community paid hosting

community paid hosting

Postby metulburr » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:44 am

The forum has had major downtime since Graziano or "python" had the forum. Some of that is related to limited users with access to the server, and some of it is related to the free hosting. From months back to back at first, to a few days here and there. All downtime. It seems as time goes on there are less and less users because this site now has the reputation of the inability to maintain constant uptime. python-forum.org is dying. I am even getting to the point of "if i need help, python-forum.org may or may not be online when i need it"

I propose to have the community donate the money needed to pay for proper annual hosting. As well as have more than one user with the ability to access the server in times of "mysql errors" or the like. Essentially create a banner that basically states "This is how much money we need for hosting. If we dont get this, the fourm goes down". I dont think we would have any problems in acquiring enough money. In fact, if we were to get more than enough money, we could buy merchandise and raffle it off back to the community.

If hosting cost $100 a year, i still dont think we would have a problem getting it. But that would lead me to the next question: How many people of the community would be willing to donate to support hosting for python-forum.org?

***This is not yet decided. It is just my idea i am bringing to everyone.***
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Re: community paid hosting

Postby micseydel » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:51 am

I don't think we need anything aggressive to get the money. A simple, discreet button at the bottom should do.

I'd love to see more transparency too, so that there is an "existing funds" value publicly available so they know how much time the forum has been paid in advance, and how much the hosting costs are, along with bandwidth used and anything like that if costs went above a base for a host.

Currently jkkbwr is just doing whatever and we don't know what's actually happening. A whois on this domain makes it look like it's still owned by Graziano which worries me tremendously, partly because we promised to display a thankful banner to him and partly because he's not part of our community and we gave him hundreds of dollars for community ownership.

And I'm not sure that the current hosting is free, I just thought it was supposed to be cheap enough that excess from the community donations for purchasing this domain were enough to cover hosting "forever". That said, I don't care if we have to eat that cost when switching providers, we can't afford multiple days of downtime.

It seems that we're the top result on Google for "python forum" again but I see no reason to put that at risk. And as mentioned we need multiple administrators who can tend to outages. I believe we need at least three people who usually visit the forum everyday and who are interested in fixing downtime as immediately as possible (I know my work schedule is flexible, I can take time out anytime during the day with usually no notice, sometimes an hour or two if I have a meeting and got unlucky; I don't know PHP or SQL though).

According this, WebFaction (a host I happen to use) has had a track record of 99.85% uptime recently. This comes to about half a day's downtime per year (not necessary contiguous). Our current host has had multiple full days (in the last 10 months? I forget when we started with them). WebFaction costs $8.50/month when paid a year in advance, $9.50/month when month-to-month. They would happily accept the PHP version of the forum and later any Python version we brew up. They allow multiple users to be able to SSH into the same account. I have not at all looked into alternatives, this is just the one host I know of that is Python-friendly so it would be easy to slap down a community created one later.
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Re: community paid hosting

Postby Kebap » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:47 pm

Thanks for suggesting the brainstorm. I like to solve these issues as well. Some more transparency might not hurt the trust neither.

Here is another python-hosting service, with an interesting payment option: You pay 1 euro monthly, may add donations on top. This ammounts to a minimum of 12 euro per year. For that, you basically get a shell login, access to a long list of software like python, php, etc. and can also install whatever. Their service and quality seems decent to very good. Did not test it thoroughly though, yet, but noticed absolutely no downtimes. Also, not sure how many English descriptions are available. Feel free to ask me for translations. :mrgreen:

http://www.uberspace.de/
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Re: community paid hosting

Postby metulburr » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:30 pm

1 euro a month sounds fishy to me. Unless of course it is the first year you mean. mics 8.50 sounds more like a host price. It seems like the attempt of acquiring cheap hosting service got us here in hte first place. Regardless, I dont think that amount matters, as i think it would be easy to acquire a hundred bucks from the community for a legit hosting service.
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Re: community paid hosting

Postby Kebap » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:21 pm

metulburr wrote:sounds fishy to me

yeah I can understand the scepticism, but it is actually part of their philosophy. That is why you get shell access and have to install your own applications. They prepare no fancy webstuff. They also rely on the donated extra payment and suggest you rather pay 5 to 10 euro. But the minimum is 1 euro. It seems to work quite well as until now.
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Re: community paid hosting

Postby micseydel » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:47 pm

Uberspace has very good reviews from what I can find. Kebap, I've been with WebFaction for around 5 years now (maybe a bit more), how long have you been using Uberspace? The philosophies between them are very different, Uberspace is like Arch Linux where WebFaction is like Ubuntu (except that WebFaction didn't start pissing me off a few years ago); one makes a lot very easy and will even install custom software if you open a ticket and request it, whereas the other want you to do everything yourself.
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Re: community paid hosting

Postby ochichinyezaboombwa » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:04 am

I propose:
a) all who would like to donate post it here (I would) or if more convenient PM to metulburr,
b) then metulburr (or whoever is willing / has to be responsible for the hosting) send each of us a PM:
"There are X participants so your part for the next year is $YY. Please paypal it here: (...)".
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Re: community paid hosting

Postby ochichinyezaboombwa » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:08 am

PS: IMHO: The forum is dying not because of these short downtimes but because of
a) the downtime which started Nov-2012 and lasted about half-a-year (correct me with the number of months it wasn't there).
b) all of the old content disappearance.
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Re: community paid hosting

Postby micseydel » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:23 am

ochichinyezaboombwa wrote:PS: IMHO: The forum is dying not because of these short downtimes but because of
a) the downtime which started Nov-2012 and lasted about half-a-year (correct me with the number of months it wasn't there).
b) all of the old content disappearance.

With regard to old content, is there something specific you'd like to see back? Because it's a lot of work to do it for everything (I swear I intend to do this work at some point), but if there are individual posts you want back then that's very manageable in the short term.

Also, with regard to specific dollar amounts I'd prefer not to split things equally unless there's a lot of desire to do so; I wouldn't want someone to feel obligated to contribute more than they reasonably can or anyone who could do more to feel like they needn't based on false information (that others can contribute 1/xth of the needed amount).

I know we have people here who are students, and haven't recently been a student I really appreciate the entirely free community. And now as a recently employed software engineer I know how much more a contribution I can comfortably make relative to what would have been somewhat of a burden just a few months ago, and it's a HUGE difference! Plus, as small as we are right now, hosting costs are very small so it shouldn't really be an issue.

I also wonder what is left from jkkbwr's collections from when we originally bought* the domain.

*hopefully? Still wondering about that.
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Re: community paid hosting

Postby ochichinyezaboombwa » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:56 am

Yeah, I am also wondering ab. that (us purchasing, where is the collection, etc.).

Regarding why I miss old content and what needs to be restored:
a) all needs to be restored. Then, it's going to increase the traffic tremendously. (As many search queries will have a corresponding page here). –– That's of course after Google (re-)crawls everything but they are really fast with that now.
b) Please explain how is it so hard to restore everything. If it's possible to restore a single thread then it's a matter of a for loop to do the rest, or what huge issue am I missing here? BTW: I'd be glad to participate / write a piece of code for the migration. If you can isolate some part, please send me a PM.

As of payments: I see your point; let students pay whatever amount and the rest – split whatever remains. I would agree with whatever option you guys will come up with. But if we have at least ten people (which I think is a reasonable expectation) then... what we're discussing here exactly?
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Re: community paid hosting

Postby metulburr » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:45 am

PS: IMHO: The forum is dying not because of these short downtimes but because of
a) the downtime which started Nov-2012 and lasted about half-a-year (correct me with the number of months it wasn't there).
b) all of the old content disappearance.

wow, was it really 6 months?
yeah the sudden loss of the database is surely one of those too.

This might not be the case, but i think the old database is gone. Not that no one has it, but rather no one wants to merge the old database with the new one. Or no one wants to remove the past year database and just insert the old database, and saying googbye to this currrent one. Plus i think some people's usernames are different...I am not sure if that helps or hinders the merging of the two. And lastely, it appears that no one has really ever merged databases like that here before. I dont think a simple for loop is all there is to merging them. And that is if there "is" anything left of the database. The proof is in the pudding...maybe the reason that we havent seen the database because there is actually nothing left of it? Don't know. The best of both worlds would be to merge the previous year with the old database. Which would be awesome. But I dont see it happening. I mean it been a year already.

I think the first blackout time (6 months?) was really bad for the site. It gave off the impression that we have no idea how to run a website. (someone actaully said that too). The only reason everyone was OK with it, was because everyone thought that by the time it went back online, that we would have a new forum written in python. If it was just that, and only that, i think we would of been OK. However i think the downtime was just as bad. With how often the downtime has happened, and how long they have been...I think those that were sketchy of the site after coming online after those 6 months were definitely not happy about the downtime. I mean some of those mysql errors are no troubleshooting at all...you just log in, click a button, and the website is back on. It is just the time for hte owner to realize that it is down. In todays world, it is unacceptable to have downtime for long periods of time. I mean what if Google was down for 3 days? Or github...i would not realy on github to house my code if they had as much downtime as this forum has.

But if we have at least ten people (which I think is a reasonable expectation) then... what we're discussing here exactly

I would think it is safe to assume we would need roughly $100 dollars annually. So $10 a piece "roughly". However I think we should shoot for 100 people to donate $1 dollar. At that point, we only need someone to donate $1 dollar every 3 and a half days to get to our goal annually. Of course that is after we have already established a new host with the first year. (unless 100 people is too far fetched).
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Re: community paid hosting

Postby micseydel » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:09 am

Merging the old forum posts has issues including clashing of topic, post and subforum numbers as well as bookmarks, and the way things currently are there aren't really any nice ways of resolving that. Not to mention who owns each post. To merge a single post, we would probably ignore a bunch of those issues, or a moderator or a special account would make the post and credit people in a very inelegant way. Definitely not worth doing in large scale.

If we build the custom forum we can actually solve all the issues elegantly. We can have backwards compatibility with all the old and current posts as well as move forward. We have have people be able to claim and merge old posts/accounts. All that junk.

I took a whack, many months ago, at trying to read the old forum's database. I had a hard time with it (I'm not experienced with databases) and other priorities took over. Not sure it's worth it at this point until there's a new forum to slap the information into. If anyone wants to volunteer to extract the database out into an easily readable forum, such as JSON, if the community is comfortable with that person having the database that has emails and password hashes (unsalted MD5s I believe, not secure [although I could be mistaken]), then I'd be happy to pass the database onto them and maybe step up efforts on building the new forum.
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Re: community paid hosting

Postby metulburr » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:45 pm

So currently there are 4 people who posted. Are there any more regulars or even new members that would be willing to help support the forum host. Anything is worthwhile. I urge you to make a post just to say that you are willing. 96 more people, lol.
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Re: community paid hosting

Postby Somelauw » Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:11 am

micseydel wrote:Merging the old forum posts has issues including clashing of topic, post and subforum numbers as well as bookmarks, and the way things currently are there aren't really any nice ways of resolving that. Not to mention who owns each post. To merge a single post, we would probably ignore a bunch of those issues, or a moderator or a special account would make the post and credit people in a very inelegant way. Definitely not worth doing in large scale.


Would it be possible to recover all old posts, forums, members etc by replacing the current database with the old one? Because maybe it's easier to merge the new posts/members/subfora with the old posts/members/subfora instead of the other way around.
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Re: community paid hosting

Postby micseydel » Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:33 am

Somelauw wrote:Would it be possible to recover all old posts, forums, members etc by replacing the current database with the old one? Because maybe it's easier to merge the new posts/members/subfora with the old posts/members/subfora instead of the other way around.

That sounds plausible from a technical standpoint, but I don't like the idea of abandoning all the currently in-progress topics for what I perceive as little to no benefit. I'd rather continue with what we have now, and do a full swap into a proper merge when it can be done.

There seems to be enough interest that I can try to start hacking out the new version soon (between xmas and the new year). People interested in making the database easily insertable for me are welcome to volunteer to do so, and knowing that is around will motivate me. My only concern about devoting that time right now is about exactly what we're discussing: hosting. I'd be quite annoyed if I hustled to get a new forum ready before I start work again on the 2nd, and then jkbbwr couldn't/wouldn't deploy it for forever.
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Re: community paid hosting

Postby drpaneas » Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:44 am

Hello there and Merry Christmas to everyone,

My name is Panos and this is my first post here. Please do notice that I am currently a student and I come from Greece (the land of unemployment), yet I could afford some small amount of money for the community hosting/server needs, mainly because:

1) I respect your effort
2) and if every member here give 1 Euro (or dollar), then the problem will be solved in 1 minute

My thoughts are to look into a dedicated-server solution, like this: http://www.hetzner.de/en/hosting/produk ... rverboerse

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Re: community paid hosting

Postby tr1t0n » Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:15 pm

I would definitely contribute a small monthly donation.
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Re: community paid hosting

Postby ochichinyezaboombwa » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:27 am

Hi guys,

Merry (belated) XMas and Happy (belated) New Year!

a) any resolution on the subject of this thread?

b) I am interested in working on merging the old and the new forums; the major reason for that I think is the old forum contained a lot of useful content and, if indexed by Google, should dramatically increase the number of queries that have relevant pages here and so increase the traffic to this forum, to everybody's benefits.
In order to start, I'd like to get a raw dump of the old DB. (We've been discussing this with micseydel for a while).

The question is: does the community approve / disapprove?

Thanks.
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Re: community paid hosting

Postby micseydel » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:33 am

ochi I was literally just about to get back to your PM. But yeah, how do people feel about him taking one or both dumps (the old and current) and turning them into something manageable? If I know that he can get me at nice JSON, I'll be highly motivated to start pounding out a prototype new forum (and maybe others will too?).
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Re: community paid hosting

Postby stranac » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:32 am

Sounds like a good idea.

Have you discussed creating a new forum with jkbbwr, though?
He's the only person with access to the host and the owner of the domain, right?

Last I heard from him(I wanted to start working on this a few times as well), he wasn't at all interested in something like that, since he "has a guy working on it"(at an extremely slow pace, it would seem).
And even when he was writing a new forum, all the pull requests(at least mine) were refused because he wanted to do things his way...
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