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Re: Mirroring of the journals site

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <epc-l@iucr.org>
  • Subject: Re: Mirroring of the journals site
  • From: Brian McMahon <bm@iucr.org>
  • Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 11:36:59 +0100 (BST)
Hi Lachlan

A few quick comments before I jet off to San Diego for the ACS meeting:

> What speed will the server in London be connected to the internet?

It's actually very difficulty to get a handle on this, since the numbers
aren't advertised (probably for commercial reasons) and there may be
bandwidth allocation policies which restrict the amount of potential
bandwidth that you actually get to use. Our experience in accessing the
journals server from sites in the US and elsewhere has been that the
response is very good indeed. But it all depends how the packets are routed
from London to the guy in South Africa or Russia who's trying to access the

> How will the adverts be served? - if they are being done
> by a third party server (mirroring should not cause a problem).

We'll probably serve them ourselves. We thought about the case of pages with
frames, where if the advert is only in the header frame we could serve that
frame from Chester while still mirroring the other frames. But apart from
the technical overhead and nuisance of doing that, you would fight a losing
battle trying to convince the authorities that they weren't actually serving
that portion of the page.

> What type of revenue is projected from advertising?
> Is it worth doing?

See Howard's comments. One should certainly in the first instance plan
one's investment of time in facilitating advertising on the assumption that
income will be modest. If we're overwhelmed by the cash that subsequently
flows in, we'll be a bit more adventurous!

> It should be possible to automatically get the relevant
> parts of the remote web usage logs.  Just a bit more setup on
> the mirroring side.

It's the "just a bit more..." that makes it a value call. At the moment the
mirrors chug away completely unattended. Often the bright guys who first set
them up have completed their PhDs and moved on to other things. Perhaps even
some of the mirror hosts have forgotten that they're providing the service.
Because they're underwritten by the National Committees, we can take action
if they seriously default on their hosting duties, but as things stand it's
much easier not to assume any level of technical response for the purpose of
"tweaking". Again, we could do more, but it's a question of matching the
effort to the proportionate gain.


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