The server of the Observatoire de
Observatoire de Paris, France
- What is the aim of the server? And which kind of information should be
The server should give to astronomers information about the Observatory :
More generally, the server should help:
- providing a
of the Observatory
- providing a description of the
activities of the Observatory,
the available domains of expertise, the
and colloquia organised at the Observatory
- providing a description of the available
interested astronomers to come and use these facilities locally
or providing entry points for using them remotely, when possible.
- providing astronomers of foreign countries with a few
such as access to the sites of Meudon and Nançay,
information about lodging, etc.
Finally, owing to its possibility of rapid and permanent updating,
the server should be useful also to the members of the Observatory,
- the students, providing information about the participation of the
Observatory in the
of students to two University grades: DEA (Diplome d'Études
Approfondies) and Thesis,
both useful for further
either in astronomical research or
(as it happened at least in the past) in industrial research.
- the general public, describing the way to participate to the regular
the sites of the Observatory, and to possible
extraordinary visits such as "Science en fête", when appropriate.
- a reliable list
of the head and secretaries of the Departments and Services, with phone and
- a reliable list of the phone extensions of all the
members of the
Observatory, of their fax and e-mail, of their precise location in the
observatory campus: this list will not be globally accessible from outside
and the people asking to be protected ("red list") will not be accessible from
- a routine for the selection of
among those received at the library
(a routine made and maintained by Wacrenier)
- What else should be provided?
The venerable Observatoire de Paris has a long history, a summary
history is provided.
The server provides
to other observatories and institutions and to useful facilities
running in these institutions, but for rather obvious reasons, only
governmental (or inter-governmental) institutions are quoted. Any
publicity for any (even useful) commercial service, is therefore
automatically avoided, as well as lending credit to a possibly tendentious
The Observatory is obviously responsible for the informations published
in the pages included in the server, as well as in the servers of the
Should personal pages be allowed? Even mentioning personal tastes, and data
about private life and addresses of private correspondents? Opinions
are different among the members of the editorial committee, and a
strong feeling for free expression is found in many people. A compromise
will be tried, asking to put a clear disclaimer at the head of each
personal page, denying any responsibility of the Observatory in the
content of such pages. The juridical value of such disclaimers is not
clear, and the main protection against harmful consequences relies in
the common sense and sense of responsibility of each member of the Observatory,
about the content of the pages.
- The installation of the server on a workstation was rather straightforward.
The server points towards the servers of several
or Groups. Particular care was exercised about the security.
Due to the fact that the WWW server computer host is also used for scientific
calculations, it is clearly important to prevent any threat on users data.
For instance, indicated e-mail do not mention the user's computer name nor
its login name; the exact location of requested HTML documents is not
- Choice of language:
It seems normal that the server is first written in French language.
It is hoped that the French accents will not perturb the unacquainted
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