The Future of the QL Wiki

A place to discuss general QL issues.
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tofro
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Re: The Future of the QL Wiki

Postby tofro » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:42 pm

I see it a bit like you, VP - enthusiasm needs to be honored with fun. As soon as it's no longer fun, enthusiasm tends to fade.

And: The risk of one individual vanishing from the scene (for whatever reason) can be mitigated by having resilience - mirrors, back-ups, the like.

Tobias


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Re: The Future of the QL Wiki

Postby RWAP » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:16 pm

tofro wrote:I see it a bit like you, VP - enthusiasm needs to be honored with fun. As soon as it's no longer fun, enthusiasm tends to fade.

And: The risk of one individual vanishing from the scene (for whatever reason) can be mitigated by having resilience - mirrors, back-ups, the like.

Tobias


The problem is that with constantly changing sites such as the QL Wiki, the forums and even to the QL Homepage - these do not currently have any mirrors or even up to date backups. What happens to the domain names too?

So far as I can see the amount of enthusiasm for the QL Wiki and Facebook pages is minimal - no-one has even suggested they are happy to take those over. Do we just give up on them and let them lapse or is there a group of individuals who are willing to take them over (and accept that most people will expect them to do all the updating)?

There is not even a proper domain name for the QL Wiki !!

Similar issues apply to the Quanta website and even the Github - the Quanta membership have failed to offer support to the webmaster and so most of the site has never been finished (or implemented) - updates of news items are left to Dilwyn....

There are other reasons why it might make sense to have an incorporated body responsible for these - perhaps if people were actually paid to do work, then that might get more enthusiasm.

Dilwyn can comment himself on the QL Homepage, but again there, any updates are sent to him to be added, and there is general criticism of the lack of QL software for download (despite the 100s of titles if not 1000s on the site) - when those people are pointed to the site to download software, all you get is moaning that there are no screenshots and only minimal information on each software title (much the same as happens with the QL Wiki).


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Re: The Future of the QL Wiki

Postby vanpeebles » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:22 pm

The forum is backed up and didn't Urs do a release with Dilwyns site on? :)


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Re: The Future of the QL Wiki

Postby RWAP » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:24 pm

vanpeebles wrote:The forum is backed up and didn't Urs do a release with Dilwyns site on? :)


Yes he did - but it is now woefully out of date because of all the updates in the last few months....

How do you back up the Forum?


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Re: The Future of the QL Wiki

Postby vanpeebles » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:28 pm

It has database back ups etc, which can then be restored.


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Re: The Future of the QL Wiki

Postby RWAP » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:38 pm

vanpeebles wrote:It has database back ups etc, which can then be restored.


Presumably those backups are to the same server / hosting company though and probably only once a day.... That would suffice - I don't know if my hosting company backs up sinclair zx world etc


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Re: The Future of the QL Wiki

Postby dilwyn » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:56 pm

tofro wrote:I see it a bit like you, VP - enthusiasm needs to be honored with fun. As soon as it's no longer fun, enthusiasm tends to fade.
And: The risk of one individual vanishing from the scene (for whatever reason) can be mitigated by having resilience - mirrors, back-ups, the like.
Tobias

I agree - QLing is about fun, enthusiasm and enjoying whatever use you make of your QLs. Some people like to be at the heart of things (as I do, having edited one magazine and new editor for another, along with having been a software publisher and author). Without an "enthusiast" like vanpeebles, we may never have got QL Forum. Personally, I wouldn't want to be too much part of an organisaton that was too commercial (been there, didn't enjoy that).
RWAP wrote:The problem is that with constantly changing sites such as the QL Wiki, the forums and even to the QL Homepage - these do not currently have any mirrors or even up to date backups. What happens to the domain names too?

In mycase, domain names have to be renewed every two years. There is no up-to-date backup apart from that which the ISP provides and the backups I keep here. Phoebus Dokos did mirror my site some years ago, but not recently. I'd certainly be happy to work with someone to create mirrors of the sites, assuming they could be made to automatically stay up to date.
RWAP wrote:So far as I can see the amount of enthusiasm for the QL Wiki and Facebook pages is minimal - no-one has even suggested they are happy to take those over. Do we just give up on them and let them lapse or is there a group of individuals who are willing to take them over (and accept that most people will expect them to do all the updating)?
There is not even a proper domain name for the QL Wiki !!

Do you have stats for useage of the Wiki? I can well believe the lack of volunteers to update it, after all you may be able to count on the fingers of one hand those who have the knowledge of all the software and QL systems coupled with the willingness. I'm pretty sure the QL Wiki gets read and used a lot, just nobody interested in /time on their hands updating it.
RWAP wrote:Similar issues apply to the Quanta website and even the Github - the Quanta membership have failed to offer support to the webmaster and so most of the site has never been finished (or implemented) - updates of news items are left to Dilwyn....

...who was uanble to do so last year because of the family issues. That has now been addressed - as the Editor and I prepare the magazine, we send stuff to the webmaster to put on the website instead of trying to make time to sort it out later - shares the workload.
RWAP wrote:There are other reasons why it might make sense to have an incorporated body responsible for these - perhaps if people were actually paid to do work, then that might get more enthusiasm.

This late in the life of the QL, I'm not in favour of "payment" as such, although reimbursement of costs incurred (mileage, telephone, broadband, postage etc etc). In many ways it depends on the workload and amounts involved, if the body makes money it becomes easier to do this, say pay somebody so many hours a week to keep things up to date. The "incorporated body" would be able to decide on things like this, although I'd be wary of getting somebody who might do it for the money, not for the enthusiasm for QL/ZX80/whatever.
RWAP wrote:Dilwyn can comment himself on the QL Homepage, but again there, any updates are sent to him to be added, and there is general criticism of the lack of QL software for download (despite the 100s of titles if not 1000s on the site) - when those people are pointed to the site to download software, all you get is moaning that there are no screenshots and only minimal information on each software title (much the same as happens with the QL Wiki).

In an ideal world, Rich...
Personally I'm just sad there's no more than 48 hours in each day :roll:


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Re: The Future of the QL Wiki

Postby RWAP » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:08 pm

dilwyn wrote:In mycase, domain names have to be renewed every two years. There is no up-to-date backup apart from that which the ISP provides and the backups I keep here. Phoebus Dokos did mirror my site some years ago, but not recently. I'd certainly be happy to work with someone to create mirrors of the sites, assuming they could be made to automatically stay up to date.
RWAP wrote:So far as I can see the amount of enthusiasm for the QL Wiki and Facebook pages is minimal - no-one has even suggested they are happy to take those over. Do we just give up on them and let them lapse or is there a group of individuals who are willing to take them over (and accept that most people will expect them to do all the updating)?
There is not even a proper domain name for the QL Wiki !!

Do you have stats for useage of the Wiki? I can well believe the lack of volunteers to update it, after all you may be able to count on the fingers of one hand those who have the knowledge of all the software and QL systems coupled with the willingness. I'm pretty sure the QL Wiki gets read and used a lot, just nobody interested in /time on their hands updating it.


You can make mirrors of the sites, but I believe that it needs you to be able to setup a cron job which checks for changes and echos them across to the second server. Not something most shared hosting companies allow for.

As for useage of the QL WIki - there is about 13,500 page views per month - not too high, but enough :)


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Re: The Future of the QL Wiki

Postby RWAP » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:27 pm

Following a discussion last night - I have now at least added some more owners to the SinclairQL Github - which means that it should continue if anything happened to me. It appears that the fact that this "team" was launched as part of my paid Github account should not matter, as the repositories are public.

However, an interesting part of the discussion underlined how important it is that careful consideration is given to this and how best to take things forward. Namely, the author of the ZEsarUX emulator is still struggling to emulate the 8049 co-processor (as information on this and the QL ULA chips is very limited). Dilwyn reminded me of the Yahoo group - https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/QLHARDWARE/ where Nasta was an active participant and we think quite a lot of hardware information was uploaded to that group back in the day.

Unfortunately, the group was restricted access, where the owner / moderators had to approve your application to join (to stop spam) - after all of these years (the last posting on the group was 2014, both mine and Dilwyn's access is no longer valid, and emails to the group owner / requests to be re-admitted to the group are just left unanswered - presumably because the group owner is no longer around, or doesn't use their Yahoo account any longer, so never sees the requests.

I have emailed Yahoo to see if there is any answer to this, but I doubt it as they have no reason to accept that an email from a private individual to ask for the owner's contact name, or access to the group, is for the betterment of the Sinclair QL.

There are probably various other sites etc which have continued on free hosting, where the site owner is no longer contactable, but the information would be best gathered and centralised - at least some form of Sinclair Museum could potentially be accepted by a hosting company as a means of archiving the data from these old sites.


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Re: The Future of the QL Wiki

Postby XorA » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:55 pm

RWAP wrote:There are probably various other sites etc which have continued on free hosting, where the site owner is no longer contactable, but the information would be best gathered and centralised - at least some form of Sinclair Museum could potentially be accepted by a hosting company as a means of archiving the data from these old sites.


So this is where it may be wise for us to contact archive.org (sorry I have never done it), but they have been busily archiving retro stuff for years now. Maybe they would like to controlled archiving of certain information or sites.

And by "us" above I did not mean RWAP, I mean any owner of a QL site that wants to see it live on past the point where its maintained.



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