Community donations to pay for servers

General feedback and discussion of the game.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

Post Reply
tsr
Posts: 790
Joined: May 24th, 2006, 1:05 pm

Community donations to pay for servers

Post by tsr » January 19th, 2007, 10:01 am

Hi,

I've been noticing lately that the forums are often kind of slow. I've been thinking about starting a campaign for us to donate funds to speed up the forums.

I'm not really sure about how the site is hosted atm or what could be done to speed things up (I've talked to Dave and he said he was going to look into it, so please don't let the thread be about that), but I suppose it couldn't hurt with more funds :D

What I'm interested in is to see what interest there is from the community to donate to this specific thing.

I'm thinking that there is no use in changing the current hosting without having sufficient funds for at least one year.

One possibility is for us to adopt one day/week/month each year and commit for the chosen period for at least 2-3 years.

(I'm sure we can find a dedicated server for around $1200/year where we can host not only the website (forum, wiki, unit list, etc) but also the mp and add-ons server. $1200/year would mean roughly $100/month, $25/week, $4/day)

So for example, to adopt my birthday I'd donate $12 (for 3 years) and specify 16th september as the target date.

Ok, that's enough for now, let me know what you think, is this a good idea, how much would you be donating, etc, etc.

/tsr

User avatar
irrevenant
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 3692
Joined: August 15th, 2005, 7:57 am
Location: I'm all around you.

Post by irrevenant » January 19th, 2007, 11:58 am

IMO, a fundraising banner like Wikipedia uses would work well (unfortunately their fundraiser just ended so I can't show it to you).

You set a target of (eg.) $1200 and take donations until that amount is reached. Then you stop taking donations until next year. The banner would clearly state the purpose you're collecting donations for.

IMO, you'd get a better response than by asking people to 'subscribe' to a payment plan.

P.S. If the fundraiser is a success, could we consider changing the forum software to vBulletin? Steve Pavlina's forums use that and it has some really nice features that phpBB lacks (such as a search option that takes you to the matching post, not just the matching thread).

User avatar
Viliam
Translator
Posts: 1341
Joined: January 30th, 2004, 11:07 am
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
Contact:

Post by Viliam » January 19th, 2007, 1:34 pm

Do we really need a dedicated server? Maybe it would be worth to see what parameters has the current server, and what parameters have other non-dedicated servers... maybe we could get an increase of speed without an increase in cost, or with only small increase in costs.

Or maybe removing the 11 KB logo from the top of forum screen could increase the speed significantly too...


First measure, then optimize. Do we know how much % of the server capacity is consumed by: forum; wiki; multiplayer server; campaign server; anything else?

User avatar
Viliam
Translator
Posts: 1341
Joined: January 30th, 2004, 11:07 am
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
Contact:

Post by Viliam » January 19th, 2007, 1:39 pm

irrevenant wrote:it has some really nice features that phpBB lacks (such as a search option that takes you to the matching post, not just the matching thread).
Something like this? ;-)
Attachments
search.jpg
search.jpg (11.16 KiB) Viewed 2682 times

tsr
Posts: 790
Joined: May 24th, 2006, 1:05 pm

Post by tsr » January 19th, 2007, 9:09 pm

Viliam wrote:Do we really need a dedicated server? Maybe it would be worth to see what parameters has the current server, and what parameters have other non-dedicated servers... maybe we could get an increase of speed without an increase in cost, or with only small increase in costs.

Or maybe removing the 11 KB logo from the top of forum screen could increase the speed significantly too...


First measure, then optimize. Do we know how much % of the server capacity is consumed by: forum; wiki; multiplayer server; campaign server; anything else?
I completely agree with this. I would just like to add that the unit-list, multiplayer and add-ons server are not hosted at wesnoth.org.

Maybe the forums are not slow, but I experience a lot (1-2/visit) of 505:s (service is temporarely unavailable) and many more instances when the connection is so slow that FF asks me if I want to open the file with a html-editor instead of serving med the page.

/tsr

Gus
Posts: 520
Joined: May 16th, 2005, 5:40 pm
Location: France

Post by Gus » January 19th, 2007, 10:09 pm

Yup, the forum and website have been acting a little slow for about a week.

Maybe it's all those religious debates that have angered some supernatural power... ;)
Hard work may pay off in the long run, but laziness always pays off right away.

Zebulon
Art Developer
Posts: 298
Joined: September 7th, 2005, 11:30 pm
Location: Wyoming

Post by Zebulon » January 19th, 2007, 10:21 pm

irrevenant wrote:P.S. If the fundraiser is a success, could we consider changing the forum software to vBulletin?

vBulletin costs $160.00 and then if you want updates, it's $30 for every year.

User avatar
irrevenant
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 3692
Joined: August 15th, 2005, 7:57 am
Location: I'm all around you.

Post by irrevenant » January 20th, 2007, 1:07 am

Viliam wrote:
irrevenant wrote:it has some really nice features that phpBB lacks (such as a search option that takes you to the matching post, not just the matching thread).
Something like this? ;-)
:oops: Thanks Viliam.

In that case, I shunt that request to the "would be nice but isn't necessary" category...
Zebulon wrote:vBulletin costs $160.00 and then if you want updates, it's $30 for every year.
True. It might be worth that cost (especially since we probably wouldn't need upgrades) but that's an aside at this point of the discussion.
Last edited by irrevenant on January 20th, 2007, 1:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
shadowm
Site Administrator
Posts: 6563
Joined: November 14th, 2006, 5:54 pm
Location: Chile
Contact:

Post by shadowm » January 20th, 2007, 1:16 am

I like phpBB. You might make a more wesnothish theme for it though...

I think the slowness of the forum and website has something to do with using the same server for everything: development mp server, stable mp server, multiple-versions campaign servers, and website. Having different server might help, but it'd cost a lot of money.

EDIT: added the s to servers.
Author of the unofficial UtBS sequels Invasion from the Unknown and After the Storm.

tsr
Posts: 790
Joined: May 24th, 2006, 1:05 pm

Post by tsr » January 20th, 2007, 10:02 am

Shadow Master wrote:I think the slowness of the forum and website has something to do with using the same server for everything: development mp server, stable mp server, multiple-versions campaign servers, and website. Having different server might help, but it'd cost a lot of money.
Well, this isn't true:
- website (forum, wiki, maybe some more) is on wesnoth.org
- mp-servers are on some other server
- add-ons are on a third server

/tsr

User avatar
Chris7mas
Posts: 55
Joined: October 28th, 2006, 8:52 am
Location: Bucharest
Contact:

Post by Chris7mas » January 21st, 2007, 4:27 pm

I like the current type of forums. Well it does not have lots of lots of options, but seems good enough for me. Maybe it's because I'm just used to it.
Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air...
TuxArena - Linux news, tutorials, articles & reviews

darkwraith007
Posts: 40
Joined: December 6th, 2006, 2:27 am
Location: USA

BitTorrent

Post by darkwraith007 » January 21st, 2007, 8:13 pm

Its a fairly simple idea, even has MD5 hashes for the geeks around here. JUST USE BITTORRENT!

As for the in-game browser, the files downloaded could be in .7z format (which is open-source) and more importantly it can be integrated into Wesnoth so that Wesnoth can extract them on-the-fly when needed rather then right after downloading. In addition, you can point users to the directory they are stored in and let them know they can manually extract them to save time.

However if the .tgz format allows this type of thing as well, that would be sufficient. As the current situation is though, its incredibly tedious and slow, especially for very-large add-ons. Perhaps we may have to realize that sending people to the web interface might be better off in most cases, perhaps putting a note there with a link to it. And do please have a "copy to clipboard" or something similar so we don't have to memorize or scribble down the link given (like for the stat uploads). Though to work around this I just run Wesnoth in a window anyways.

Make .torrent files of the main binaries on the download page, the source code, and all those add-ons on the campaign server(s). That way its distributed among users and is quite fast in and of itself, provided people will be nice and leave it to upload while they are using their computer. Even a 5 KB/s upload works nicely and doesn't affect online gaming (much). Those on dialup don't need to worry about uploading but if they can spare even 1 KS/s that would work very well.

uTorrent

That link above is for a very small, fast, easy-to-use and setup BitTorrent client for Windows. I'm sure Linux and Mac people already have a bunch of great options for BitTorrent clients. Doesn't even use much memory either, perfect for leaving on in the background. There are even some special "initial seeding" and "superseeding" modes to dedicate and optimize bandwidth when seeding the files.

Hope this helps, and if not then oh well.

tsr
Posts: 790
Joined: May 24th, 2006, 1:05 pm

Post by tsr » January 21st, 2007, 9:24 pm

Ok, is there any hope in getting this back on topic?

The topic being (perhaps not very well expressed in the first post): if money would help to ensure faster and more reliable forums would you be willing to donate some funds?

tsr says: of course! (and thinking about some $10-50)

/tsr

darkwraith007
Posts: 40
Joined: December 6th, 2006, 2:27 am
Location: USA

oops...O_O

Post by darkwraith007 » January 26th, 2007, 2:49 am

Sorry! I didn't realize I was going off-topic. I thought you meant the speed of the downloads on the campaign server, etc.

Perhaps donations would definately help, and would be better then resorting to advertising. There is another, although dubious option. On the official campaign server, for those that play multiplayer, have a banner ad and make money off the impressions, similar to how battle.net functions. Given enough players and having people just sit in the chat room, perhaps enough money could be made to offset the cost of the forum servers.

But yes, YE SHALL DONATE!

Post Reply