Apologies for absence
minutes of the last meeting.
These were accepted.
It was agreed that if we did make the move to the IS Call Management System, it would be necessary to continue running RT within the School to provide access to the database of resolved tickets.
It was agreed that in future this item would be called Frontline Support Issues.
Stephen requested a list of affected machines along with details of when they broke and whether this was a temporary or permanent condition. At the moment, there doesn't seem to be a common factor amongst the broken machines.
The Services Unit will produce documentation on how to restore data backed up using Backuppc4AFS.
Ken suggested that a single web page per unit with links to all that unit's documentation would be useful. Simon observed that such a page would quickly get out of date and would not provide useful features such as a search mechanism. Alastair pointed out that the User Support Unit had a pending project on this very subject. Simon suggested that the new Web CMS might provide one possible solution. A meta issue arose - how should new projects be prioritised? It was agreed to raise this issue at the next development meeting.
Alastair pointed out that we are one of the very few Schools which does not charge for printing. It was agreed that to avoid wasted paper, it would be useful to have a null printer as the first entry in the CUPS printer list rather than at1.
Lindsay pointed out that the script for creating mail accounts on the School mail server had been disable meaning that at the moment the only option was to use visitors' pre-existing external email addresses.
Reports from units.
Alastair announced that the public access workstations on the ground and mezzanine floors at Appleton Tower are duel boot Windows and SL5 and have the AFS client installed.
Requests for a SRIF network address should be addressed to the Research and Teaching Unit but are in very short supply, especially at KB. At present there is no access to the SRIF network from BP.
Tim clarified that Archie is responsible for looking after these machines.
The following topics were discussed:
After some discussion, it was agreed that there was a need for some form of bug tracking system within the school and that the latest version of Bugzilla still seemed to meet our needs best. Mention was made of the ability to 'skin' Bugzilla making it possible to reduce the complexity of the interface the user is confronted with. The latest version of Bugzilla also make it easier to carry out tasks such as bug creation via scripts. It was agreed that the Services Unit should make some effort to get the latest version of Bugzilla running under LCFG control on a supported server and should then propose a new project to the development meeting concerned with investigating what products, skins and external access are needed to make the best use of Bugzilla within the School.The Bugzilla service should have two front ends, one using COSIGN for user access and one using KX509 for script based access.
It was agreed that the current Jabber service should be made available to all members of the School. Before this can happen, some mechanism will have to be put into place to allow access to certain chatrooms such as COS to be restricted. We will also have to decide who is permitted to create new chatrooms. Iain raised the issue of what our legal requirements are. Do we need to maintain logs of everything that occurs in the chatrooms?
Ken raised the issue of the current lack of documentation for the service. It was agreed that the Services Unit would produce some documentation aimed at the user.
We will check whether IS are proposing to introduce a similar service in the near future (the consensus of the meeting was that they are not). An article will appear in the next edition of the newsletter advertising the services.
All computing staff were encouraged to make themselves as available as possible on the service.
Simon suggested that we should make some effort to contribute to the free software community by submitting packages to the Fedora extras repository. This isn't entirely selfless, once the packages are accepted into the repository, they would be automatically rebuilt for new versions of Fedora freeing us of the need to do so. It was generally agreed that this was a good idea.
The first step is to get a member of the Informatics computing staff accepted as a Fedora contributor (this requires the sponsorship of an existing contributor). Once this has been accomplished, our person on the inside can sponsor further Informatics staff as contributors. Tim volunteered to attempt to become our initial contributor.
Craig reminder the meeting that the next edition of the newsletter is due to be published in early December meaning that the deadline for articles is the end of November. All computing staff are encouraged to suggest possible articles.
There was none.
The next meeting will be on November 14th in the Buccleuch Place Seminar Room and chaired by George Ross.
Please contact us with any comments or corrections.
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