Development Meeting

(Seminar Room, Buccleuch Place)- Minutes 2008-02-06

Present: Paul Anderson, Toby Blake, Tim Colles, Chris Cooke, Ken Dawson (convener and minutes), Ian Durkacz, Graham Dutton, Bill Hewitt, Stephen Quinney, Iain Rae, George Ross, Alastair Scobie, Craig Strachan, Simon Wilkinson

Apologies: Neil had sent his apologies.

1. Minutes of last meeting

These were accepted.

2. Matters Arising

Seventeen out of the twenty seven computing staff had now moved their mail service to staffmail.

Paul has now moved but Simon will not be able to move for another month or so. Neil reported that the Default quota had now been increased to 2 GB. However this was a limit that could not be exceeded until IS introduce a mail server with a later version of Cyrus software.

Richard and John have also still to move.

Richard was going to try to move today.

Craig commented that one of the non-computing staff on the Computing Strategy Group had now also moved to staffmail. There was no longer a 2GB limit to mail boxes and new staff will only get a staffmail mail account; an alias for their inf mail address pointing at their staffmail address will automatically be inserted into the alias file for the inf mail server.

Simon had still to migrate to staffmail. [Action Simon]

  • Revisit Account Management Simon had produced the discussion paper and the next step will be for George to call a meeting of interested parties. The subject will be discussed at the end of this meeting and the need for and nature of any further meeting will be dependent on the outcome of this.

Because of Simon's absence it had not been possible for George to speak to him about this.

Simon pointed out that the meeting was needed to sort out the short term problem of instituting a procedure to remove any extraordinary kerberos principles belonging to people who have left. George will arrange a meeting between himself, Simon and Ken. [Action George]

All other actions from the last meeting have been completed.

3. Approved Projects

  • Cluster Parallel filesystem The current milestone has not been achieved yet because of holdups at the Eddie end which are outwith our control. However Iain has tested cross-mounting on a test cluster and is satisfied that it works. Simon raised the issue of the management of the secret keys; this was already mentioned in Iain's report. Alastair ruled that this project should move to the implementation stage.

  • Review of Backup Technology The next 'I' Meeting (formerly called Innovation Meeting) will now be on the subject of Personalisation/Mobile Computing so Craig proposed that he will carry out a survey of users instead to gather the information that he had hoped to get from an 'I' Meeting. Craig will amend the project milestones accordingly. [Action Craig]

  • Production Condor Service The difficulty of doing the work for the current milestone 'school wide' proved greater than expected and so it was agreed that Iain should postpone this milestone's proposed date to 2008-03-06. [Action Iain]

  • Publishing and Discussion Media Survey Paper Craig should add an achieved date for the milestone 'end survey' and switch the current milestone to 'collate data'. He should also propose a postponed date for the latter milestone. [Action Craig]

  • Improved RPM submission tool This project should move to the stalled state as there is no likelihood of effort being available in the foreseeable future.

  • Inventory System Ken reported that he had written a command line script to do what he thought would be the most common tasks (updating the location, manager and/or user of a host or the location of arbitrary equipment) but had not distributed it yet.

  • Transition of Informatics staff mail services to Staffmail PRC approval to move staff to using staffmail has implicitly been given since they have seen the plan for all computing work over the next year and this was included. Craig will update the milestones to match the current situation. [Action Craig]

  • LCFG buildtools rewrite Stephen reported that there had been some slippage but he also wanted to rearrange the order and hence proposed dates for some of the milestones to take advantage of some upcoming events. It was agreed that he should do this. [Action Stephen]

  • Proof General Eclipse Improvements Graham said that no further work had been done on this project but that any work would need to be done before the grant ended in the autumn.

  • Revisit Account Management Near the start of the meeting there had been some discussion about the availability of effort from the various units to write software to interface with the new account management system. As we get nearer to the move date in early June then the majority of computing staff may well be involved in wiring up desks and other mundane tasks to allow the move to go smoothly. The API for the new account management system should be ready by the end of February. Development will need to proceed in March to April at the latest.

Simon will add milestones to the project [Action Simon]

  • DICE client LDAP configuration Toby had been unable to make progress on debugging the occasional problem with proxy-caching and proxy-nocaching because of the rarity of the event. He proposed and it was accepted that he postpone the current milestone 'proxy-debug' milestone proposed date to 2008-03-31. [Action Toby]

  • DICE SL5 Server Platform There were two pieces of software that had not apparently been ported to the SL5 64bit platform (the SL5 platform was complete). Toby confessed that he had actually ported Cosign to SL5-64 but had not closed down the corresponding bugzilla bug. Stephen offered to look at the outstanding problem. Ian will talk to Stephen about this. [Action Ian]

4. New Project Proposals

Craig explained that background work had been going on for some time but that now the work was ramping up and he was bringing this forward as a project for approval. A basic CUPS component had been written and a full component would have been necessary however Kenny MacDonald of the IS Managed Desktop team had already written a component that also worked on the Mac platform.

The original project proposal had included the use of the PyKota printing quota add-on to CUPS but it was agreed that the additional feature of having printer quotas should not delay the main body of the project. It was agreed that the project should move to the implementation stage and that Craig should package up the PyKota printing quota extension into a separate project. [Action Craig]

5. Prioritisation of Projects

The following projects were identified as being high priority for bringing forward or resuming:

  • DICE under emulators Alastair will modify the scope of the project to cover just those aspects that are required by computing staff. [Action Alastair]

Alastair and Tim will spin off a new pending project to cover use of emulators in research and teaching. [Action Tim, Alastair]

6. Technical presentation and discussion of projects

  • Paul gave a presentation PDF on LCFG-related projects and developments.

7. AOB

The next meeting will be on March 5th in Room 2511, JCMB.

-- KenDawson - 06 Feb 2008

Topic revision: r2 - 06 Feb 2008 - 17:06:52 - KenDawson
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