Duke ITAC - January 22, 2004 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - January 22, 2004 Minutes


January 22, 2004

Members present: Ed Anapol, Mike Baptiste, Pakis Bessias, John Board, Dick Danner, Angel Dronsfield, Brian Eder, Nevin Fouts, Tracy Futhey, Michael Gettes, Patrick Halpin, Paul Harrod represented by Alfed Trozzo, David Jamieson-Drake, David Jarmul, Kyle Johnson, Jamie Lee Klima, Eileen Kuo, Roger Loyd represented by Andy Peck, Greg McCarthy, Melissa Mills, George Oberlander, Lynne O'Brien, Mike Pickett, Rafael Rodriguez, Molly Tamarkin, Robert Wolpert,

Guests present: David Menzies, OIT; Ben Riseling, News & Communications; Dan McCarriar, OIT; Ginny Cake, OIT; Ken Hirsh, Duke Law; Chris Cramer, IT Security; Deb Johnson; Phil Lemmons, News & Communications;

Start: 4:35 PM (special time)

I. Review of minutes and announcements:

Robert Wolpert welcomes everyone. Minutes from previous meetin are accepted.

Mike Pickett announces the upcoming video conferencing explorations meeting on Friday February 13th from 1:30 to 3:00 at Sanford Public Policy Institute. Fred Westbrook will lead the discussion. An e-mail invitation went out too all ITAC members today.

II. Overview - Academic Council

by Tracy Futhey and Robert Wolpert

Robert Wolpert reports that Tracy gave a presentation on the state of computing and IT at Duke to the recent meeting of the Duke Academic Council.

Tracy Futhey said her presentation included an overview of what OIT does as well as DHTS, CIT, and other groups. She talked about how students are using technology at Duke. She also discussed ITAC and its importance along with what topics were discussed over the year. She left them with points to ponder on Duke’s IT system, such as security and intellectual property issues.

She reports that she received a couple questions about local support in our shared environment along the lines of, “How do I as faculty know who to call to solve my problems?”

Robert Wolpert reports the group was subdued and somewhat encouraging about IT. There seemed to be complete confusion about the difference in roles between DHTS, OIT, A&E computing, etc. There was no idea who does what. By Robert adds that, they [faculty] really shouldn’t have to know that. We should be able to hand them off to whomever can help them.

III. IMAP mailbox migration

by Michael Gettes

Micheal Gettes reports the campus mail migration team is in the process of setting up two new Sun V8-80 systems with 2 Terabytes of disk space behind them. There are currently some 15,000 users on the campus mail system. It is necessary to do a live cut over to the new systems so there will be no downtime. Because some of the media is on old equipment, if we took everything down it would could take up to four days to get it all back together.

Tracy Futhey likes the idea of no e-mail for 4 days.

Micheal Gettes says the team is looking at a live sync process using IMAP protocol. Rob Carter and Michael Bacon are leading this effort. The idea is to start synchronizations with a one-way copy beginning Monday and proceed with the copying throughout the week. This will be all behind the scenes and users should notice no difference. The cutover will happen on the weekend. There will be no downtime, but there will be short periods that mailboxes will appear locked—this period could upwards of 30-minutes. The only other convern is that in the Windows environment, the user might need to reboot to pick up new DNS information. The team is working with the help desk to get the word out.

Tracy Futhey asks for clarification. She understands the process as follows:

  1. When my mailbox is being transferred, I get a message saying my mailbox is being converted.
  2. During that time I can send and read mail, but I can't make changes like filing messages.
  3. Then I will get a message that says I've been migrated and I need to reboot.

Micheal Gettes says that is the process. He expects to be doing, in theory, a seamless change transparent to users. The team is committed to making it work that way. He calculates that with 660 letter-letter pairs to migrate, the team should be able to move 300 or more in a week. Therefore, he expects migration to take place over 2 to 4 weeks. This is a wide range because doesn’t know what they will run into. If they run into a problem they can stop until they’re comfortable with how to resolve it and how things look, and meanwhile the mail is not affected.

Robert Wolpert thinks they did a nice job thinking and planning this migration process through.

Molly Tamarkin asks when this is scheduled to happen?

Micheal Gettes says probably in the next one to two weeks we’ll get started. It would be nice after we do all this to move as quickly as possible to IMAP.duke.edu but we can talk about that later.

IV. Web Policy Group - interim report

by Ken Hirsh, et al

Ken Hirsh hands out copies of interim report from the Web Policy Group. The report structure is Fundamental Principles, Policies, General Recommendations, and Appendices. The charge to the group is to propose policies and guidelines governing the use of the Duke community’s Web resources.

The Fundamental Principles from the group are: 1) Academic freedom should be first in everyone’s mind on how the Internet is used at Duke, 2) If site owners or administrators question what to do, they should consult the university council’s office, no one should operate in a vacuum.

The group searched for existing Web policies at Duke. Many were found, but Ken says it is likely the group did not find all of them.

The group set out to determine ownership of the Duke Web site and of unit Web sites.

The report discusses design and best practices for design, how the issue of domain names is addressed, and the issues of electronic commerce.

Ken says the group has more to do, but given the timeline of the interim report there is more to do still.

Micheal Gettes asks about policies or recommendations for patches, Web server guidelines, etc. Did the group address these issues?

Ken Hirsh says those issues are within the group’s scope, and if they can get to it in the time allotted, they will. It was not a top priority to get to by this interim report.

John Board reads the paragraph about political activity and asks what kind of uses could jeopardize a unit as partisan political activity? What constitutes that?

Ken gives the example of a site that might solicit contributions, etc. and says in such a case he will defer to university council.

Tracy Futhey says the point here is that no one should assume it is allowed, they should ask.

Ben Riseling says a lot depends on Duke’s non-profit status, but other rules may apply.

George Oberlander says he didn’t see any discussion about linking to Web sites. Is that under the purview of academic freedom?

Ken Hirsh answers that it is, unless Duke could somehow be liable in some way.

Mike Pickett asks if the group considered having guidelines around authentication, perhaps even things like electronic signatures?

Ken Hirsh says not at this point.

Raphael Rodriguez offer that the Health System has a browser for looking at medical records. You get there from a Web client. Do these guidelines affect that practice?

TJohn Board says, it is fine to tell people to check with the legal office, but will there be more guidelines coming out from this group?

Ken Hirsh says the group will recommend things but some issues are in a gray area and need to be discussed.

Robert Wolpert approves that there is a strong statement implied in the report that the “I don’t like it, take it down” approach will not be accepted at Duke.

Chris Cramer says that was intentionally done by the group.

V. Portal Project - status update and demo

by Ginny Cake

Ginnny Cake says the portal project is on schedule. Students are driving the content. There is a services team that provides services to the students. There is a technical team that is putting it all together. The project is using U-portal software because it was available. The name for the student portal, DukePass, was recommended by students and approved by the project services teams.

The portal is Web enabled with NetID authentication. It will only be accessible to undergraduates during the pilot.

Ginny Cake shows and quasi-functioning version of the portal and discusses the sections.

The Announcements section will follow the mass e-mail rules. It will be easier for someone to do broadcast e-mail to students, but it is still controlled.

The e-mail section shows the last 5 e-mail messages sent to the user. Click an e-mail and the user is automatically transferred to the Webmail interface. There is no need to re-authenticate the user because the DukePass authentication is passed to the Webmail system.

The Discussion section is not moderated; however, community standards apply to this section. If a senior officer or university council says, take it down, then it comes down. We hope this will create more community among students.

The Sticky Notes section is reminders or to dos—notes to myself. The beauty is that no matter what machine the user logs on with, the sticky notes are there. They go with the user.

Students wanted a weather forecast area. We put that in

Student users can add channels, remove channels, and move them around. Different skins or themes will be available. Different tabs highlight different areas, but anything on any tab can be moved to the main page.

Tabs are Main, Academics, Blackboard, Services, Student Life, Technology, and Entertainment.

Students are driving this effort and that is a good thing. There is a lot more we can add, but we need time and resources. During the pilot we are going to put new things up.

The go live date is February 16. A report will come out to discuss success or failure and whether project continues into the fall.

Mike Baptiste says the group did an amazing job. He thinks students will jump all over it.

Deb Johnson says students participated in a usability study. The vast majority had no idea what a portal is. They got some great feedback. Almost all students said they would make the portal their home page.

Cake says that the students are very interested in a calandar function, but due to the vast needs associated with a University Wide calendaring system, this will not be part of the portal pilot.

George Oberlander asks how do you visualize requests for enhancements and changes?

Ginny Cake says if we move it to production, who will be owner? That will be determined in the final report.

Ben Riseling asks, in personal bookmarks, can you add other RSS channels if you know them?

Dan McCarriar says those are just links now. Maybe we’ll do that eventually.

David Jamieson Drake asks if the group has a plan to keep it going or move it into production without turning it off?

Ginny Cake says that has yet to be determined. Remember this is a test. We have made no decisions about keeping this software or design, etc.

David Jarmul looks forward to integrating the portal with the Duke home page and publicizing it. Phil Lemons will be giving a talk on RSS feeds and blogs at next communicators meeting at 8:15 AM on Thursday in the Sanford Institute.

All around positive response from the ITAC members present.

VI. Other Business

End: 5:30 PM