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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Wikispaces is closing down  (Read 761 times)
KenDown
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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #15 on: Feb 18th, 2018, 4:30pm »

There's probably two aspects to this: the first is diffidence. I look at some of your example programs and feel totally humbled. The thought of taking on maintaining such brilliance is beyond my comprehension. Others may feel the same way.

The second is pressure of time. For someone to take over your role it would have to be a full-time occupation and most of us have other commitments and couldn't undertake such a task. I suppose if there was the prospect of making a living from it some might be interested ...

However the plain and unwelcome fact is that sooner or later - and from some of your comments I fear that sooner may be the case - you will either have to kill BB4W by simply not being there to sell it or maintain it, or hand it over to some less-than-ideal person or group of people.

That is why I suggested a company with a board. I know they say that a camel is a horse designed by a committee, but collaborative efforts can be effective, as witness all the Open Source programs around.

To get the ball rolling, I'll put myself forward as a prospective board member. If that offer is not accepted, I won't be offended: I'm past retirement age myself, and I am at best a very pedestrian programmer.
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Richard Russell
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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #16 on: Feb 18th, 2018, 4:33pm »

on Feb 18th, 2018, 4:12pm, michael wrote:
Why not offer BBC4W as a free app on Windows 10 ?

To whom? Microsoft? Are you kidding? Microsoft don't supply third-party applications with Windows - they'd be mad to do so because any problems with those programs would be blamed on them. Anyway, BB4W is non-compliant: just for starters it's written in assembly language and there isn't a 64-bit version. And then there's the small matter that Microsoft have their own versions of BASIC (including Small BASIC which is directly competitive with BBC BASIC and free).

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I do speak of the trial version, and the paid for version could help keep development and support sites operational.

You think I would be stingy enough not to give them the full version? Microsoft? What are you thinking?! shocked

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Are you offering some sort of authority to me or anyone else?

Authority to do what?

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KenDown offered an idea

It was the same as yours and Jonathan's, wasn't it: host the wiki on a private web site? I've explained why that's unacceptable and impractical.

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its up to you to decide now what permissions we have to represent BBC Basic

I don't understand what you mean by "permission to represent". BBC BASIC isn't my property: the rights to the name belong to the BBC and the rights to the software belong to the respective authors (Sophie for the 6502, 16032 and ARM versions, me for the Z80, 8086 and Windows versions, Dave Daniels for Brandy etc.).

You seem to be trying to make this more complicated than it is. We have a simple (in concept) challenge, to find a new host for the wiki. This needs to be a commercial, professionally run, site. The 'obvious' possibilities are one of those listed here; WikiDot looks promising, but I don't know how easy it would be to do a bulk transfer, whether syntax colouring is a possibility, nor how much it costs. I'm not expecting it to be free (Wikispaces has been costing $100 or so a year anyway) but it would have to be reasonable.

I do not see the benefit or wisdom of going off on a major tangent as you seem to want to do. Can't we, at least initially, investigate an option which is straightforward: move the wiki from one hosting site to another?

Richard.
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Richard Russell
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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #17 on: Feb 18th, 2018, 5:01pm »

on Feb 18th, 2018, 4:30pm, KenDown wrote:
I look at some of your example programs and feel totally humbled.

Some of the supplied example programs may be in that category, because they were written when my faculties were at 'full strength'. Also, some of them are written in over-compact (and therefore difficult to follow) code because of a perceived need to fit them into the very limited memory that the trial version had in the old days. Now there's 32K available, rather than the 8K of the original, this is much less of an issue.

But really, there should be no need to 'maintain' the example programs. In most cases they have been static for many years so if they aren't right by now they are certainly 'good enough'!

The kinds of programs I write now are necessarily much simpler, with no assembler or 'tricky' code. Indeed really that's the only kind of program that I'm interested in because it's the only kind that will run without modification on all my versions of BBC BASIC. You won't find those intimidating (look at entertainer.bbc that I uploaded yesterday as an example).

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For someone to take over your role it would have to be a full-time occupation

Why? It's very far from a full-time occupation for me, and if there were more people to share the load it should be even less demanding. I don't see how that can be an issue.

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you will either have to kill BB4W by simply not being there to sell it or maintain it, or hand it over to some less-than-ideal person or group of people.

Forget BB4W - that can look after itself. Active development stopped years ago and I have no intention or desire to pass its horrible code (which has 'evolved' in the worst possible way from my original Z80 version) to anybody! The most that it requires is somebody to top up the Serial Numbers / Registration Keys at PayLoadz; a five minute job every six months at most.

No, BB4W isn't a problem; it's BBCSDL which deserves continuing development, maintenance and support. There's so much to do: possibly develop a 64-bit version, possibly port it to iOS (which is dependent on it being 64-bits), add the ability to create standalone executables, bring the IDE up to a comparable standard to BB4W's IDE etc. etc. It's that version, and only that version, that I have said I am prepared to release the source code for (strictly not even the code for the current Windows, Linux and MacOS builds because they are based on BB4W's code).

I can't just 'dump' that on somebody. The only way to proceed would be via a period of collaboration in which I pass on my thoughts, knowledge, code, build environment etc. to somebody else and help them to get to a stage when they can at least support it. And I've got to do that whilst I'm with-it enough to do so.

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I'll put myself forward as a prospective board member.

I haven't grasped the value of creating a company. What benefit does it have over an informal arrangement?

Richard.
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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #18 on: Mar 27th, 2018, 10:50pm »

Can I 'bump' this thread. As far as I am aware no progress has been made in identifying a replacement host for the BB4W Wiki, and before too long this is going to become urgent. For the reasons I have already outlined a private site is unacceptable, it must be a public Wiki host. There's a long list of possibilities here.

Richard.
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michael
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« Reply #19 on: Mar 28th, 2018, 12:13am »

Here is a link to a wiki that is closest to wikispaces layout and seems quite user friendly and I believe its free and it is specifically for programmers.

https://www.wikimatrix.org/show/DokuWiki
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« Reply #20 on: Mar 28th, 2018, 08:18am »

on Mar 28th, 2018, 12:13am, michael wrote:
https://www.wikimatrix.org/show/DokuWiki

As I hope you appreciate, DokuWiki is software, not a wiki hosting site. Is there a public wiki host that runs DokuWiki that you are suggesting we might use?

Richard.
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michael
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« Reply #21 on: Mar 28th, 2018, 08:40am »

I am researching it. Here is a docuwiki link that seems to be separate from the wiki main page. It will take time to figure out how this example is being hosted. ( this may not be the right choice)

I am studying some Youtube videos on this and other options

http://hampager.de/dokuwiki/doku.php
« Last Edit: Mar 28th, 2018, 09:23am by michael » User IP Logged

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« Reply #22 on: Mar 28th, 2018, 11:51am »

on Mar 28th, 2018, 08:40am, michael wrote:
It will take time to figure out how this example is being hosted.

In this particular case by RWTH Aachen University, who probably make available their server(s) for this 'educational' purpose. Incidentally it doesn't take any "figuring out": nslookup told me the host in seconds!

As I've said before I'm not keen on the 'private server' option, mainly because of the cost implications (who is going to pay for it, probably on an ongoing annual basis?) but also because it puts an individual in control whom everybody who contributes to the Wiki has to trust.

Richard.
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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #23 on: Mar 29th, 2018, 12:28am »

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In this particular case by RWTH Aachen University, who probably make available their server(s) for this 'educational' purpose. Incidentally it doesn't take any "figuring out"


I knew you would find a solution. And offering the documentation to the electronic libraries could give it that life you wish for it. ( as in the libraries that students use)

It did cross my mind that the university of Cambridge or some other educational entity would be interested in preserving the documentation and BBCSDL, as it has significant history. You after all, are responsible for BBC Basic making it this far. The older version of BBC Basic would have been forgotten along with other extinct languages that only have a mention in Wikipedia. (like Turbo Pascal )

( I just had a thought worthy of editing ... Wikipedia (you know the BBC Basic For Windows and perhaps BBCSDL in a sense could be hosted if properly arranged in the documentation.. (lol) I don't know if Wikipedia would care about such a large modification to the BBC Basic info. I take it there are rules.)

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« Last Edit: Mar 29th, 2018, 02:46am by michael » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #24 on: Mar 29th, 2018, 08:30am »

on Mar 29th, 2018, 12:28am, michael wrote:
I knew you would find a solution.

Solution to what? You asked who was hosting the wiki to which you linked, so I found out and told you. We still have a need to move the BB4W wiki somewhere.

Or maybe not. Now that Conforums has announced it is closing we perhaps need to reassess the need for online support. Personally I would be happy to concentrate my resources on Facebook.

I am certainly not going to bother to replace this forum, but it will be interesting to see what the main BB4W forum chooses to do.

Richard.
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« Reply #25 on: Mar 29th, 2018, 10:31pm »

Using facebook as the group management, I could use One Drive to create a forum using a program I was thinking of modifying my Que Card text program to work like a forum. Of course, it would require some expansion, as at the moment it only carries one board (in theory)

All a person would need to do is save the data file to their One Drive (Microsoft) and provide a link so I can see any changes that a person creates)

With One Drive, if the same text file is used, any changes to that text file will work with the same link. ( I tested it)

Of course the forum would be by invitation and of course they would need BBC Basic For Windows (Trial or Full version) to keep everything working smooth on a One Drive file.

Once all the kinks are worked out, anyone could essentially moderate it with a special moderator program I would provide.

So DDRM, or David Williams or Richard, if you are interested, I would like to do a bit of trials.

I know this will work. And a member can be created on Facebook and can join the cloud group. I have already created the Programming group on Facebook, but didn't expect this to happen. So sad.

Here is a link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/523357661397543

I know this is not exactly the solution you were looking for, but it is a step forward and One Drive is Microsoft so it should be around in the long term future.... Feel free to join the Facebook group.

Another note: I think I found a way to make Facebook work like a forum. (pics of code and links to the text file)
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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #26 on: Yesterday at 11:25am »

on Mar 29th, 2018, 10:31pm, michael wrote:
I know this is not exactly the solution you were looking for, but it is a step forward and One Drive is Microsoft so it should be around in the long term future

I can't see a home-made forum (programmed in BBC BASIC or anything else) being a viable option. I suspect this is another example of your enthusiasm for reinventing the wheel slightly losing touch with reality!

Let's wait and see what the BB4W forum chooses to do; it may be that we can hang on their coat-tails (it's a much larger forum, based on 'raw' membership numbers, than this one). I've suggested to its administrator that it could even create an opportunity to 'heal the rift'.

Failing that, losing both wikispaces.com and conforums.com does free up some money (Wikispaces started charging a few years ago, and Conforums have always charged to remove advertisements) which could go towards a paid-for hosting solution if that looks like the most sensible option.

Facebook remains a possibility (I already have three groups, currently unused but 'waiting in the wings') but I do worry that the age-profile of BBC BASIC users means that fewer are members of Facebook than the population at large, and recent revelations haven't exactly allayed any privacy concerns people may have.

Richard.
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