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Players Forums, anything wrong ?!
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Pat

Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 128
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


    my first e-mail to Customer Support, on Jun.11,
    got a quick "response" --
    Quote:
    Your question has been received.
    You should expect a response from us within 24 hours.
    -- after which they never did get back to me.

    so i tried a 2nd e-mail, on Jun.14,
    and this got no response whatsoever.
i'm really glad that m_b_metcalf wrote to them too,
and as long as he did get a response, who cares if they ignore my messages?

and we must all thank daj95376 for phoning them


in such situations, a Moderator has no special knowledge, no special powers, and no special standing -- any member encountering an outage could and should report it to Customer Support ( rnmailbox@mailca.custhelp.com ) and/or 1 - 866 - 597 5510

nobody wrote:
but if we all report it,
we'll just be flooding them with e-mail and/or phone-calls

i assume the first member who reports the trouble
would also mention this right here
    all SuDoku discussions could go very nicely in a single forum,
    why do we need more than one?

    but when one of the forums crashes,
    it's very useful to have another forum up
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Pat

Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 128
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tarek wrote:
If the Sudoku Players' forum is axed ....
Is there a possibility of hosting a mirror database by somebody else ?

a proper mirror could only be set up by the owners of that site
    somehow i doubt we can convince them to do so
however, the content which we created there is indeed too important to allow its loss

what we could do is --
  • cease using that forum
  • then get gsf to obtain a new (final) snapshot
  • find a way to post that snapshot in archive form (no new posting)
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daj95376

Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 349
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, whatever is going to happen had better happen soon. I had problems getting connected to www.sudoku.com yesterday, and I just had several successive failures to connect today.
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tarek

Joined: 31 Dec 2005
Posts: 153
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Location: London, UK

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup,

It started again ....

Thanks to gsf for taking a snapshot of the forum ... knowing that all that info is archived somewhere is reassuring & will cushion the fall if this turns out to be the last gasp.

tarek
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allan barker

Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 5
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:44 pm    Post subject: idea Reply with quote

I too experienced the same problems yesterday.

I have a paid website at bluehost dot com, which is a rather large, reliable hosting company. The site currently has little traffic. I would be happy to let the general community use that site and also pitch in with some work on the transition.

I looked into some of the details and the site is designed to support forums and even has easy installation scripts for either phpbb2 or phpbb3. I think there would also be a way to make a public image depository as the site has "unlimited disk space". This would also make viewing pages with images faster.

Connecting gsf's recent snapshot to a new phpBB installation may be a bit like plugging the power cord into a water faucet, but I think that with some work it might be possible to rebuild the forum in a working form. It appears the entire forum is kept in a mysql database and webpages are generated as needed. After setting up a skeleton forum, some combination of scripting, sql-ing, and hacking on the database should allow us to get the old forum into a running state. The good news is that both phpbb and mysql are open source and their workings are transparent.

I can do hacking, probably not too old to learn some basic scripting.

Just a thought for the next time .....

Allan

Gee whiz, look at all the emoticons here, Shocked
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Pat

Joined: 06 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

allan barker wrote:

I have a paid website at bluehost dot com, which is a rather large, reliable hosting company. The site currently has little traffic. I would be happy to let the general community use that site and also pitch in with some work on the transition.
    I looked into some of the details and the site is designed to support forums
    and even has easy installation scripts for either phpbb2 or phpbb3.

      Connecting gsf's recent snapshot to a new phpBB installation may be a bit like plugging the power cord into a water faucet, but I think that with some work it might be possible to rebuild the forum in a working form.
      It appears the entire forum is kept in a mysql database. After setting up a skeleton forum, some combination of scripting, sql-ing, and hacking on the database should allow us to get the old forum into a running state.
      The good news is that both phpbb and mysql are open source and their workings are transparent.

        I can do hacking, probably not too old to learn some basic scripting.

your hosting company will let you run SQL ?
in that case, yes, i expect gsf can transform a snapshot of the forum into SQL (loading all Posts and all Topics).
    the only part we can't get is the passwords,
    so we'd have to load the table of Users as all inactive.

      (yes, everybody would then have to re-register
      under a new username.)
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allan barker

Joined: 17 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat wrote:
your hosting company will let you run SQL ?
in that case, yes, i expect gsf can transform a snapshot of the forum into SQL (loading all Posts and all Topics).


The host is running several flavors of SQL, including MySQL, which provides SQL services to other things like phpbb, at least this is my understanding. The site was designed to support phpbb and includes an easy installation script. They said I am limited to 100 databases.

Allan
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wapati

Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Posts: 622
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat wrote:
the only part we can't get is the passwords,
so we'd have to load the table of Users as all inactive.
(yes, everybody would then have to re-register
under a new username.)


If you get the email addresses could not it be set up so that everyone does the "forgot password" thing?
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m_b_metcalf

Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 210
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Location: Berlin

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

allan barker wrote:
The host is running several flavors of SQL, including MySQL, which provides SQL services to other things like phpbb, at least this is my understanding. The site was designed to support phpbb and includes an easy installation script. They said I am limited to 100 databases.

Allan

I hate to ask this, but what happens if you get run over by the proverbial bus Sad Question

Regards,

Mike Metcalf
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Pat

Joined: 06 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wapati wrote:
Pat wrote:
the only part we can't get is the passwords

If you get the email addresses,
could not it be set up so that everyone does the "forgot password" thing?

sorry about my phrasing
we cannot get any of the registration information



allan barker wrote:
Pat wrote:
your hosting company will let you run SQL ?
in that case, yes, i expect gsf can transform a snapshot of the forum into SQL (loading all Posts and all Topics).

The host is running several flavors of SQL, including MySQL, which provides SQL services to other things like phpbb, at least this is my understanding.
The site was designed to support phpbb and includes an easy installation script.

sure, but installation would normally produce an empty forum with one User (an Administrator) and nothing posted.
    is there some mode of installation which allows us to pre-load Users, "Forums" (the several sections), and all those countless Topics and Posts?
    that's where i'd have to run some monster SQL---
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allan barker

Joined: 17 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

m_b_metcalf wrote:

I hate to ask this, but what happens if you get run over by the proverbial bus Sad Question

Regards,

Mike Metcalf

Oversight, including required passwords, would have to be a shared effort,

..... especially since I don't know how long it will take me to get un-entangled from the bus ..... ?

The idea assumes at least a couple of community members are interested to participate, and of course that it makes more sense than the current setup. As far as reliability though, bluehost (dot) com seems to be a rather big hosting company.

Allan
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daj95376

Joined: 05 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two things come (quickly) to mind.

1) What will installing phpbb2/3 on a new site gain compared to Sudoku.com? In particular, what will prevent SPAMmers from finding the new site and filling it with useless messages as well?

2) Do you really want to transfer all messages from Sudoku.com to the new site? There are a lot of useless messages in there. I have 1000+ messages that could be removed w/o impacting the knowledge content. There are many threads that just need to have the head message and a few key contribution messages saved.
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Pat

Joined: 06 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

daj95376 wrote:

  1. What will installing phpbb2/3 on a new site gain compared to Sudoku.com? In particular, what will prevent SPAMmers from finding the new site and filling it with useless messages as well?

  2. Do you really want to transfer all messages from Sudoku.com to the new site? There are a lot of useless messages in there. I have 1000+ messages that could be removed w/o impacting the knowledge content. There are many threads that just need to have the head message and a few key contribution messages saved.

your 2nd question is easily answered -- we're contemplating an automated mechanism (both for taking a snapshot and for loading it into some new home) -- a vast undertaking (software development) but with the advantage that it will copy 77,000 posts just as easily as 22,000.

    as for your first question --

    every forum which accepts new registrations is vulnerable to spammers,
    the only protection is an active Administrator who quickly disables a spammer and removes the trash.

    the assumption is that our new home will indeed have an active Administrator (perhaps more than one).
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Pat

Joined: 06 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

allan barker wrote:
m_b_metcalf wrote:
I hate to ask this, but what happens if you get run over by the proverbial bus Sad Question

Oversight, including required passwords, would have to be a shared effort

clearly the point raised by m_b_metcalf is important --
whenever allan barker ceases making the monthly payments,
BlueHorse would be forced to pull the plug.
    allan barker,
    i expect you might appoint one or more additional Administrators (if only for better fighting the spammers),
    however, any additional Admin will only have the powers of an Admin in the forum,
    which is not as high as your own powers as the owner --
    indeed i'm sure you would never wish to share your password as the owner.
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JasonLion

Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 61
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I run a forum on swimming pools that grew up after the previous most popular swimming pool forum was having problems. Based on that experience, a couple of things that come to mind.

The big one is trust. A significant number of prominent members of the current forum need to trust the admin of the new forum more than they trust the old forum to keep working. Otherwise no one is going to switch to the new forum.

Copying the entire content of the existing forum is a copyright violation, unless you have explicit permission of the person/company running the old forum. The individual posts belong to their authors, but the entire collection, as a collection, belongs to the current forum owner.

Running a forum well is more work than you might think, and is going to cost something. It isn't all that difficult to set it up and get going, but keeping everything working well on an active forum take time and money. Not lots and lots of time, but it isn't something you can ignore either. Likewise, not lots and lots of money, but not a basic inexpensive hosting account either. You want the forum owner to have some idea what they are in for, or you will just be switching again in a couple of months.

The real key is getting a solid core group of existing prominent members to all agree on a plan. You don't need everybody, but you do need a couple of people that are well respected in the community that others are likely to follow. If you can do that, you can solve all the other issues that come up. Some of the "other issues" take a little work but nothing insurmountable.
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