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Re: Mirror sites for IUCr W3 services


> > I would appreciate your comments on the question to whom we should offer
> > the possibility of being source sites within the IUCr W3 services with
> > the consequent advantages of being mirrored.
> >
> > (A) The IUCr Glasgow General Assembly and Congress is now being
> > mirrored.
>
> Certainly. My philosophy is that the Congress materials be offered both as a
> convenience at or near the time of a Congress, and as an archival repository
> of abstracts and reports (and optionally social and cultural mementoes)
> after the meeting, when the host site may wish to delete their
> Congress-related materials.

Anything related to the general activity of IUCr should be mirrored. Among them
the first one is the Congress. May I remind that I had to urgently decide to
mirror Seattle for Europe last time on request from various scientists.

> > (B) What about the regional associates and their main conferences?
>
> Yes, in principle. Currently the ACA has a full server, with many
> interesting pages. The ECA and AsCA do not (so far as I have been able to
> ascertain). An offer to ECA and AsCA to mirror their home pages may
> encourage them to construct some home pages.

Regional Associates as Supranational bodies offer an information of interest for
all. I agree with Brian that they should be mirrored.

> > (C) What about national crystallographic associations?
>
> Agnostic. One advantage of widespread mirroring of national sites would be
> the facility to compare different national services. It is possible that
> this would encourage wider use of central information facilities, rather
> than having every national association duplicate the same sort of meetings
> calendar or index of useful sites that every other organisation might have.
> On the other hand, national associations might well wish to maintain their
> services as demonstrably autonomous organisations. We should not convey the
> impression of wishing to overwhelm everyone else's efforts.

Against for many reasons:
- National information is firstly written in the national language. Shall we
mirror only the ones with english translation readable by the majority?

- Their primary interest is national. Interested scientists can always link to
the source (although slow it is feasible)

- This may dramatically increase the size of the files used on the mirrors for a
poor use AND slow the mirroring process already slow. I do not want to overload
my machine with stuff seldom read which may be directly accessed.

It exists a french section for SInCris which I have separated so that it is not
mirrored.

What I suggest is to add links to national pages in a new appropriate page of IUCr Web services.

> Note that the ACA is effectively both a national and a regional
> association.

If necessary we may ask ACA to separate its contents in two parts.
Only the regional one would be mirrored.

> > (D) Who are the other possible contenders who are not already taken care
> > of? Should conferences and workshops organized by IUCr Commissions be
> > included for example?
>
> I have made informal arrangements with CIF working groups (mmCIF, imgCIF)
> and CIF software developers; some groups or individuals are very
> enthusiastic about the prospect of being mirrored, others indifferent or
> wary. I would incline to make it clear that we are willing to provide a
> mirroring service, but not to push it unduly, and see who wants to avail
> themselves of the facility. There are often many factors to consider; it
> would be useful in some ways to have structural databases represented, for
> example, but they are in practice commercial companies or government-funded
> agencies with their own different views of how they should operate. Some
> already have extensive mirrors of their own; some place heavy operational
> requirements on their mirror sites.

I agree.


> So perhaps we should make offers to (A) and (B); sound out informally the
> views of some representatives of (C); and leave (D) for now to the winds
> of chance.

I do not agree for (C).

> Brian
>
> PS An afterthought: the Commission for Powder Diffraction Quantitative Phase
> Analysis project is mirrored (as an offshoot of the CPD page). Other
> Commissions have analogous projects (e.g. the Commission on Charge, Spin and
> Momentum Densities) that might benefit from mirroring. Perhaps this
> suggestion could be made in another circular to Commission Webmasters?

Yes: leave it to the Commissions to decide but as transnational bodies it might
be interesting to mirror them.

With best regards,

Yves

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