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Old 04-12-2019, 07:13 AM   #21
stick n move
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Re: New Forum Discussion

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Originally Posted by Justin7 View Post
I apologize for being rude, but this isn't good enough for me. You haven't spent much time here and I don't really understand why you would be the one holding the keys.

I'd like to see a few long time members, as I've stated, with full access to every facet of this, not just forum admin/moderation. If I'm nominating I'd personally name statler (obviously), data, and beton. I greatly respect many members here but feel these three are very active and virtually beyond reproach.
Agreed. Some of us have been here from the beginning proving were in it for the long haul. If a new archboston is being created, it needs to be from the top contributors to this site, and people everyone agrees should have certain roles, creating the best product possible. We have a good idea of who is responsible with certain things and peoples demeanors, seeing weve gotten to know eachother here, and if we go clean slate we need to be aiming for the best product possible, which means people that we know and can trust. If not why even move?
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:31 AM   #22
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Re: New Forum Discussion

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Originally Posted by stick n move View Post
Agreed. Some of us have been here from the beginning proving were in it for the long haul. If a new archboston is being created, it needs to be from the top contributors to this site, and people everyone agrees should have certain roles, creating the best product possible. We have a good idea of who is responsible with certain things and peoples demeanors, seeing weve gotten to know eachother here, and if we go clean slate we need to be aiming for the best product possible, which means people that we know and can trust. If not why even move?
Agreed. Though I do commend DrFreeWind for attempting to set something up. I'm ok with him setting it up, but we definitively need to make sure some long term members have administrative access (just so we don't get into a situation like we're in now with an absent admin).

Statler and Van are good moderators. It does seem like Van has been less active on this site lately though. Though I don't think we should have too many moderators, I'd say no more than 5. We should try to nominate the less controversial but regular/active contributors to the moderator position. I'd love to see BeeLine as a moderator, if he's willing. DataDayne is also a solid contributor.
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:08 AM   #23
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Re: New Forum Discussion

bosdevelopment should be disinvited from the new forum for sure.
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:46 AM   #24
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Re: New Forum Discussion

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Originally Posted by Justin7 View Post
I apologize for being rude, but this isn't good enough for me. You haven't spent much time here and I don't really understand why you would be the one holding the keys.

I'd like to see a few long time members, as I've stated, with full access to every facet of this, not just forum admin/moderation. If I'm nominating I'd personally name statler (obviously), data, and beton. I greatly respect many members here but feel these three are very active and virtually beyond reproach.
Thank you. I would be happy to help out.

I do think it is essential to have long time active members on the admin team of whatever new site comes around with access to the database, hosting, etc.
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:24 PM   #25
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Re: New Forum Discussion

How about an election then? We'll have a nomination round, people can opt out if they are nominated and dont want to admin. and an election with 4 votes per person and top 4 are the new admins
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Old 04-12-2019, 03:00 PM   #26
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Re: New Forum Discussion

You are a rock star, Freewind. You're giving this the real push it always needed.
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Old 04-12-2019, 03:02 PM   #27
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Re: New Forum Discussion

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You are a rock star, Freewind. You're giving this the real push it always needed.
Agreed, your initiative is greatly appreciated and will pay off in the long term.

Also agreed on the election.
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:48 AM   #28
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Re: New Forum Discussion

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I put a couple of hours into it last night but when I tried to run the script with the archboston.org it had errors. I'll try again when I have some time.


Do these forum sites not have an upload feature? If they do the reconstruction would be easy once we scrape the forums.
There should be a way to import, but with the caveat that the exported data needs to be in a format that the import functionality can handle.

None of this is insurmountable, but it is a fair bit of time, patience, and work.
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Old 04-13-2019, 11:09 AM   #29
meddlepal
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Re: New Forum Discussion

Word of caution for those folks in this thread that are trying to write scrapers and have not done it before: Remember you don't know how Briv pays for this board. Does the site have fixed bandwidth per month or does he pay up to some limit and then is charged a premium? Does it just shutdown if the bandwidth is exceeded?

You will be downloading a lot of data when scraping and doing so with a fairly atypical set of access patterns. You will be downloading even more data than you think while developing the scraper because bugs happen.

So just be mindful of that...
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Old 04-13-2019, 06:01 PM   #30
BarbaricManchurian
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Re: New Forum Discussion

It canít be that bad, it would be equivalent to viewing everything once or twice, and Iím sure many crawler bots do that regularly. Also no pictures or video are hosted directly on the site (except the banner obviously).
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:19 PM   #31
whittle
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Re: New Forum Discussion

Last year while the site was down, I wrote something that scrapped every thread from the forum. I'm far to busy to put any time into this right now, but here it is if anyone wants to mess with it. It's kinda shitty, because iirc correctly I wrote it when only the print-friendly view was available and I was desperately trying to get everything backed up in the event that went down too (and I'd never done anything like this before). From my recollection (and a 5 min skim through the code) it seems running test.py will scrape everything; you'll also need to need change what the last thread number is since we've started new threads. It puts each thread into a folder with the folder name being the thread number and each document being a page of the thread. I think there will also be some duplicate threads because of thread mergers. (Edit: also, all threads as of last summer totaled ~430MB)

Though as someone said, the real challenge would be reconstructing things elsewhere.
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:31 AM   #32
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Re: New Forum Discussion

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Originally Posted by whittle View Post
Though as someone said, the real challenge would be reconstructing things elsewhere.
I think that in reality, there would be limited demand to view the thread archive. As long as we establish standards for beginning each thread with the most recent renders (or even better have some sort of slide-down pane at the top of each page that shows them), I'm not sure what value the archive has beyond nostalgia or archeology of how we were talking about projects completed long ago (which is very fun on threads like Cambridge Developments). That's fun, but it's not why most people come to this site.

My 2 cents: focus on making the new site better in the moment. Better render/image management, perhaps a document hub with links to BPDA, Cambridge, Somerville and other planning departments (I have all these bookmarked in Firefox, it's how I can post so many documents), a unified calendar that can take feeds from the public meetings push from all of those communities, etc. If you make AB.net or AB.city awesome, people will migrate there. This site itself can remain as an archive until Briv takes it down.
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:45 AM   #33
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Re: New Forum Discussion

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Originally Posted by Equilibria View Post
I think that in reality, there would be limited demand to view the thread archive. As long as we establish standards for beginning each thread with the most recent renders (or even better have some sort of slide-down pane at the top of each page that shows them), I'm not sure what value the archive has beyond nostalgia or archeology of how we were talking about projects completed long ago (which is very fun on threads like Cambridge Developments). That's fun, but it's not why most people come to this site.

My 2 cents: focus on making the new site better in the moment. Better render/image management, perhaps a document hub with links to BPDA, Cambridge, Somerville and other planning departments (I have all these bookmarked in Firefox, it's how I can post so many documents), a unified calendar that can take feeds from the public meetings push from all of those communities, etc. If you make AB.net or AB.city awesome, people will migrate there. This site itself can remain as an archive until Briv takes it down.
I think that is a very good guiding principle.

There are some epic threads like "Crazy Transit Pitches" but the hundreds of pages of that thread from eons ago aren't frequently quoted in a current post. In the rare event that someone wants to do that, they can take a little time to do the copy and paste from this site or from a static archive.

ArchBoston is a living breathing community. Let's invest 90% of our resources in our future and 10% on preserving our past.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:25 PM   #34
stefalarchitect
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Re: New Forum Discussion

The green line reconfiguration thread comes to mind if we're going to discuss archiving some threads over others. That is frequently pointed to or quoted when a new crazy pitch is brought up.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:41 PM   #35
Equilibria
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Re: New Forum Discussion

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The green line reconfiguration thread comes to mind if we're going to discuss archiving some threads over others. That is frequently pointed to or quoted when a new crazy pitch is brought up.
I think that's a feature request, actually. A set of articles/fact sheets on various things written by our recognized expert pool that can live on the front page.

If there's an objection to one viewpoint defining the conversation, maybe ask a couple of people for opinion pieces and display them together, but edited, formatted, and without needing to search for it.
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:02 AM   #36
Justin7
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Re: New Forum Discussion

Some thoughts:

1. Regarding a static archive
(by static I mean no real forum functionality, just words and images):

In my opinion this should not in any way determine whether or not we move. This would be less useful than simply linking back to the threads here at .org

It would be nice to have in case this forum ever drops dead, but is irrelevant as far as making our decision to move forward.

2. Regarding a fully functioning archive:

This would be ideal, but is no easy task. If someone is able to accomplish this, great (Dr. Freewind, do you have an update on your progress?), but please keep in mind that moving now would in no way prevent someone from working this out later and incorporating it into the new forum, and that we would still have access to the posts here.

3. Lack of new members:

This has been discussed, but I'll just add that I have been contacted by multiple people unhappy about being unable to join our discussions. The inability to bring in new people has strangled any growth.

4. Lack of new moderators:

Being stuck with just two moderators, and only one who is truly active, is frankly unfair to Statler and Van, and as I've mentioned before, if Statler ever gets fed up we're essentially done here.

5. Leaving things to chance:

This forum could drop dead at any time. Moving now as a group would prevent any scramble to get everyone together once that happens.

With those things in mind, does anyone object to putting this to a "binding" vote?

If we decide to move then we can go forward with, in no particular order:
a) Choosing a webhost,
b) Deciding on forum software, and
c) Choosing a group of admins
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Last edited by Justin7; 04-17-2019 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:03 AM   #37
statler
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Re: New Forum Discussion

Thanks Justin.

I co-sign everything you've said.

I think* the very first thing we need to settle on is a domain. Are we going with archboston.net, archboston.city or does anyone else want to register something different like arch.boston or something else?

We can leave it open for a few days of discussion then put it to a vote and once that is decided, we can start the process of picking hosting, admins, forum software, funding, etc.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan? I want to be a transparent and democratic as possible.

*To be completely honest, I am not 100% sure how domain registration/hosting works. My understanding is that one person has to 'buy' a domain and then they are responsible for future renewal and finding/hiring a hosting service to host the software that runs the site (in our case forum software), and from there that person can grant other people various levels of access to the software (admins, modmins, mods). But there needs to be that initial point person to set everything up and sign the (digital) checks for registration and hosting, correct?
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:08 AM   #38
fattony
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Re: New Forum Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin7 View Post
Some thoughts:

1. Regarding a static archive
(by static I mean no real forum functionality, just words and images):

In my opinion this should not in any way determine whether or not we move. This would be less useful than simply linking back to the threads here at .org

It would be nice to have in case this forum ever drops dead, but is irrelevant as far as making our decision to move forward.

2. Regarding a fully functioning archive:

This would be ideal, but is no easy task. If someone is able to accomplish this, great (Dr. Freewind, do you have an update on your progress?), but please keep in mind that moving now would in no way prevent someone from working this out later and incorporating it into the new forum, and that we would still have access to the posts here.

3. Lack of new members:

This has been discussed, but I'll just add that I have been contacted by multiple people unhappy about being unable to join our discussions. The inability to bring in new people has strangled any growth.

4. Lack of new moderators:

Being stuck with just two moderators, and only one who is truly active, is frankly unfair to Statler and Van, and as I've mentioned before, if Statler ever gets fed up we're essentially done here.

5. Leaving things to chance:

This forum could drop dead at any time. Moving now as a group would prevent any scramble to get everyone together once that happens.

With those things in mind, does anyone object to putting this to a "binding" vote?

If we decide to move then we can go forward with, in no particular order:
a) Choosing a webhost,
b) Deciding on forum software, and
c) Choosing a group of admins
I second the motion. We can take a series of votes/polls that have a deadline and then take action based on the outcomes. Then the AB mods can lock this whole site and we'll open the new one.

In the interest of "making it official" I think the current AB moderators should be in charge of the votes/polls. That will prevent anyone from saying "who are you to make these decisions?" They are the mods and in the absence of the admin they have a legitimate authority that I think we can all recognize and rally behind.
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:29 AM   #39
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Re: New Forum Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by statler View Post
Thanks Justin.

I co-sign everything you've said.

I think* the very first thing we need to settle on is a domain. Are we going with archboston.net, archboston.city or does anyone else want to register something different like arch.boston or something else?

We can leave it open for a few days of discussion then put it to a vote and once that is decided, we can start the process of picking hosting, admins, forum software, funding, etc.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan? I want to be a transparent and democratic as possible.

*To be completely honest, I am not 100% sure how domain registration/hosting works. My understanding is that one person has to 'buy' a domain and then they are responsible for future renewal and finding/hiring a hosting service to host the software that runs the site (in our case forum software), and from there that person can grant other people various levels of access to the software (admins, modmins, mods). But there needs to be that initial point person to set everything up and sign the (digital) checks for registration and hosting, correct?
Personally ArchBoston.net is my favorite, but like this current site we can have multiple domain names (as archboston.org and archboston.com both direct to this site).
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:41 AM   #40
Equilibria
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Re: New Forum Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by fattony View Post
I second the motion. We can take a series of votes/polls that have a deadline and then take action based on the outcomes. Then the AB mods can lock this whole site and we'll open the new one.

In the interest of "making it official" I think the current AB moderators should be in charge of the votes/polls. That will prevent anyone from saying "who are you to make these decisions?" They are the mods and in the absence of the admin they have a legitimate authority that I think we can all recognize and rally behind.
Seconded on both. Not that anyone's arguing with this, but the other reason to have the current mods run the vote to move is so it really is binding - they promise to lock the threads on a certain date if the community so moves.

One other thing - once we select a group of mods/admins, if the votes get that far, they should immediately deputize a few additional people if they need to to start threads and insert renders. They should also discuss and collaboratively (with the community) decide on a standard thread titling syntax and rules for updating the renders when new ones come out. We obviously can't lock .org and send everyone to an empty forum, so this would need to happen during the run-up to the move.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
Personally ArchBoston.net is my favorite, but like this current site we can have multiple domain names (as archboston.org and archboston.com both direct to this site).
I too would prefer ArchBoston.net, with the note that we should keep an eye on the status of both the .com and .org domains if Briv shuts this site down at some point. Obviously, .com would be the best.

ADDED: Do we have folks here with the background in bulletin board software to draw up summaries of each of the options? I've done some Googling, but that's no substitute for experience. Note also that most of these packages allow a great deal of customization - do we have admin candidates who are up to truly build something special? I'd volunteer but I don't have the coding skills.
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