[AG-TECH] AG Community Portal prototype launched ...

Brian Corrie bcorrie at sfu.ca
Tue May 24 17:05:27 CDT 2005

Hi Mike,

I agree with Mike Daw in the sense that we seem to be already there in 
terms of having a community portal. A bit premature in the sense that 
Darran probably wanted to have things formed up a bit more before going 
live, but it is up and running now 8-). Starting over may not be the 
best approach. As Darran has said, Plone is a widely used platform for 
forums like this, so although I am not an expert it seems like a good 
way to go.

It seems like there are several possible directions from here.

1) As you suggest, Argonne moves www.accessgrid.org to the university so 
the community can have more input and control. We then move toward a 
portal that is (or like) what Darran has done.

2) We use the portal as is (where it actually lives is probably less 
important than its structure), migrate the content from the current site 
and have it eventually become the main AG site.

3) A cross between these two options, where the main site is somewhat 
static with the basic AG pointers and the portal being the community 
portion of the AG world.

I personally like #3 for a couple of reasons.

#1 requires a lot of work on Argonne's part. As discussed at the AG 
retreat, I would prefer the Argonne team focus on development of the 
toolkit, not on web pages. Plus, as Mike D. says, Darran has a working 
version of a portal that is already running and it is a good starting point.

#2 is perhaps too extreme. It is not yet clear to me that the community 
portal approach (on its own) is the best one, so to commit to that may 
be a bit premature. I would like to see how it develops in terms of 
community input.

#3 gives us a mix of both. It allows the main point of entry to be an 
Argonne developed site similar to what we have now (which is important 
to Argonne I am sure), it allows you to point to the important content 
that is critical to the AG fundamentals (as time goes by, it is likely 
that more and more of this content would be on the protal side), but it 
provides a portal for the community to contribute. Mike, your desire to 
have people from the community take stewardship of different areas of 
the web site would work very well using the portal. I could see the 
documentation project, contributed code, etc. rapidly migrating to the 

Over time, scenario #3 would slowly reach an equilibrium that makes 
sense in terms of a balance between scenario #1 and #2, hopefully 
minimizing the work for all involved over the long term. It may turn out 
that the portal is all that is needed, it may turn out that no one 
contributes to the portal, or most likely, something in between... This 
is our opportunity to see where this takes us.

Yes, there may be some work required up front for #3, but Argonne is 
planning to do some (potentially a lot of) work to revamp the web site 
anyway. This way, the web site can be redesigned with the portal in 
mind. At the same time, much of the portal content will hopefully be 
provided by the community without a lot of work from the Argonne group.

Not sure if the logistics of this make sense, but I could see 
www.accessgrid.org moving to the University of Chicago as Mike P. 
suggested, and having something like portal.accessgrid.org pointing to 
the machine that Darran has developed. Links from one to the other could 
be created, and over time this would resolve to what works best for the 
entire community...

Anyway, my $0.02 CAD worth. 8-)



Michael E. Papka wrote:
> Darran,
> This is great.  As we have discussed the plan is to move the physical  
> home of accessgrid.org to the University to remove some of the  
> restrictions placed on access to the site that having it at ANL has  
> caused, this is currently in the works.
> On that note, we would like to see volunteers fr congeasus om the  
> community take stewardship of different areas on the new and improved  
> community site to lift the burden off the "small overworked Argonne  
> team".   Mary Fritsch who has left the core AG group at Argonne to  move 
> to a  new exciting position will still be overseeing the site,  but  
> hopefully now with help from the community.  The work you've  done on 
> the prototype site looks like a good start; we'd like to have  you help 
> spin up the community site at accessgrid.org. Please let us  know if 
> you're interested (this is with the initial setup, it is   assumed the 
> community will help once the site is in place). We are   currently 
> evaluating the Mambo server (http://www.mamboserver.com/)   for the new 
> site, this is based on recommendations from different   people, but if 
> the community has a strong leaning towards another  system let us know.
> The overall goal is not to fragment the community with multiple   sites, 
> the www.accessgrid.org site has always intended to be a   community 
> site, we have made a conscious effort to remove any ANL  slant.  We'd 
> like the accessgrid.org site continue to serve as the  community site, 
> and be developed by the community.
> There are more efforts underway to increase community involvement,  look 
> for announcements in the next month.
> Please keep contributing!
> Cheers
> Mike
> On May 23, 2005, at 5:11 AM, Darran Edmundson wrote:
>> Well, I was hoping to keep it under wraps for another week or so
>> but the word is out ...
>> There was a lot of discussion at the recent Retreat regarding
>> the lack of community input.  We are all painfully aware of
>> the shortcomings in the current AG, and yet we are waiting for
>> the small overworked Argonne team to deliver our software utopia.
>> The fact is, we as a community need to be more involved - in
>> design, development, testing, bug reporting and bug fixing,
>> documentation, feature requests, human factors, etc.
>> None of this can happen without effective communication.
>> But how does one submit a tutorial, update or add an "FAQ",
>> hook up with other developers to collaborate on a shared app,
>> contribute to the software roadmap, or even just find the latest  version
>> of a node service?
>> As a response to this, I've whipped up a prototype web site to
>> stimulate discussion on these issues:
>>      http://slap.anu.edu.au:8200/
>> The downloads section has been populated with a number
>> of shared apps and services.  (Note, Tom Uram did *not*
>> put up the AGTk, I did that as a demo before inviting Argonne
>> to try out the site.)   Under the forums section, a number of  discussion
>> areas have been created.  One possible option would be to populate
>> these with the AGTech archives sifted into appropriate categories
>> and gateway future traffic?   The missing item, and perhaps the
>> most import, is the documentation section.  This will be modeled on
>> the "documentation" section of the main Plone website:  http:// 
>> plone.org/.
>> Plone allows members to individually submit tutorial, FAQs,
>> How-To's, events, news items, etc. that are optionally reviewed
>> by the site admins.  It's a powerful paradigm.
>> Please, have a look and offer your constructive criticisms,
>> wish-lists, etc.  If you'd like to play a more substantial role in
>> the nitty gritty of getting the site up and running, please contact
>> me directly at darran.edmundson at anu.edu.au.
>> Finally,  let me publicly state that within a few months, I would  
>> like to
>> have the site either (i) run under the governance of the community at
>> large or (ii) used in a (planned?) redesign of the main  AccessGrid.org.
>> Cheers,
>> Darran.
>> Darran Edmundson (darran.edmundson at anu.edu.au)
>> ANU Supercomputer Facility Vizlab
>> Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2600
>> tel: +61 2 6125-0517  fax: +61 2 6125-5088

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