Getting involved in one of our projects is one of the most common ways to join SIPB. Feel free to look through the list below for a project that looks interesting (or useful to use). You can take a look at the bugtrackers linked to get a sense of what improvements they could use, to help decide what seems interesting to work on. You should probably talk with somebody active in the project before really digging in, though – often people have been batting around designs or know details of the problem that haven't gotten written down. If you don't know who to ask, feel free to ask somebody in our office, zephyr -c sipb, or email email@example.com – somebody can point you in the right direction.
Debathena brings the full functionality of Athena to your Debian or Ubuntu system. Install Athena wholesale or in small pieces—a few client utilities, or a full system with Athena-account logins and AFS home directories. You can even run software like Matlab or Mathematica straight from Athena lockers. Debathena is also the basis for the current release of the Athena client software running on the public computer labs (clusters) across the MIT campus. (Bugtracker, hackathon/newbie tickets)
scripts.mit.edu is a Linux/Apache web hosting platform for the MIT community. Any Athena user or group locker can host dynamic web applications written in PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, or any other language, or automatically install popular blog, wiki, and other software via the quick-start autoinstallers. (Bugtracker, starter tickets)
BarnOwl is a curses-based IM client with support for Zephyr, AIM, Jabber, and IRC. It is primarily used by the MIT community as a Zephyr client. BarnOwl aims to be easily extensible and customizable through a Perl plugin interface. (Bugtracker, straightforward tickets)
XVM offers virtual machines to the MIT community—complete systems which you control and maintain from the operating system up. Create a new machine with the click of a button. Start with our three-minute Debian or Ubuntu installer, or install an operating system of your choice. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for help using XVM. If you'd like to get involved, please email email@example.com. (Bugtrackers: Trac, Launchpad: XVM, Launchpad: Invirt)
Gutenbach is a networked music jukebox implementing the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP). It allows users to queue or "print" music to a remote set of speakers or "printer". Spawned from the original sipbmp3 (the SIPB office music player), Gutenbach is now a Debian package maintained by SIPB members. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments, or suggestions. (Bugtracker)
A web app that lets users edit a TeX document (either source or WYSIWYG), using a template, and then compiles to a PDF (or PS or DVI, etc.). This way, people can create beautiful documents entirely from the web. You can see the current version (in development) at http://mitex.mit.edu. You can see the newest features that we're trying out at http://dev.mitex.scripts.mit.edu. Please email email@example.com with questions, comments, or suggestions (or if you'd like to get on board!).
SIPB maintains hundreds of useful programs in AFS lockers for use on Athena. Many popular programs are in the sipb and outland lockers, and even more have their own lockers in SIPB AFS. SIPB's whichlocker program, located in outland, makes locker software easy to find. (add outland; whichlocker whichlocker)
The SIPB AFS-Moira synchronizer can automatically synchronize some AFS groups in the SIPB cell with Moira groups.
This website is a wiki. There are many things that can be improved, both on the content level and on the programming level.
LAMP is an electronic music library for the MIT community. Request songs from a selection of 1840 CDs at lamp.mit.edu and tune in on MIT cable TV to hear your music play. Email lamp@obvious-domain to get involved
The SIPB Documentation Project is a project to document in written form the collective knowledge that SIPB members take for granted or use in maintaining services and projects that is not otherwise written down anywhere.
SIPB organizes dozens of IAP classes each year on technical topics both serious and fun. During the fall term SIPB also offers a series of Cluedump talks, with a different topic each week. Add yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested. We're also looking for MIT students to help keep them running smoothly.
SIPB publishes Ask SIPB, a regular column in The Tech explaining technical tools useful on Athena and at MIT generally.
Wakeup is a demo service powered by Scripts and the SIPB VoIP server. Currently, Wakeup will call your phone at the time you specify. Future functionality may include the ability to set up recurring calls, as well as an interface for monitoring and canceling your scheduled calls. Please direct questions, comments, and suggestions to email@example.com.
First steps towards improving compatibility of Mailman and Moira mailing list systems: enabling mutual access controls and building compatible command-line configuration tools for Mailman. Our plan to accomplish this is in progress.
Bazki is a wiki written in Python designed around several principles: structured data with object-oriented inheritance; using a wiki language with powerful macros that can be compiled into either HTML or PDF (via LaTeX); and making the content editable offline using a VCS. Bazki works enough to to be useful, but it has lots of room for improvement and probably would benefit from some design changes. It could also definitely use documentation. Email bazki for more information or to get involved.
SIPB runs the MIT usenet server usenet.mit.edu. We're looking for new maintainers to transition to a new hardware setup.
The Usenet FAQ archive runs off of rtfm.mit.edu. If you're interested in internet communications from before that newfangled "web" thing, then this is the project for you.
Here's a list of some other, smaller projects SIPB members would like to work on. For (recent-)historical interest, a list of some past projects circa 2000-2007 also exists. On December 13, 2008, we squashed a bunch of bugs in Debian Lenny.
SIPB has the resources and the expert advice to make your project to improve computing at MIT (better, the world) happen! Come by our office at W20-557 and say hello.