Blood:Move Proposal

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Greetings,

A little over a month ago we at the Blood Wiki received an invitation from a recently setup Wiki farm to move our service away from our current Wiki host, namely Wiki-Site.com, to their own infrastructure. We have spent the time since then evaluating their service and discussing our needs and requirements with the administrators over at Tropical Wikis, and they have been more than happy to answer all of the questions we posed. This is a refreshing change, as our current host basically ignores you unless you are a paying customer. We have also been having some technical challenges with our current host, with some pages refusing to load after awhile when on our Satellite connection, which can cause much aggravation when battling the ever present threat of Spam bots.

In addition, they also promise us several other advantages over our current host. They claim to have a much more recent MediaWiki engine, with more extensions and features. Tropical Wikis also states that they have faster servers then Wiki-Site. Our current setup with our current host uses Apache 2.2.3 on a CentOS GNU/Linux server, while Tropical Wikis operates with Apache 2.2.16 on Debian 5.0 GNU/Linux server. It is also likely that if we make the move we will no longer have to deal with the obnoxious WYSIWYG interface that Wiki-Site lumbered us with, which can be turned off on a user by user basis, but can not be turned off on the Wiki as a whole. The WYSIWYG screws up the formatting on articles, and makes it more difficult to administer.

But most importantly, the staff over at Tropical Wikis have promised us that at any time we can request a backup of all wiki data. Over the past three years the Blood Wiki has become the definitive source for all things bloody, be it game and development information or community activities and projects. We have information going back almost seventeen years, neatly organized and easily accessible to everyone who would wish to read it, and it is only going to keep on growing. With this promise we can ensure that this information will be safe and accessible to everyone, regardless of mechanical failures or future conflicts. This alone makes the idea behind the move seem desirable.

I have outlined the pros and cons of the proposed move below:

Pros:

  • More available extensions and a more modern MediaWiki engine
  • Potentially faster servers
  • Promised data backups upon request at any time
  • More helpful service from the Tropical Wikis administrators
  • Removal of the WYSIWYG interface
  • Could potentially confuse the spam bots

Cons:

As you can see, there is much that is in Tropical Wikis favour, and what is not are only minor concerns that do not weigh them down by much. But, even though we as administrators have the final say when it comes to the operation of the Wiki, we like to think that we alone do not make the Blood Wiki's policies, and a vote will be opened up to decide on whether or not this move should take place. It will be open for one week, with the poll opening today (March 5, 2011) and ending next Saturday (March 12, 2011). You must be a registered user to vote, although anyone is welcome to make comments, which can be made on the vote page itself or on a thread I wil l be starting on the Transfusion Forums. During this time I will also be contacting all affected parties in an attempt to make the potential move as smooth as possible. We would also be keeping the old page up as a redirect for as long as possible.

You can decide the future of the Wiki. Choose wisely.

Thank you,
The Blood Wiki Administrators

Additional

About two days after the polls opened we received yet another offer for hosting. This time it is courtesy of William Weilep, known to the community as Wills. He is most famous for his DeathMask website, his work on the Transfusion project, and of course his awe inspiring collection of Blood products and memorabilia. He also has generously provided hosting to other Blood fan projects, including Bloody Pulp Fiction and the Transfusion project itself. He has promised to offer weekly flat-file backups, daily database backups, as well as on-demand backups whenever we request them. But most importantly, he has even gone as far as to offer us our own domain name, with blood-wiki.com or bloodwiki.org seeming to be the leading available candidates. His servers are running CentOS 5.5 x64, Apache 2.2.17, PHP 5.3.5, MySql 5.1.41, with major updates done at least quarterly.

In a similar fashion to the above, I have outline the pros and cons of the proposed move.

Pros:

  • Our own domain name
  • Well managed servers with great backups
  • Promised data backups upon request at any time
  • Website known for quality within the Blood community
  • Willis has been helpful with regards to our questions
  • Removal of the WYSIWYG interface
  • Could potentially confuse the spam bots

Cons:

  • A move might confuse some readers and contributors
  • Wiki infrastructure needs to be setup
  • Not quite sure how to handle moving Wiki Data

I will add DeathMask hosting as an option to the already ongoing vote, and will extend the time until the votes close to a week from when I write this (which would be March 16, 2011). If you have already voted, you can still choose to change your vote at any time while the polls are open. All the administrators are likely to change our votes to support the new option. We are still currently in discussion with Willis with regards as to how to the move will be handled, but we are confident enough that we can work something out. And of course the promise of a proper domain is just too good to pass up. But once again, it is up to you, our cherished members, to decide whether or not this happens. And as I said before, be sure to choose wisely.

Thank you,
The Blood Wiki Administrators