volunteered at the February ECTC IRC meeting to tackle the latest missing links in certain sections of the ASI web site, but there are still a number of sections left unclaimed. If you would like to help with the Missing Links project, contact John Wertz.

Activity continued in the Moon Miners' Manifesto Project, with updates to several articles by Bobby Will and other members of the Web Team. Bobby also began organizing a list of MMM images to match images to articles. Dale Amon scanned several more pages from early MMM issues. Scotty Gammenthaler continued working on updates to the FAQ and FRO documents. John Peel built several more templates for the ASI web site, including templates for the FAQ and FRO documents, Luna Park, and the ASI Online News. Tim Cadell asked members of the ASI Admin team for help in testing the New Member/Membership Renewal system.

WWW Conversation Pages

No progress to report this month.

Usenet newsgroups

No progress to report this month.

Online Services

No progress to report this month.

Real-time Meetings

The February ECTC IRC meeting was held on February 8 and matched the high attendance level of the January meeting, with eleven ECTC members attending. Some of the key ECTC tasks that were discussed were the New Volunteer Interview System, the Mailing List Requirements Document, and the Artemis Data Book Outline. The Web Team projects continued to be a key topic of discussion, with a lot of time spent in the meeting on the documents that were being processed in the Web Formatting stage of the Web System. The meeting also included a lengthy discussion on the Missing Links project, as John Wertz put out a new call for volunteers to tackle the latest set of missing links on the ASI web site.


Tim Cadell added several news articles to the ASI Online News this past month in his role as acting ASI Newsmonger. Luanne Jorewicz joined the ASI Online News this past month as a new member of the writing staff. Tim continues to look for additional writers and contacts in other ASI committees to provide activity reports as well as someone to take over as ASI Newsmonger. If you have any information that would be useful for an ASI Online News article, or if you would like to write for the Online News, contact Tim at "".

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