Author Topic: The End of SMF 1 is coming, sooner than later.  (Read 12344 times)

Offline pj

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The End of SMF 1 is coming, sooner than later.
« on: October 25, 2013, 07:56:53 AM »
Hey, all.  We have a bit of a problem.

We have been living with this problem for a long time, involving the forum software we are running.  A completely new build of SMF has been available for several years now.  Because of our extensive modifications and customizations here, we have elected to stay with the older SMF 1.x.x branch of the forum software.  With the latest security patch installed this morning, we are being notified that the end of 1.x.x is pretty much here.

Trying to keep it running this long has been a challenge, as the current software is not compatible with updates and changes in server operating systems and languages.  For example, we are unable to advance to PHP5 because of usage deprecations.  These deprecations are not going to be addressed, and they do not exist in the newer SMF 2 software.  (PHP is the language of all the data handling aspects of SMF.)

A couple years ago, mu spent a staggering amount of time preparing us for the move to SMF 2.  That project was never finished because we never did end up with a skin.  In addition, all our front end is handled with a rather kludgy system called Drupal, which has been tied in to our user database with custom code.

The bottom line is this is all coming down to only a few possible choices:

1) We end up with a new tech guru with a whole lot of time on his or her hands and a willingness to deal with all the transitions

2) We do a fresh start with SMF 2 and move forward as time permits.  (My time is not available for any more than I am currently doing, and even that has been problematic for me and my family lately.)  In doing so, we give up a lot of what makes MM unique for at least a while and maybe much longer.

3) We continue trying to prod this existing system along until we experience either a major security breach or a major technical change that cripples or shuts us down completely.



The second choice seems like the obvious one to me, given our present circumstances and activity levels.  At the onset, however, we will be losing pretty much everything that makes the Mortal Mist forums uniquely suited for lucid dreaming - in particular the Dream Catcher package and the integrated chat.  Chess would also likely go away.  All of these things could be brought back in time, given the skill, time and attention are available to implement them, and we would at least be up and running in the meantime.

There are multiple opportunities and challenges available with this kind of a change, of course.  The Mortal Mist community owns several premium domain names that might be considered, including lucidwiki.com.  The front material (currently under Drupal) can be handled with an alternate domain or using various SMF extensions under the Mortal Mist domain, one which I am already somewhat familiar with from another SMF2 forum I help administer.

There is no great rush on this, but we all need to be aware that we are reaching the end of this road.  The sooner we make a decision, the more options we can consider, the more graceful the transition will be, and the less likely we will be racing to deal with a catastrophe at some point in the future.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 08:54:45 AM by pj »
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Offline bluebird

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Re: The End of SMF 1 is coming, sooner than later.
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2013, 08:20:49 AM »
I guess this had to happen eventually. All I can say is please please please don't go with option 3, as SMF is such a popular piece of software it would only be a matter of time before someone finds some sort of vulnerability which would then never be fixed.

I hope we can get through whatever change we need to do eventually, MM must live on!
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Offline Sunshine

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Re: The End of SMF 1 is coming, sooner than later.
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2013, 10:45:40 AM »
(content removed by user request)
« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 07:04:01 PM by pj »

Offline Shellidfl

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Re: The End of SMF 1 is coming, sooner than later.
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2013, 12:34:46 PM »
I agree with MB - I have absolutely no idea what tech stuff you were talking about - I have enough tech skills to make a power point presentation for an interview I have on Monday...  Regretting more and more not going into computer programming...

Offline DrTechnical

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Re: The End of SMF 1 is coming, sooner than later.
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 01:20:29 PM »
Obviously it sucks that no one is likely to step up to handle this PJ. Wish I had the technical expertise on this one but it's not my area.

For whatever it's worth, I tend to believe that 2 is the answer as well. Hopefully some of the "unique" features can creep back in over time. But then again, what really makes MM unique is the dreamers. Good dreams and good discussion and support will always be the key, and those are not dependent on the indicated features.
"In a fearful stampede to save themselves from the terrifying menace of an original idea, the herd can become a mindless destroyer of the light." - Thomas Campbell

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Offline johnb

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Re: The End of SMF 1 is coming, sooner than later.
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2013, 02:59:03 PM »
Don't think #1 is going to be a viable option, unless someone with the necessary skills volunteers. #3 is bad. So probably have to go with #2. I assume we won't lose any stuff that people have posted, right? Just capabilities like chat and keeping track of how many dreams you've had, etc.?
In the secret space of dreams
Where I dreaming lay amazed
When the secrets all are told
And the petals all unfold
When there was no dream of mine
You dreamed of me.
-- from Attics of My Life, by Robert Hunter

Offline pj

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Re: The End of SMF 1 is coming, sooner than later.
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2013, 03:52:38 PM »
Right - no content loss at all.  Statistical loss is almost a certainty, however.  The ability to easily download one's dream journal, knowing who is in chat when you log in, the dream/lucid/fragment numbers and links. . . all that is custom code.

DrT has it right though - so long as our dreamers remain, MM will survive.
What truly matters is not built of right and wrong; but of grace, and of love.

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Offline Sunshine

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Re: The End of SMF 1 is coming, sooner than later.
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2013, 10:18:24 PM »
(content removed by user request)
« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 07:04:01 PM by pj »

Offline Naiya

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Re: The End of SMF 1 is coming, sooner than later.
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2013, 11:31:27 PM »
Obviously it sucks that no one is likely to step up to handle this PJ. Wish I had the technical expertise on this one but it's not my area.

For whatever it's worth, I tend to believe that 2 is the answer as well. Hopefully some of the "unique" features can creep back in over time. But then again, what really makes MM unique is the dreamers. Good dreams and good discussion and support will always be the key, and those are not dependent on the indicated features.


This. Thanks Dr. T. We'll just have to cope with losing some features for a while.


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Offline Luminous

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Re: The End of SMF 1 is coming, sooner than later.
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2013, 02:40:24 AM »
This. Thanks Dr. T. We'll just have to cope with losing some features for a while.

I don't want to cope with it... :(

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Offline pj

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Re: The End of SMF 1 is coming, sooner than later.
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2013, 07:10:40 AM »
I know - neither do I.  Sadly, I don't know any highly skilled PHP/CSS/XML programmers with 'nix and SQL admin experience willing to work for nothing.

Do you see any other viable options?  Perhaps I've missed a possibility or two.
What truly matters is not built of right and wrong; but of grace, and of love.

--pj

Offline johnb

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Re: The End of SMF 1 is coming, sooner than later.
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2013, 12:03:11 PM »
I know - neither do I.  Sadly, I don't know any highly skilled PHP/CSS/XML programmers with 'nix and SQL admin experience willing to work for nothing.

Do you see any other viable options?  Perhaps I've missed a possibility or two.

There are so many free, open-source things these days. How do they get skilled programmers to work on those? I guess it must be volunteers.
In the secret space of dreams
Where I dreaming lay amazed
When the secrets all are told
And the petals all unfold
When there was no dream of mine
You dreamed of me.
-- from Attics of My Life, by Robert Hunter

Offline Naiya

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Re: The End of SMF 1 is coming, sooner than later.
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2013, 02:08:30 PM »
highly skilled PHP/CSS/XML programmers with 'nix and SQL admin experience willing to work for nothing.


Do we know any who are willing to work for something? I would chip in some money if that is what's needed. We could do a fundraiser/crowdsourcing/whatever thing and bring together some money for the site. We say we're member-owned, but PJ has been taking on the financial burden...At the very least, we should have the ability to donate money towards MM. We could do it through PayPal fairly easily, I think?

Realistically, if we want a couple of features back, how many man-hours and at what kind of payrate would we be looking at? IMO the priority here would be the dreamcatcher system. The rest I can live without, tbh.


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Intermediate: CO, MF, TP, EF, IA, DC, JA
Advanced: TE, AN, MU, HP
SP: Destinations China, Egypt, England, South America, Australia via TARDIS

Offline pj

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Re: The End of SMF 1 is coming, sooner than later.
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2013, 02:16:07 PM »
It's tough to say.  I agree about the DreamCatcher system being primary.  The code would have to be brought up to date with current PHP standards, it would have to be interfaced with SMF2, (and most of that part has probably already been done by mu,) the SMF2 data structure would need to be modified and existing data migrated.

The start of the project would be to fully understand what mu has already done and what needs to happen to get it up to PHP5 and the current release of SMF2.
What truly matters is not built of right and wrong; but of grace, and of love.

--pj

Offline DrTechnical

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Re: The End of SMF 1 is coming, sooner than later.
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2013, 07:22:59 PM »
I would also be quite willing to contribute some funds to facilitate the migration. I just don't know what that means exactly?

I'm guessing a consultant is about $75 an hour give or take. My wild ass guess is 1-2K for the project. Does anyone have a better guesstimate?
"In a fearful stampede to save themselves from the terrifying menace of an original idea, the herd can become a mindless destroyer of the light." - Thomas Campbell

"I just had to get nice last night. My Mind is so free, you wouldn't believe ... you wouldn't believe" - Dave Wyndorf

"I don't understand. How can less be more? That's impossible. More is more." - Yngwie Malmsteen