Chebucto Suite is really a number of programs modified so that they work together. Some, like pine (our e-mail reader) and lynx (the text-mode World Wide Web browser) were developed elsewhere, and modified to work with CCN. Other programs, like the one that manages the installation, linking and archiving of this newsletter, were developed right here.
Chebucto Suite (or CSuite) is a little like an iceberg. The average user only sees the tip of it, but hidden below the surface is an assortment of functions ranging from managing CCN's finances to allowing Information Providers to install files, to overseeing disk quotas and login restrictions.
When the steering committee looking into setting up a Community Network evaluated the software used to run community nets at the time, they found some real inadequacies. Freeport, the most common package used by community networks, lacked many of the features we've grown accustomed to on CCN, such as full integration into the World Wide Web. So the effort to develop Chebucto Suite as an alternative began.
As CSuite has matured, interest in the software has increased. Already, portions of CSuite are being used by Community Nets as far away as Kiev in Ukraine and Australia. The Chebucto Suite development team maintains a home page where you can get a glimpse of some of the features being worked on. (Remember though, that it may take a great deal of time and work to get new features running, so don't assume that everything listed will be available soon.)
You can also learn about the technologies behind CSuite by reading the minutes of the Chebucto Suite seminars, weekly technical meetings held to discuss improvements to Chebucto Suite software.
Developing Chebucto Suite has enabled Chebucto Community Net to be at the forefront of community net technology, and there are many more developments being planned. Watch this space. Robert Currie, aa019@ccn·cs·dal·ca.
Last Month: January 1996 Next Month: March 1996