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Why is the Doomwiki (consistently?) intermittently down?

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I don't know much about HSTS protocol which doomwiki utilizes, but I assume they refresh the protection to make the site safe for surfing. 

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What I understand from Quasar is that the crufty old server suffers from two types of problems: Apache/php5-fpm lockups, which have been happening occasionally for a long time but are easy to solve by restarting them; and, more recently, "other" problems that prevent ssh connections, and require attention from Manc who hosts the wiki and has access to the server's control panel.


Currently we're in the latter situation, so waiting for Manc to address it.


Edit: And... it's back. :)

Edited by Xymph

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18 hours ago, Xymph said:

crufty old server


So that's something that can be solved with money? How much does it cost to operate the Wiki every month?

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2 hours ago, boris said:

So that's something that can be solved with money? How much does it cost to operate the Wiki every month?

I have no idea, Manc hosts multiple community services (e.g. the SLADE site) so that's up to him.


But from my chats with Quasar, it seems more likely that the main obstacle is the need for an active Linux admin who can configure and maintain a modern OS (probably on a new server), and which Quasar seems too busy/shy to try and recruit from the community. Although he did mention it in some discord (dunno which or to whom) and nobody seemed interested there. So I'm just tossing it out here now.


Fact is that not only the OS is outdated and no longer supported, so is the MediaWiki version. So the wiki really could use help from someone who'll stick around.

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To the title's other question, no, it's not consistent. Issues pop up every so often, whose worst case (from a reader perspective) is a week or two of severe awkwardness. Then it gets fixed and we have 4-8 months of plain sailing. Many times I can't even find a DW thread about it. :>


But maybe you disagree and think the situation could be better. That leads to:


8 hours ago, boris said:

So that's something that can be solved with money?


Yes and no. My limited understanding is that Xymph is correct -- a site has many layers, some of which are not directly controlled by the staff, and only performs as well as the weakest one. It's not like upgrading a phone where you just increase your fee and expect big changes across the board. (Well, server farms claim to offer that, but in return you control almost nothing.)


If anyone wants to donate to the wiki, that big green button is still there. :> However, if what you really want is to cause an improvement, that might not be the first step. Spend some time on IRC, read the upstream developer discussions, learn what the bottlenecks actually are so you'll know which one matches your resources. You could do what Xymph says and try to find an expert -- server OS issues, at least, are a worldwide market and someone with those skills might be available. Or if you have more programming knowledge than cash, you might invest that by improving MediaWiki's interoperability, extensions, or regression testing. Or if you do have some money, by all means hire an attorney to explain this crap.


At the risk of sounding bitter, we should also remember the community's long, long history of not paying each other. Hosting has to be affordable enough to sustain indefinitely even if no one donates. In the original discussion, money was a question but not the main one; the goal was to make a plan that people would support, which included operation by trustworthy community members.


I don't want to speak for the sysadmins, who work much harder than I do, but IMO the wiki's long-term concerns are mostly not technical. They are about day-to-day activities: how to encourage participation, how to maintain article quality, how to form agreement on rules when needed. The Doom fanbase is so large and energetic, I tend to assume these people exist and might show up one day to help the site grow, whether or not they pay a cover charge.

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