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PostPosted: Fri 12 Aug , 2005 11:01 am 
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Now that we have got the backup, it is time to start thinking about if and when we move to our own site.

All members are invited to give their input in this thread, before it will eventually lead to a memberwide vote on whether to move or not.

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Alatar, Jude, and LalaithUrwen


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PostPosted: Fri 12 Aug , 2005 11:19 am 
*Ex-Admin of record*

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Thanks for doing this so swiftly :)

Before you all get a-hashing, I just want to give you a quick 'run-down' so to speak:

phpbb (where we are now) is a free board (we don't pay. WYSIWYG). This quite obviously does have certain disadvantages:

- extremely limited customization

- no backups - well, we got one now, yet it took some 2month+, a lot of headaches and certainly won't become a 'regular' feature any time soon)

- we depend on their goodwill of hosting us. Right now we're occupying close to 300MB of space with this board (that is the size of the backup). We are by far the largest free board on their server. I believe we're still quite safe - question is just for how long! Phpbb has never said how much 'maximum' any one given free phpbb board can reach - though we've tried prying it out of them. Communication with them is ~ well let's say 'difficult' ;)

What are the potentials for moving

- having our own place gives us freedom to do what we want.

Having received now this one backup, we will get another backup before we move. I hope I can make a deal with phpbb to that effect. It might mean we have to close *this* board for a couple of days. In the interim (and before we're up on our new place) we could put a temporary free board up where people can still meet and check on ongoing progress. That 'interim' board however would would be deleted once we're installed on our own site.
I'm not saying it will be like that - I'm just saying this could be an option if there is extended board-downtime during the last, final backup :)

- we will have to set in motion the Ownership issues in regard to the new board. Possibly even sort them out completely before the move.

- we will have to somehow get money to pay for hosting bills


These - I believe - are the main points. There is no need to get totally technical at this point in time but rather discuss amongst all of us (and then vote conclusively) wether we want to move and 'declare independence' ;) or not.

Hash away :D


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PostPosted: Fri 12 Aug , 2005 1:16 pm 
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If these questions are ignorant, forgive me!

If we move to our own site, will the board look the same and operate the same? Or is this software only at phppb? I ask because this is a very easy board to use, speaking as a member. (Rangers may think it's a nightmare for all I know.) I like it far better than any non-phppb board I've frequented.

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PostPosted: Fri 12 Aug , 2005 1:22 pm 
of Vinyamar
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I have an issue that needs to be discussed and this is probably the best place to raise it. The Sensitive Info forum contains the password for the Board77 host. It's also not something that can or should be regularly changed. However this means that anyone who has ever rangered has the ability to completely wipe the board once we're on the new domain.

The question is, who should have access to this info? The tech committee? I'm not sure about this, but pretty much anyone can be on the tech committee without the restrictions placed on Rangers. Do I have the authority to tell the existing Tech Members passwords that will eventually be a loaded gun. Currently there is no need for this, but what about when we have a Tech Committee with no Ranger on it?

Please understand, I'm not casting any aspersions on the current tech members, I'm just pointing out that this is highly dangerous information and should be handled carefully.

At any rate, I strongly recommend that it is removed from the Sensitive Info forum. The less people who have access to this password, the more secure the site will be.

Alatar

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PostPosted: Fri 12 Aug , 2005 1:23 pm 
of Vinyamar
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Wampuscat, the board should be exactly the same, possibly with the option to use different styles.

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PostPosted: Fri 12 Aug , 2005 1:30 pm 
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We need to make a distinction between phpbb and phpbber...

phpbber is the name of the hosting company where we are now. They run phpbb software, and give us limited access to customizing it.

If we move to our own domain, we can still run phpbb software, and because we own the files, we can customize it to however we want.

As Dave mentioned in the Technical Discussion thread, another alternative is vBulletin software, which we could also choose to run at our own domain. Again, we could customize it however we like.

phpbb is free, open source software, and vBulletin costs money, but not a lot. If you read Dave's description, he seems to feel vBulletin is worth the extra cost.

Remember, there are no ignorant questions! I hope that all non-technical people will come and ask whatever's on their mind. :)

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PostPosted: Fri 12 Aug , 2005 1:35 pm 
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Progress so far:

I have tried restoring the backup from within PHPBB. This failed, as I expected it would since the board as set up has different passwords and possibly a different structure. I also tried restoring from phpMyAdmin which was unsuccessful, probably due to the size of the file.

The most logical method is to restore the dump directly using mysql from a shell. Unfortunately, the hosting package did not have shell access enabled. I have requested this from the host.

More info when I have it.

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PostPosted: Fri 12 Aug , 2005 1:49 pm 
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Thanks for the information, Alatar and Jude. :)

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PostPosted: Fri 12 Aug , 2005 1:50 pm 
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:D I tried uploading the file too.

Can I repeat something I mentioned in the Technical Discussion thread: I think we should recommend that members not post any confidential information in PM's, but take it to email. If confidential information must be sent, request that the recipient delete it upon receipt, and the sender should delete it from their Sentbox.

The reason is that while we're working with the database backup, we might accidentally see something not meant for our eyes. :Q

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PostPosted: Fri 12 Aug , 2005 1:59 pm 

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Thanks for your work guys. As I mentioned in the technical discussion thread, my intention is to complete a final membership ownership plan once a firm plan for moving to our own site is in place. This is a big step towards this goal and I will continue to monitor the situation. :)


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PostPosted: Fri 12 Aug , 2005 2:24 pm 
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Alatar wrote:
The Sensitive Info forum contains the password for the Board77 host.


I don't get this - sorry, but then I AM ignorant. What passward for host?
Anyone having access to the Admin pannel could disable this board - and then no-one could get back on. Is this different?
In the end it's a trust issue and frankly: I do trust the people we have as Rangers and I do trust the Tech committe :D (without trust we wouldn't be getting far with a member-operated board). So, if indeed there is a seperate password somewhere and it's in Sensitive Information where only Rangers can see it (and through the backup now you tech guys also), at least for me that's not an issue.
It's not like we're going to advertise it anywehre, right?

Thanks Voronwe to pop in :) I know you said you'd complete your legal expertise once a more comprehensive plan is up but it would be nice if you could give us some 'teaser-tasters' first if at all possible. I'm such such a sucker for information :oops:
:D


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PostPosted: Fri 12 Aug , 2005 3:24 pm 

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We've already had the "teaser-tasters". There really isn't any intermediate step between what I have already outlined and the final plan. It'll be soon enough, I'm sure, based on the excellent quality of the tech committee, but it will also need to be when I have sufficient time in my work schedule to work in the further research that I need to do. :)


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PostPosted: Sat 13 Aug , 2005 1:46 am 
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In light of Alatar's concerns regarding security, I think my major questions are:

If we move to our own site, how regularly will we be able to back up? What software/setup would we want to use, and how easy would it be on that software to restore the entire site from the backup, in the unlikely event that someone acted in bad faith to delete the board?

If this process is not too difficult, then the concerns about the Ranger Pool (and possibly, the tech committee) having access to the password diminish.


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PostPosted: Sat 13 Aug , 2005 2:50 pm 
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This is a question out of left field ... it sort of popped into my head so I figured I would ask.

Liddy bought the domain name rights to B77.com, .org and .net, right?

.com is for commercial sites, .org is for organizations and .net is for networks, right?

Since we're going to try to become a member-owned non-profit organization, I was wondering whether we shouldn't position ourselves on B77.org rather than .com.

Maybe this doesn't matter at all .... or maybe it does. Is there anyone here who knows the etiquette of domain names and how important it is that our DN correspond to our structure/purpose?

Jn

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PostPosted: Sat 13 Aug , 2005 11:04 pm 
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tolkienpurist wrote:
In light of Alatar's concerns regarding security, I think my major questions are:

If we move to our own site, how regularly will we be able to back up? What software/setup would we want to use, and how easy would it be on that software to restore the entire site from the backup, in the unlikely event that someone acted in bad faith to delete the board?

If this process is not too difficult, then the concerns about the Ranger Pool (and possibly, the tech committee) having access to the password diminish.


We can back up daily.

If we use a MySQL database, which seems likely, than the backups will be in the form of a plain text file (currently about 300 MB :Q ). Restoring from a backup file should be fairly simple and straightforward.

Of course, we could get a host that would do the backups for us - this might cost more, but it removes the possibility of a disgruntled techie bringing down the site in a fit of pique.

Jny - good point. .org is often used for non-profit organizations. .com is so common that it is often used for non-commercial websites, only because it is the first thing that comes to mind.

Maybe Voronwë can tell us if using .com would jeopardize our non-profit status (my guess is no). But using .org might send a more accurate message. What do others think?

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PostPosted: Sun 14 Aug , 2005 12:18 am 
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I've noticed some other boards use .net, which to me carries the message of facilitating communication and so seems very appropriate. And I see what you mean about .org been more relevant to a non-profit than a .com. But honestly I don't think it matters.

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PostPosted: Sun 14 Aug , 2005 12:39 am 
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.net really SHOULD be reserved for actualy telecom networks, ISPs, et al. .org seems like a better fit to me.


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PostPosted: Sun 14 Aug , 2005 1:12 am 
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Jude wrote:
We can back up daily.

If we use a MySQL database, which seems likely, than the backups will be in the form of a plain text file (currently about 300 MB :Q ). Restoring from a backup file should be fairly simple and straightforward.

Of course, we could get a host that would do the backups for us - this might cost more, but it removes the possibility of a disgruntled techie bringing down the site in a fit of pique.

Jny - good point. .org is often used for non-profit organizations. .com is so common that it is often used for non-commercial websites, only because it is the first thing that comes to mind.


mySql would be the best way forward, phpBB also supports PostgreSQL, then there is the MS databases, well enough said!

300mB isnt that large, you wont need to start doing incremental backups until you go over the 1GB mark, 650 mB currently takes about 3 mins at 3am on a large vB board (similar to phpBB). If you get to the incremental point then youll need the mysql bin installed on the hosting server and a script would be best.

If you got a host or external co. to take backups then this will cost you money but they would be safe(ish) ie depends on the cost and how reliable the backup was! I guess it all comes down to trust with whoevers doing the backup.............

i have just last week set up a board for a badminton club and they (being in the uk) opted for a .org.uk site.............. My vote would be for .org for your board77 but i am not that up on domains!

Sounds a clear as mud doesnt it!


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PostPosted: Sun 14 Aug , 2005 1:16 am 
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Alatar wrote:
I also tried restoring from phpMyAdmin which was unsuccessful, probably due to the size of the file.


What errors did you get ?


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PostPosted: Sun 14 Aug , 2005 1:19 am 
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dave wrote:
Alatar wrote:
I also tried restoring from phpMyAdmin which was unsuccessful, probably due to the size of the file.


What errors did you get ?


I tried the same thing - no error messages, just didn't work.

Would be cool to be able to look at the server log, though.

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