Subnetwork feature discussion

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August Muench

Jul 18, 2013, 2:13:21 PM7/18/13
Hi all,

I would like to see if others have opinions on the recently implemented "subnetwork" feature of the Dataverse Network.  The project I represent is the "CfA" subnetwork on the Harvard dataverse network:

Here are a couple of issues that have come to my mind while working with subnetworks:
  1. Templates:
    • While templates are linked to specific subnetworks, all templates are listed when one creates a study in a dataverse that lives in a subnetwork.  This could get awkward. 
    • Same question for controlled vocabularies. The current controlled vocabularies are pretty much nothing like what we will want to create in astronomy either. 
  2. Users:
    • Is it possible to identify all users of a specific subnetwork? I see that there are groups set up that filter by IP address, and custom groups.  But it would be useful to identify all users of a subnetwork for the purposes of domain specific training or updates. 
    • Alternately unrelated to subnetworks, can I as an admin cull all the emails of users for the purposes of trainings/updates?

Here are a couple of things that have come to my mind, that I have not experimented with at all, but that I hope someone has an opinion about:
  1. API:
    • Will subnetworks be integrated in to OAI or the data search API?
  2. Data types:
    • Have you considered exposing only a certain subset of all known datatypes to users of a subnetwork?  It would simplify my users workflow to not have to search a list of data types for the 1 or 2 that they will most frequently use (FITS, other...)

I hope this post can be considered either useful feedback or fodder for continued discussion.


 - Gus

Durand, Gustavo

Jul 26, 2013, 5:36:27 PM7/26/13
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Hi Gus,

I was hoping we'd hear some more from the community before I responded, but it's likely that no one has started using this feature yet, except for us.

Here are some thoughts on what you wrote below:

Slight correction on what you said: you don't see all templates, but all network and your subnetwork templates. You don't see the templates from any other subnetwork.

Currently you're seeing some extra templates that were created as network templates in an earlier version. We're in the process of creating more subnetworks and when we do, should be able to move those templates. In that way you would only see the default network template and the CfA templates.

We did consider adding a setting to subnetworks to not see network level wide templates, but decided to wait and see how people use the system and reevaluate later. There are some complications to this (since a subnetwork can have a network level template as its default), but nothing we shouldn't be able to work around.

We did not incorporate the idea of subnetworks for controlled vocabulary. We should discuss this in more detail.

Users don't exist for a particular subnetwork, but for the network as a whole.  For getting the e-mails, there is no way through the UI, but we could get such a list with a db query.

It should be possible, I believe to create an OAI set for a particular subnetwork.

We don't currently have that. 

I think a lot of your thoughts make sense and we should discuss them further. I definitely think there are ways we can explain the subnetwork functionality to improve its usability for admins and users alike.


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August Muench

Jul 29, 2013, 2:57:19 PM7/29/13
Thanks, Gustavo for these replies.

Your post suggests a plan to target other likely "subnetworkable" domains at Harvard (or perhaps beyond). This sounds like a fruitful place to get new ideas or directions for DVN and DVN subnetwork development. 

Is there a timescale for this?  A working group? I would like to contribute my subnetwork ideas in that forum is there is. 

 - Gus

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