The Forum / The Future
Chris_Sav Offline
Administrator
*******

Posts: 498
Threads: 140
Joined: Jan 2018
Reputation: 0
#61
RE: The Forum / The Future
Had a look at the main site and updated the headline dates just to make sure I can get at it.

How Malcolm did the news grabs is database stuff I have not done before, will take some looking at.
[Image: chris-quill-blue.gif]Laurel Bank II Marshal, Classic TT & Manx GP
19-05-2023, 02:32 PM
Find Reply
Chris_Sav Offline
Administrator
*******

Posts: 498
Threads: 140
Joined: Jan 2018
Reputation: 0
#62
RE: The Forum / The Future
Back from the island  and have met Alfie Noakes who is organising the plaque for Malcolm. He is very keen to see the forum continue and I have asked him to shadow me as an administrator to make sure that administrative access is never lost again should anything happen to me.

The staff team of myself / Alfie and Captain now have an staff administrative area on the forum to discuss running the forum. Apologies to anyone who may think I have overlooked them but it takes time to get to know people. I plan to invite one more moderator to join the staff team subject to staff agreement.

The main decision that needs to be made is as to the future of the main website as personally I cannot replace Malcolm's dedication. I don't have the time, enthusiasm or event knowledge to update all the news articles. I have yet to work out how Malcolm's news grabber functions. If anyone wants to act as news correspondent then I'll investigate further, failing that I may freeze the current website as a history section and just have a simple greeting page for the forum.

There are funds that need to be raised for the plaque (£100) and forum hosting charges (approx £150 per year) Alfie and I will act as joint auditors on this. I'll use an old unused account of mine for the time being and email statements to Alfie for financial summaries to be checked and posted. I would suggest £10 from members who wish to donate to get the fund started, details to follow..
[Image: chris-quill-blue.gif]Laurel Bank II Marshal, Classic TT & Manx GP
(This post was last modified: 21-06-2023, 10:11 AM by Chris_Sav.)
21-06-2023, 09:54 AM
Find Reply
Splashdown Offline
Senior Member
****

Posts: 554
Threads: 32
Joined: Nov 2005
Reputation: 0
#63
RE: The Forum / The Future
Well done Chris and the team for setting this up. I have absolutely no idea about anything I.T., but will happily part with £10 as my contribution....just let me know where to send it.
22-06-2023, 01:51 PM
Find Reply
Chris_Sav Offline
Administrator
*******

Posts: 498
Threads: 140
Joined: Jan 2018
Reputation: 0
#64
RE: The Forum / The Future
If anyone wants to make a donation then please PM me and I'll let you have sort code and account number.

I'm loath to publish my bank details on here.

I've started the ball rolling with a tenner.
[Image: chris-quill-blue.gif]Laurel Bank II Marshal, Classic TT & Manx GP
22-06-2023, 03:27 PM
Find Reply
sprocket Offline
Member
***

Posts: 235
Threads: 7
Joined: Dec 2020
Reputation: 0
#65
RE: The Forum / The Future
Many thanks to you and the Team Chris.
I`m still laid up in hospital so can`t help you much but more than happy to contribute.

I`ll PM you now.

Best regards
22-06-2023, 07:12 PM
Find Reply
Chris_Sav Offline
Administrator
*******

Posts: 498
Threads: 140
Joined: Jan 2018
Reputation: 0
#66
RE: The Forum / The Future
Decision time! an update to the current position.


Current position is that all software involved in ttwebsite and its forum are way out of date. The forum cannot be updated and the security vulnerability removed as the site opsys (php) is too old. The php cannot be updated because Malcolm's newsscript from correspondents is even older.


I have finally traced the developer of the ancient news software package, central to the front page of Malcolm’s ttwebsite. He confirms the news script is a very early version and will not update but the database tables may be copied to the latest version of the database and the latest script installed so that nothing is lost.
 
This should then allow us to update the php opsys on the site and in turn update the mybb for the forum software and remove the vulnerability to attack.
 
The guys wants 150$ to do the script work. I have informed Malcolm's nephew (site owner) and the original ttwebsite developer of this.
 
In the meantime  I thus feel the time has come to make a decision on the site future,
 
1>         Do we keep website and forum going? I would need to appoint one or more news editors for the new news package as Malcolm originally had.
2>         Do we just keep the forum going? (we would still need the domain name).
3>         Close it?
 
Quite frankly the forum is very quiet this time of year membership wise, going days without a post. Activity builds up towards the road racing season. It seems to me there is still a dedicated core of members who want to keep the site going and have been prepared to contribute to its running.

I cannot move forward without support from members and the agreement of the site owner. I have asked the owner for his wishes.

Alternatives if the site owner agrees:

1>       Everything is working at present so just let the lot meander on until something stops working as it's too old for browsers.I don't think the vulnerability will be exploited again as it involved a member and I am very careful on membership approvals from the non road racing community.  

2>       Remove the central news system from ttwebsite and lose a lot of history on the website and update the rest.

I am quite happy to carry on admin for now but, at 76, a potential admin successor needs to be found.

So, opinions please so I can talk to the owner. We have £112 in the pot to help with bills.

Best wishes,

Chris
[Image: chris-quill-blue.gif]Laurel Bank II Marshal, Classic TT & Manx GP
(This post was last modified: 07-01-2024, 12:39 PM by Chris_Sav.)
07-01-2024, 12:34 PM
Find Reply
bsa499 Offline
Senior Member
****

Posts: 279
Threads: 49
Joined: Nov 2014
Reputation: 0
#67
RE: The Forum / The Future
Hello Chris, many, many thanks for your own and Mark's continued efforts in supporting and maintaining 'our' website. I would love the site to continue including hardening the site as far as it could be against present and future incursion threats from the, seemingly, large number of bad people in the virtual world. I have no practical experience of software matters but I am prepared to contribute further to the costs of site maintenance. As you point out we're in a quiet time for the forum but, for the core members, I suspect this could be the best time to focus on the forum's future as opposed to the reason we're all followers i.e. the Mountain Course (and other) race meetings. So, you have my support let's hope others add theirs.
07-01-2024, 03:02 PM
Find Reply
Sam Pato Offline
Senior Member
****

Posts: 510
Threads: 24
Joined: Jan 2006
Reputation: 2
#68
RE: The Forum / The Future
Hi Chris,

I'm afraid I don't have a very good grasp of this stuff but as with everyone very much appreciate your ongoing input (which has essentially saved the day). Acknowledging that we need to change / modernise and there a a few options can you advise on the following? Apologies if these are covered above.

Does the script update ($150) keep us going as we are (option 1)?

Is that covered by existing funds?

Is there any option to do a revamp to bring what we have up to date (a kind of future proof)? If so any idea on cost?

Hopefully not stretching the friendship with the interrogation - as with my previous posts - I can't help with technical side but I can throw a few bob in the tin.

Cheers

Sam
Warning Level 0% since 2006
08-01-2024, 01:11 AM
Find Reply
captainsparkledotcom Offline
Moderator
*****

Posts: 1,770
Threads: 432
Joined: Nov 2014
Reputation: 2
#69
RE: The Forum / The Future
Very similar from me, I'm afraid, I've only really used WYSIWYG stuff for my websites (& that was about 20 years ago!!) so my technical knowledge is a little lacking!
Sometimes I can give time to posting news/research, but other times I have too much other stuff going on & I don't even log on to the internet for a few days.

Viz-a-viz the news aspect of the actual website, I have to admit it's not something that I've ever really looked at!  Confused
So, from my point of view the forum is the most important aspect.
08-01-2024, 09:57 AM
Website Find Reply
Chris_Sav Offline
Administrator
*******

Posts: 498
Threads: 140
Joined: Jan 2018
Reputation: 0
#70
RE: The Forum / The Future
Do not worry about the technicalities, that's my problem but I believe I am correct in saying that updating the news script for 150$ is the only remedial expense to keep the site in its entirety. I would hope the rest should not incur cost.

My questions are more where do we want to take ttwebsite and the forum? They are two separate issues: 

Website
I could remove the central news area on the website and lose history but not incur cost to bring the website and forum up to date. The news database goes back to 2011 and an earlier archive. The even earlier stuff in the separate news archive on the right hand column is already missing. I have not investigated to see why. So do we waht to try to preserve the immense amount of history on the website?

If we want to keep the news history then we need to update the news script.

If we just want to 'future proof' then we either need to lose the central news script or update it.

Security of the forum then naturally follows the above decision.

All of this requires the agreement of the owner and I have not had a reply to my question as to whether he wants to keep the site going and our offer to help with costs if he does. There is no income from the hosting.

Sorry but IT 'experts' are not good at explaining things they understand buy you don't! so ask away

The knockon is that the news script is like a word processor that users can log onto if appointed as news correspondents. If we want to add fresh news to the website (not the forum) then I'd need to show one or two how to log on. I can clear up if problems initially.
[Image: chris-quill-blue.gif]Laurel Bank II Marshal, Classic TT & Manx GP
(This post was last modified: 08-01-2024, 10:26 AM by Chris_Sav.)
08-01-2024, 10:18 AM
Find Reply
H2pots Offline
Senior Member
****

Posts: 329
Threads: 14
Joined: Nov 2014
Reputation: 0
#71
RE: The Forum / The Future
I'm the same as the capt, I've not used the news feed etc. I use the forum part. For me, if it's easier for you Chris, you can drop the news and keep the forum.

News articles get posted by members anyway (capt mostly) which gives info etc. No news feed could encourage us to post latest news links etc.

For me, I'd happily contribute again, in fact it feels like I'm invested in the forum that way.

I'd be sad to see it go, I've been on here since the old iomtt forum went.

I know this might not agree with some, but have you thought about advertising as an income stream for the forum? I'm no IT man though, I'm more nuts and bolts rather than clicks and mouse's.




=======================================================================
See you on the island
08-01-2024, 11:27 PM
Find Reply
Splashdown Offline
Senior Member
****

Posts: 554
Threads: 32
Joined: Nov 2005
Reputation: 0
#72
RE: The Forum / The Future
I can only echo the general sentiment, i.e. lose the news updates, as I use the Forum in the main.
Happy to contribute to funds if needed, I have already previously stated that I.T is a complete "no no" for me.
Thanks for all the efforts to keep Malcolm's "baby" going.
08-01-2024, 11:34 PM
Find Reply
Sam Pato Offline
Senior Member
****

Posts: 510
Threads: 24
Joined: Jan 2006
Reputation: 2
#73
RE: The Forum / The Future
Thanks for the follow up Chris -

Just to clarify - can you confirm if I'm correct in the following?

Losing the new archive is essentially losing all of the 'news' that has been collected and re-published by the website (so nothing that is unique but it still has a database like value)?

The $150- option will mean that we keep the website broadly as it is and the archive will be saved - but someone would need to take on the task of putting the new 'news' onto the website?

For no cost we could lose the front page and the interface it provides but the forum will remain available (noting that in recent times 'news' has been provided by users posting links in the forum)?

Is this script update likely to be an annual cost?

Am I right to say we will need another 200GBP later in the year for hosting costs?

Apologies for the Stasi level interrogation - but I not very good at decisions at the best of times - even for things I do understand.

Cheers


Sam
Warning Level 0% since 2006
08-01-2024, 11:49 PM
Find Reply
Chris_Sav Offline
Administrator
*******

Posts: 498
Threads: 140
Joined: Jan 2018
Reputation: 0
#74
RE: The Forum / The Future
No problem whatsoever.

The payment for fixing the news script is one-off.

I have not looked at advertising but the footfall on the site is very low.

Yes that is basically correct. It all boils down to do members want to preserve the website as well as the forum?

I have not heard back from the site owner thus far and have sent a follow-up. I cannot proceed until I know what his intentions are for the future.
[Image: chris-quill-blue.gif]Laurel Bank II Marshal, Classic TT & Manx GP
(This post was last modified: 09-01-2024, 12:22 PM by Chris_Sav.)
09-01-2024, 12:21 PM
Find Reply
Nasher Offline
Member
***

Posts: 240
Threads: 31
Joined: Nov 2014
Reputation: 0
#75
RE: The Forum / The Future
I concur with most on this, don't look at the front page (I use a shortcut to the "forum" page)

I feel we should encourage more members to post 'news items' - massive thanks to those that already do

Also happy to contribute to costs
09-01-2024, 01:50 PM
Find Reply
CloudBoy Offline
ex-IOM TT forum
**

Posts: 27
Threads: 8
Joined: May 2012
Reputation: 0
#76
RE: The Forum / The Future
As an ex-IOMTT forum member, I'd like to share my view:

I recently had a nostalgic look at said forum, and, admittedly, it did sometimes contain unrelated posts, flames, senseless banter and the like, but, nevertheless, it was quite lively most of the year.

Malcolm did a fantastic job by carefully admitting selected members, but now maybe it's time to "lower" the barriers and try attracting some new blood.

I almost never see a post by new visitors to the TT/MGP asking for advice or maybe just requesting confirmation on what can be found on https://www.facebook.com/TTRacesOfficial/ and the like, as I think this community has an incredible wealth of informations available that nobody "outside" the forum is aware of.

Maybe there is a way of letting more people know about the forum existence (a link on some institutional home page (https://www.visitisleofman.com/, https://www.isleofman.com/visitor-guide, https://manxgrandprix.co.uk/...).

Anyway, I'd be happy to contribute to keep the forum alive.
CloudBoy
09-01-2024, 05:02 PM
Find Reply
Chris_Sav Offline
Administrator
*******

Posts: 498
Threads: 140
Joined: Jan 2018
Reputation: 0
#77
RE: The Forum / The Future
In the year since I have been admin there have been 33 new members authorised of which only six have posted. Malcolm used a probationers group but I have only assigned one member to this as I was worried.

A lot from the far East have been declined and their IP's banned.

Every applicant has been dealt with within a day or so unless I was on the island.

I'll have look the visitor site.

The forum is far too quiet to have much fresh interesting comment visible to attract browsers I feel.
[Image: chris-quill-blue.gif]Laurel Bank II Marshal, Classic TT & Manx GP
(This post was last modified: 09-01-2024, 08:15 PM by Chris_Sav.)
09-01-2024, 08:08 PM
Find Reply
Sam Pato Offline
Senior Member
****

Posts: 510
Threads: 24
Joined: Jan 2006
Reputation: 2
#78
RE: The Forum / The Future
Thanks again Chris,

I had some correspondence with Malcolm a a few years back and he made it clear that the workload he had dealing with vexatious forum members was a real bane (including personal threats and the involvement of the police in one instance!). Agree it would be great to get a lot of new enthusiastic members but if the membership is relaxed then someone will the unpleasant job of dealing with all the (unfortunately inevitable) aggravation.

Personally I'm resigned to the idea that we are seeing out the twilight (of the ttwebsite/forum). It's been dwindling for years probably in direct correlation to the demographic (also unfortunately due to quite a few of the contributors not longer being with us) - and I assume younger fans are not really engaged (enthused?) with the forum format.

For $150- I think it's worth keeping the website - just for posterity - but I'm OK with just retaining the forum too if that's what the majority wants.

I'd be happy if we have a forum to log in this TT - anything else is a bonus.
Warning Level 0% since 2006
10-01-2024, 02:32 AM
Find Reply
Alfie Noakes Offline
Administrator
*******

Posts: 814
Threads: 14
Joined: Nov 2014
Reputation: 0
#79
RE: The Forum / The Future
I remember the old iomtt forum and at many times it was a complete clown's bunfight of nonsense involving outright trolls and those
special "people" who inanely and repetitively say they don't like the TT/MGP but don't won't and can't ever explain why but will happily keep posting the same inane drivel none of which would add positively to this forum...The news section I can't say i've used frequently, would be happy with just the forum and better security, we maybe have to be realistic with what we have and what we could lose by trying to open up the site to more traffic....for pure posterity is it possible to save/dump the historical info onto some sort of cloud like storage ?? - am obs happy to chip in towards running costs..
10-01-2024, 12:49 PM
Find Reply
bsa499 Offline
Senior Member
****

Posts: 279
Threads: 49
Joined: Nov 2014
Reputation: 0
#80
RE: The Forum / The Future
It is a shame that contibutors are thin on the ground just now but that will no doubt improve as we approach the races we all love. For me it's the forum I value the most, excepting the forum history the other information we can find elsewhere.
11-01-2024, 01:03 PM
Find Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)