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Date: Tue, 26 Apr 1994 14:24:47 +0100
To: nir@mailbase.ac.uk, wg-isus@rare.nl
Subject: RARE/IETF NIR WG minutes
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Precedence: list

 Minutes of the Networked Information Retrieval Working Group

 Seattle - March 30th, 1994

 Co-Chairs: Jill Foster (Univ.  Newcastle/RARE), Kevin Gamiel (CNIDR)

 Thanks to Kevin Gamiel and Janet L.  Marcisak for taking notes.

 1.   Agenda and Minutes

 Agenda of meeting approved.
 Minutes of the last meeting were approved.

 2.   Reports on CNIDR and RARE related activities


 Kevin Gamiel reported that the Clearinghouse for Networked Information
 Discovery and Retrieval is continuing its role of promoting the use
 and development of NIDR standards by working on such projects as the
 Global Schoolhouse, Z39.50 client, server and gateway software and


 The European Commission are currently in the process of defining a
 work programme for the 12BXEU (very approx.  12 Billion dollars) IVth
 Framework initiative.  One of the programmes within the IVth Framework
 comprises around 50MXEU in the area of Telematics for Research.  RARE
 and its various Working Groups intend to develop and submit a large
 co-ordinated bid under this.

 A key point of the programme is the transition from text based to
 multi-media based communication and information services.

 The RARE MMEP group, a task force of the Interactive Multi Media WG
 (WG-IMM) and Information Services and User Support WG (WG-ISUS), has
  already generated ideas for possible proposals and these include:

         - Multimedia Chemistry

         - Networked CAD / CAM

         - Dental Training

         - Multimedia Conferencing for Language Teaching

         - A Network Interactive Learning Resource for Environmental Design

         - Live Interactive Teaching of Surgery between Remote Centres

         - Telepublishing

 3.   Internet draft: Status Report on NIR tools and groups

 Jill reported that the NIR report had been independently reviewed by
 volunteers from around the world.  The volunteers took two or three of
 the templates each, contacted each template owner and updated the
 template.  They also checked for bad software and document links
 referenced throughout the document.  The meeting agreed to the changes
 and the 200+ page report has been forwarded to the area director for
 submission as an RFC.

 4.   Update schedule for report and parts of report

 CNIDR had offered at the last meeting to maintain the document
 on-line.  Jane Smith (CNIDR) said that they would undertake to do this
 on a best effort basis.  Internic also agreed to maintain the document
 at their sites for public access.  Updates for individual templates
 should be sent to nir-updates@cnidr.org

 5.   Availability of the report in various formats

 The intention has always been to move to having this document on-line
 in hypertext.  There had been offers from around the world (including
 early offers from CNIDR and Internic) to mark up the document in HTML.
 It obviously makes sense now to wait for the final RFC version before
 doing this.

 6.   "April's checklist" on the various NIR tools.

 April Marine reported on her continuing nir checklist work.  She said
 that the problem in creating such a checklist lies in the
 cross-platfrom nature of the up and coming tools and the difficulty in
 maintaining such a checklist.  Also, April felt that any benefits the
 checklist would have offered above and beyond those of the NIR report
 could not justify the expense of creating the checklist.  The group
 decided not to pursue work on the checklist based on these reasons.

 It was noted that the matrix of NIR tools and platforms had initially
 been rather sparse (this was the original reason for wanting the
 checklist) but was now pretty complete.

 7.   What next?

 Jill queried the group for input on what should be the future of NIR.
 She felt that, having met its chartered goals, the group should close.
 This was agreed.

 8.   Quality issues

 The remainder of the NIR meeting was devoted to part of a Quality BOF
 chaired by Mitra.  (The other part was held during the IIIR WG

 Quality issues in providing information services were discussed,

     pointers to nowhere

     access fails (server moved or denies access)

     lack of administrator info

     incomplete or lossy gateways

     inefficient gateways

     loss of context information [ veronica / archie ]

     poor titles

     misleading information [ file extensions not standard types]

     expired information (exp. mirrored)

 The problem is that there are no formal procedures in place to deal
 with any of these problems.

 Mitra said that url:ftp//ftp.path.net/pub/ietf/quality is the
 brainstorm doc and 2 docs from last time.

 There was some discussion as to whether NIR should continue in order
 to discuss quality issues.  It was agreed that this was not
 appropriate.  We should spawn a new group to keep all the issues
 together and to keep the motivation.  Alternatively another BOF could
 be held next time to define the range of issues and possible need for
 several sub-groups.

 This was a free ranging brainstorming session and no attempt is made
 to capture that here.  Mitra will be putting together a document based

on these discussions.  Further discussion will take place on the

 "quality" list.


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