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Important Announcement

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dr.bob
627379.  Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:12 am Reply with quote

Unfortunately it has come to pass that the QI forums are, once again, taking up rather too much space on our hosting environment. The agreement we have is that we promise to use less than a certain amount of storage, and we are rapidly approaching our limit. Last time we went over the limit, our hosting providers simply switched off the forums completely with no notice. We are keen to avoid this happening again.

Since the last crisis, several steps have been taken to save space, including regular pruning of particularly long, and not terribly interesting, threads in forums such as General Banter. However, it seems that this is not saving enough space.

It has been brought to The Management's attention that an awful lot of space is currently being taken up by the QI Games forum. Whilst we are keen to encourage a community feel about the forums, sadly there are limits to what we can do and it is generally felt that keeping huge archives of trivial games is not the best use of our resources.

For this reason, the decision has been taken that the QI Games forum is due for a clear-out. This will involve deleting nearly all of the threads in this forum. The only threads which will remain after the clear-out are "Qing Qong - The Archive" and "1,720 Uses For Sausages", since they are, broadly speaking, actually QI-related work, and "MENTAL maths", since it is recognised as one of the fullest explorations of that particular problem currently available on the internet.

The Powers That Be apologise in advance for anyone who feels annoyed that their current game is due to disappear. Part of the reason for this announcement is to give people time to archive any posts they might wish to keep or find an alternative venue to play any particularly good games that they don't wish to allow to die off.

The QI Games clear-out is planned to take place on Friday, 23rd October. Feel free to express any views you have about this action. However, suggestions such as "why don't you just spend more money and get a better hosting provider?" will not be met with much enthusiasm, I'm afraid to say.

 
austinallegro
627500.  Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:17 pm Reply with quote

Oh bother. How much are you allowed to host anyhoo?

 
bemahan
627507.  Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:27 pm Reply with quote

I can fully understand this. Please can you clarify whether this means the games are banned, or just that you won't be maintaining posts older than, say, a week or two?

 
suze
627560.  Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:52 pm Reply with quote

bemahan, I can start to answer that. Apart from the three reserved threads already mentioned, the content of the Games forum will be deleted in its entirety.

The Management is keen not to ban games completely. Since the IT Elf became aware last week that there was an issue with space, there have been a few discussions on how to proceed, and that option was talked about - but it was felt that it should be avoided if at all possible.

At the same time though, we're aware that Games take up a lot of space on the server and don't provide very much content which is likely to be of use for the QI TV show or books. And after all, the primary reason for the existence of these forums is and must remain that they enable members to put forward material which may one day feature in those shows and books.

So new games will be allowed - although starting one between now and Friday is probably a bit pointless. But the Games forum will have to be much more strictly moderated than it has been in the past, not so much for content as for space.

As a result, games which are not being actively played are likely to be deleted in short order, and games which spawn hugely long threads are likely to get pruned fairly regularly. That last is a thing to be borne in mind by anyone wanting to start a new Games thread - we're sorry, but a game which requires every post ever made to a thread of indeterminate length to be preserved indefinitely is not something we can really accommodate.


austin, I don't know the answer to your question or I'd tell you. If I find anyone who does know the answer, I'll point him or her at this thread.

 
Iamtheelephant616
627565.  Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:08 pm Reply with quote

Most games can be pruned right down to just a few posts e.g. ban the poster above you, guess the movie quote etc. where you only really need to see the last few posts, or in some circumstances, just the last post. Could you not keep the really popular games of this type?

 
Posital
627575.  Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:41 pm Reply with quote

With a trillion bytes (10^12) costing about 70 - can't imagine why disk space is a problem.

Hopefully, by erasing the frivolous creativity of the games, you won't lose the semi-serious creativity of the posts you wish to harvest.

Quid pro quo, Clarisse...

 
Strawberry
627603.  Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:12 pm Reply with quote

Aw, that's a pity but i s'pose it can't be helped.

 
dr.bob
627626.  Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:37 am Reply with quote

austinallegro wrote:
How much are you allowed to host anyhoo?


The problem is with the size of databases involved in running the phpBB software. Our current database limit is 200Mb. I've managed to get around this a bit by hacking the phpBB code such that the search facility is stored on a separate database to the actual messages. That's enabling us to use pretty much twice that allowance.

That may not seem a huge amount of storage in the grand scheme of things but, even if I had a stand alone system that I was completely in charge of, I wouldn't want the databases to get too large. Larger databases become ever more bloated and slower to respond.

Iamtheelephant616 wrote:
Most games can be pruned right down to just a few posts e.g. ban the poster above you, guess the movie quote etc. where you only really need to see the last few posts, or in some circumstances, just the last post. Could you not keep the really popular games of this type?


In future, that's exactly what I plan to do. Sadly, many of the threads have just gotten so large that the phpBB interface can't cope with pruning them down. For this reason, and to cut down on a lot of work, I plan to just delete entire threads. If you wish to continue games, I'd suggest you make a note of where they left off, then start again after the pruning. I'll try and do a better job of keeping on top of regular pruning in the future.

Posital wrote:
With a trillion bytes (10^12) costing about 70 - can't imagine why disk space is a problem.


Disk space isn't really a problem. I'm sure it would be trivial to find another hosting provider for a similar price that gave us a larger disk allocation. However, the main problem here is database size. Any provider hosting a large number of databases for a wide variety of clients will need to have fairly strict regulations to make sure they don't just spiral out of control and ruin the hosting for everyone.

 
bemahan
627627.  Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:37 am Reply with quote

I think this post 627625 should probably be on here.

 
tetsabb
627628.  Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:37 am Reply with quote

In view of mozac's addition to the Picture trumps thread, maybe now is the right time to end that one? (One which probably takes up a humungous amount of space!)

 
dr.bob
627630.  Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:40 am Reply with quote

bemahan wrote:
I think this post 627625 should probably be on here.


I hope I've already answered that in my post just above.

I should also add here a big thank you to all the posters who've responded so far for being so thoroughly reasonable and proportionate in their responses. Your calm reactions to this news show just what an excellent bunch of people we have hanging around these forums :)

 
bemahan
627635.  Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:50 am Reply with quote

Ah, dr. bob - if you could only see what a lot of emotional wrecks you've created by your OP. We're just desperately trying to keep on the right side of you. Where else would we word-play lovers get our kicks? There's little more satisfying than a good run of "Say something" or "Ban the...". And as for CBRCR - the pleasure gained when awarded a point is sublime. You didn't think we actually have lives outside of QI Games, did you? :)

 
monzac
627640.  Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:13 am Reply with quote

tetsabb wrote:
In view of mozac's addition to the Picture trumps thread, maybe now is the right time to end that one? (One which probably takes up a humungous amount of space!)

Sorry :(

 
Neotenic
627648.  Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:31 am Reply with quote

Quote:
There's little more satisfying than a good run of "Say something" or "Ban the...".


Really? Wow. Different strokes, and all that.

Quote:
(One which probably takes up a humungous amount of space!)


Although I am a bear of very little IT brain, I would imagine that PT doesn't take up disproportionately more space than any other thread, as thew pictures aren't hosted on the server.

 
monzac
627674.  Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:11 am Reply with quote

monzac wrote:
tetsabb wrote:
In view of mozac's addition to the Picture trumps thread, maybe now is the right time to end that one? (One which probably takes up a humungous amount of space!)

Sorry :(

If you visit Picture Trumps now, the thread seems to have reached the end anyway...

 

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