With the proliferation of computing and networking in the eighties fast and targeted dissemination of information became fairly commonplace. Motivated by that, a List for the Mössbauer Spectroscopist Community was set up in Budapest on a VAX machine in 1992 under a list server program (written by our late colleague, Dr. Lajos Pócs) offering:
Services were operated by sending e-mails of appropriate format to the list server program. During the years 1992-96 MIX gradually became a popular service within the Community.
Browsing through the back issues of the bulletin, the majority of articles submitted were related to conferences, but various other issues of public and personal interest were also dealt with (scientific discussions, job announcements, discussions on the organization and the representation within the Community, description of new computer programs, and many others).
The ASCII Document Archive covers conference documents (circulars, lists of contents of various conference proceedings), publication aids, official documents of the Community, computer program documentations and back issues of the bulletin.
The Personal Data Directory with addresses, telephone/fax numbers, e-mail addresses has been a very popular service. It further initiated personal contacts between colleagues.
MIX has ever been free, open and democratic. MIX built horizontal links between countries, laboratories and individuals and made many of those "talker or listener" members of the Community who financially have never had the opportunity to regularly attend conferences, lacking to establish, by that, their personal or national representation within the official boards of the Community.
With concepts and implementations such as gopher, FTP, and especially WWW and HTML publishing, this off-line ASCII MIX became somewhat old-fashioned especially for our young colleagues. Therefore we decided that the new fascinating tools should be made use of in promoting our mission. On the other hand, many of our colleagues do not have full access to the Internet, therefore the e-mail-operated services (i.e. the List) should be maintained.
In September 1996 MIX moved to this new site to under a UNIX (Solaris 2.5) system in KFKI Computer Network Centre, Budapest, Hungary, which offers the standard list server, gopher, anonymous ftp and WWW server services. Upgrading was done gradually, and with the only-e-mail-user subscriber's needs in mind.
MIX on the Web is not solely a List any more. The range of services includes:
1. The List, to distribute MIX-Bulletin, now running under the Majordomo List Server,
2. A Gopher archive of documents, programs and other files and
3. these WWW pages interactively integrating the various services.
We did our best to maintain all services offered by the old MIX. Unfortunately, in some cases this was not possible. One of these cases is that - while the upgraded Personal Data Directory is available on-line for visitors of these MIX WEB pages - it is no longer available to the only-e-mail-users. Should you have no access to Web browsers and would like to modify your data in MIX Personal Data Directory, please contact the Webmaster.
The second difference is that - solely for technical reasons - the List is made a closed list, i.e. contributions and queries are processed in case they are mailed from a subscribed mail address. (Subscription is not in any way restricted and it is free of charge.) Since all functions of the List are now publicly and interactively available on the Web, in our view the closed list considerably reduces the chance of distributing junk accidentally taken as contribution to the journal by the list-server program. We would like to know your opinion if this concept is acceptable.
The third difference is that now MIX-Bulletin is "unmoderated", i.e. contributions are distributed completely automatically once a day when at least one contribution is submitted. This condition increases the responsibility of the authors who, like before, bear full responsibility for their contributions. We asked a number of respected members of the Community who contributed several times to the previous discussions in the bulletin to help us with advises. Most of them kindly accepted to be members of the MIX Advisory Board. For lack of other terms MIX has "Editors", "Editorial Board" and "Advisory board" all these bodies are open and everyone willing to contribute with advises or work for the Community he/she is welcome to join us at any time. Send us a mail or share your views with others in our Guestbook. Certainly, due to the diversity of our field and in view of the dynamically developing and expanding field of our common interests, some parts of our service will always be under construction". If we have enough support , enthusiasm and readyness from the Community, one day we may set up an edu-page with undergraduate and graduate courses, a library of pre-prints, organize workshops, or perhaps a Mössbauer Conference on the Web. Anyway, please bear with us, it may well be all worth it in the end.
Like the Web has become a true "representation" of the society, we believe, MIX may also become a representation of the Mössbauer or perhaps even a wider Community. These Communities have various (sometimes overlapping) bodies, boards, committees. The editors of MIX do not think of forming a new organization. However, we believe in a mission of MIX: to strengthen some weak scientific links between various parts of the Community like energy- and time-domain Mössbauer spectroscopists, Mössbauer and NMR or PAC spectroscopists, and scientists of various other disciplines who may use or just interested in our methods. We would like to see the home page of MIX a home of the Community.
The technology, the WWW is here to make MIX a framework of distributed
services, anyway. The information is not to be disseminated any
more. It is there on the Web. If not, it will be there very soon.
It is only to make our colleagues know about where, by establishing
links to those sites. The rest depends on us. The Community.