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Author Topic: DISCUSSION: Server Issues and The Future of the TC Message Board  (Read 20339 times)
LyricFox
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« Reply #75: September 21, 2008, 12:49:15 pm »

The only folders that have more than around 500 messages are the more social (more likely to be discarded) ones in the '05 archive.  The three with over 1,000 are the intros, news/politics/world events, and the General ponderings.  With the first two, we'd need a volunteer to scan the content to see if it's more than "Welcome to TC" and "Link to an interesting article."

Conveniently, the messages are all numbered; all we'd need to do it set up a list of numbers copied or discarded.  If you go into the folders, they split into pages of fifty most recent posts.  If more than two people are working on the same folder we can say you do 1-50, you do 51-100 etc.  The private folders would have to be taken into consideration, too.

For the most part, I can't imagine any of the news/politics monthly threads being needed. If there are individually named threads, maybe, but the vast majority of those, even, would be time sensitive and not have much meaning now. Unless they are specifically pagan related, I just don't think they'd be needed.
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« Reply #76: September 21, 2008, 03:46:11 pm »

Unknown. I haven't heard back from Bob (who is very busy these days). Nor have I heard from Shadow and Mr Shadow.  Barring Bob's last server failing, it's probably not a decision that has to be made right now, but we need a solution in place ASAP.

unfortunately, Mr. Shadow right now is kinda in limbo with the job, which I hadn't realized ----

If things consolidate such that he keeps his job, it should be fine.  If it consolidates so that he DOESN'T - I'm gonna be looking for a lot of job-hunting help.

soooooo .. I can't give you an answer right now.  sorry.
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« Reply #77: September 21, 2008, 03:52:31 pm »

unfortunately, Mr. Shadow right now is kinda in limbo with the job, which I hadn't realized ----

Ouch!!  Prayers that things work out for y'all.

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soooooo .. I can't give you an answer right now.  sorry.

Fully Understandable. I think we will move on to another solution at least to see how it works.  As we will be going month to month with it at first we will not invest much in it. Therefore we can move to a server at the university that turns out to be possible and needed.
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« Reply #78: September 21, 2008, 06:24:29 pm »

For the most part, I can't imagine any of the news/politics monthly threads being needed.

Ok.  Those folders are some of the ones I skip over, so I wasn't sure how much discussion ensued over the articles.
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« Reply #79: September 21, 2008, 06:36:34 pm »

Ok.  Those folders are some of the ones I skip over, so I wasn't sure how much discussion ensued over the articles.

Even if there was discussion, when its 2 or 3 years old news, only very few of it can be still of some interest I guess.
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« Reply #80: September 21, 2008, 09:55:26 pm »

Ouch!!  Prayers that things work out for y'all.

Fully Understandable. I think we will move on to another solution at least to see how it works.  As we will be going month to month with it at first we will not invest much in it. Therefore we can move to a server at the university that turns out to be possible and needed.

Thanks.  Sorry about disappearing on that - I was hoping we'd find out what was going on quickly with at least SOME idea, but of course things in the Uni world go at glacial speed.  Sigh.
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« Reply #81: September 21, 2008, 10:36:59 pm »

...but of course things in the Uni world go at glacial speed.  Sigh.

I've familiar with that. Sometimes even glacial during an ice age speed.
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« Reply #82: September 21, 2008, 10:57:07 pm »

Even if there was discussion, when its 2 or 3 years old news, only very few of it can be still of some interest I guess.

(I'm only linking to Tana's post for convenient's sake.  Also, I'm only discussing this topic in hypothetical terms as I have no clue what this would involve).

I agree that intros, prayer requests and news postings are probably best not saved as they are probably no longer relevant.  But for the discussions that many people would skip over, might I suggest that only the ones that are more interesting get copied?  I'm talking about some of the ones that Everfool compiled into that list of his as well as others that are not weird but kinda nice and have a certain significance to many of the long-term members.

Would the more social threads be relevant?  We did have some interesting conversations in those threads.
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« Reply #83: September 23, 2008, 11:42:45 pm »

Would the more social threads be relevant?  We did have some interesting conversations in those threads.
And then there's the Cauldronite propensity for topic drift - in a lot of cases, the archival value of a thread can't be judged by the subject line or even the first few posts; reading or at least skimming the whole thing would often be called for.

I'm inclined, myself, to think it'll work better to grab everything that's not clearly trivial and/or outdated, and sort/trim after - the copying will go quicker, I think, if those doing it don't have to spend too much time reading/evaluating.

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« Reply #84: September 24, 2008, 04:41:28 am »

Comments and discussion are invited.

I haven't been following this thread very closely lately, so I don't know how relevant this is - but I just want to say that it is not entirely impossible that I'd be able to host the MUX on my Linux server (I'm assuming the MUX software runs on Linux) if that's any help.
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« Reply #85: September 24, 2008, 07:17:32 am »

And then there's the Cauldronite propensity for topic drift - in a lot of cases, the archival value of a thread can't be judged by the subject line or even the first few posts; reading or at least skimming the whole thing would often be called for.

This was what was behind my suggestion of copying everything over a certain number of posts - 10-15 looks about the right range, based on some skimming, because things over that pretty reliably have deeper conversation. Not including purely social posts, which people could judge on sight if needed. But the purely social posts are mostly obvious by what folder they're in or by looking at a couple of pages throughout the thread.
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« Reply #86: September 24, 2008, 07:52:02 am »

I haven't been following this thread very closely lately, so I don't know how relevant this is - but I just want to say that it is not entirely impossible that I'd be able to host the MUX on my Linux server (I'm assuming the MUX software runs on Linux) if that's any help.

Thanks for the offer. Running the MUX should not be too much for our new server, but if the load from running the board and websites is too much for it will we take you up on the offer.
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« Reply #87: September 26, 2008, 02:49:00 am »

1) How often are the archive forums being accessed these days?

I know I poke my head in there for specific searches every so often, but when I do, I don't particularly care about speed. (i.e. I might load a page in the background, flip windows, grab what I want, load the next, flip back to something else while the next page loads, etc.)

I access them quite a bit.  Sometimes out of boredom, a couple of times because of things mentioned that had to do with discussions from the archives.

Quote
3) Would it be possible to, say, move the current forum (yes, based on other posts), leave the archived ones where they are, and have people work on archiving desireable threads (i.e. ones that people might want to later reference) to a text-based option.

I've done this with some Yahoo email lists where I wanted a text-only copy I could use more powerful search tools on rather than fight Yahoo's search engines - and a test copy of a thread suggests that copy-pasting into Word (unformatted text, so you lose the images/table formatting info that will take longer and take more space) works pretty well and keeps 90% or better of the meaning. You'd lose the "in reply to" links - but the actual numbers remain, so you can always scroll back. In other words, it preserves the actual information, but it is not pretty. I can live with not-pretty, personally.

It is time consuming and a little tedious (and you'd want to coordinate volunteers doing this, or the database hits would slow everything down further.) But at the same time, if Bob's okay with it, and nothing catastrophic happens with the servers, we could take 2-3 months to do it.

Heh.  Great minds think alike.  That is what I was thinking of doing, when I asked randall to go ahead and get the stuff on cd.  Also, I think you could actually put linkbacks in using MS Word.  I'll have to figure that one out, but I really think it might be doable.

You should be able to add a link to another part of the same document, and I believe it might be possible to add links to other documents in the same folder, or something.  This would be why I said I needed time.  I have to figure out some stuff that could help with this whole thing.  I remember being taught how to do all this ... oh gads... in 2000, and we were still using Windows '98 versions of software (this being in tech school...).  I just have to remember how to do all it the right way, so nothing goes all haywire, and people don't end up clicking on one thing and getting sent all willy nilly elsewhere.

Quote
Benefits:

- it'd use far fewer server resources: text only files are comparatively tiny
- it would be pretty simple to set up a set of Zipped folders that mimicked the existing forum structures or even a dated index.
- better searching, too. (One of the primary reasons I hit the archives is to look at stuff I said a few years ago.)

This would obviously need to be coordinated (and I'm willing to help with that and/or organise: it's right up the professional alley, after all), and it would mean deciding which threads were worth keeping

Some spur of the moment rules of thumb that might keep things manageable:
- Do not archive purely social threads except by request or specific focus. (For example, we'd likely want to keep some of the Chavi threads or recipe threads, but do we really need an archive of answers to fun memes? Maybe not. Ditto responses to spam - they're fun, but I'm not sure we need an ongoing record.)

- Archive anything in the non-social-discussion areas that has at least (20? 30?) posts - anything over a certain threshold is likely to be stuff people remember/are more likely to want to look at again. (This is a guess at a threshold: I'd want to look at specifics first.)

- Look at everything else - does it have new, unique content? Then archive. Is it "I want to find a group"  "Go look at Witchvox" with nothing else? We do not need 50 versions of that, really. We do want to keep the 250 post lengthy discussions that have real meat in them.

- Have some sort of request mechanism for "I remember this thread about X around [time] - if you find it, can you archive?" that overrules anything else, assuming it's findable.

There are a number of technology tools that would make the organisational side of this *much* less painful than it might have been even a year or two ago, which is why I wanted to bring it up. (For example, using Google Docs spreadsheets and forms to track who's archived which threads.)

I agree on these points.  Also, perhaps we could start new threads in here based on the ones from the archives.  Older discussions that haven't really been done on this board could be made into new threads, possibly quoting pertinent points made on the older boards.  Maybe make an open request for statements made on the older boards to be quoted in new threads in here.

I'm sorry if this doesn't make much sense right now.  My brain seems to be working a bit off kilter tonight.  I think I have too many ideas bouncing around at one time.
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« Reply #88: October 14, 2008, 10:46:05 pm »

Now that we have the message board set up and working on our new server, I am thinking merging the board site (ecauldron.net) with the web site (ecauldron.com) so that they are both served from our new server and at one main domain name (probably ecauldron.net).

Nothing will really change from the end user point of view: ecauldron.com links will still work, they will just silently change to the ecauldron.net address when they are served.  That is, if you go to http://www.ecauldron.com/newpagan.php everything will work just like it does now, except the address area of your browser will show http://www.ecauldron.net/newpagan.php. In other words, no links currently out on the web will break -- but the artificial and often confusing separation of The Cauldron into two separate but linked main websites will end.  Also this will (eventually) allow better integration of the message board into the website.

Comments? Questions?
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