Project planning meeting - 24 April 2006
Present: Stuart Yeates (SY), Graham Klyne (GK)
Last report: SakaiVre/PlanningProgress/20060327
This report: SakaiVre/PlanningProgress/20060424
Next meeting: 8 May 2006, 9:00 SakaiVre/PlanningProgress/20060508
The review meeting planned for 10 April was not held due to other activities (OSS conference). The next available slot was 24 April, the date of this meeting.
- Review agenda
- Confirm date/time of next meeting
- Review actions outstanding at last meeting
- New activities and issues arising from current work
- Discussion of specific issues
2. Activity since last report
2.1. Actions closed
[GK/SY - 20060327] 11:00 today, get together to prepare progress report for JISC. DONE - SakaiVre/JISCReport20060326. (There have since been some further queries about our contribution to this report, which have all been resolved.)
- [GK/SY - 20060327] Look into mailing list moderation policies, and adjust to allow non-members posts to be accepted with moderation. DONE. The moderation interface seems a bit clunky compared with mailman, but it does seem to work almost as we'd like.)
[SY - 20060313] Distillation of C P Snow observations. See SakaiVre/CPSnow, and also Lou Burnard's article linked from that page. This has spurred some internal discussion about the possibility of VRE search requirements varying between Humanities and Science research, but so far lacking any clear suggestion of direction for our work. This item is closed, though some ideas may be picked up and/or developed under the search tools work package.
2.2. Actions progressed
[GK/SY - 20060313] Install Sakai - initial attempt resulted in some problems. There has since been some further progress, but we still don't have a fully operational installation. See discussionbelow, and SakaiNotes. CONTINUES.
2.3. New activities and notes
- [SY - 20060428] Respond to request for Oxford input on paper to AHM.
GK has placed a copy of notes from the OII talk by Tim Berners-Lee into the OSS wiki, cross-linked to the original slides: see OII_TimBL_TalkNotes.
A VRE-demonstrator AccessGrid meeting with Sakai partners was held on 22 March, attended by Stuart Yeates and Mike Fraser. See http://maillist.ox.ac.uk/ezmlm-cgi?3855:mss:42:200604:lbccmokcfckflfeakbbe, maybe also something on the demo portal, but I can't log in to it.)
3.1. Sakai instalation problems
Installing Sakai is proving to be something of a nightmare. Simply following the instructions given on the web site doesn't seem to work: there are problems with file ownership that must be anticipated, and which appear to be exacerbated if the ZIP file distribution is used rather than the .tar.gz distribution. There is a;lso a problem with the Maven build files that must be patched for the build to succeed on a new system. These problems are not helped by lack of an obvious definitive source of information of information and troubleshooting help for installing and configuring a Sakai system.
If I (GK) were trying to deploy Sakai in a commercial environment, I'd have rejected it by now for being far too unstable for any kind of serious use.
3.2. Discussion of Humanities vs Science research requirements
Science research seeks to uncover universal truths (unified theory of space-time, detailed explanation of the chemical processes of life, etc.). Humanities maybe don't look for such certainty, but maybe more general value in terms of power of explication (cf. Burnard link from SakaiVre/CPSnow).
- Flickr tag-clusters as platonic concepts (like scientific universals)? Tags or Tag-clusters - should we distinguish here?
- Search communities:
- understand layers of meaning expressed through physical things (as science).
- people are interested in pursuing non-physical ideas (like tags).
4. Summary of ongoing actions
- [GK - 20060403] Requirements and procedure to create a minimal Shibboleth deployment. Following the meeting with Jasper Tredgold, the next stage is to install software on the text platform and document details not covered in existing documentation. (No progress since last meeting.)
- [SY - 20060327] Analysis of search requirements. (Progressing.)
- [GK/SY - 20060313] Install Sakai. (Progressing, but problematic.)
- [GK - 20060605] Port SPIE Shibboleth/WSRP to Sakai: (Stalled.)
-  (Sakai installation dependency, Sakai Shibboleth authentication dependency) Install Shibboleth/WSRP software locally, and convert to work with Sakai
- [GK - 20060703] Add Shibboleth authentication to Sakai: (Stalled)
-  Install Shibboleth toolkit
-  (Sakai installation dependency) Link Sakai authentication to Shibboleth
[GK - 20060327] Investigate Sakai background technologies (Spring, JSF) (See SakaiNotes; TODO: input concerning JSF.)
5. Notes for next meeting
(Matters arising following the meeting)
- Public Sakai demonstrator sysadmin notes
- Install SSHBLOCK to reduce logwatch report sizes, improve security and reduce attack traffic
- Turn off sendmail (using postfix). I thought I'd done this, but logwatch shows sendmail is still active
- Distribute email reports of yum updates
- Set up system backup via HSM
-- GrahamKlyne 2006-04-24 09:07:19