Hosting Annual Renewal

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RichardRussell
Posts: 343
Joined: Tue 15 Oct 2019, 09:10

Hosting Annual Renewal

Post by RichardRussell »

I have now received the Annual Renewal invoice from my hosting provider, so the time has come to make a final decision on whether or not to fund, for another year, the increased storage and bandwidth that this forum requires. I received only one response to my question on this topic in the other thread, so it is apparent that the vast majority of the members of this forum do not have a strong view one way or the other.

As far as alternative places to seek support are concerned, there is Kendall Down's BBC BASIC forum, the StarDot forum (which is generously allowing discussions about BB4W and BBCSDL despite them strictly being off-topic) and the BBC BASIC DIscussion Group. Note that the latter contains the entire archive of messages from the old Yahoo! group, going back to 2005 - more than 4,600 topics - and nearly 60 downloadable files. There is also a Facebook page for those who prefer social media platforms.
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Edja
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue 03 Apr 2018, 12:07

Re: Hosting Annual Renewal

Post by Edja »

........and the BBC BASIC Discussion Group. Note that the latter contains the entire archive of messages from the old Yahoo! group, going back to 2005 - more than 4,600 topics - and nearly 60 downloadable files
You present valid arguments in favor of the BBC BASIC Discussion Group.
Any downside to the BBC BASIC Discussion Group ?
If not (or marginal), this alternative seems OK.
Edja

RichardRussell
Posts: 343
Joined: Tue 15 Oct 2019, 09:10

Re: Hosting Annual Renewal

Post by RichardRussell »

Edja wrote:
Sat 06 Jun 2020, 09:00
Any downside to the BBC BASIC Discussion Group ?
Yes there are many, mostly arising from the fact that it is principally an email-based mailing list (although it has a web interface, most members don't access it that way). As such there is no satisfactory way that you can include code listings in posts, and no way (other than by links) that you can include images or videos in posts.

Although there are threads, of a sort, by default every member is emailed every message, whether they are interested in the topic or not (it is possible for them to 'unsubscribe' a topic but only after receiving the first message - it's 'opt out' rather than 'opt in' like this forum). Consequently I am reluctant to discuss specialised or minority interests there; resignations are not uncommon if I do.

The inability to include formatted program listings is the killer for me (although the group can deliver dual HTML/plain-text emails with formatting in the HTML part, quite what the recipient sees is impossible to predict). It makes it highly unsuited to discussions about programming!

This may not be a popular comment, but I also think an email-based mailing list attracts an older, more staid, membership and is likely to be offputting to the younger generation whom we need to take an interest in BBC BASIC if it is to survive.
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jbk
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue 03 Apr 2018, 19:42

Re: Hosting Annual Renewal

Post by jbk »

what would be the cost of a one year renewal?

RichardRussell
Posts: 343
Joined: Tue 15 Oct 2019, 09:10

Re: Hosting Annual Renewal

Post by RichardRussell »

jbk wrote:
Tue 09 Jun 2020, 11:14
what would be the cost of a one year renewal?
I'd prefer not to say (I don't want people to think I've chosen a particularly cheap hosting provider, or indeed a particularly expensive one for that matter!). Anyway it's less about the money than the principle of how the forum should be funded and administered.

We arrived at the situation we are in 'by accident', in that the old forum provider (Conforums) closed down with little notice, making it necessary to archive what we could of the old forum and transfer the membership to a new forum in only a short time. We could have switched to another commercial forum provider (e.g. ProBoards) but, rightly or wrongly, I was concerned that the same thing might happen again. So to provide some security against the forum being forcibly closed down by a third party I decided to host it myself.

With hindsight I was naïve to think that the arrangement could work; I had, after all, been drummed out of the old forum because my presence was felt to be damaging. I think I hoped that the new forum might give an opportunity for a fresh start, with old antagonisms being put behind us, but that didn't allow for human nature. It didn't take long for old hatreds to resurface.

So we are where we are. A substantial proportion of the forum's membership (including some of the most knowledgeable) refuse to post while I remain able to reply. But if my posting privileges are again withdrawn (by being banned or moderated) I will be faced with having to pay for the storage and bandwidth of a forum to which I cannot contribute. :cry:
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DDRM
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon 02 Apr 2018, 18:04

Re: Hosting Annual Renewal

Post by DDRM »

Hi Richard,

It seems to me that actually it makes the situation very simple: this is YOUR forum, which YOU pay for, and where YOU can provide support. If there are people who don't like that, they can post somewhere else - especially as there is now a "shadow" forum on ProBoards, as well as the groups.io site (and, for that matter, Stardot).

If you feel you CAN'T post here, and consequently close down the forum (and it seems perfectly reasonable to me that you might wish to), then they'll be in the same situation of posting somewhere else - and the rest of us will have lost the benefit of your wisdom.

Best wishes,

D

Edja
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue 03 Apr 2018, 12:07

Re: Hosting Annual Renewal

Post by Edja »

Richard,
I fully agree with D.
I couldn't have said it better.

Edja

RichardRussell
Posts: 343
Joined: Tue 15 Oct 2019, 09:10

Re: Hosting Annual Renewal

Post by RichardRussell »

DDRM wrote:
Wed 10 Jun 2020, 10:56
this is YOUR forum, which YOU pay for, and where YOU can provide support.
No. It is a support forum for BBC BASIC for Windows and BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0, and whilst those are indeed products that I originally wrote (BBCSDL is now Open Source) they have an existence beyond any individual. If your argument that it is MY forum were true then when I die the forum would have no purpose. But that's not the case: for as long as BB4W and BBCSDL are used there will be a need for support, whether I exist or not.

I often make comparisons with Liberty BASIC, because it mirrors BBC BASIC in many respects, and their support model is the one I think is best. Their 'community' forum is neither owned by, run by nor paid-for by the author of Liberty BASIC - the clue is in the name! It is entirely user-led and its independence is valuable. That's why YOU, not me, administer this forum, so that it can remain independent of me in respect of policy, rules, discipline etc.

If you ask me, it is the 'personalisation' of this forum that you seem so keen to promote that is largely responsible for its problems. How many times have you and others complained that it has become an 'ask Richard' forum? How many times have I been asked to 'stand back' and allow others to provide an answer? How many times have users complained that it is my presence at the forum which discourages others to post? Those seem to argue for it becoming less 'my' forum, not more!
If there are people who don't like that, they can post somewhere else
There are not enough users of BB4W and BBCSDL, nor enough expertise available to provide high-quality support, for it to be sensible to encourage splintering of the membership in that way. Taking your proposal to its logical conclusion, this forum would indeed be entirely mine but there might be no other members! What possible value to me or to anybody else would that be? Why would I want to continue funding it in that case?

I do agree with you in one respect: the answer is "simple". It's to give me a break! Accept that I am human and fallible, and that I will sometimes say things I shouldn't or cause offence when none was intended. Give me the benefit of the doubt rather than assuming motives that I never had. Stop the hate mail and the death threats.
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Edja
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue 03 Apr 2018, 12:07

Re: Hosting Annual Renewal

Post by Edja »

Death threats ? Really? How ridiculous (by lack of a stronger word)!
Does changing to one of the alternatives you 've mentioned (Kendall Down's BBC BASIC forum, the StarDot forum, BBC BASIC DIscussion Group, Facebook page) will stop this kind of negative reactions? Can't they reach you there too?
Edja

RichardRussell
Posts: 343
Joined: Tue 15 Oct 2019, 09:10

Re: Hosting Annual Renewal

Post by RichardRussell »

Edja wrote:
Wed 10 Jun 2020, 15:16
Can't they reach you there too?
Of course they can, and I am well aware that there is no way to stop this kind of thing and it's far better just to ignore it. However, what happened to PowerBASIC's author Bob Zale means it shouldn't be entirely dismissed. :(

My strong feeling is that the degree of antipathy towards me wouldn't be the same at a forum where I was an 'equal', i.e. an ordinary member, rather than the owner or (as here) responsible for its hosting. Indeed if you look at some of the comments made at the old forum, when I requested to be allowed to return, you will see that it was the prospect of me being given some kind of admin role that was upsetting:

"I should point out that you won't be doing Richard any favours if you let him come back and moderate again btw, he'll simply dig himself straight back into the same old hole".
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