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Re: nexus

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <epc-l@iucr.org>
  • Subject: Re: nexus
  • From: Brian McMahon <bm@iucr.org>
  • Date: Mon, 9 Mar 1998 09:46:04 GMT
The included portions of this message (prefixed ">") are from Lachlan:

> Thanks for the email.  One thing the committee may like to
> think about that after putting the IUCr site on the
> CD-ROM  - that only leaves around 300 Meg left - getting 
> smaller each time.

It's interesting how rapidly the demand for resources grows - the IUCr web
site was envisaged originally as occupying only a few megabytes! There are a
couple of ways to reduce this size in the short term; one would be to omit
all the struture-factor files referenced from Acta C (leave external URLs
pointing to Chester; but the provision of large structure-factor files would
be of no interest to the vast majority of users). Another would be to
compress CIFs. 

However, one would then need to provide support for uncompressing them again
- presumably by including uncompression software for Unix/Windows/Mac
platforms. The reason I don't compress them on the web site is that I am
very conservative about the requirements I place on my mirrors - the proper
serving of compressed files requires some tailoring of httpd configuration
files, and I don't really want to get into that area if I can avoid it. It
also places demands on the user to configure their browsers to download or
dynamicall decompress the files, and that's another overhead I prefer to

It is, of course, difficult to predict the future increase in size of the
site, especially if I continue to mirror other resources. For
Chester-generated source, I envisage an extra 50 Mb or so per year. But the
only prediction I feel safe in making is that we shall run into the limits
of CD-ROM capacity before we have figured out what to do when we do so!

> I think this was mentioned by someone:
> For the short term - you may like to have the IUCr site -
> and some other "theme" within the CD-ROM to take up the
> slack space.  Each issue of the IUCr Newsletter
> could have a different theme - small molecule, Linux,
> teaching, biological, etc.  I am quite willing to sacrifice 
> personal preferences - biggest one was getting rid of Wallace
> and Gromit from an earlier version of the CD-ROM.
> After that - it might be a case of issuing a yearly or
> 6 monthly IUCr site CD.  Then have distinct theme CD-ROMs.

I think the reference to the IUCr Newsletter has to do with an idea we
suggested of distributing the neXus CD-ROM with issues of the Newsletter,
> I am practising with WGET with the CCP14 site
>    (http://www.dl.ac.uk/CCP/CCP14/mirror/mirror.htm)
> (people here seem to have fixed the NFS bug in the SGI
> system here(?))

Excellent - I notice that you're using wget for ftp mirroring as well,
something I've not investigated so far. Please let us know of any problems
you encounter with that.
> What you describe does not seem that difficult - and
> should be easily taken over by anyone else - given 
> this is a term position here - and I have miffed the
> head of the sunchrotron here with my gripes about
> the lack of Coke in the Coke machines.  Also, fits
> in with possibly having different people running
> different themes.   Though using the cron command -
> it does not seem that difficult to add sites at whim
> if an "editor" says what they would like added -
> and how much space from each site.  There seem to be
> resources here for  extra hard-disks etc - (though
> would help if the Daresbury and/or CCP14 logo was 
> displayed somewhere)
> Lachlan.

I think we would have no problem with including a discreet Daresbury logo as
an acknowledgement of their support with the resources needed in this
project. Can this be done at the level of "gentleman's agreement" or would
it be better to establish some formal agreement between the IUCr and the
people who run Daresbury (CCLRC)?


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