Here are minutes for the Thursday, 1999-02-04 meeting of the
BCN tech-advisory committee.
Jim Waterman <>
Howard Harbison (no address given)
Marc Sobel <email@example.com>
John Pope <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bob Echelmeier <email@example.com>
Mary Ann Paliani <>
Jim Yonan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jim Harrington <>
Linda Mark <email@example.com>
Neal McBurnett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Brenda Ruth <>
Don Dulchinos <>
Context: discussion of how to fulfil various very vague
requests for 'conferencing' or 'chat' or 'discussion' capabability
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) tribal.com
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 minds.com - 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 egroups.com - discussion, calendar, voting, discussed
on the email@example.com 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
firstname.lastname@example.org 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
There are about 14,000 soccer articles now on the BCN server (out of
34000 total unique pages).
minds.com: 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
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
email@example.com 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> 303-538-4852 Denver
Bell Labs / Lucent Technologies
http://bcn.boulder.co.us/~neal/ (with PGP key)