From: el...@usenix.ORG (Ellie Young)
Subject: Summary of Meeting
Keywords: USENIX Board of Directors
Date: 16 Mar 90 16:45:02 GMT
Organization: Usenix Association Office, Berkeley
Posted: Fri Mar 16 17:45:02 1990
(NOTE: The following Summary will also appear in the forthcoming
issue of ;login: - EY)
Summary of Board of Directors' Meeting
Washington, D.C, January 21 and 22, 1990
Attendance: Stephen C. Johnson, Rob Kolstad, Marshall Kirk McKusick, Sharon
Murrel, Michael D. O'Dell, Alan G. Nemeth, John S. Quarterman, Deborah K.
Scherrer, Ellie Young, Judith DesHarnais, John L. Donnelly, Daniel Klein, John
Mashey, Carolyn Carr, Eric Allman, Alain Henon, Smoot Carl-Mitchell, Kurt
Baumann, Shane McCarron, Dominic Dunlop, Peter Collinson, Alix Vasilatos, Evi
Nemeth, Rick Adams, Ed Gould, Sonya Neufer, Barry Shein, Dave Taylor, Philip
Peake, Neil Todd, Greg Rose.
Nemeth welcomed the board nominees who were attending the meeting.
DesHarnais reported that she had received 31 requests for information on
daycare services at the D.C. conference. Donnelly said that the posting on
the net for participation in the Speakers Bureau had generated 21 responses so
D.C. '90 Conference
Klein felt that one of the reasons for better papers at this conference
may have been the extended abstracts requirement, which made it easier to
select. It was reported that 80% of the 16 tutorials being offered were full,
expected total attendance was 1500, and seven talks had been scheduled for the
new concurrent sessions.
Anaheim '90 Conference
John Mashey reported that the Call for Papers included more directions
for submissions, which he hoped would enable the committee to have better, but
possibly fewer abstracts. He is looking for a higher percentage of reflective
papers as an experiment.
Professional Development Seminars
Donnelly said that local user group participation is probably essential,
and for the upcoming one in Houston, the HOUNIX group is involved. We would
evaluate how this one goes at the Spring board meeting before deciding on
whether to budget for more seminars this fiscal year.
Graphics V Workshop
Young reported that there were 64 paid attendees. Johnson commented that
there were two really outstanding papers, and perhaps the workshop was
Young had requested proposals to chair the next Large Installation
Systems Admin. workshop. It was agreed we would be a cooperative sponsor for
an IEEE workshop on experimental distributed systems.
Book Publishing Proposal
The proposal was based upon the notion that USENIX would undertake a
series of publications, whereby we would underwrite the risk of publishing
books that might not be financially viable to other publishers. There was
considerable sentiment in favor of USENIX extending its already considerable
publishing program to include books. It was decided to allocate funds to pur-
sue this proposal. A committee was formed to oversee this activity, and the
board would consider editorial policy and publisher issues at future meetings.
4.4BSD Manuals Proposal
McKusick went over the proposal from the Computer Systems Research Group
of UC Berkeley to produce system documentation for the 4.4BSD release incor-
porating the POSIX and ANSI C standards, an enhanced standardized manual page
format with site specific font choice and several other features, which for
the first time would be distributable, in printed or source form, without
restriction. He explained that they will release two different tapes: 1) com-
plete 4.4BSD and 2) another subdistribution with everything that requires an
AT&T license removed. There ensued a discussion about whether to invest in
making materials AT&T-free, and whether our role as manuals distributor is
still a service to the community. After more discussion, it was agreed that
at this time we would fund Phase I of the proposal which covers copy editing
and clerical support for the project, and consider printing and distribution
at a later date.
Nemeth pointed out that each of the proposals has a component of a board
member benefitting in some way, and that a possible conflict of interest may
be buried in each of them. Young would request legal counsel to give us a
written opinion on the question of what kinds of conflict of interest rules we
should put into place.
Matrix, Inc. Proposal
Matrix, Inc. asked the USENIX board to fund a prototype of a project that
will collect, edit and distribute information about computer networks world-
wide similar to that in Quarterman's book, The Matrix. After much discussion,
it was decided that when balancing the cost of it with the benefit to our
membership, the cost was too much for what we get.
Johnson summarized his findings and possible reasons for why USENIX might
want to be involved:
1) services were going downhill rapidly and becoming a source of confusion in
2) there are overt administrative problems
3) the discussion on the net had to do with protocols and getting it done.
4) how do you package it?
There are a lot of technical and administrative issues as yet to be
resolved, e.g., how to distribute it? He had received many suggestions such
as lobbying AT&T to do it, that USENIX should buy something and put it into
public domain, etc.
There ensued a fountain of suggestions. Johnson then outlined the
1) protocols are old
2) broken implementation (e.g., way necessary information is filed and stored)
3) different on every system
4) PC and Mac interfaces
5) administrative interface
6) anonymous ftp
Should we give this back to someone as a request for implementation?
Johnson mentioned that there is a package being worked on by UUNET for release
in the Fall that might help. Adams said he is working on a protocol
compatible program, and would report on his progress at the Fall board
meeting. Nemeth said that Adam's offer may not resolve this issue.
Kolstad attempted to make a motion to table the discussion. However,
discussion continued regarding possible ways for checking out implementation.
Nemeth asked if there is something useful that we could do in the future?
Johnson felt that this discussion has led to some ideas but the original
thrust of why USENIX should be involved, has gone nowhere. No one else volun-
teered to work on this project and the discussion was tabled.
O'Dell reported that the next two issues were in progress. One would
contain the best papers from the USENIX Distributed & Multiprocessor Systems
workshop. The other would have a collection of papers on music. It was
agreed to allocate funds for the production of a compact disk in this issue.
Proposal to Offer Discounts to Membership
It was agreed that a non-member rate should be reflected for those who
wish to purchase proceedings. Young's proposal to raise the workshop regis-
tration fee for non-members to $240 (with a checkoff option to become a
member) was approved. It was also agreed that funds be allocated to aid
students who wish to attend workshops.
Tutorial Compensation Committee Report
The committee reported it had looked into possible changes in what we pay
tutorial speakers. It was felt that while we do not have a problem attracting
new tutorial speakers, there is a problem of retaining our long-term
presenters, and a compensation scheme tied to longevity was appropriate. It
was agreed that the compensation currently set at $2,000 per tutorial be set
at $2,000 for the first three tutorials given by a speaker (by speaker and not
by topic), and thereafter $3,000 per tutorial would apply. In the case of two
speakers, a blended rate would would calculated. This scheme would go into
effect with the Anaheim conference.
Young reported on the calendar of events, and was asked to post the can-
didates' statements on the net. Taylor advocated using USENET as a forum for
the candidates. Most felt that this was inappropriate and that the candidates
be contacted individually via e-mail.
ISO Monitoring Project Proposal
It was agreed that we allocate funds to support this WG15 activity in
1990 with the expectation of matching funds being provided by EUUG.
Standards Liaison Proposal
Quarterman felt the proposal would put the USENIX standards activities on
a firm financial footing. Johnson asked if funding standards activities is
within the Association's charter? Quarterman stressed that our monitoring
standards activities is important so that innovation is not prohibited.
It was agreed that while Quarterman has performed
volunteer standards liaison work for USENIX in the past, he can no longer han-
dle this task for free in the future. After much discussion about the value
of continuing this activity, it was agreed that we increase our current budget
for additional support of standards activities and allocation of funds be
overseen by a subcommittee of McKusick and Young.
Standards Workshop Proposal
McCarron's proposal for a joint IEEE / USENIX Standards Workshop, with
possible participation by EUUG and UniForum was approved. He explained that
two major areas would need to be addressed: Programming to Standards and
Selecting Standards required for Applications, and that the intended audience
would be application developers and software managers.
World UNIX Users Group
Dunlop's interest in forming such a group is that it would enable us to
have a more credible representation to ISO. It was decided to empower a com-
mittee (Quarterman as chair with Nemeth and Murrel) to investigate the feasi-
bility of creating and/or joining an international body to foster effective
technical representation in standards.
Collinson and Kolstad suggested the ways to better convey what is going
on at the workshops, and Young would implement them.
Next Board Meeting
It will be held in Berkeley, California on April 5 and 6. The first day
would be a long-range planning meeting, followed by a regular meeting on the
second. All nominees would be invited.
Nemeth expressed his intention to resign from the presidency of the Asso-
ciation and retain his position as a Director of the Association until the end
of the elected term in June, 1990. In accor-
dance with the Association bylaws section 4.1.4 the Vice President automati-
cally becomes the President.