Report of Events for the week ending 02/07/99
This week's meetings
  • Monday, 2/1 - regular team meeting, 5:30pm
  • Tuesday, 2/2 - status meeting (time sheets due)
  • Thursday, 2/4 - status meeting, regular team meeting, 5:30pm
  • Saturday, 2/6 - Patrick, Randy and Leslie met to continue search for a sentence parser/analyzer
  • Monday 02/01/99
    At our regular team meeting we discussed the User Manual and determined the content it would contain. Each team member was a assigned a section of the manual as their responsibility and we set a "group due date" of 02/11/99. We also decided that Leslie would develop a suitable user interface that could be used to create screen captures for use in the user manual.

    The search for a sentence analyzer began. Each member was to spend time searching the web for anything they could find to do the job. However, the primary search was to be lead by Patrick and Randy to assure that someone was responsible for looking between now and the next group meeting, which would be held on 02/04/99.

    Also, some questions were raised. Patrick was appointed to find out who had the rights to our code. The result was that the project is considered intellectual property of the univeristy. Also, we needed to find out if compatibility with MSIE and Netscape is sufficient or if the client prefers even more flexibility, and if the client had a preference of what type of database to use. We also decided that for now it is best to set up client meetings on an as-needed basis, as opposed to setting up a regular weekly meeting time with the client. After contacting the client, we know that compatibility with IE and Netscape alone is sufficient, he has no database preference, and meetings with him on an as-necessary basis is fine.

    Thursday, 02/04/99
    The Work Breakdown, Pert, and Gantt charts were due today. Leslie converted the charts to .gif files and linked them into the web site.

    At the group meeting, we first discussed the nature of the group meetings. Now that things are starting to get in motion, we decided that one of the two group meetings will be used to come together at the beginning, touch base on where we are, discuss what needs to get done and then spend a large chunk of time working on those tasks as a team. The remaining group meeting will serve as a shorter, status meeting in which we discuss what tasks are not complete and delegate the responsiblity of those tasks. Then each member is responsible for working on their appointed task between then and the next group meeting, when they will need to be prepared to report on the status of said task. Given the new meeting structure, we decided to change our weekly meeting times to Sundays at 6pm and keep Thursdays at 5:30pm. The Sunday meeting will serve as the work meeting and Thursdays will be the shorter meeting. These new meeting times will go into effect the week following 02/14.

    The next topic covered was to revisit old business and insure that everyone understood what part of the user manual they were responsible for and clear up any confusions. Everyone seemed to understand exactly what they needed to do. Also included in the old business was the update on the sentence analyzer search. One still had not been found, and there was brief discussion about what it would take to build our own. Patrick, Randy and Leslie agreed to meet on Saturday, 02/06 to continue the search and contact anyone who may be of assistance.

    We also discussed design issues, mainly of the user interface. We discussed how it would be presented such as layout, the format of the output results, etc. We decided that we would provide links to other reliable search engines when our system produced no resulting matches on their query. Our system will make its "best guess" at what the user wants to do, if the system determines a possible spelling error or misuse of a homonym. There was brief discussion on how the database would be structured, but a lot of this depends on what our sentence parser produces as output and so no definite decisions were made at this time.

    This meeting was very productive and the team really worked together well. I think we are starting to get right on track.

    Saturday, 02/06/99
    Patrick, Randy and Leslie met at 5:30 to continue the hunt for a sentence analyzer. The database was briefly discussed, and it is starting to look like SQL is the way to go. Patrick is going to find out whether the CS Department already has an SQL server and if not how we can obtain access to an NT machine to install one. Randy contacted AskJeeves.com, a similar project, to find out what software or method they use to turn a natural english phrase into keys for a database. Leslie purchased texts on SQL and Perl and CGI.

    Patrick and Randy are going to update the team on their findings at the next group meeting, which will be held on Monday 2/8 at 5:30pm.

    Summary
    This week went very smoothly. We managed to nail down a lot of decisions and come together more on a solid view of our project. Everyone understands their responsibilites for the user manual and what areas they are supposed to research. I felt that this week was very productive and right on schedule.
    Respond to Leslie (producer)