Here are minutes for the Thursday, 1999-02-04 meeting of the

BCN tech-advisory committee.


In attendance:


Jim Waterman <>

Howard Harbison (no address given)

Marc Sobel <>

John Pope <>

Bob Echelmeier <>

Mary Ann Paliani <>

Jim Yonan <>

Jim Harrington <>

Linda Mark <>

Neal McBurnett <>

Brenda Ruth <>

Don Dulchinos <>



Context: discussion of how to fulfil various very vague

requests for 'conferencing' or 'chat' or 'discussion' capabability

on BCN.


E.g. Bear Creek Spill discussion,& Virtual Chatauqua needs.


Virtual Chatauqua, a BCN project, commitment is for something "more

innovative than a "listserv" to serve everyone from people with

disabilities, teachers, k-12 rural youth, performing artists to graphics



First: Define chat, discussion forum, etc. See


Some history- BCN had been using a Well Product called Motet a form of

on-line discussion. It was used for one year with mixxedresults. When BCN

moved to a new server there were problems in using the application and

there was no technical support for the ongoing upkeep of the program. BCNdid not have access to its source code.


We listened to Linda present some of the sites she had investigated

in this area: aurora

blacksburg (town meetings once a month)

powwow (tribalvoice)



Linda agreed to post her URLs to the tech-advisory list

before the next meeting, concentrating on the ones that

aren't just chat.


Neal described moos - and there was some experience with them among

others present (mark sobel, jim waterman)

ability to deal with harassment

might be costs involved with hosting at DU moo? need to check?



There was some discussion of - very rich, some comments but

not a whole lot. Neal was unable to log in because of a server


OLE DB error 80004005, /asp/login.asp, line 28


Neal brought up - discussion, calendar, voting, discussed

on the list before, in use by

Tore Christensen among others.


MaryAnn mentioned University of Colorado courses online with threaded

discussion and instructors lecture. An online course is how we could think

of doing this. Dave Markey @ CU possible synergy


Don suggested that bcn support of general chat probably not

productive. But that doesn't apply to specific projects like


He also raised the dangers of moderation - can lead to liability.



Neal made a motion: at this time, no "general" "chat"-like

environments should be sponsored by BCN. This excluds vchautauqua

or other more focussed possible projetcs.

After some discussion the vote was unanimous.


Jim described hypermail, free software used to archive normal

mailing lists, e.g. the list used for the archive of the list itself:

<jim fill-in here...>


Neal mentioned that the soccer web-based message list was

inefficient - big downloads. E.g. currently the index is 270 kB of

lines, one-per-article.


There are about 14,000 soccer articles now on the BCN server (out of

34000 total unique pages). Don thinks we could get an area with bcn look-and-feel, tied to individual centers.


concerns about too many dead topics in the 'netnews' model. Need program

that will trim dead topics automaticlly


e-mail is an extremely valuable interactive resource because it goes to

people directly rather than having to wait for people to come to a certain

web page. (Look for an integration of the two)


There was agreement that for an asynchronous messaging site,

a web-based archive is essential.

Issue: allow or even require email-based participation?


We need more details on the requirements of the vchatauqua project,

possible budgets or partners or reaction to advertising-supported

services, etc.


RESOLUTION - review Linda's URLs by next meeting, try to have some

decisions by the meeting after that. FEEDBACK FOR VIRTUAL CHAUTAUQUA;

1. Define what interactions you wnat to promote

2. It seems that this project's technical needs and specifications

are being made up as it goes.

3. Since this item is in the project without a line item in the

budget this should be one of the first things cut from the project

4. Virtual Chautauqua will be judged for the social interactions

it creates not for its technological innovations

5. Willing to review a proposal brought forward by Virtual

Chautauqua in the future to meet VC's needs.



Domains for organizations using BCN space:

Jim's proposal: use cnames (easier to be secondary for than "A" record).

But ITS doesn't want to be our primary dns server for virtual domains.

But would be secondary if we ran a primary.

We could run our own dns server.

or go with 3rd party ala suggestion from indras's web.

Sticky issue of mail forwarding: only one namespace will go to

and webmaster - continual confusion

possible competition issue?

Resolution: decide between us doing dns, or farming out to 3rd



Neal suggested that we need a good proposed FAQ on this and other

technical topics sent out *before* a meeting in order to make a

decision at a meeting. Jim W has volunteered for this enticing



Needed FAQ's: stats, listserv, volunteers, tools, frontpage,

conferencing, getting a login, ftp, DIPP, who gets pages on bcn,

Neal will do a stats FAQ and has started the one on conferencing

mentioned at the top.



Neal announced that people can now use the `locate <keyword>` command and find nearly any filename on the BCN server. See the

man page: `man locate`




Neal McBurnett <> 303-538-4852 Denver

Bell Labs / Lucent Technologies (with PGP key)