CSuite Workshop Minutes - Wednesday, January 25, 1996

David Murdoch opens with agenda ...

  1. Time
  2. Distribution
  3. Hypernews
  4. Next week
  5. Majordomo

Trent presents Time management ...

A gawk script shown on overhead. Currently this script reads the output from another script which only runs every 2 minutes updating the # of each type of user. The percentage of free lines for the class is computed. The end result sets environment variables to the shell "tshell" which does the timeout. Very few mods to "tshell" were actually required.
What about lynxprog and custom login screen interaction?
This should be easy to do.
Does this "guarantee" imply a second time limit after the guarantee is up? That is, an "extension"?
Yes, extension is possible, but not yet implemented.
How do we handle notification of extension?
Having these warnings appear every hour is a nuisance.
Of course, they should be user-configurable to turn them off.
David Murdoch
We need to be careful that what we design isn't too complex to explain to the user how it works.
We need to be careful not to build the algorithm in such a way that might encourage usage patterns to shift and all pile up on a different peak time again.
How about an indefinite extension with an "n" hour countdown after the "x" percent saturation point is reached?
David Potter
Won't we run the risk of the system being tied up while all of the users notified at the time the saturation point is reached hold onto their lines until they are all kicked off at once.
So you are saying we should have something like a queue, staggering the kicking off users with extensions according to when they initially logged in?
But maybe we are getting too complex. What about just using the easiest solution to implement.
How about forgetting the "unlimited" extension and just using fixed period extensions with warnings which can be turned off by the user if desired. (e.g. "You've been granted a one-hour extension"). This is simple enough to implement, simple to understand, and solves the "staggering" problem.
What about "go extend" to actually request an extension if available? This also solves staggering.
David Potter
This might be useful if there is a way for IP's to "bank" a certain amount of time to get their job done whenever they need it (whether during periods of high load or not).

David Benoit talks about distribution ...

We've come up with a variable substitution scheme that involves keeping a parallel directory structure to the /ccn/info documents, say, on /ccn/src_html/info/, to keep source documents. These documents contain directives to M4, like _WEBMASTER. At install time, "make" is run to produce the final document, substituting the directives with M4 and the variables stored in /ccn/lib/vars.
Do we have a process for requesting a new variable in the works? Will we extend this model to allowing IP's to use it for things such as insertion of standard button bars, copyright notices, and other such features on each page.
David Benoit
Sure, like a .defs directory off of the IP directories.
What about standards? Any merit in following NCSA httpd server- side include syntax where the concept of substitution is so similar? Even though this isn't done by the server, but is actually just a preprocessing step done at install time. Yet there are similarities. Or how about SGML?
David Benoit
There is no support for the variable substitution concept either in SGML or in NCSA httpd server preprocessor directives.
Just so long as we aren't reinventing the wheel in coming up with a syntax for the substitution variables, as these will be propogated through the whole info filesystem.
David Potter
Rather than widespread scattering of these variables throughout our documents, we should focus on only needing configuration for the "index" pages (e.g. of the Help Desk, the first levels of pages) and just have constant text in the narratives.
Yes, I agree with David, even though it is lots of work. We need to keep the global overview, as we need an organized proposal and set of standards for when we farm out development work to other sites.

Ben talks about hypernews ...

Gerard and Chris Maxwell talk about lqtext on Linux ...

David Murdoch talks about next week ...

Next week's agenda:

  1. Gerard to take minutes
  2. Bulkmail presentation
  3. Shell programming by Gerard
  4. CGI programming by David Trueman