1999 ECTC Status Reports
Section 9.1.1999.
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May Electronic Communication Technical Committee Status Report

may-ectc-status by Randall Severy

For the Electronic Communications Technical Committee, the month of May 1999 was dominated almost exclusively by the effort to move the Artemis project web site to its new home on the CyberTeams dedicated server. That move began around the middle of the month and was completed by the end of the month. During the move, many of the services on the web site were suspended and most web site updates were put on hold during the month to avoid interfering with the move.

Near the end of the month, a number of ASI members attended the International Space Development Conference in Houston. Several ASI meetings took place, along with meetings between ASI members and members of the Mars Society and Space Frontier Foundation. As a result of one of those meetings, ASI will be a co-sponsor of the upcoming Lunar Base Development Symposium that is being organized by the Space Frontier Foundation and the National Space Society and will be held in July in Houston. ASI will be running a webcast of the event, as well as holding a meeting of ASI members who are attending the event.

The ECTC membership remained unchanged in May. You can find the complete ECTC membership listing at . As always, there is still a lot of room for new volunteers for ECTC tasks. If you would like to join the ECTC, you can sign up through Team Director at . To review the ECTC project list and sign up to help with any of those projects, use the form on the ECTC task list page at .

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

Membership Support

Two more ASI members signed up for Team Director accounts in May. Migration of the remaining ASI mailing lists into Team Director was put on hold during the month until the server move was completed. Following the move, Bobby Will will be working through the backlog of ASI mailing lists that are scheduled to be migrated into Team Director.

Help Desk

Nanci's sister, Dawna, continued manning the Communications and Information Center in Nanci's absence.

Electronic Mailing Lists

With 40 ASI mailing lists, moving the mailing lists was one of the largest efforts in the server move, and the bulk of that effort fell on the shoulders of Bobby Will, the ASI Listmaster. Bobby began configuring the lists on the new server early in the month and when the move got underway
he worked tirelessly to get all of the lists up and running properly on the new server. Thanks to Bobby's hard work, mailing list traffic moved seamlessly from the old to the new server during the move (although a glitch in the art-3d list caused some excitement after the end of May, but that's a topic for next month's Status Report).

IO's technical support staff was very helpful during the move by providing us with the subscriber lists for all of the ASI lists for loading on the new server. Since the domain move took almost a week to take effect, mailing list digests were suspended for the last week of the month to make it easier to merge the digests from the old and new servers following the move.

World Wide Web Server

Although the mailing lists were the most time-consuming part of the domain move, the wide variety of services running on the Artemis Project web site proved to be the most complicated components of the move. Most of the almost 4000 web pages and images on the web site were moved over without difficulty, but most of the numerous CGI scripts, overnight programs, and other services running on the server needed to be reconfigured on the new server. The directory locations of all of those scripts and programs were different on the new server, requiring configuration updates virtually across the board. Some of the support system services were also located in different places on the new server. Compiled programs needed to be recompiled on the new server, since the site was being moved from a Linux server to a FreeBSD server.

With several weeks of advance preparation on the new server, however, most of the services moved over to the new server without incident. The Cronkite news update program was suspended until it could be upgraded to use the new MySQL database server on the new server. The ADB outline generator was also temporarily turned off for the same reason. The search engine was removed from the overnight schedule until a new version of the search engine software could be installed on the new server. And e-mail notifications from WebSite Director were suspended while a problem in the software was tracked down and fixed.

The pivotal moment in all of this activity took place on Friday, May 21, when the official request to move the domain name to the new server was sent off to the Internic. The request was held up over the weekend, however, so the master DNS databases were not updated until Monday, May 24. As the changes to the distributed DNS databases propogated throughout the Internet over the following days, more and more people reached the new server when they typed in "" in their web browser. By Friday, May 28, most of the DNS servers on the Internet had been updated with the location of the new server and the move was essentially complete.

With most of the web site updates on hold in preparation for the domain move, the Artemis Project web site grew by only a small amount in May, with a total of 18 updates published to the site, including 12 new documents and 6 modifications to existing documents. The latest updates bring the total number of documents on the web site to 2711 HTML documents and the number of GIF and JPEG images remained at 1110 images. Most of the work in editing and approving the updates was done by John Wertz, Luanne Jorewicz, Gregory Bennett, and Randall Severy.

The long-delayed project to establish a mirror of the Artemis Project web site in Europe got a boost near the end of the month when Greg Bennett and Randall Severy met with Dale Amon at the ISDC in Houston. Dale will be setting up the web site mirror on one of his servers in Ireland and some of the terms of the mirror site arrangement were discussed in Houston.

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 May ECTC IRC meeting was held on May 2nd, with a somewhat smaller attendance than past meetings. A total of seven people showed up for some or all of the meeting and discussed a variety of ECTC projects, along with a lot of discussion about the pending server move. For the second month in a row, the Internet site design project was a key topic of discussion, along with several of the Web Team projects.


No progress to report this month.

1999 ECTC Status Reports

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