UFOPaedia.org needs a new home


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#1 Hobbes

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 03:25 PM

Hello all,

NineX, who is currently hosting the wiki on his server, has informed me that due to future rising costs he can't continue hosting it past December 2021.

Me and NineX will be looking for alternatives.

Since the UFOPaedia.org was born from this site (thanks to Pete who hosted it for years and years) I thought I'd ask if anyone is interested.
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#2 NKF

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 05:00 AM

The perennial issue rears its ugly head again it would seem. I know nothing about web hosting, but I take it this has been costing quite a bit?
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#3 ñΩxicity

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 05:21 AM

Send me the details Hobbes, I'll pay for it.

-NoX
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#4 Pete

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 08:02 AM

Hobbes - could you let me know if you know what the costs are these days?

The biggest problem I've found with MediaWiki (the software) in the past is that it's unnecessarily resource hungry and seems to play best on a dedicated server. This puts the cost at the right spec machine between $60-$120 per month, but usually at the higher end. Not sure how this tallies with NineX's costs though.
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#5 Hobbes

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 03:53 PM

View PostPete, on 04 May 2021 - 08:02 AM, said:

Hobbes - could you let me know if you know what the costs are these days?

The biggest problem I've found with MediaWiki (the software) in the past is that it's unnecessarily resource hungry and seems to play best on a dedicated server. This puts the cost at the right spec machine between $60-$120 per month, but usually at the higher end. Not sure how this tallies with NineX's costs though.

NineX was hosting it on its site (which has lasted for 19 years according to him) and the costs were:

"i lost sponsor that was covering 75% of my internet and electricity bills. and keeping small DC at basement of private house isn't cheap. 1G/1G fiber costs arround 200EUR/month + electricity for servers"
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#6 Pete

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 04:37 PM

Thanks Hobbes.

I checked out some of the latest updates for the MediaWiki software and seems as though it could take advantage of separate read/write databases that I have set up on Amazon for other projects which might help with the load.

Can you let me know if it's still been slow or has it been okay on NineX's server these past years?

Also, is there any appetite in the community to help cover costs? I could set up a subscription on Gumtree easily enough, but I can't absorb the costs myself and it would need to be on its own AWS instance (probably along with StrategyCore) so as not to impact any other sites I manage. Historically it's not been overly fun paying for servers and sorting out issues for free with less and less free time (though I did have help from Thorondor and Olav) - sorry if that sounds a bit mercenary of me but otherwise it just all sits as low priority after paid work and I'd rather support it properly if I was to take it on again.
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#7 Hobbes

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Posted 20 May 2021 - 04:50 PM

View PostPete, on 12 May 2021 - 04:37 PM, said:

Thanks Hobbes.

I checked out some of the latest updates for the MediaWiki software and seems as though it could take advantage of separate read/write databases that I have set up on Amazon for other projects which might help with the load.

Can you let me know if it's still been slow or has it been okay on NineX's server these past years?

NineX server has been running smoothly since the wiki was moved there, we were glad to have found him when the guy that was previously hosting started constantly having issues.

Quote

Also, is there any appetite in the community to help cover costs? I could set up a subscription on Gumtree easily enough, but I can't absorb the costs myself and it would need to be on its own AWS instance (probably along with StrategyCore) so as not to impact any other sites I manage. Historically it's not been overly fun paying for servers and sorting out issues for free with less and less free time (though I did have help from Thorondor and Olav) - sorry if that sounds a bit mercenary of me but otherwise it just all sits as low priority after paid work and I'd rather support it properly if I was to take it on again.

Put a link to donations (Gumtree/Patreon/etc.) on top of the main page and I'm sure that we would get some help. I've stopped adding content to the wiki a while ago but people have kept adding content for the newer games and we get quite a bit of traffic (which was one of the reasons why the site owner previous to NineX was reluctant to give back control).

You're not being a mercenary by asking for financial support - we all have jobs and the wiki takes time and resources.
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#8 NKF

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Posted 21 May 2021 - 04:52 AM

I second the notion that it's more than acceptable to have something like a Patreon or similar donation system to help keep the server running. Just as long as you don't pull a Leo.... (no I'm never letting that one go)

I do still wonder if should still split the wiki to keep the classics and modern games and their resources self contained rather than having everything in one large death ball database. I know everyone is against this every time I bring it up, but it's mainly from a management perspective as well as potentially a server load perspective. Of course I do not know how the Mediawiki software works, so it could be a very bad idea after all.
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#9 Hobbes

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Posted 21 May 2021 - 01:02 PM

Good news!

I talked back to NineX yesterday about this conversation and he informed me that he meanwhile got a sponsor willing to cover the costs for the next two years. So this issue seems to be solved.

View PostNKF, on 21 May 2021 - 04:52 AM, said:

I second the notion that it's more than acceptable to have something like a Patreon or similar donation system to help keep the server running. Just as long as you don't pull a Leo.... (no I'm never letting that one go)

I'm not familiar with the Leo reference.

Above all, what I wanted to avoid was the situation before NineX, where the guy that was hosting the site offered his help out of the blue, and then there were constant wiki break downs and all sorts of things happening because he was trying to make money of the traffic. That's why I decided to get back to the place where the wiki was born and ask rather than accepting the first person who stepped in. ;)
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#10 Pete

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Posted 21 May 2021 - 01:06 PM

Oh wow that's good to hear!

I'm setting up another Amazon AWS (hosting) instance for StrategyCore and a few older sites - SC does still get quite a lot of traffic even now so if this situation comes up again in a couple of years I'll have a home set up for it that's scalable - my concern was I needed to keep this stuff separate from business websites as a busy day on the wiki has been known to make servers wobble a bit Posted Image

But yes - great that it's sorted for now - thanks for letting me know.
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#11 NKF

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Posted 21 May 2021 - 09:57 PM

View PostHobbes, on 21 May 2021 - 01:02 PM, said:

I'm not familiar with the Leo reference.

Which is fair enough as it's an old story few here will remember. One of the earlier main X-Com Communities was I think X-Com Apoclapyse Central, the owner went a little batty and started plastering ads for porn sites and his own site that sold essays for people wanting to buy their way through school assignments. Most of the community dispersed to places like XCommand and to here after that.

Our last gracious host was also a bit absorbed in his own self interest towards the end, and with something as important as the wiki that we've all spent a great deal of lives on effectively held to ransom, I'm just glad it's currently in capable hands.
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#12 Space Voyager

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Posted 24 May 2021 - 06:10 AM

Hmmmmm... Those porn sites... would you happen to still have the links? Posted Image

;)  Posted Image

#13 ñΩxicity

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 07:56 AM

I said I would foot the bill.
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#14 ñΩxicity

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 10:09 AM

If this site dies I blame Pete.
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#15 ñΩxicity

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 10:21 AM

Time and time again I said I would take the financial responsibilities. Everyone here would have the same roles they have. I don't want power, I don't want control I want this place to exist so even my kids can come here in the future.

-Contact me.
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#16 Pete

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 11:08 AM

View PostñΩxicity, on 28 May 2021 - 10:09 AM, said:

If this site dies I blame Pete.

Gee thanks, want a ban? Posted Image I'll assume it was meant in jest Posted Image

Hobbes has already said it's sorted so I don't understand your replies really. Leaving it at the current host, who seems to have secured funding, is the simplest solution. To move it to another host is a lot of work to get it set up properly how I'd do it, and I don't have time right now for that anyway so I'm happy with the current resolution.

If the topic comes up again we can look at it again but as far as I'm concerned it's all fine until Hobbes tells me otherwise.

I am in the process of investigating subscriptions for StrategyCore but, running a business, I need it to take into account taxes so I don't get into trouble - once that's ready we have an acceptable method of funding both sites, though the next step is how to pass funds along to the guy looking after the UFOPaedia hosting.

It may just be funding for SC to begin with.

Subscription levels rather than donations is simplest for me.
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#17 ñΩxicity

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Posted 29 May 2021 - 10:41 AM

Of course it was in jest, I wanted to poke the bear and clearly I did. I'm confused though, and I don't know how things work in Wales. Aren't donations tax free? By subscriptions are you thinking along the lines of a Patreon-esque system?  What...no "thanks NoX, I appreciate that you'd be willing to help fund SC?"

In the words of Greta Thunberg, "how dare you?!"

-n0x

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#18 Pete

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Posted 29 May 2021 - 05:15 PM

I'm happy for any subscriptions (they can be one-off, so like a donation - just set the subscription to 1 month and name your amount) and thanks to anyone in advance who throws some money into the pot but at the moment the system for that is for SC as the UFOPaedia side of things seems covered (for now) and I'd also have to work out with the host for UFOPaedia how we'd transfer that money properly between us if it was more of a joint subscription thing in future.

Donations - you would really have to be set up as a charity or a not-for-profit organisation to be doing it legally and I prefer legal. There's paperwork and bank accounts to set up a not-for-profit organisation even if we wanted to take donations with no tax so it's almost as much effort as setting up another company, but if we do it as subscriptions and the tax element is included during payment then it actually counters some of the tax I get charged by Amazon for the hosting (In the UK we get billed from Amazon in Ireland so tax applies) so it all works out in the end. I think actually since you're in the USA you wouldn't see tax when subscribing - the system I'm looking at says "hey, you're paying the UK and you're in [insert country here], here's the applicable tax we'll add to that" which is zero in your case (or should be).

I'm not in any hurry to set that up as we need to do some software upgrades here behind the scenes that take priority in June - when I have the spare time to do it.

SC's not going anywhere so don't worry about that. Compared to UFOPaedia it's relatively low system requirements :)
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#19 ñΩxicity

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Posted 30 May 2021 - 07:30 AM

Well thank you Pete for clarifying. I appreciate the explanation. You're more than welcome to ban me. Posted Image

-n0x
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