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UnrealSP.org: End of service(?)

For discussion about UnrealSP.org itself.

Moderators: ividyon, Semfry, zYnthetic

User avatar ividyon
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Subject: Re: UnrealSP.org: End of service

Post Posted: 03 Oct 2019, 21:34

zYnthetic wrote:I've been following this for a while before responding. I have available resources to provide a continuation of the site as it is now but also many reservations about doing so. Some reservations are exclusive to myself and others are more universal, both converge at the same point.

What does UnrealSP need?

The answer isn't a new host or renewal, these are only facilitators. They may be necessary but I'm not asking what we need to keep the site running. A million years ago a few BuF'rs splintered off and made what was at the time the best way to bring people together over an interest in Unreal. It is uncontestable how much easier it is to engage with others today, yet it has been a serious problem on UnrealSP for years. Running phpbb is one of my own biggest reservations for the security concerns it raises and the high administrative costs make managing a community nearly impossible without restricting it.

My opinion of what UnrealSP needs the most is participation. Specifically the ability to participate with as little cost (to admin) as possible. What that means in terms of where the site goes is anyone's guess but if we can't make it easier for more people to engage in the community, even if the site is take care of indefinitely it wont matter if the community shrinks to nothing.

I have no problem hosting static content or even purchasing the domain. I'd like to hear some suggestions of what we can do with the community portion of UnrealSP. Is the forum format really something we should be doing? With access to different community based services (reddit, amino, etc), is staying an island the best thing? What options are there that help UnrealSP as a community become more accessible and visible to the world at large?


zyn's stance is one I share, and why I have been personally less than excited about ideas of continuing to host UnrealSP "as-is", while of course I appreciate the option for it.

The entire idea behind the USP "reboot" was to allow people to chip in reviews and articles on their own, and have them only be approved by administration. This would play into zyn's ideas above. But that, of course, requires either continued development of the platform I've been working on, or someone to make their own from scratch. Both are undertakings of effort.

@zyn: I have, a long while ago, acquired mod rights to r/Unreal on reddit, if that is of any interest.
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Ironword
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Subject: Re: UnrealSP.org: End of service

Post Posted: 07 Oct 2019, 10:25

Whatever y'all decide, I'm sure most of us more casual users will support you and be grateful you're keeping it going. Personally I like the forum format but that's just because that's what I grew up with and from being a young firebreather aflame with the romance of cyberspace fueled by William Gibson (nowadays younger folks, even in the compsci field, often don't know who he is), now I've morphed into an old curmudgeon (don't use reddit etc, no social media b/c of security concerns, etc.). Therefore you'll need to spell out exactly where you're migrating to and the kind of learning curve I'll be in for. But if that's what needs to happen, so be it.

User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: UnrealSP.org: End of service

Post Posted: 11 Oct 2019, 12:32

Just arrived back from holiday and hoped to see some progress (if only in discussion).

ividyon wrote:zyn's stance is one I share, and why I have been personally less than excited about ideas of continuing to host UnrealSP "as-is", while of course I appreciate the option for it.

The entire idea behind the USP "reboot" was to allow people to chip in reviews and articles on their own, and have them only be approved by administration. This would play into zyn's ideas above. But that, of course, requires either continued development of the platform I've been working on, or someone to make their own from scratch. Both are undertakings of effort.

Actually the whole forum-approach (whether it's phpBB or another package) to me seems the only one possible without needing too much extra coding.
Considering the (still) lack of response in this topic I'm starting to fear nothing will happen unless someone shows something more or less ready for implementation. What was the 'deadline"again? As of November forums read-only? and then what?

User avatar ividyon
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Subject: Re: UnrealSP.org: End of service

Post Posted: 15 Oct 2019, 14:05

I don't know where that "As of November forums read-only?" clause comes from. I've only written that the site will stay "as-is" until January 29.

The deadline on January 29 is that the domain unrealsp.org will expire then. This makes it up for grabs, unless someone wants to reserve it and have me transfer rights to them, first.

It will also mark the point where I plan to stop hosting the site, though it does not affect my ability to fetch the database/code.

Technically, the only thing that needs to happen until the deadline is that the domain is secured & paid for, moving forward. Even if the site goes offline, everything else can be done at any other time in the future - it can be restored by its new maintainers later.

It's mainly just losing the domain that would suck, since it's easily possible that a malicious party just snags it up.

The domain is currently the only thing that remains with our old host NixiHost, costing $10 a year. Transferring to another registrar can be arranged at any time. The only thing needed to maintain the connection to the current server (which I will keep operational until January 29) is to keep the DNS entries the same as before.
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User avatar ividyon
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Subject: Re: UnrealSP.org: End of service

Post Posted: 15 Oct 2019, 14:29

I have given the situation further thought and I am ready to provide an update on the initially outlined conditions.

  1. I am willing to continue hosting the website. I am hosting USP on my personal server, which I keep around for other reasons anyway. The traffic/impact of the site makes no dent in its performance. This is subject to change if my job situation changes and I am forced to cancel my server renting.
  2. I am not willing to continue paying for the domain. The domain currently costs $9.95/year. This can be remedied by donations or by somebody taking over the payment process/setting up a yearly wire. This needs to be addressed by January 29, 2020.
  3. The website will continue to exist in "limbo", with no promises of development or updates. This includes the bugs, closed registration etc.

This is a concession to allow the site to continue without panic, for those who are concerned about the loss of information. I will see myself as the web host, rather than the maintainer of the website.

Development and progress beyond this will require the site administration to be transferred to somebody else. It is my belief that would be what's *truly* needed to give the community another chance at revival, rather than just conservation efforts.

Here's a handy donation button for the hosting if you want to chip in:

Image
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User avatar Diego96
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Subject: Re: UnrealSP.org: End of service(?)

Post Posted: 15 Oct 2019, 19:26

Haven't you had any suggestions about opening up a Patreon yet?
M'nali

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Subject: Re: UnrealSP.org: End of service(?)

Post Posted: 16 Oct 2019, 22:59

I can offer hosting and taking control of the domain, I have no qualms with paying $10/yr perpetually. I don't think I have time to actually actively develop for it but I can absolutely give access to someone who could. I could at least open registration again provided I can defeat bots without significant effort, or just bring it to administrator approval. I've provided file hosting in the past (nobody has asked me to host anything new for several years) for here with map packs etc posted on re views so I hope that can prove it's at least reliable. Still hosting a redirect for dots to this day as well, on top of a couple unreal servers for myself and dots.

I might have been still be an ass but I know I don't want these forums to go away just because of money.

User avatar salsaSkaarj
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Subject: Re: UnrealSP.org: End of service(?)

Post Posted: Yesterday, 18:30

[]KAOS[]Casey wrote:I can offer hosting and taking control of the domain, I have no qualms with paying $10/yr perpetually. I don't think I have time to actually actively develop for it but I can absolutely give access to someone who could. I could at least open registration again provided I can defeat bots without significant effort, or just bring it to administrator approval. I've provided file hosting in the past (nobody has asked me to host anything new for several years) for here with map packs etc posted on re views so I hope that can prove it's at least reliable. Still hosting a redirect for dots to this day as well, on top of a couple unreal servers for myself and dots.

I might have been still be an ass but I know I don't want these forums to go away just because of money.

Bots can be blocked from registering relatively easy using the built-in Q&A in phpBB3.2.
I'm not sure what kind of development would be needed but I'm fairly certain that what has been done (by ivydion) would need to be scrutinised seriously if the functionality has to stay (with phpBB3.2). Also to be taken into account is that phpBB3.2 is nearing its end of support. With 3.3 in the pipeline I strongly disadvise to develop for 3.2 as custom coding. If any coding needs to be done it should be as extensions in order to allow easy updating (and upgrading) when 3.3 (and 4.0) is released (the latter most probably/certainly not before 2020).

In the meantime I've been able to play around with a board on infinityfree and in terms of resources I'm fairly sure there would be no problem for a board like unrealsp.org (the only drawback at this time being that infinityfree currently only offers php 5.6 (and lower) and 7.3. phpBB is not yet compatible with php 7.3 (only as of phpBB 3.3).

As to the style unrealsp.org uses, if the board is upgraded, making the current style compatible will be a PITA. But since the parent style is prosilver, it shouldn't be all that hard to modify a 3.2 style to the looks of the unreal style.

As mentioned before (can't remember whether that was public or per PM), I'm prepared to have a look at how much work upgrading would involve, but for that I'ld need a (stripped down) copy of the database and the fileset to play around with on localhost.

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