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Re: funding (fwd)



> I was going to ignore this - "drag others" isn't what this debate
> is about - but I think it might be useful to know, how *do* you
> all manage your VLs? Do you use academic or government facilities,

I have kept a little quiet on these matters primarily due to lack of 
time - not desire.

I maintain the Architecture and Landscape Architecture VL in my own time
but rely on a server, network bandwidth, and disk space provided through
the research lab I am associated with.  It is certainly to my benefit to
do this even though it eats up considerable time out of my life - in terms
of making contacts, establishing myself (hopeful tenure-track future!), etc.
But, it is primarily done to establish these fields on the net - provide them
a foundation that is stable and shows growth and promise.

This connects into the ideas of sponsorship - Architecture and Landscape
Architecture are basically made up of 3 groups (yes, an over-simplification
but useful enough): design practitioners in offices, trying to make today's
project deliverables, cut to the bone during the recession and barely afloat
most of the rest of the time; product supply firms (timber, stone, etc.) who
are usually more local due to material transport issues - most of the big
ones already have their way of working; and finally the educational/govern.
organizations/institutions who barely have enough money to survive.  There
are fundamentally NO groups, or certainly not a solid-enough base in these
disciplines to sponsor anything in any serious way.  Only through some
centralized VL sponsorship would it be possible.

I knew this coming into the game - no surprise - and so I do not expect
any wonderful support to magically appear.  What I am concerned with is
the day when the single server I am running cannot handle the load and there
is no money to support another!  Or similarly, the day when the network
hit on our local net prevents us from working internally - where does
money come from for a bridge box to isolate the server?  Growth is a scary
thing - I know what my server load is - 200-250,000 files/month from
external sources - I anticipate I can handle another 4-6x that with the
current server CPU - but at the rate of the web growth, that may hit next
year - what happens then?

I am also not sure how strong the presence is of the VL as a total entity
anymore - most people talk to me as though it is something connected with
my pages (the Architecture VL etc.) - not the Architecture subject within
something bigger known as the VL - this makes us seem small and local which
certainly has its benefits and attractions but does not help any idea of a
bigger picture.  The lack of standardization in the pages (of VL subjects)
keeps them isolated but perhaps more relevant to their disciplines - which
must NOT be lost at any cost - that is the power of the VL over others.

Enough for now - dialogue always welcome,
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Rodney Hoinkes                      EMAIL:   rodney@clr.toronto.edu
Head of Design Applications         WWW-URL: http://www.clr.toronto.edu:1080/
Centre for Landscape Research       AnonFTP: ftp.clr.toronto.edu
University of Toronto
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