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dr.bob
628132.  Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:18 am Reply with quote

Posital wrote:
Pish posh - absolute bunkum. Not sure who fed you this line. They are called database management systems (DBMS) for a reason. They're designed for this.
The only strict regulations (apart from standard storage management) would be to ensure security.


Is limiting the size of databases not "standard storage management"?

If not, I'd be very keen to hear of any hosting providers that you know of that offer infinitely extendible databases.

 
samivel
628168.  Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:42 am Reply with quote

Amie wrote:
Aw! I mourn the loss of Twisty Qing Qong!


Me too. There was some interesting stuff on that thread. But heigh ho, I respect the decision of the decisionists.

 
suze
628262.  Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:56 am Reply with quote

That one actually bit the dust at the last pruning - and I have to say, it was something of a heavy heart that I pressed the "Delete" button.

But the game had pretty much run its course, I think - at the time at which it went, no one had played to it for about six weeks. Like samivel, I was aware that there were some quite good factoids lurking within it - but having looked a few of them up, I found that nearly all of them were to be found somewhere else on these forums as well.

 
Posital
628321.  Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:34 pm Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
Posital wrote:
Pish posh - absolute bunkum. Not sure who fed you this line. They are called database management systems (DBMS) for a reason. They're designed for this.
The only strict regulations (apart from standard storage management) would be to ensure security.


Is limiting the size of databases not "standard storage management"?

If not, I'd be very keen to hear of any hosting providers that you know of that offer infinitely extendible databases.
Yes - size management is standard - so where you get "spiral out of control and ruin the hosting for everyone." - I just don't know.

But it was pointed out that there are other more costly limitations - like memory. So fair doos.

But at £40 for 4GB on a cruddy machine - why not host it in your garage...

It's not like it's serving up tons of graphics and video.

 
NinOfEden
628340.  Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:06 pm Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:

As others have pointed out, older topics are not necessarily less interesting. In fact, given that the forum started out with pretty much only elves posting to it, it's more likely that older topics will be considerably more interesting than newer ones.

Maybe so, but the fact they've had no replies for a long time shows that no-one's been reading them, + conversation about them has fizzled out. So why keep them?
dr.bob wrote:

As for users not posting, we have had users who have left for a long time and come back. garrick92, for instance, is an elf of long standing, yet he posted nothing to the site between Apr 23, 2007 and Oct 23, 2007. If he had come back and found that his account had been deleted, I doubt he'd've been best pleased and we may have lost his subsequent contributions. He hasn't posted anything here since January, but there's always a chance he might come back.

Well, if there's a note put up saying that if you don't post for [however long] your account will be deleted, probably no-one will argue. They've been warned, + it's hardly difficult to make a new account.
dr.bob wrote:

The major problem with deleting users is that it just doesn't save us very much space. All of the users currently registered take up a grand total of 3Mb of disk space. By contrast, the text of the posts take up a rather more meaty 155Mb. If you're wanting to make significant reductions, it's pretty clear which bit needs tackling.

Eh... fair enough.

 
exnihilo
628427.  Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:24 pm Reply with quote

NinOfEden wrote:
dr.bob wrote:

As others have pointed out, older topics are not necessarily less interesting. In fact, given that the forum started out with pretty much only elves posting to it, it's more likely that older topics will be considerably more interesting than newer ones.

Maybe so, but the fact they've had no replies for a long time shows that no-one's been reading them, + conversation about them has fizzled out. So why keep them?


You may be missing the point of this site to an extent with that...

 
dr.bob
628531.  Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:56 am Reply with quote

Posital wrote:
Yes - size management is standard - so where you get "spiral out of control and ruin the hosting for everyone." - I just don't know.


If you don't manage the size of the databases, then there's a risk they will simply grow indefinitely. If this happens, they will fill up all available diskspace such that all other databases will then be pretty scuppered. That's what I meant by "spiral out of control and ruin the hosting for everyone."

Posital wrote:
But at £40 for 4GB on a cruddy machine - why not host it in your garage...


Because that's not a very professional way of going about things and would leave the QI organisation rather vulnerable to me getting fed up with the whole thing and deciding to just throw my toys out of the pram and switch the server off one day. Or, alternatively, I might fall under a bus on my way home one day and when the power company notice and cut the power, the entire site vanishes from the web.

Which wouldn't be an ideal situation for anyone.

 
Neotenic
628560.  Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:00 am Reply with quote

Quote:
But at £40 for 4GB on a cruddy machine - why not host it in your garage...


If it's so easy-peasy and you feel so strongly about it, then why not set up your very own games server and simply put a linky to it in a post on this site?

It's only £40, after all.

 
Sophie.A
628910.  Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:50 am Reply with quote

Okay, now that almost all the Games threads are gone, if anyone was trying to solve Spoilt Victorianís Odd One Out game and is still interested in it, Iíve archived it here: http://z6.invisionfree.com/qigames/index.php?showtopic=5.

Final scores of the Celebrity Baton Relay Changeling Raleigh game: http://z6.invisionfree.com/qigames/index.php?showtopic=4.

I donít know if monzacís last I Am A Famous Person game was solved in time (it was going to be Doc WÖsomething); I thought it would and didnít save it.

 
Posital
628944.  Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:22 pm Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
Which wouldn't be an ideal situation for anyone.
Sounds kinds familiar.

 
bobwilson
629638.  Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:40 pm Reply with quote

This is all very interesting. I've just had a scan through the thread and I'm not sure I've understood what the problem is.

Dr Bob mentions that allowing the databases to grow indefinitely will fill up all available disk space. I don't think so - and notwithstanding the unprofessionalism and inelegance of stacking up a rack full of disks in a garage he seems to accept that that isn't going to happen either.

There is, for instance, at least one internet archive which takes, and retains, a searchable snapshot of the entire internet on a monthly basis. I'm guessing this takes up slightly more storage space than that required by archiving the QI website.

Probably a bigger clue is given by Dr Bob's statement that "I might fall under a bus on my way home one day and when the power company notice and cut the power, the entire site vanishes from the web."

It seems to me that far too big a burden has been placed on Dr Bob's shoulders.

It's certainly technically feasible to maintain the entire site without culling and without investing huge amounts of money - I know that from my own experience. I'm just a bit astonished that nobody on here has come forward to offer a formal proposal as to how to achieve that. I'm sure Dr Bob would welcome any such concrete proposals.

 
MinervaMoon
629640.  Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:07 pm Reply with quote

bobwilson, I submit that the problem might become a little clearer were you to read the thread more thoroughly.

dr.bob does not have control over the allotted space given for the database, nor is he actually hosting the site in his own garage, as was sarcastically proposed by another person. His job is to make sure the site falls within the guidelines set by the storage providers, and he knows exactly how much space is being used at any given time.

The statement about falling under a bus doesn't require very close examination to be interpreted, so I'll let you read that one again yourself.

 
quamhab
629695.  Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:12 am Reply with quote

I woiuld like to register my sadness at the loss of the games page.

 
dr.bob
629750.  Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:15 am Reply with quote

Your sadness is duly registered. Although your sadness at losing all of the QI Talk Forums might've been considerably greater.

 
bobwilson
630022.  Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:33 pm Reply with quote

Sorry Minerva - for once, I wasn't being flippant. I don't know exactly what arrangements the site has with the providers but I'd guess it dictates space and bandwidth usage limits. Every site faces the same problems.

I was suggesting (for example) that the storage paid for could be used for pure indexing - with the actual content held somewhere completely different (perhaps on a set of servers in Dr. Bob's garage!!! Now I'm being flippant again).

But seriously, there's a difference between hosting a site and providing storage. The main issue for hosts is the traffic which takes up bandwidth - the main issue for storage is the physical means of holding the information. Again, just from a quick reading, it seems to me that the hosts main business is in - erm - hosting, although they obviously provide a minimal amount of storage as an adjunct. There are completely separate businesses that provide storage (and often don't do hosting).

I've come across websites that are hosted by one provider with fairly high allowances for traffic passing through the site (in terms of number of users and frequency of access) which is where the skill set and business model takes them, but where the hosting site provides very limited storage which is used primarily for indexing and redirections to a completely different service provider, with a fairly small allowance for cached pages. The actual content is held in a completely separate location, by a completely separate organisation with a different business model.

What this could mean in practice on this site is that when you accessed (for instance) one of the games pages which have quite high traffic volume, you'd usually be accessing the cached pages held on the hosting site. If you decided to look at page 143 out of 768 on a thread, or one of the less visited threads, you'd be redirected invisibly to the storage site. It'd take slightly longer to load although barely noticeably.

Out of interest - I wonder if the site ever approaches it's traffic volume limits?

And I wasn't disparaging the work done by Dr. Bob - just noting that there does seem to be a bottleneck in the organisation. Noting that there is a bottleneck isn't saying that the bottleneck is failing - merely pointing out that if someone is indispensible (or close to indispensible) then that's a failure of organisation. Having a boy with a finger in the dyke is perhaps not the best way to prevent a flood.

 

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