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07 April 1998

March 1998 ECTC Status Report

by Randall Severy

March was another consistent month for the Electronic Communications Technical Committee. As has been the case recently, most of the activity in the ECTC involved the Web Team, as a large volume of updates continued to flow through the ASI web system. Two key ECTC projects received new life in the March ECTC IRC meeting, with new volunteers signing up for the Conversation Guidelines for electronic communication and ASI Internet Site Design document tasks. A first draft of the conversation guidelines was developed and distributed to the ECTC for review. The FAQ and FRO documents received a lot of updates this past month in an ongoing effort to clean up the formatting, navigation, and content of those pages.

The ECTC membership shrank by one in March with the departure of James III. At the end of March, the ECTC had 27 active members, with another 45 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

Nanci Brasket continued manning the Comm and Info Center, and Joelle Cowan and Chris Verwey continued responding to guestbook entries from the web site. The New Volunteer Interview System was again discussed in the March ECTC IRC meeting, with some decisions made on where to install the system on the ASI web site.

Listserver Mailing Lists

Rhoda Bryant completed the first draft of the "Conversation Guidelines for electronic discussions" document and posted it in the ECTC Private Directory for review. Bobby Will made some minor maintenance changes to some of the ASI mailing lists. The action by IO last month to "hide" all of the mailing lists that they host appears to have worked, as March went by without a spam attack on the ASI mailing lists. The complete list of ASI mailing lists is available at .

World Wide Web Server

Compared to recent months, the ASI web site was very stable this past month, with no problems affecting access to the site or maintenance of documents on the site. A large volume of updates continued to be processed through the ASI web system, as the Web Team and Editing Team struggled to keep up with the flow. Updates to the FAQ and FRO pages were a major contribution to the high number of updates, along with layout changes to the Bio pages and a variety of Missing Links project updates.

During March, a total of 132 updates were published to the ASI web site, including 32 new documents, 99 modifications to existing documents, 5 deleted documents, and 3 moved documents. The latest updates bring the total number of documents on the ASI web site to 2034 HTML documents and 783 GIF and JPEG images. Most of the work in editing and approving the updates was done by Greg Bennett, Jeremy Kraemer, John Wertz, Ian Strock, John Peel, Luanne Jorewicz, Candace Dicks, Bobby Will, Brad Ackerman, and Predrag Lezaic. Some of the new documents and other updates were submitted by Tim Cadell, Patrick Collier, Richard Perry, Richard Marsden, Simon Rowland, and Olaf van der Zalm.

The structure and design of the ASI web site was a major topic in the March ECTC IRC meeting during a search for volunteers to update the important ASI Internet Site Design document. Joelle Cowan volunteered to lead that project, with help from Jeremy Kraemer, Candace Dicks, and Tim Cadell. Tim also developed a "Ring" program to handle "Next" and "Previous" links in related documents on the ASI web site. That program may be used first in the Tour documents on the ASI web site.

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

Attendence at the ECTC IRC meetings continued to be strong with twelve ECTC members attending the March meeting on March 8. Two ECTC tasks that did not have any volunteers working on them were the main focus of the meeting. Rhoda Bryant agreed to tackle the Conversation Guidelines for electronic discussions task. And Joelle Cowan agreed to take on the important ASI Internet Site Design project, with help from Jeremy Kraemer, Candace Dicks, and Tim Cadell. Other key ECTC activities discussed in the meeting were the Missing Links project, the FAQ and FRO redesign effort, and the New Volunteer Interview System.


Tim Cadell added several more news articles to the ASI Online News this past month in his role as acting ASI Newsmonger. 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 Bobby Will began working on a strategy for organizing the web site access statistics.

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