For at least a decade, CIT has maintained ``/usr/princeton" libraries of software for several Unix platforms. These libraries could be either remotely mounted or copied to local disk. At the present time four platforms are supported: SunOS 4.x, SunOS 5.x (=Solaris 2.x), Irix 4.x, and Irix 6.x. Unfortunately, the quality of this support has been uneven, with the result that local Unix systems administrators have felt it necessary to independently install and maintain many of the software packages which are, or should be, in /usr/princeton.
We recommend that CIT take responsibility for maintaining libraries of widely-used public domain software in /usr/princeton for several different Unix platforms. This would result in significant saving of effort across the various University departments and research groups which already use this software. In addition, it would make available University-wide a body of valuable software tools.
The software packages to be included in /usr/princeton would be determined by discussion at meetings of systems administrators. The SCAD (Support for Computing in Academic Departments) program provides a possible forum for such discussions because we expect that all substantial Unix user groups on campus will have at least one reprentative belonging to SCAD, but it would be helpful if the meetings where /usr/princeton and other issues are discussed could be open to all Unix systems administrators, including those not officially in the SCAD program. If the SCAD group becomes the forum, this group should actively solicit suggestions and comments from interested parties who may not be SCAD members.
This SCAD group, ideally expanded, can also provide the forum for feedback to CIT on issues arising in connection with /usr/princeton, such as policies regarding installation of new software releases on /usr/princeton.
In addition to the software actually installed on /usr/princeton, it would be valuable if the person or persons responsible for maintaining /usr/princeton maintained a web page with links to other web sites where one could find (1) software for ``platforms" other than those selected for /usr/princeton support, and (2) additional freeware or shareware likely to be of interest to users at Princeton.