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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Wikispaces is closing down  (Read 759 times)
Richard Russell
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xx Wikispaces is closing down
« Thread started on: Feb 12th, 2018, 3:48pm »

Wikispaces (who host the BB4W and LBB wiki) are closing down later in the year; here is the official announcement.

The two big advantages of Wikispaces over most other wiki hosting sites are the freedom from advertisements (and therefore the uncluttered nature of the pages) and the syntax colouring; it is the only wiki I know that supports syntax colouring for BBC BASIC.

We have discussed our options before, when Wikispaces introduced an annual subscription, but the very fact that people have been prepared to pay shows that no entirely satisfactory alternative has been identified.

Richard.
« Last Edit: Feb 12th, 2018, 3:49pm by Richard Russell » User IP Logged

michael
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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #1 on: Feb 14th, 2018, 1:52pm »

I have experimented with this method of salvaging web pages and storing them in my cloud. if the web pages are saved with the proper link info to files, they will work as though you were on the internet.

http://bb4w.wikispaces.com/Downloading+a+file+from+a+URL
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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #2 on: Feb 14th, 2018, 9:05pm »

on Feb 14th, 2018, 1:52pm, michael wrote:
I have experimented with this method of salvaging web pages

There is no need: Wikispaces provides the facility to export the entire wiki in a number of formats (nine in all) including HTML, WikiText and PDF.

Quote:
if the web pages are saved...

The wiki contents are Copyright, so you can't just copy them anywhere you like willy-nilly!

Richard.
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KenDown
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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #3 on: Feb 15th, 2018, 12:17pm »

I appreciate what you say about the Wiki pages being copyright. Nevertheless when there was the first scare about the site closing down I did download them all for my private use.

As Wiki carried on I haven't actually looked at them, but they may come in very useful!
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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #4 on: Feb 15th, 2018, 12:55pm »

on Feb 15th, 2018, 12:17pm, KenDown wrote:
I did download them all for my private use.

I don't suppose anybody would worry about having a copy for private use. After all what would be the point of Wikispaces providing the export function if you can never legitimately use it?

It's only when somebody suggests putting a copy on their own public site, or otherwise making it available in a way that prevents the original contributors editing or deleting their material, that it starts to concern me.

We need to concentrate our efforts on finding a replacement wiki host to which it can be transferred. 'Wikidot' seems to be popular, does anybody have any experience of it?

Richard.
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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #5 on: Feb 15th, 2018, 1:42pm »

I'm afraid I don't know anything about Wikidot, but some time ago I came across some code for creating a Wiki on one's own website. I played around with it a bit, but couldn't get it to work, but possibly someone with a bit more nous than me would find it a doddle.

In which case all that is needed is a normal website and your own seems the obvious candidate (if that isn't being a bit presumptuous).
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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #6 on: Feb 15th, 2018, 4:17pm »

on Feb 15th, 2018, 1:42pm, KenDown wrote:
In which case all that is needed is a normal website and your own seems the obvious candidate (if that isn't being a bit presumptuous).

Not "presumptuous" but not practical either, because of the cost. To upgrade my websites to the level of traffic that would be required to support the BBC BASIC wiki, and to upgrade the CPU time to support the database management and searches etc. of a wiki, would be prohibitlvely expensive. I don't even know if the (cheap) hosting company I currently use offers packages with such a capability.

You might equally suggest that I should host the forum and/or the discussion group at my own site, and the same arguments apply: to purchase sufficient bandwidth and server capability would not be practical considering how little income I receive from selling BBC BASIC. Or did you imagine that I would fund it out of 'family savings'?!

There's also the issue of management. If the wiki were to be hosted on one of 'my' sites then there would be nobody other than me to do the necessary housekeeping, maintenance, upgrades etc. to keep it running smoothly.

Edit: Post edited because of complaints and threats.

Richard.
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michael
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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #7 on: Feb 16th, 2018, 03:02am »

Quote:
There's also the issue of management. If the wiki were to be hosted on one of 'my' sites then there would be nobody other than me to do the necessary housekeeping, maintenance, upgrades etc. to keep it running smoothly.



There would be no need to do any upgrading or housekeeping if the content was put in a interactive tool much like the HELP option built within BBC Basic for Windows.

After all, you did it for LB.. why not for the content on the wiki? ( im not saying to copy the wiki, just the information that relates to BBC Basic lessons)


And as for additional offerings, perhaps a person could present their creation and any additions could, say be added as an additional help app. (say, once every 1/4 year an update is done?)


Nowadays, there is also a cloud link or One drive link.. If you stay within your limits, a link to any content you have prepared, kinda works in a way like a web site.
Just some ideas.




« Last Edit: Feb 16th, 2018, 03:19am by michael » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #8 on: Feb 16th, 2018, 03:42am »

Er - I believe that my post appears in this thread in its entireity, so I am not sure what the note about "post edited because of complaints and threats" refers to.

I have no complaints whatsoever about BB4W or about the way the Wiki or this site is run. I have nothing but gratitude for the promptness with which you deal with queries and admiration for your genius in making this version of BASIC available to us.
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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #9 on: Feb 16th, 2018, 11:15am »

on Feb 16th, 2018, 03:42am, KenDown wrote:
I believe that my post appears in this thread in its entireity, so I am not sure what the note about "post edited because of complaints and threats" refers to.

It refers to my own post, which I edited after some (kind?) correspondent pointed out contained - in his opinion - inappropriate remarks. I added the note in case somebody had already read the original version and wondered why the latter section had disappeared. If you never saw the original, you can ignore it.

Richard.
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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #10 on: Feb 16th, 2018, 1:26pm »

on Feb 16th, 2018, 03:02am, michael wrote:
There would be no need to do any upgrading or housekeeping if the content was put in a interactive tool much like the HELP option built within BBC Basic for Windows.

That is something quite different. The key point about a wiki is that it's somewhere that anybody can contribute to and edit. Its 'collaborative' nature and independence from me are crucial to ensure that the language thrives through shared knowledge and experience.

You seem to be wanting to move things in totally the wrong direction: making the support for BBC BASIC more dependent on me rather than less. That is bonkers: I don't have much time left and my accelerating mental deterioration means that increasingly I can't provide quality support.

If you care about BBC BASIC, you should be pushing for its support (and ideally its development) to be separated from my control as quickly as possible. I cannot emphasise this too strongly. If we were to adopt your ideas BBC BASIC would die when I do, which is a very depressing thought.

Richard.
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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #11 on: Feb 17th, 2018, 12:55am »

Quote:
If you care about BBC BASIC, you should be pushing for its support (and ideally its development) to be separated from my control as quickly as possible. I cannot emphasise this too strongly.


I will think hard about a plan. Obviously, I don't have the skill set to manage BBC4W as you would, but I will do what I can.

Perhaps there needs to be a group event to discuss the plans to preserve BBC Basic and for people to be given opportunity to be a part of the open source.
« Last Edit: Feb 17th, 2018, 02:49am by michael » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #12 on: Feb 18th, 2018, 08:29am »

If anyone can work out how to create a Wiki, I'd be happy to offer hosting on my webspace. So far as I know, the only cost would be for a domain name.

As for running it, I would suggest a group of moderators - three or four to begin with, with the power of appointing new moderators as old ones left.

So far as BB4W itself is concerned, Richard, have you thought of setting up a limited company to act as caretaker? You could invite people onto a board and frame the articles in such a way that you had the controlling vote during your lifetime, after which decisions would be made by the board members. That way you could ensure the continuance of BB4W after you are no longer around to take care of it.

The board would have to be given access to the source code and so on, but again, only after you were no longer around.

Setting up a limited company is a doddle and only costs about 50 plus whatever fee a JP charges to sign the application papers. You do not have to go through one of these companies that offers to set things up for you and charges you upwards of a thousand pounds for doing very little!
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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #13 on: Feb 18th, 2018, 09:41am »

on Feb 18th, 2018, 08:29am, KenDown wrote:
ave you thought of setting up a limited company to act as caretaker? You could invite people onto a board...

I haven't, no, but I think the problem with the idea is rather fundamental: there is currently nobody whom I could invite in the way you suggest!

I have already asked for people to volunteer to take an interest in maintaining and (possibly) developing BBC BASIC; initially in collaboration with me but ultimately with a view to taking over after I am no longer able to. I've said that I am prepared to release the source code of the cross-platform version to that end.

But literally nobody has expressed any interest or willingness to engage in such a venture. In the absence of such people, it doesn't matter what formal framework I set up, whether it be a GitHub project or a Company or something in between, if I am the only participant!

I just don't know how to motivate people to go beyond being just 'users' of BBC BASIC to taking an active role in its future.

Richard.
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xx Re: Wikispaces is closing down
« Reply #14 on: Feb 18th, 2018, 4:12pm »

I think I may have found a solution for BBC4W. (although Microsoft never was very good at preserving their own classic language platforms)

Why not offer BBC4W as a free app on Windows 10 ? When people get windows, the app would be on the desktop and BBC4W would regain a new life unlike it ever had before.

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

It wouldn't hurt to offer.. But what about the BBC network? Didn't they originally launch the language? I know they are technically a different entity, but they must listen to you Richard.

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

KenDown offered an idea, but ultimately, its up to you to decide now what permissions we have to represent BBC Basic (BBCSDL and BBC4W and its related software)

You would need to make this public.

It would be inappropriate for me or anyone to represent you without some sort of assurance that we are not stepping in restricted areas.

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