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[DPRG] RE: Web Page update

Subject: [DPRG] RE: Web Page update
From: R. Steven Rainwater srainwater at ncc.com
Date: Tue Feb 27 11:01:00 CST 2007

I'll have to take some the blame for the website since I'm the
webmaster. It's been a while since I posted a general update on the
website status, so I'll throw that in as well. The free time I have
available for websites is divided between www.dprg.org, robots.net, and
www.advogato.org. The other two sites have been generating a lot more
feedback lately, so they tend to get a disproportionate amount of my
available time.

On Tue, 2007-02-27 at 09:55, Bruce K. Harlan wrote:
> The list of officers has not been updated.

This is normally done by the officers themselves but you're correct, it
hadn't been updated. I've taken care of it.

> The calendar is 2006.

The powers that be haven't decided on one yet. As soon as it's delivered
to me, I'll get it up on the website.

> No notes on upcoming March meeting.

If you mean the news field at the top of the page, I occasionally post
something about an upcoming meeting or event if I know it. Any of the
officers can edit this field as well. I'll ask around at the RBNO
tonight and see if anyone knows anything interesting to report about the
upcoming meeting.

> No new articles since 2002.

True, but we do have at least one new project (Dec 2006) and a couple of
new tutorials (2005, 2003) in the last few years. I generally post any
articles, projects, or tutorials that are submitted but getting people
to write articles is not an easy task. Especially with magazines like
Servo and Robot out there paying for articles. Some folks prefer to get
paid to write (if you're in that category, consider working out a deal
with the publisher to retain the rights to your article so you publish
here as well).

If you've written (or would like to write) a freely-licensed article for
the website, please send it and I'll be happy to post it. If there's any
single thing people could do to help me improve the website it would be
submitting articles (preferably as ASCII, ODF or some other
non-proprietary document format; and with public domain or freely
license photos or diagrams if possible). 

> I enjoyed Will's dissertation on motor torque at the last
> meeting. Can we publish information such as that?

Sure, write it up in an article format and send it to me, I'd love to
see it posted too. Will's done several very interesting talks including
one on gears that I think would make great additions to the site. But a
volunteer who could compose some articles based on his talks is needed.
I rounded up some public domain illustrations of gears to go with his
gear talk but never managed to get anyone to actually write the article.

Also, you didn't mention the photo gallery - I'm a bit behind on
submissions there. I've got CDs full of pics from David Ellis, David P.
Anderson, and at least one other person, queued up to add. (not to
mention 100+ images of my own). 

And, lest you think, I've been slacking off completely :-) most of the
work over the last few months has been in consolidating all the DPRG web
elements onto a single server. Original, the website was split over
three different shared servers. Now we've got a box pretty much all to
ourselves, which will give us a little more freedom going forward. This
was much needed work but doesn't produce much visible change that the
end user can see.

As part of the consolidation, the 40k pages of the mailing list archive
are now on the same server with the rest of the site. The list archive
has been rebuilt to improve the integration with the rest of the
website. We've also moved the list to a newer version of GNU mailman.

Just last week, I finished updating the site search on the list archive
to use Google's new AJAX-based search mechanism. Depending on how it
works out, we may switch to that for the main site search as well. 

I've been talking with Eric and the other officers about a few new
features that will be rolled out this year. I'll post more on those as
they go online.

-Steve

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