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The Dice Project

Operational Meeting

Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 28th June 2006
Room 2511, JCMB

Richard Bell, Toby Blake, Lindsey Brown, Neil Brown, Roger Burroughes, Tim Colles, Ken Dawson (convener and minutes), Carol Dow, Morna Findlay, Archie Howitt, Charlie Penman, Iain Rae, Gordon Reid, George Ross, Alastair Scobie, Craig Strachan, Simon Wilkinson
  1. Apologies for absence

    Alison and Chris had sent their apologies.

  2. Remit of the Operational Meeting

    After some discussion there was basic agreement on the nature of remit. Ken drafted the following summary of the agreed remit after the meeting:

    The Operational meeting is a forum in which computing staff from across the units hear about the current work of those units, raise operational issues of concern and determine which unit(s) will resolve those issues. Normally the issues that are raised are ones identified by someone outside of the unit that would be the natural choice of unit to resolve it. Other issues that it is appropriate to raise are ones that affect more than one unit. The Operational Meeting does not deal with development issues (which are handled by the Development Meeting). Neither does it normally handle questions of policy (unless it seems to be the natural forum for a specific policy question).

  3. Access by User Support Unit staff to AFS directories.

    Craig explained that after some further discussion at the Computing Executive Group on Monday it had been agreed that we would not create new AFS home directories with access by the Front Line Support staff by default. Staff would be informed how they could set up the Access Control List on their AFS home directory to allow read and search access to FLS staff. The user support form would also be modified so that users could tick a box to signal that they gave permission to FLS staff to access their home directory. If it was necessary to access a user's home directory in order to investigate a problem reported by the user then in the course of the correspondence the user should be asked for permission to access their home directory. Once this was given the FLS staff could check whether they could read the relevant files and if not switch to their admin principle in order to proceed with the investigation.

  4. The initdots framework under FC5 - will it exist or is it being dropped?

    Iain explained that the os part of the symbolic links created by amd that are used for dot files would be hard-coded to be fc3 for fc5 machines. The initdots rpms (including the checkdots script) would not be shipped at all under fc5.

    This issue hasn't really disappeared and we will have to face it again at the next significant operating system upgrade. Sun may well come up with a cleaner solution since they need to be able to handle different releases of gnome under different version of Solaris.

  5. Missing and erroneous documentation - new bugzilla Product for recording and tracking such instances.

    Ken informed the meeting that he had created a new bugzilla Product called Documentation for the purpose of recording missing or erroneous documentation. There is a separate bugzilla Component within the Documentation product for each of the new units. This may however be repealed under the new bugzilla structure (see the other bugzilla agenda item below).

  6. Publication and announcement of unit meeting minutes.

    Since unit meetings will be frequent (every one or two weeks depending on the unit) and the minutes are likely to appear promptly, it was thought to be superfluous to publicise their appearance. They should all be found via the DICE web on the wiki.

  7. Laptops running FC3 - Logins when disconnected from the network.

    The problem appears to be associated with the introduction of AFS and is partially to do with the way the pam stack has been configured. The quickest short term fix is probably to remove AFS access from laptops by default. Craig and George will sort this out.

  8. Sub-contracting tasks to the User Support Unit from the other units.

    It was agreed that it would be beneficial for all concerned if various tasks that didn't require the in-depth knowledge that members of the owner unit should have could be sub-contracted to the User Support Unit as long as these tasks and the circumstances under which they could be carried out were clearly identified and documented.

  9. Old RT queues - moving new and open tickets to corresponding unit queues.

    Any remaining tickets with new or open status in the old RT queues would be moved across to the corresponding unit queue in two weeks.

  10. Additional file space requirement for MSc project period.

    To solve the immediate problem Craig will release a 70GB partition for use by the User Support Unit for giving additional space for MSc projects to individual students; this partition will have quotas applied.

  11. Old bugzilla Products and Components - what changes should be made in view of the new management structure?

    As there are various ways of categorising bug reports Simon suggested that it was usually most satisfactory if this categorisation (and consequent structure of the bugzilla Products and Components) is done by one person. Craig will email out a structure (based on the new management structure) and then get it implemented.

  12. Vacation - .vacation.cache file failing to be zeroed/overwritten

    Neil had investigated and discovered that one of the necessary scripts had not been implemented. Until he can fix this he will probably just run a cron job to periodically delete all vacation cache files.

  13. Problems with samba service?

    Part of the Services Unit transition process is to document known problems associated with samba.

    Tim mentioned a project to be transitioned from the old Windows Team that concerned configuring some aspects of MDP machines (such as the printer setup) via scripts.

  14. AOCB

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