ARPANET users interest working group meeting
RFC 585

Document Type RFC - Unknown (November 1973; No errata)
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                         D. Crocker
Request for Comments: 585                                       UCLA-NMC
Category: Users                                                N. Neigus
NIC: 18259                                                       BBN-NET
                                                              J. Feinler
                                                                 SRI-ARC
                                                                J. Iseli
                                                               MITRE-TIP
                                                                6-Nov-73

              Arpanet Users Interest Working Group Meeting

   A new group, the Arpanet Users Interest Working Group (USING) is the
   outgrowth of a meeting held in Boston on May 22-23, 1973.  The
   meeting, cochaired by Dave Crocker, UCLA-NMC, and Nancy Neigus, BBN,
   followed BBN's Resource Sharing Workshop.

PURPOSE

   The USING meeting was seen by the members as a forum for Network
   Users to air complaints, exchange information, voice desires, and
   present concrete proposals for the design and implementation of
   user-oriented Network capabilities.

   The group will devote itself to lobbying on behalf of user interests,
   to promoting and facilitating resource sharing, to improving user
   interfaces (support), and to studies of standardization.  The
   ultimate goal will be provide users identification of, and
   facilitated access to, whatever resources on the Network they might
   wish to use.

   Neigus, Crocker, and Iseli of MITRE were selected to define the
   objectives and goals of USING in more detail, and they will present
   their discussion in a later publication.

ATTENDEES

      Dave Crocker, UCLA-NMC, Co-Chairperson
      Nancy Neigus, BBN, Co-Chairperson
      Ken Bowles, UCSD-CC
      Frank Brignoli, NSRDC
      Jim Calvin, CASE-10
      Jake Feinler, NIC
      Wayne Hathaway, NASA-AMES
      Jean Iseli, MITRE
      Mike Kudlick, NIC
      Mike Padlipsky, MIT-MULTICS

Crocker, et al.                  Users                          [Page 1]
RFC 585               USING Working Group Meeting          November 1973

      Lee Richardson, USC-ISI
      Ron Stoughton, UCSB
      Jim White, NIC
      Steve Wolf, UCLA-CCN
      Joe Wyatt, Harvard

CATEGORIES OF CONCERN

   The meeting began by attempting to create a relatively complete list
   of topics directly relevant to users.  The intention was to then
   discuss some of these categories in detail.  The categories of
   concern to users are listed here along with a brief outline of the
   discussion and recommendations associated with each category.  Not
   all topics were discussed fully due to time limitations.  It was
   acknowledged that some of the recommendations were quite extensive,
   but that they should be mentioned even though their implementation
   would be far off.

   1. Online and Offline Documentation, Information Sharing, and
      Consulting

      a. There is a general need to upgrade the quality, technical
         accuracy, timeliness, dissemination, and format of both online
         and offline documentation.

      b. Documentation should avoid "buzz" words (jargon), and should
         follow easily understood syntax conventions, abbreviation
         standards, reference citation rules, etc.  However, there
         probably cannot be a standard format for writing documentation.

      c. Offline documentation should be well indexed, should contain a
         good table-of-contents, and should be written in an easily
         browsable format.  Online documentation should be presented in
         a browse mode with well-labeled categories of information as
         well as a keyword search capability.

      d. Documentation should be identified with date/author/version
         information, particularly in large online documents, so that it
         is easier to keep the most current version of a document and to
         query the author, in the event of problems with the
         documentation.

      e. Network news needs to be gathered and intelligently distributed
         to users (Network PR).

      f. Users need several levels and styles of access to
         documentation, whether online or offline, based upon their
         experience, interests, and preferences.

Crocker, et al.                  Users                          [Page 2]
RFC 585               USING Working Group Meeting          November 1973

      g. Each server site should also provide some degree of information
         variety in online "help" mechanisms, tailored to fit the needs
         and experience of different user types.

         In addition, entering "Help" from the EXEC level of a system
         should direct a user to ALL procedural-type information.

      h. New users should be carefully introduced to the Network by way
         of a New Users Packet (NUP).  Since the MITRE-TIP group is the
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