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**STICKY** Why did we move?!?

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**STICKY** Why did we move?!?
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CosmicSporkLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 928Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:36 pmLocation: UK Gender: Cake

Post **STICKY** Why did we move?!?

When the League of Reason first started it was unclear just how popular it was going to be, so AndromedasWake felt it wouldn't be worth spending any money on until he saw how things went. Well, it's been just over a month since LoR started and we have over 1500 members, over 1100 threads and nearly 15,000 posts with an average of 384.78 posts a day!

As some of you may have noticed we were continually getting problems with the service we were on, what with downtime, errors and slowdowns. It was decided fairly early on that the forum would move, we even attempted to see if Forums-Free.com would give us a copy of the database, but they refused, even if we were willing to pay! They did say they might offer a pay service in future to get the database and files, but considering how long it takes them to do anything beneficial regarding the forums we didn't want to have to wait that long.

Cunningly I wrote a couple of scripts that could extract the user account information from the old forum and add the users onto this one so that there would be less annoyance and confusion, the scripts don't quite capture every little thing (does not include avatars for instance) but it gets most of it. I could have written a script that would extract the forum post information, but that would require far more time than I am able to commit and for various other reasons was not willing to attempt.

Anyway, here are some advantages of the move:

  • We now have a lot more control over the forums and the server it is hosted on.

  • The forum can now be modified. I have already made a few modifications to the site such as:

    • I have developed a YouTube fetcher, if you provide your YouTube account name in your profile, your last 5 videos will be displayed in your profile, and on top of that when you go to post you will see a button that will allow you to select a video from your account and it will insert it into your post. (This is all public information provided by the YouTube API)

    • If you have any suggestions for modifications please let me know.

  • The forum can be moved elsewhere in future without any loss of data.

  • There is now scope for additional content, like articles, blogs and the like.

  • I have made a completely custom theme for the site that gives it more of a unique identity.


Again if you have any suggestions please post them in the Issues & Suggestions forum :)

Right now there are no adverts, this is because I am kindly hosting this site for free because I'm nice like that, but if the site does become busy enough I may have to either add an advert or ask for small donations towards to the costs of running the site, we'll see how it goes :)

And any comments or questions you have about the move, reply to this :)
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“Nothing is as frustrating as arguing with someone who knows what he's talking about.” - Sam Ewing
Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:04 pm
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ImprobableJoeLime TordUser avatarPosts: 6195Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:24 pm

Post Re: **STICKY** Why did we move?!?

Comments?

Smooth move. Well done!

(I hope this isn't the last positive note you get on this!)
Come visit my blog! There will be punch and pie!
Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:26 am
AbiUser avatarPosts: 61Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:33 pm

Post Re: **STICKY** Why did we move?!?

Glad the site got so much attention, no idea the community was that big.
Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:53 am
infraredUser avatarPosts: 48Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:58 amLocation: My relative location is none of your business

Post Re: **STICKY** Why did we move?!?

I see cleaner smilies :D a better loading time and a warm feeling that now we don't have to have the chat box in front, I like it. Nice job Cosmicspork
Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:17 am
GegoXARENUser avatarPosts: 42Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:19 pmLocation: sweden

Post Re: **STICKY** Why did we move?!?

You should add the "thanks" module, so we can thank you for your hard work...
And am still unable to change my user-name
//Gego/XAREN
//ゲゴザレン
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Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:16 am
CosmicSporkLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 928Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:36 pmLocation: UK Gender: Cake

Post Re: **STICKY** Why did we move?!?

Thanks :D this is just the start :)

Gego -
If you want your username changing send me a PM :)

It is possible to allow users to change their names but it can be abused so for now it's disabled.
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“Nothing is as frustrating as arguing with someone who knows what he's talking about.” - Sam Ewing
Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:27 am
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malignantpoodlePosts: 7Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:37 am

Post Re: **STICKY** Why did we move?!?

Well I have to say, "I told you so"

First, kudos on finally making the move to private hosting. With hundreds and going into the thousands of people, no free service is reliable enough to do that kind of traffic justice.

Although, I have to gripe that I was kicking and screaming about this from day one. I knew it was inevitable that maintaining forums such as these means that a free service would not work out, simply because I've been doing this too long. While I'm at it a couple of things;

1. You shouldn't need to put up adverts to support the site, provided you're just running forums. I have a couple of domains and unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, unlimited SQL databases, unlimited subdomains, mailboxes, etc costs me $37/year and that's with lifetime registration. I can even saturate a 20mb down stream from the server. Now truth be told there is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth because if you use enough, even the "unlimited" services will raise issue or cut you off. However, you'll never even come anywhere close to that running a forum. As a matter of fact the host would consider what a fantastic client you are for having an unlimited plan but only running forums with a few thousand people on it.

2. Again, myself included, people have offered to contribute or provide hosting, so I don't see the need for any adverts to support the site. If you need adverts, then please hit the community up first and I'm sure many of us will contribute so that doesn't have to be done.

3. I haven't been around lately (not saying anyone particularly misses me), because so much of the content I was involved with is lost. I think it's pretty cool that you wrote scripts to salvage a lot of the information (and completely deplorable that the free service wouldn't/couldn't even give you the database files), but still a LOT was lost. This could have been avoided. If you're going to have a suggestion section, then it might be worthwhile at times to follow those suggestions.

In any case, what's done is done. Thanks for LoR, and here's to hoping for a great recovery...
Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:06 am
CosmicSporkLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 928Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:36 pmLocation: UK Gender: Cake

Post Re: **STICKY** Why did we move?!?

You're right there were a lot of offers of hosting etc, myself included. I'm not sure why AW chose to approach me about it, probably because I seem to have no life and am online all the time :) But I was willing and able and am glad to be part of it.

I guess AW wanted to see how it would go before committing too much to LoR, and as the service at Forums-Free became worse and worse it forced him to make a decision.

It is unfortunate that the content couldn't be moved, at least not by me, the scripts I wrote to get the user data were a lot easier than it would be to get all the other data, and I just don't have the time to write something that complicated when I could be spending my time making improvements.

We won't just be running a forum in the long run. The reason that their would possibly be a need for advertising (and I'm only talking about a single banner at the bottom of the page just to help with costs) is that we aren't on a cheap shared hosting package which impose far too many restrictions.

For instance, you would be hard pressed to find a shared host that would allow the AJAX chat, I know that an alternative solution could be found that would be hosted externally but again that would restrict things. This hosting isn't just for LoR I might add, it also has my own stuff on it and a few sites I have done for freelance work.

We would like to avoid putting up adverts as much as possible, we also wanted to avoid having donations but it has become apparent from discussed plans that it might be necessary in order to facilitate expansion and improvements. For instance, a move to a better forum software like vBulletin, which although we have been offered licenses for, is not free to keep up to date.

Obviously the expenditure doesn't even get anywhere near VenomfangX's site for instance, so donations/income would only need to be small and infrequent.

I wouldn't say the content is 'lost', it's still accessible and can be continued on this forum, I understand that it is inconvenient but if a topic is that interesting and demands that much attention there is no reason why it can't be continued. Unfortunately, short of spending a lot of time on a script to scrape the thread and post data from the old forum, this was the best solution we could come up with.

I have to admit I am already impressed with activity so far and hope to see it improve further once a more improvements, features and content is added.

I am currently about 1/4 of the way through implementing the new style I've designed and I hope everyone will find it satisfactory when I've completed it. Obviously I'll need peoples feedback to ensure that I haven't missed anything which is quite easy to do when styling something with so may bits :)

Sorry for the essay I just want to make sure that you and everyone else understands that there are reasons for all of this :)
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“Nothing is as frustrating as arguing with someone who knows what he's talking about.” - Sam Ewing
Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:20 am
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malignantpoodlePosts: 7Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:37 am

Post Re: **STICKY** Why did we move?!?

Thanks for the response. I don't have much to add except in regard to this;

cosmicspork wrote:"We won't just be running a forum in the long run. The reason that their would possibly be a need for advertising (and I'm only talking about a single banner at the bottom of the page just to help with costs) is that we aren't on a cheap shared hosting package which impose far too many restrictions.

For instance, you would be hard pressed to find a shared host that would allow the AJAX chat, I know that an alternative solution could be found that would be hosted externally but again that would restrict things. This hosting isn't just for LoR I might add, it also has my own stuff on it and a few sites I have done for freelance work."


It's easy to find, if you know where to look. Use adult hosting services that porn sites do; they allow pretty much anything including chat apps and cost little more than your run of the mill service.
Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:46 pm
CosmicSporkLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 928Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:36 pmLocation: UK Gender: Cake

Post Re: **STICKY** Why did we move?!?

Yes I agree that hosting like that would allow all sorts of stuff, but then you run the risk of being stuck on the same IP address as a hardcore porn site that is possibly blocked by various ISP's, network admins or net nanny type software. Not to mention potential affiliation with such sites which could be damaging in one way or another. I'm sure there are other factors that would make it unfavourable :)
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“Nothing is as frustrating as arguing with someone who knows what he's talking about.” - Sam Ewing
Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:13 pm
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malignantpoodlePosts: 7Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:37 am

Post Re: **STICKY** Why did we move?!?

Dedicated IP but it's seems that no matter what solutions I offer, that there is going to be a way found where advertisements are "necessary" to support the site.

With adult hosting neither your visitors nor anyone but you would likely know the arrangement. Even Host Gator offers adult hosting services. The difference is in the terms of service. You wouldn't need them anyway, run of the mill public hosting would work for this site.

All of the advantages mentioned for moving that you named,
cosmicspork wrote: * We now have a lot more control over the forums and the server it is hosted on.

* The forum can now be modified. I have already made a few modifications to the site such as:

o The chat box on the board index can now be turned off or moved from the bottom to the top in your display preferences. I have also fixed the annoyance of when it scrolls you down to it when the page first loads.

o I have developed a YouTube fetcher, if you provide your YouTube account name in your profile, your last 5 videos will be displayed in your profile, and on top of that when you go to post you will see a button that will allow you to select a video from your account and it will insert it into your post. (This is all public information provided by the YouTube API)

o You can now embed videos and audio from QuestionScience.com.

o If you have any suggestions for modifications please let me know.

* The forum can be moved elsewhere in future without any loss of data.

* There is now scope for additional content, like articles, blogs and the like.

* I will be making a completely custom theme for the site that will give it more of a unique identity.


...are not an issue and easy as cake with simple hosting packages that can be had for $30-$50/year. Hell I'll even buy that for you guys.

Citing technical issues as the reason for the move;
cosmicspork wrote:we were continually getting problems with the service we were on, what with downtime, errors and slowdowns.


is corrected with cheap, unlimited hosting. It doesn't take a dedicated server to correct those issues. What I'm getting is that the type of hosting I'm suggesting doesn't have the features needed for the site, when at first the site was hosting on a freebie network and the reason for the move was due to technical issues. I guess I don't understand how free hosting minus technical problems would suffice whereas cheap hosting minus technical problems would not.

But my point is there is no reason whatsoever that a site like this needs adverts to be supported, and if it did, the adverts wouldn't support it. That is unless you want something crazy like a dedicated server to run cosmicspork.com, jesphoto.co.uk, or the 5 other sites on this server then yeah, "other factors" indeed.
Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:56 pm
somtwoLeague LegendPosts: 20Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:13 pm

Post Re: **STICKY** Why did we move?!?

Honestly, why not start a paypal account for donations right now? I see no reason why this site could/should not start accepting donations right now--even if those donations were only to benefit a future site. I for one would donate money to continue the site, just set up a donation page. If the site already has one please supply a link as I have not found it and I would like to donate to it.

Anyway, I love the site, please keep up the good work guys!!!

-somtwo
Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:11 am
CosmicSporkLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 928Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:36 pmLocation: UK Gender: Cake

Post Re: **STICKY** Why did we move?!?

We would like to, but there are some things that need sorting out first. The last thing we need is some bastard getting us into trouble because we haven't got all the legalities covered. Unfortunately, most of the LoR team have been very busy lately with other commitments (like work :(), but we will get round to it :)
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“Nothing is as frustrating as arguing with someone who knows what he's talking about.” - Sam Ewing
Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:44 am
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