06 December 1998
November was another productive month for the Electronic Communications Technical Committee, although much of the activity went on behind the scenes. The ASI web site received fewer updates this month than in previous months, although continuing problems with the Web System database server may have contributed to the reduced update volume. All three CyberTeams products in use on the ASI web site, WebSite Director, TeamWSD Lite, and Team Director, received significant updates during the month of November. And two key ECTC projects, the ASI Web Site Tour and the ADB Outline, saw significant progress made during the month.
The ECTC also saw some changes in internal management. Candace Dicks stepped down as Web Team Leader to devote more time to her many other responsibilities in the ECTC and other parts of ASI. Candace will continue as the ECTC Administrator and task lead for the Moon Miner's Manifesto archives. John Wertz has agreed to take over as Web Team Leader, the defacto role he has already had for several months already. John will take over ownership of the asi-web mailing list and will coordinate the various tasks of the ASI Web Team. Congratulations, John!
The ECTC membership count remained almost unchanged in November, although a large number of new and departing members have changed the makeup of the ECTC this month. Greg Bennett rejoined the ECTC in November, along with new members Chris Jones, Gennady Gusev, David Pagan, David Lundeen, and two people who didn't provide their full name (jlerch and michaelm). On the departing side, Unni Nambiar and Jinhee Moon asked to leave the committee, while Humberto Massa, Doug Budzak, Chris Verwey, and Mathew Thompson were removed from the mailing list after mail to them kept bouncing. And Dana Carson changed his e-mail address when he switched to a new ISP. At the end of October, the ECTC had 29 active members, with another 50 people in the Observer or Rep categories. Those numbers will likely change drastically next month when the ECTC becomes the first ASI committee to use the new Team Director software to manage the ECTC mailing list, which will enforce the ASI membership requirement for committee members. You can find the complete ECTC membership listing at http://www.asi.org/adb/09/01/ectc.html. 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 http://www.asi.org/adb/09/01/ectc_tasks.html.
Here is the latest status information from the individual work areas within the ECTC:
On November 18, a new alpha test version of Team Director was installed on the ASI web site. Team Director is the software used in the ASI Membership Database System to maintain ASI membership information. This new version includes some of the features that will allow ASI members to update their own membership information as well as join and leave ASI Technical Commitees and Project Teams. Access to the software is currently available only to the ASI Leadership Council while the new features are being tested. By the end of the year access to the software will be made available to the entire ECTC in a more expanded trial and if things go smoothly the entire ASI membership should be able to start using it early next year.
Mark Sumner is continuing to collect news articles for the ASI Online News pages and a periodic ASI Newsletter. If you have any news items to submit, please send them to Mark at "email@example.com".
Nanci Brasket continued manning the Comm and Info Center. Scotty Gammenthaler continued to work on the new ECTC mentoring program and will be preparing an announcement of the program that will go out to all of the ASI mailing lists.
During the November ECTC IRC Meeting, the decision was made to rename this task category "Electronic Mailing Lists" to be a more accurate description of the tasks included here. Bobby made changes to several ASI mailing lists, including changing the ownership of several of the lists (artemis-news, art-biz, and art-biz-cdrom). Bobby continued to run into delays from IO in responding to his requests, although the situation had improved by the end of the month.
Most of the updates to the ASI web site this past month were contributed by John Wertz, the new leader of the ASI Web Team. John has been going through the ASI web site and submitting updates for very old documents that haven't been updated in several years (he has identified almost 90 documents that haven't been updated in over two years). John is also continuing to monitor the status of broken links on the ASI site and submitted several updates to fix missing links. As a result of those submissions by John and others, a total of 41 updates were published to the ASI web site, including 11 new documents, 29 modifications to existing documents, and 1 deleted document. Continuing cleanup in other parts of the web site reduced the total number of documents on the ASI web site for the second month in a row. The latest updates bring the total number of documents on the ASI web site to 2259 HTML documents and 980 GIF and JPEG images. Most of the work in editing and approving the updates was done by John Wertz, Randall Severy, Gregory Bennett, Candace Dicks, and Simon Rowland. Additional submissions were made by Luanne Jorewicz and Leah Simpson.
The mSQL database server on the ASI web site continued to have problems during the past month. At two separate times the database server crashed and after the first time it took almost a week to get IO to restart the server. We are continuing to work with IO to transition the ASI systems to their MySQL database server, but have run into delays in getting IO to configure the new databases. Near the end of the month the latest release of WebSite Director, version 1.2, was installed on the ASI web site. Scheduled for commercial release in early December, this new version includes several new features requested by ASI members as well as fixes to several problems reported by ASI members. Earlier in the month the latest beta release of the new CyberTeams product, TeamWSD Lite, was also installed on the ASI web site. TeamWSD Lite now manages the multiple installations of WebSite Director Lite that are used to maintain the half-dozen private directories on the ASI web site.
The ASI Web Site Tour was a key topic of discussion in the November ECTC IRC meeting. Following that meeting, Scotty Gammenthaler wrote an outline of proposed tour topics and submitted it to the ECTC for review. New ECTC member David Lundeen volunteered to write a program to automatically generate the Outline page for the Artemis Data Book. Near the end of the month David had completed an initial test version of the program and the software should be up and running on the ASI web site before long. Bobby Will volunteered to take another look at the ASI Web Search Engine and research upgrading the search engine software to the latest version.
No progress to report this month.
No progress to report this month.
Vik Olliver reports that he will soon be losing his CompuServe account and will no longer be able to represent the Artemis Project on CompuServe.
The November ECTC IRC meeting was held on November 11, and was one of the longest ECTC meetings held to date. A total of 8 people showed up for most of the meeting and covered a wide variety of discussion topics. The various Web Team tasks were a major focus of the meeting, along with discussions on the Web Site Tour, the Search Engine, and the proposed new asi-intro mailing list.
No progress to report this month.
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