Meeting Time: 2010-10-19 at 19:00
Location: University of Ottawa, 55 Laurier E., DMS 6160
Present:All Board Members
Guests: J-F Messier, Ian Ward, Peter Sjoberg, Jean Richard, RG Briggs, Scott Murphy
Due to unanticipated time-lock on 6th floor, we unfortunately missed having Brenda Butler with us. Possibly there were others. As soon as we knew (thanks to RGB) we did follow up and post a sign, in the process rescuing Scott.
The Chair asked the meeting to focus on “what” rather than “how”.
There was general agreement that we needed
IW: RSS Feed (Meeting announcement, aggregate of blogs, jobs). General agreement. It was noted that since we already have a Google account for our calendar, we could easily use FeedBurner to handle the blog aggregation portion.
PS: guest Linux for hands-on experience (remote)
JFM: distro files for easy download in Ottawa region There was commentary and general acceptance that these items would need better bandwidth to make them successful, and that they be considered for the future.
There was discussion of Production vs Sandbox usage and some commentary about the pros and cons of different options e.g., jurisdiction where content held, reliability, speed of response to problems.
There was a sense that the group felt we should consider hosted services but keep our own server for trials and demos, likely on a virtual machine. Eventually the meeting favoured using the new Tux hardware for the moment. There were important suggestions about planning and scheduling the cutover between systems, especially for the cutover of mailing lists (JFM). Also that if we outsourced, we would need to shop carefully to ensure we got the services and quality of service we needed. The Chair raised the issue of our DNS records, and reported on a telephone conversation with Andre Gosselin of Storm Internet who is the owner of the oclug.on.ca domain and who donates this to OCLUG. This unusual arrangement arose apparently before OCLUG was incorporated. The Board agreed that we should maintain regular contact with Andre to ensure continuity of the domain. (ACTION: Board)
1) the current style that uses templates within a framework. We use Django templates set up by Ian Ward. Ruby on Rails is a similar framework. This allows for very easy use within the structure set up, but requires some specialized expertise to alter the structure, not the content. Requirements: Apache (or fastcgi-capable web server), Django 1.0, PostgreSQL (or sqlite, mysql). It offers us planet.oclug feedjack blog aggregation (django) and job postings (django). We also currently have a Trac-based wiki and ticket tracking, and the old phpwiki as an HTML dump. IW pointed out that Trac had been installed for other reasons (we appear to no longer use it) and this led to the use of the Trac wiki.
2) the use of a CMS system like Drupal or Joomla. Mike Kenzie pointed out that, in common with Django or Ruby on Rails, CMS systems offer very easy change of content within an established structure, but lots of work to change the structure. There seemed to be no strong call for taking this route.
3) use of a wiki, most likely one that employs an internal database such as DokuWiki or MoinMoin. DokuWiki requirements: Apache, PHP. Lisa demonstrated a working DokuWiki installation populated with OCLUG pages, and mentioned she had found it possible to reformat Trac Wiki content to the required format, and incorporate RSS feeds and job postings. An advantage of this approach is a single interface for all web content. There are facilities for access controls down to sub-page level, though possibly this requires some care. The Chair noted that because he had extensive experience with wikis some multiples of the size of the OCLUG site, but no expertise in the other possibilities (e.g., Django, CMS etc.). he had stayed on the sidelines of the discussion until now to avoid biasing the decision. Ian Ward pointed out that one of the aspects of introducing the Django setup in 2007 was the problem of removing outdated items. The Board recognized that this was critical to good communication with members, and must be incorporated in any setup, either by human or technical measures. ACTION: Board.
There was also some discussion whether the main page could be mirrored somewhere else to ensure it is accessible. No resolution of this discussion.
While there was not unanimity, the group favoured the wiki approach, recognizing that the main page needed timely updating, and that the cutover will need to be phased to avoid loss of continuity.
Implementation was not discussed, as we were at 9 p.m. ACTION: Board in communication with sysadmin group.
Guests left and the Board continued with regular items.
$4803 plus some small change not yet deposited.
ACTION: Mike K to ask MCR
JN, LL and JFM flew the OCLUG penguin
None urgent apart from Tux as dealt with above.
Suggestions for talks: Grub2, encrypted LVM, drupal, HTML5 -- possibly at libraries
Adjourn at 10 pm.