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13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby1 HyperNews for LHCb Tim Adye, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory presented by Jim Libby, Oxford University Physics.

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Presentation on theme: "13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby1 HyperNews for LHCb Tim Adye, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory presented by Jim Libby, Oxford University Physics."— Presentation transcript:

1 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby1 HyperNews for LHCb Tim Adye, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory presented by Jim Libby, Oxford University Physics - HLT – Computing Plenary LHCb Collaboration Week, Heidelberg 13 th September 2006

2 Tim Adye / Jim Libby2 Outline 1.What is HyperNews? 2.Why switch? 3.HyperNews in LHCb 4.How do we get started? a.User registration and subscription b.Migrating existing lists 5.Concluding thoughts References Backup slides

3 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby3 What is HyperNews? We could use it as a replacement for most of our Simba2 mailing lists Also has features of bulletin board systems (like RootTalk) and news systems (like Usenet) Not intended to replace TWiki or web pages Widely used in HEP BaBar, H1, STAR, Geant4, CMS, ATLAS,… Heavily used: BaBar 400,000 messages since 1997; CMS 32,000 (December 2005); Atlas 8,000 (January 2006); LHCb test 200 Continuing development HyperNews server managed by LCG runs independent instances for all four LHC experiments

4 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby4 Why Change from Simba E-mail Lists? Web archive is central to HyperNews Web access to Simba archives very cumbersome Not so bad via Outlook, but only really for CERN local users single, integrated, system instead of disjoint mailing lists can search all fora at once see all recent posts (all or a subset of fora) displays threads Threads, sub-threads, individual postings have a static URL for easy reference Eg. in other postings, TWiki pages, private e-mail easy to browse, very fast to search I searched for “database” in 400,000 BaBar posts. It found 18,000 in under a second Can post via the web or e-mail

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7 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby7 Keeping up to Date Can subscribe to receive posts as e-mails Simple and powerful control of what you receive Whole forum or individual threads Reply to post with e-mail, or follow link to web display... or keep up-to-date / catch up via the web “recent posts” page

8 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby8 Give it a try in the “HyperNews Test Forum”


10 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby10 Lots of other nice features/uses “on holiday” switch automatic thread subscription full thread view for printing refer to old thread with a simple URL … Forum ideas: new forum announcements, Q&A, chat, paper reviews, recipes, logbook… anyone can ask for a forum, even if of minority interest Just ask any former BaBarian, and they’ll tell you how much they miss HyperNews ( )

11 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby11 HyperNews for LHCb LHCb HyperNews running since July Contains a few initial fora Tested by migrating lhcb-core-soft e-mail list No big problems Some concerns about how best to manage migration Can always “catch up” with the “recent postings” web page Once we get the go-ahead, new fora can be created on request Migrate existing lists adiabatically Let each group manage their own transition in their own time A similar migration has been relatively painless in CMS and Atlas

12 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby12 How do I start using HyperNews? 1.From select LHCb 2.The first time (only) you use HyperNews, follow the “new member” instructions If you have an LHCb AFS (lxplus) account, you can use this to register – just takes a minute If you don’t, send an e-mail to the admin address listed there ( ) LHCb members without AFS accounts get a manually-created account Non-LHCb people can be subscribed to specific fora 3.Subscribe to the fora you are interested in Just scan the list and check the boxes If you subscribe to “HyperNews Announcements” then you will learn about new fora as they are created.... or just wait for the announcement and follow instructions

13 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby13 How do I Migrate my E-mail list 1.Post a 2-week warning to the old list, so people know when the list will be migrated 2.Add as an owner of the old list Allows me to manage the transition for you 3.Select “Request a New Forum” and fill in the details Include the old list name in the description 4.I will take care of the rest... i.Create the HyperNews forum final notice on the old list and in “HyperNews Announcements” Will include reminders of how to register and subscribe iii.block posts and subscriptions on the old list This is important to prevent people accidentally posting to the old list, not realising that the message only goes to old members I will keep an eye out for people accidentally using the old list

14 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby14 Final Thoughts Effective communication is crucial in a large geographically-distributed collaboration like LHCb Meetings, documentation, TWiki, and e-mail all useful forms of communication But e-mail has problems when collaborating with many people private e-mail restricted to those in the loop mailing lists OK for announcements, not so good for discussion mailing lists most useful if also easily used after the fact HyperNews addresses these issues makes collaboration e-mail more Wiki-like encourages open communication opens up archive – documentation for free

15 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby15 References HyperNews development D.A.Smith, P.Elmer, T.Hung, HyperNews - managing discussions in HEP, CHEP06 LHCb instance which is linked from

16 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby16 Backup Slides

17 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby17 Design choices Why not automatically register all LHCb members? Why not automatically transfer subscriptions from the old lists? Start as we mean to go on Simba based on e-mail address, HyperNews based on account name (usually tied to AFS account) No 1-to-1 correspondence for many people, leading to confusion and lots of extra work Besides, self-subscription is trivial just check the box can review what other lists to join on the same page Why tie HyperNews account to AFS account? Allows quick, reliable, and secure initial authentication Allows easy HN password setting, if forgotten Though many people let their web browser remember for them Compatible with CMS and Atlas – simplifies management

18 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby18 Why not use instead? I haven’t done a full survey but, for collaboration, I find HyperNews the most convenient cf. Usenet, BBS (like RootTalk), discussion ‘blogs and of course mailing lists and private mails It is widely used in HEP, so familiar to some Ask any former BaBarian, and they’ll tell you how much they miss HyperNews LCG run the server for us We know the developers at SLAC and CERN (Pete Elmer, CMS)

19 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby19 Limitations of HyperNews All fora are open to all collaboration members private lists should remain in Simba2 All e-mails to/from HyperNews are converted to plain text attachments are stripped off – give a URL instead good practice anyway – don’t fill up peoples’ inboxes URLs are automatically turned into links in web view Support for HTML and attachments will be added soon Used to be a problem with threading posts from Microsoft Exchange MS hotfix in January (applied at CERN, RAL,...) After only 29 years, Microsoft support SMTP RFC! Still relies on Simba spam filtering Next version will have SpamAssassin built-in

20 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby20 CMS Migration Experience ~ 30 CMS lists migrated since December 2005 All of the computing and software lists are in HyperNews Most of the big "analysis" and "analysis/reco" lists migrated Only some smattering of detector groups, so far. Following a similar “adiabatic” procedure as we plan LHCb have 65 Simba lists in total, though I don't know how many of those are active. Also created ~60 entirely new HyperNews fora

21 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby21 Discussion fora (1) Everyone should subscribe to “HyperNews System Announcements” New fora announced here, allowing people to subscribe Eventually could migrate nearly everything that currently has a mailing list Eg. one forum for each detector and software subsystem In some cases, it is useful to have separate “development discussions” and “user questions” fora Experts subscribe to, or watch, both Users post to the latter, receive e-mail responses without having to subscribe Can also browse/search this forum to see if it has already been answered Soon users start to help other

22 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby22 Discussion fora (2) “Task forces” and system/paper reviews have their own fora Separates out short-term discussion, while maintaining a record in the archive Can also be used as a shared record of important e-mails Eg. communications with journals, approvals, minutes of external meetings, etc. Just forward them to the appropriate e-mail gateway address I already created some generic fora Linux, programming, and (La)TeX questions HyperNews announcements, feedback, and test Use “HyperNews Test Forum” to play with the system CERN Computing Announcements Automatic feed from Chat and discussion that doesn’t fit elsewhere

23 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby23 Other Use Cases If a question or discussion has come up before, just post a link to it No need to copy text The questioner can see the full discussion / thread Sometimes a discussion strays to another forum’s topic Post replies in new forum with link to old + quick link old  new Short-term documentation, recipes, and kicks can be posted as a HyperNews announcement with a link from the documentation When it becomes obsolete, remove the link a record remains of what people recommended Sort-term only: not a substitute for proper documentation! Can easily migrate to Wiki

24 13th September 2006Tim Adye / Jim Libby24 Forum categories Currently have: Computing Computing Operations General Discussions HyperNews Could add now or later: Journal Paper Reviews Perhaps add: Online Computing Offline Computing Physics Analysis Trigger Detector Subsystems or one category per subsystem? National Discussions Collaboration Matters Detector Commissioning / Operations Fora requested by each group, but categories defined in advance can be changed of course, but not from the web form

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