Sudoku Programmers Forum Index

 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log inLog in          Games  Calendar

Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   

Players Forums, anything wrong ?!
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... , 9, 10, 11  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Sudoku Programmers Forum Index -> Random thoughts
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
DonM

Joined: 15 Apr 2010
Posts: 3
:

Items
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me explain the background behind my post above a little more:

I'm sure that we could get 20 or so people to pony up $10 initially, but that wouldn't solve the long-term stability and solvency of the forum. One of the reasons that the original forum met the fate that it did was because no one felt responsible for it. Parenthetically, it is ananthema to me that such an important resource, historically and ongoing, as the Player's Forum was apparently sitting there on an untended server with no regular backup process.

People can be fickle, especially when they feel no ties to something like a forum. They may post this year and then next year they just disappear. Many previous household sudoku names have just left, apparently gone forever.

So, IMO, there has to be something that helps guarantee that a) the forum is 'our' forum and not something that can be left to someone else to keep going and b) there is a means by which costs are met each year and not just now (ie. a one-time basis). While the format in the prior post is nothing more than a suggestion, no matter what format, I think we need more than just initial contributions to make sure this forum succeeds long time. Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
gsf

Joined: 18 Aug 2005
Posts: 408
:
Location: NJ USA

Items
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope to make some progress on converting the posts in a few days
the problem is the snapshot has the post bodies with html tags
and the phpbb db stores posts with bbcode tags (with some internal embellishments)

jason, how much $$ are we talking about yearly for hosting?

making the full backups available to the moderators is a great idea
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
wapati

Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Posts: 622
:
Location: Canada

Items
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Preventing spam users from unlimited access is a great idea.

Sponsorship should give few rights.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dpbobelisk

Joined: 27 Apr 2006
Posts: 16
:
Location: Kettering,UK

Items
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Currently our objective seems to be to restore the Players Forum exactly as it was. If this is locked from further posting it should be no different from a search engine cache and it should cause no quibbles. If we allow posting though perhaps we might ruffle some feathers.

I'm guessing that it wouldn't be much more difficult to start a new php forum with sections structured more appropriately for the way our investigations have gone in the past. For example separate sections for computer based and manual solving.

A free open access section would allow newcomers to get their feet wet before having to subscribe. From experience, material in this section would only have a short shelf life and would only need to be kept for a limited time.

I also have a half-baked idea that subscribers could be given personal threads where only they could post to allow them to present reference work without it becoming fragmented.

Are these ideas practical? If so we could run a poll or two on the features that people would welcome.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
havard

Joined: 20 Oct 2005
Posts: 14
:

Items
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just found out! Sad Very sad. How is it looking at the moment for getting something back up again?

I'll support any solution, money or resource-vice!
_________________
Sudoku Assistenten : www.sudoku.frihost.net
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
JasonLion

Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 61
:
Location: Silver Spring, MD

Items
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really know how much traffic the old forum got from people who never registered, which makes estimating costs mostly guess work. Traffic will start out low, since we will be new and there won't be all that many links to us right at the start. But as we build up, traffic will probably reach or exceed the level at the old forum.

Based on Quantcast's guess at traffic level for the old forum, I am estimating that it could eventually be around $1000 a year, though it could be a bit less or a lot more depending on actual traffic. Obviously the first year will be much less. However, as DonM said, the thing to worry about is what happens in a couple of years.

By the by, it isn't bandwidth that is an issue, but CPU time to run phpBB. Most hosting companies give you very generous bandwidth allocations, but cut you off at fairly low CPU usage. If the forum gets the traffic level I expect, we will eventually need a dedicated CPU, which rules out all of the really affordable hosting packages.

To start with I am planning to host the site on one of my existing servers, sharing CPU time/bandwidth with another site I already run. But as traffic builds, we will eventually need to move to a dedicated machine.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
daj95376

Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 349
:

Items
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may finally have something to contribute to this thread.

In the forums I frequent, there seems to be a continuous number of guests accessing the forum. My guess is that many of them are bots harvesting the contents of the forums.

I don't know how much CPU time they consume annually; but, since CPU usage is a factor in hosting the new site, then blocking any guest activity could result in a lower charge to registered/paying members.

As for restoring gsf's entire previous database backup, what a waste. Many threads/messages are so much rubbish -- particularly mine. If the effort isn't significantly greater, then I'd suggest that a virgin database be created and only the significant historical threads be recovered. In many instances, just the head post is really necessary. A separate section could be established (and locked) for these important threads/messages. Just a thought.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
gsf

Joined: 18 Aug 2005
Posts: 408
:
Location: NJ USA

Items
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

re: cost

wow $1K/yr will buy a new host with $.5K to spare each year
a quick google found phpbb hosting services for $100/Yr including domain name
http://www.hostcolor.com/webhosting/socialwebhosting/phpbb-forum-web-hosting

maybe a subcommittee could summarize the situation
access to backups would be a requirement

re: locking new user signups

that would be during a bootstrap period to make sure all of the old forum users have re-claimed their user names
then it would be opened up

re: wasting time on some posts

all of the conversion will be scripted
once we figure out how to script one post then they all will be done
certainly bober's posts will be weeded out
it would be much more tedious to examine each post manually to determine its merit

if posts are anything like code then after 6 months we all will be saying who wrote that
even for our own posts
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
JasonLion

Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 61
:
Location: Silver Spring, MD

Items
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gsf wrote:
wow $1K/yr will buy a new host with $.5K to spare each year
As I said, it all depends on the traffic levels. If a 50 people visit the forum once a day it would indeed be under $100/year. I could probably do it for half of that at low traffic levels.

Quantcast says there were about 3,000 visitors a day to sudoku.com, averaged over the last several months. That means serious bandwidth usage and serious CPU time usage. I don't know how accurate Quantcast is. I know they are guessing, but they have some good information to base their guesses on. If they are even vaguely right, the traffic level at the old forum was substantial. The vast majority of it must have been people who were reading existing posts and never registered.

I have never tried hostcolor.com in particular, but I have tried many other similar places. What invariably happens is that when your traffic goes higher than some threshold, which they never tell you about in advance, they cut the site off without warning. Then they offer to upgrade you to their fancier package, which costs more. hostcolor.com does mention $99/month for a dedicated machine, which is $1188/year, which is what a busy site will end up using.


Last edited by JasonLion on Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:18 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
gsf

Joined: 18 Aug 2005
Posts: 408
:
Location: NJ USA

Items
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JasonLion wrote:
gsf wrote:
wow $1K/yr will buy a new host with $.5K to spare each year
As I said, it all depends on the traffic levels. If a 50 people visit the forum once a day it would indeed be under $100/year. I could probably do it for half of that at low traffic levels.

Quantcast says there were about 3,000 visitors a day to sudoku.com, averaged over the last several months. That means serious bandwidth usage and serious CPU time usage. I don't know how accurate Quantcase is. I know they are guessing, but they have some good information to base their guesses on. If they are even vaguely right, the traffic level at the old forum was substantial. The vast majority of it must have been people who were reading existing posts and never registered.

I have never tried hostcolor.com in particular, but I have tried many other similar places. What invariably happens is that when your traffic goes higher than some threshold, which they never tell you about in advance, they cut the site off without warning. Then they offer to upgrade you to their fancier package, which costs more. hostcolor.com does mention $99/month for a dedicated machine, which is $1188/year, which is what a busy site will end up using.

aha
I have been blissfully unaware of that kind of fine print
for my entire internet career (which is shorter than my entire career)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Red Ed

Joined: 04 Nov 2006
Posts: 21
:

Items
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there any mileage in setting up a Google Group? It's free and it might be possible to prevent it becoming overrun with spammers. There's no forum structure to it, but at least it's searchable. And I imagine that Google keep backups Rolling Eyes

If not for the main forum, then what about just for the patterns game?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Luke451

Joined: 13 Apr 2010
Posts: 3
:

Items
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to see the resurrected forum remain in a phpBB format. There would also be some advantage in being tied to a puzzle site that would bring in new blood and keep us from becoming insular.

We are still at least sporadically in touch with Nick Hernadez of GameHouse. Do we have any interest in requesting them to set up a phpBB forum at GameHouse? From what I read from our guys here, it's not that difficult a task.

It wouldn't hurt to ask, and I'll do it.....if we think that's an option worth pursuing. After all, that is the girl that dumped us....

Luke
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
champagne

Joined: 14 Apr 2010
Posts: 6
:

Items
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Red Ed wrote:
Is there any mileage in setting up a Google Group? It's free and it might be possible to prevent it becoming overrun with spammers. There's no forum structure to it, but at least it's searchable. And I imagine that Google keep backups Rolling Eyes

If not for the main forum, then what about just for the patterns game?


I feel JasonLion goes in the right direction. What you get for free is unstable. The supplier has no duty and you can't ask for specific properties.

If it was decided to set up something consistent, with a yearly fee around 100$, I would participate as long as possible (I am an old guy)

champagne
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dpbobelisk

Joined: 27 Apr 2006
Posts: 16
:
Location: Kettering,UK

Items
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect that JasonLion's cost estimates overestimate the amount of traffic a new forum would attract as we are well past the peak of the Sudoku feeding frenzy. I also suspect that the majority of CPU time is clocked up writing a data base rather than reading from it (consider how much longer it takes to post than to access).

However, I'm not in a position to substantiate either of those suspicions and without input from someone else with first hand experience, itís something we can only discover by trying it out.

When the Players Forum was taken over it suddenly gained advertising, which presumably made the hosting cheaper (if not free) but it didn't take long for members to find out how to turn them off - a possible subscription perk?

These things said, I'm still in favour of paying to protect our work from future calamities. I'd therefore be willing to make a pump-priming subscription of up to $20 to see where it all leads.

Using a Google or Yahoo group as suggested by Red Ed might be one way of making finished work accessible fairly safely in the medium term, but they aren't very suitable for organising and conducting discussions on a mix of topics.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hobiwan

Joined: 11 Feb 2008
Posts: 83
:

Items
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dpbobelisk wrote:
I also suspect that the majority of CPU time is clocked up writing a data base rather than reading from it (consider how much longer it takes to post than to access).

If the posts are stored in bb code, a lot of CPU power will be used to create the actual html (and that is necessary for every request).

There are some pretty powerful html parsers available for Java (e.g. http://htmlunit.sourceforge.net), which perhaps could make converting the html posts to bb code easier than in C.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Sudoku Programmers Forum Index -> Random thoughts All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... , 9, 10, 11  Next
Page 10 of 11

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
Sudoku Programmers topic RSS feed 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Igloo Theme Version 1.0 :: Created By: Andrew Charron