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12th July 2006Tim Adye1 HyperNews for LHCb Tim Adye Rutherford Appleton Laboratory LHCb Core Software Meeting 12 th July 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "12th July 2006Tim Adye1 HyperNews for LHCb Tim Adye Rutherford Appleton Laboratory LHCb Core Software Meeting 12 th July 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 12th July 2006Tim Adye1 HyperNews for LHCb Tim Adye Rutherford Appleton Laboratory LHCb Core Software Meeting 12 th July 2006

2 Tim Adye2 Outline What is HyperNews? Why switch? Advantages and disadvantages WRT Simba2 Why not some other technology? Some use cases How do we get started? Start with lhcb-core-soft ? References

3 12th July 2006Tim Adye3 What is HyperNews? For us, it could be a replacement for most Simba2 mailing lists Also has features of web fora / bulletin board systems (like RootTalk) news/announcement system (like Usenet) Not intended to replace TWiki or web pages Open-source project Originally (at least since 1994) Adopted and improved by BaBar (since 1997) Now in use by H1, STAR, Geant4,... more recently CMS and ATLAS Continuing development within the HEP community HyperNews server managed by LCG/SPI Now includes an LHCb instance

4 12th July 2006Tim Adye4 Why Change from Simba2? Web archive is central to HyperNews single, integrated, system instead of disjoint mailing lists displays threads Threads, sub-threads, individual postings have a static URL for easy reference easy to browse, very fast to search I searched for “database” in 250,000 BaBar posts. It found 18,000 in under a second different views, eg. show recent posts in all or some fora show whole thread/forum text on one page (eg. to print) Can post via the web or e-mail can post Wiki-like “smart text”, plain text, HTML

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7 Give it a try in the “HyperNews Test Forum”

8 12th July 2006Tim Adye8 HyperNews Features (2) Can subscribe to receive posts as e-mails Simple and powerful control of what you receive Whole forum or individual threads Automatically subscribed to replies to your posts Can switch off all e-mails without losing subscriptions eg. when going on holiday – it’s all still there when you get back! 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... or some people use a combination of the two New discussion fora can be requested by web form Sends me an e-mail and I then create it manually still a rather cumbersome process includes creating Simba2 back-end, so may take a day or so


10 12th July 2006Tim Adye10 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 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! HyperNews development continues Eg. limited attachment support

11 12th July 2006Tim Adye11 Why not use instead? I haven’t done a 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)

12 12th July 2006Tim Adye12 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

13 12th July 2006Tim Adye13 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

14 12th July 2006Tim Adye14 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

15 12th July 2006Tim Adye15 How do we get started? If people approve, can start using it for new fora right away Ulrik Egede already asked for one Try migrating an existing list, see how it goes Start with lhcb-core-soft ? Post an announcement to list close the old list to new posts? Migrate the rest adiabatically, or all at once? Probably easiest to let each group manage their own transition

16 12th July 2006Tim Adye16 Would be useful to decide on some forum categories early on Currently have: Computing Computing Operations General Discussions HyperNews Could add now or later: Journal Paper Reviews Detector Operations Perhaps add: Online Computing Offline Computing Physics Analysis Trigger Detector Subsystems or one category per subsystem? National Discussions Collaboration Matters Fora requested by each group, but categories defined in advance can be changed of course, but not from the web form

17 12th July 2006Tim Adye17 Final Thoughts Effective communication is crucial in a large(ish) 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

18 12th July 2006Tim Adye18 References HyperNews development D.A.Smith, P.Elmer, T.Hung, HyperNews - managing discussions in HEP, CHEP06 LHCb instance which will be linked from (if LHCb HyperNews is approved)

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