What will you miss when this site closes?





204 votes ~ 6 comments

This site will turn read-only at the end of September 2017.

This site is going to go read-only

Posted by Steve on Sun 10 Sep 2017 at 07:02

This site was born in late September 2004, and has now reached 13 years of age and that seems to be a fitting time to stop.

Over the years there have been numerous articles which have been useful, widely shared, and to which I still refer back to from time to time - for example our introduction to LVM.

But that said there have been problems with the site, spam is a nightmare, submissions peaked early and never quite recovered, and the maintenance of the (10+) servers which power the site is becoming increasingly draining.

Looking at our archive makes that very clear - only two articles in 2016.

Although I've refreshed the design a time or two it seems clear that most people prefer to write their content upon their blogs, and other sites such as medium. It is unfortunate there is no central location for things of interest to Debian users, although resources such as the Debian wiki are still very useful.

Towards the end of the month I'll mark this site as read-only, then later in the year I'll transform it into a solely static-site so that the articles, weblogs, and associated comments are not lost - and they can be served via single server or two.

Goodbye, world!

 

 


Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by rjc (82.27.xx.xx) on Sun 10 Sep 2017 at 09:18

Back in the days, this site used to be my daily read. I had even printed out a number of articles when my only internet connection was at work.

Sad as it might be, I think you've made the right decision - it felt like the site was on life support for a while now.

All the best,

rjc

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Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Anonymous (5.158.xx.xx) on Sun 10 Sep 2017 at 11:29

sign this comment. Wish you all the best and thanks for the great time we have had with you.

Christian M. Grube

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Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Anonymous (80.6.xx.xx) on Wed 20 Sep 2017 at 10:29

Thanks for hosting the site and all the great articles over the years. I still reference this site for some of the old documentation!

cheers

sno

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Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Anonymous (151.42.xx.xx) on Sun 10 Sep 2017 at 09:19

it's sad to hear this, but i understand you. Please let us know if you will open another resource/blog/other good luck and thank you

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Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Anonymous (87.223.xx.xx) on Sun 10 Sep 2017 at 10:07

Like others have said. Very sorry to hear this, but I completely understand. Everyone seems to want to drive traffic to their own site. This site definitely helped me start in the debian world. And, I have been with debian ever since. A really big thanks to you!! Still recently i visited because i was looking to setup a fax server. Your site is still well page-ranked. Good luck.

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Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Matlib (46.134.xx.xx) on Sun 10 Sep 2017 at 13:40

It feels like the whole Debian community is slowly dying out...

BTW, do I understand correctly it needs 10 servers to operate? :)

--
M.

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Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Steve (89.27.xx.xx) on Sun 10 Sep 2017 at 15:03
[ View Weblogs ]

This site was always about learning, and documentation. So yes, this site does use ten servers:

  • 4 x web-servers (apache2)
  • 1 x load-balancer to route traffic to any of those that are up (haproxy)
  • 1 x database for content-storing
  • 1 x redis for login-sessions + caching
  • 1 x API-server for serving content for other uses.
  • 1 x mail-delivery host for sending out comment-notications, etc.
  • 1 x webserver for the planet

Doesn't need half that many machines of course, but at the same time why not?

-- Steve

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Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Matlib (46.134.xx.xx) on Sun 10 Sep 2017 at 15:20

I try to minimise resource usage. An old habit from pre-virtualization era when whole enterprises ran on one server. But indeed, why not.

--
M.

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Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by ajt (79.77.xx.xx) on Sun 10 Sep 2017 at 22:20
[ View Weblogs ]

In some respects things are less problematic than they use to be, so good how to guides are not as important as they use to be, and as you say it is a personal administration challenge for you and people are not submitting how-tos any more.

It will be sad to see it go read only, but it is the way of the world...

-- Adam

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Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Anonymous (151.18.xx.xx) on Mon 11 Sep 2017 at 05:33

I'm joining others here for a big thank you. I'm quite out of Debian these days for work reasons, but this site was still a good read any time a new article pops out. Thanks for your efforts.

Ciao,

Daniele

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Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Anonymous (20.139.xx.xx) on Mon 11 Sep 2017 at 06:02

awww. so long and thanks for all the articles :)

[ Parent | Reply to this comment ]

Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Anonymous (67.160.xx.xx) on Mon 11 Sep 2017 at 06:22

This was a great resource for me and I found many useful tidbits. Thanks for your contribution.

[ Parent | Reply to this comment ]

Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Anonymous (2a01:0xx:0xx:0xxx:0xxx:0xxx:xx) on Mon 11 Sep 2017 at 07:35

Sorry to hear, but I understand the decision. As a past contributor, I'm happy to hear that you plan to keep the site in read-only mode.

By the way, it would be interesting to hear how (technically) you plan to convert the site to read-only.

Thanks for all the work!

[ Parent | Reply to this comment ]

Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Steve (2001:0xx:0xx:0xxx:0xxx:0xxx:xx) on Mon 11 Sep 2017 at 07:41
[ View Weblogs ]

I think it should be relatively simple to make read-only, which is what I'll do at the end of the month. If I just make the login option a NOP, and expire all existing sessions nobody should be able to login. Then I'll add some minor code-updates to disable comments/votes from the Anonymous user. At that point things will be read-only, and unchangeable.

After that I can either cut down on the codebase significantly to make it just serve:

  • blogs
  • articles
  • polls

Or I can write a few scripts to export articles, blog-posts, and user-pages into static HTML files. That shouldn't be too hard, but losing all the mod_rewrite magic might leave a bunch of broken links. If things can be slimmed down enough such that the site is still really dynamic that might be preferable, even though it'll be static in-practice. I can even just start dumping rendered HTML to a local directory-tree and serving that first. Though no doubt there will need to be theming / look & feel updates to be made too.

--

Steve

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Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Anonymous (149.244.xx.xx) on Mon 11 Sep 2017 at 14:40

For some websites it works very well to create a backup using wget. One of the first results on searx: https://swsblog.stanford.edu/blog/creating-static-copy-website

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Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Anonymous (85.216.xx.xx) on Tue 12 Sep 2017 at 10:26

Use htttrack to download it in static mode and then remove "Login and add comment" option in code..

[ Parent | Reply to this comment ]

Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Anonymous (209.141.xx.xx) on Mon 11 Sep 2017 at 18:26

Sad news indeed!

Thanks to Steve and all the other contributors who made d-a a great site.

[ Parent | Reply to this comment ]

Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Anonymous (62.210.xx.xx) on Tue 12 Sep 2017 at 11:37

Thanks for the help provided by the service.

Do the read only status means:

  1. there will be be no new articles in the future.

  2. no one, except you, can add articles to the website and you could add articles in the future (but probability is low).

I wanted to make a bugreport for removing the feed from liferea-data package in case 1 but I have a doubt if it's case 1 or 2. Which is the right choice?

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Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Steve (2001:0xx:0xx:0xxx:0xxx:0xxx:xx) on Tue 12 Sep 2017 at 11:39
[ View Weblogs ]

This means there will be zero updates made by anybody. There will be no edits to articles, new comments will be impossible, essentially the site will be frozen in time with no updates made at all by anybody.

--

Steve

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Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by ntropia (137.131.xx.xx) on Tue 12 Sep 2017 at 17:20

I think a significant number of geeks out there owes you big deal. Not long after I seriously starting using Linux and Debian, your site provided support, comfort for the hard times, and awe for the marvels that were possible with it.

So long, Steve, and thanks for all the fish.

Godspeed

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Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by mario (201.243.xx.xx) on Wed 13 Sep 2017 at 02:21
[ View Weblogs ]

Thank you. Good luck.

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Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Anonymous (62.102.xx.xx) on Sun 17 Sep 2017 at 10:11

I just dicovered your site via RSS in Liferea with Debian Stretch, thanks for all your work and leaving it accesible.

Cheerio

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Re: This site is going to go read-only
Posted by Anonymous (195.134.xx.xx) on Wed 20 Sep 2017 at 07:35

Thank you Steve for all the work you have done. I've been here since about 2005 and it was great to have you and your site, learned a lot here. You inspired me to use debian even better.

Best wishes, Louis

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