[WF-General] The Forums: a failed experiment

Max Randor max.randor at googlemail.com
Sun Apr 29 06:10:08 PDT 2007

votes for option 2 as option 4 is not an option that I think will
work, people understand forums some people fear mailing lists and many
people have never heard of irc, before worldforge I hadn't.
I did have a look at alternative options and I did find one that
looked significantly better, if only I could remember what it was...
It will be sitting in brenda's logs somewhere, there was a discussion
a few weeks ago... But I did not bookmark it and currently cannot
access the logs. :-(

On 29/04/07, Alistair Riddoch <alriddoch at googlemail.com> wrote:
> About 18 months ago I set up phpbb forum software on
> http://forums.worldforge.org/ as an experiment to see if we could
> build a community of people interested in WorldForge but not
> accustomed to using the communications tools used by developers. I
> also hoped that it would ease the burden on developers by allowing
> people who download and use the software help each other, rather than
> relying on direct support form the developers.
> Spam postings started to appear on the forums relatively quickly, and
> I made a few changes to the configuration of the forum software to try
> and mitigate the problem. I have consistently upgraded to the latest
> versions, and made all possible changes to the settings.
> While a thriving community seems to have built up around hacking and
> modding phpbb to prevent spammers having free reign, I can see no
> evidence that the authors of the software have any interest in
> adopting these features and changes into the software, so it remains
> by default so vulnerable to spammers that it is essentially useless.
> As a last ditch attempt at stopping this abuse, I have now made all
> account creation moderated. I don't really expect this to work, as I
> am unlikely to have time to be responsive enough.
> Going forward I see three options:
> 1) Start installing third party hack and mods for phpbb to make it
> less vulnerable.
> I am very reluctant to try this as the phpbb software is provided
> pre-installed by my ISP, and mods will break or be broken by their
> automated upgrade procedures. Unless someone else is prepared to take
> on the leg work of finding, preparing, auditing and testing mods, and
> passing them to me to install, then this option is not for me.
> 2) Install a different forums software package.
> This would require lots of manual work, as phpbb is the only option
> provided by my ISPs automated software install system. I don't know
> anything about other forum software packages, so would be entirely
> reliant on other people to track down the right package to use.
> 3) Abandon the forums to the spammers, and allow them to roam free.
> Not really an option, as the storage and bandwidth cost me money.
> 4) Shut the forums down.
> By far the easiest option. Unless there is a strong case to be made
> that the forums are currently providing a useful service to a
> reasonable number of people, this seems like the one we have to go
> for.
> Al
> --
> Alistair Riddoch
> alriddoch at zepler.org
> http://alistairriddoch.org/
> _______________________________________________
> General mailing list
> General at mail.worldforge.org
> http://mail.worldforge.org/lists/listinfo/general

Max Randor

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