(cba:news) big bear conference thoughts

Jonathan Kemp jk at cbastro.org
Mon Jun 18 15:30:40 EDT 2012

Hi CBAers,

I just wanted to give you a bit of an update following the Big Bear 
SAS-AAVSO meeting in late May.

I thought we had a very fruitful meeting of CBAers and prospective CBAers 
as well as many other useful casual discussions.  After the meeting, Joe, 
Helena, Enrique, and I also had some discussions to address some of the 
issues brought up by CBAers.

Here is a brief run-down of some of what we discussed:

- We do not plan to amalgamate our data and archive with another 
  organization.  There was a widespread sentiment that a blanket policy of 
  sending all data to another organization would likely remove the CBA's 
  separate and unique identity.  We do, however, plan to improve our 
  infrastructure to address issues related to this (see other comments 

- We plan to roll out a web site upgrade over the coming year.  I have 
  been testing a content management system setup with another small 
  astronomy organization and expect to implement that for the CBA.  This 
  will allow a more dynamic web site that can be more easily maintained by 
  a core group of folks.

- We plan to satisfy key aspects of member questions about current 
  targets, data, and results by implementing a robust section of the web 
  site tailored to the coordinates, charts, scientific justifications, 
  observing strategies, and quick-look graphical results of current 

- We plan to post more specific information regarding requested data 
  format and associated metadata.  We intend to continue to have 
  flexibility, but a set of guidelines will be made more obvious.

- We plan to post more specific information regarding flexibility that 
  contributors should feel free to have with sharing their own data beyond 
  the CBA.

- We plan to reinstate production of CBA Newsletters.

- We plan to develop an FAQ that more directly and obviously addresses 
  common questions.

- We plan to continue to satisfy data set requests by members and others 
  and possibly making this request and access mechanism more transparent.

- We plan to provide a more robust section of the web site identifying and 
  describing individual members, at least to the extent to which they wish 
  to be identified, and possibly providing the capability for members to 
  personally maintain profiles.

- We plan to investigate options for and adopt a web-based discussion 
  forum for some CBA communications, including more casual and less 
  time-critical discussions.

- We plan to investigate options for, adopt, and migrate our data 
  archiving to a new digital repository platform.

- Also, it should be noted that the move of our server outside of Columbia 
  last year means that we now have additional capabilities and fewer 
  limitations than we once did.

Now, this is a lot, and is fairly forward looking.  But with a somewhat 
larger core of folks involved on the administrative and technical end, as 
well as new resources to help distribute maintenance and improvement, we 
hope to achieve many of these items, although I'm sure we'll fall short on 
others.  We hope some will be this year, although the time-scale of others 
may be quite a bit longer.

Lastly, on a personal note, I have been a bit spartan (to say the least, 
especially with respect to newer contributors) in personal CBA 
communications over the last year and a half.  That period has seen me 
change observatories and spend an intense period getting up to speed with 
a new set of equipment, data, and responsibilities.  I am now heading to 
the mainland as my spouse has accepted a position at a college in New 
England.  CBA Hilo will soon become CBA Vermont, and with my change in 
commitments will hopefully come a bit more time for CBA involvement once 


Jonathan (& Joe, Helena, Enrique)

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