World of Spectrum....

Y'know, other stuff, Sinclair related.
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jmk
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Re: World of Spectrum....

Post by jmk » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:47 am

Mark, I think you are making the mistake of assuming there are only two sides in the community: "friend" and "enemy".

Nobody wants WoS to close down, but we have had to face the facts and realise that the only thing that can be saved is the content of WoS and (maybe) the spirit of it.

This point has been reached, somewhat painfully. As each week passes, the circumstances get worse and we can only hope that WoS continues just that little bit longer. But, it will be a WoS where fewer and fewer people are allowed to post, on fewer and fewer subjects.
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Re: World of Spectrum....

Post by Guesser » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:07 am

The biggest loss if WoS ever shuts down is the vast wealth of knowledge in the forum archive. I know there's a humongous quantity of crap in there too, but a lot of useful stuff gets posted in 15 years or however far back the database reaches at this point.

Discussions may have moved elsewhere, and all the infoseek data can be stuck in a new database, but all those hundreds of thousands of forum posts are trapped there hard to search and at risk of disappearing forever.
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Mike Davies
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Re: World of Spectrum....

Post by Mike Davies » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:46 am

1024MAK wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:06 pm
All the information on WoS that I have referred to is already available on WoS or it's forums. Or was in the now discontinued Wikipedia page on WoS. Or is available on other public sites (like the internet archive).

Lee has already said that he helped Einar with the WoS data. So Einar did start ZXDB from scratch, but he did have help with the WoS data and it's format. He has also had help from other people I believe (although to be honest, I have not followed his every step, so I don't know any details).

When Lee took over WoS, WoS was already in trouble (lack of updates, forum software faults and server problems). As Martjin was not spending much time on it any-more. If you can find them, within WoS forums there are gaps in time due to the forums or the whole site going off-line. This happened multiple times (and no, I did not record the details). Then WoS crashed off-line completely. Lee did what he could and he got something back-up.
I am aware of all of this, and my conclusions on technical architecture and approach used to build a replacement still stand.
1024MAK wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:06 pm
If you were tasked with recovering and rebuilding an entire large web site, that was using a mishmash of old obsolete software glued together with custom code, how would you do it?
In very much the same way Einar has approached it. In terms of prioritisation:
  • Preserve the existing data
  • Render that preserved data as a website
  • Provide the simplest collaborative process to update/correct data
  • Iterate and improve
Einar saw the importance of first preserving the existing data, and shared the fruits of his work. That's goal 1 achieved. Peter and Daniel independently prototyped a website using that data, because Einar shared that data. That's goal 2 achieved. Hikoki -- or was it hikaru? -- collated data on new games released after 2012 that are not on WoS, in a spreadsheet. That was quickly imported into ZXDB. That's goal 3 working.

What remains to be seen is whether the current good-enough solution of Einar being the gatekeeper for updating ZXDB is sustainable. The data is in a much better position. It's in the form of MySQL import statements, which means anyone with general web development skills can take this data and be their own gatekeeper.

Also, note the approach. Started with just Einar. Then Peter joined by building a website on-top of Einar's data. Then other people offered their help to Peter, so now Peter has a small team helping him produce the Spectrum Computing website. Daniel started with his own website (ZXInfo), and is now also sending Einar updates and corrections, so there's at least a team of 2 working on the data updates. Before there was just Martjin, now there's a core team of 3 solidifying around the ZXDB/SpectrumComputing model.

If someone decides a CMS with fine-grained permissions is necessary, he can grab a copy of Einar's MySQL import files, spin up a database and go ahead with building out this CMS. The advantage of Einar's approach is that neither the website nor the data are dependent on having a CMS. In this model, it is not a critical must-have feature.

Einar and Peter's agility has created a viable alternative. One that's also been conducive to growing a network of collaborators. That's starkly different to Fogarty's approach, which supposedly started with a world-class development team, but is now looks to be just one guy doing the development alone.

1024MAK wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:06 pm
And keep in mind that Lee wants members of WoS to help maintain the site. He does not want to do everything himself.
Lets say Fogarty's approach hasn't been conducive to that. Help has been offered by multiple people over the past few years, all rebuffed and declined. Einar bent over backwards to help Fogarty, even offering writing the import scripts to import ZXDB to whatever database schema Fogarty has.
1024MAK wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:06 pm
Whoever took on the WoS site was going to have a lot of work to do.
Yes, Einar and Peter have spend a good deal of time to get to where they are, and within a year they are further ahead than Fogarty has been in 3. Einar has been open about his work, so the WOS data is no longer in danger of being lost. Peter has a small team developing this site.

The key point is that the most important goal was to preserve the existing data in a state it could be used. Migrating it into a MySQL database, and making the MySQL dump itself available to the community, damn that was smart!
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ramsrc
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Re: World of Spectrum....

Post by ramsrc » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:07 am

I think everyone needs to be very careful here. Much mud slinging has taken place over an extended period of time - and in my humble opinion it is now time to stop.

I see this whole situation as follows:

The original World of Spectrum as developed by Martijn was a tremendous achievement - I was tasked with writing a CMS for the company I worked for in the early days of the Internet, because there wasn't anything available at the time and it is a huge undertaking. Even more so for a person working in their own time.

Things were on the wane when the current ownership took over. It was decided - rightly or wrongly - not to touch the existing code, but to develop from the ground up. I don't know what Martijn's code looks like - so I can't comment on whether this was the right or wrong decision. However, I wouldn't want to touch the code of my old CMS these days, given the alternatives.

The task of rewriting everything from scratch is huge, progress has been slow, and the group responsible for WOS prefer not to tell every user about everything. (Which is their right).

That is just about all the conclusions that one can draw from this. Of course, other people will have more knowledge than I do but a the end of the day, this is a hobby - we are all here because we like the Spectrum. Everyone is different, and we need to respect those differences. I actually moved outside of the forum and did some reading on the freely available Social Media sites (which I very rarely do), and quite frankly I was absolutely shocked at some of the things I read.

I believe there is room for more than one site - the way things are looking at the moment, one will be more community driven, and one will be more of a personal site - but that isn't a problem. The main thing is that the community spirit continues. To be honest, I am very close to throwing in the towel because nobody deserves some of the things that are happening at the moment. Sure, I probably won't be a huge loss to the community - but any lost member is a loss to the community as a whole.

This is not aimed at anyone specifically, but to everyone - Please, please, please think before you type - and use your common sense!
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PeterJ
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Re: World of Spectrum....

Post by PeterJ » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:35 am

Guesser wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:07 am
The biggest loss if WoS ever shuts down is the vast wealth of knowledge in the forum archive.
I agree 100%. Let us all hope that never happens. I also join you in the hope the search works again soon.
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Rorthron
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Re: World of Spectrum....

Post by Rorthron » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:43 am

ramsrc wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:07 am
I think everyone needs to be very careful here. Much mud slinging has taken place over an extended period of time - and in my humble opinion it is now time to stop.

This is not aimed at anyone specifically, but to everyone - Please, please, please think before you type - and use your common sense!
Yes, there are obviously a lot of (understandable) frustrations with what's been happening at WoS. It would be great if we can avoid them boiling over here.

I'm really grateful Peter et al have set up this place and have given us an alternative place to discuss Spectrum matters. I think it would be great if we make their lives easier and police ourselves as much as possible.
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ramsrc
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Re: World of Spectrum....

Post by ramsrc » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:46 am

Rorthron wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:43 am
Yes, there are obviously a lot of (understandable) frustrations with what's been happening at WoS. It would be great if we can avoid them boiling over here.

I'm really grateful Peter et al have set up this place and have given us an alternative place to discuss Spectrum matters. I think it would be great if we make their lives easier and police ourselves as much as possible.
That is exactly what I was (in a rather convoluted way) trying to say.
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Re: World of Spectrum....

Post by Hikaru » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:22 am

@ 1024MAK, interesting. I can't seem to I remember a single time you spoke up against the many injustices happening over at WoS, not when people were banned for no reason nor explanation, not when they were pointed the door at a slightest hint of disagreement, the silent treatment and censorship, the broken features all over the place, not to mention the ridiculous 'development cycle', and so on. Bit of sweeping stuff under the carpet, bit of cracking dank 80's jokes on top of it, the usual thing. But hey, when people draw their conclusions (since, you know, humans are capable of independent thought) and/or react to any of it - indeed to the point that we have another forum now - then that is apparently a problem immediately worth many a wall of text.
Now you're just grasping for straws, stopping short of the 'our senses are imperfect, therefore white might actually be black' argument. Blind and misinformed, at this point, really? Not even shonen manga material excuse me.

Frankly, you need to follow your own advice and stop with the 'nasty unhelpful posts' here, seeing as it is all essentially a very long-winded way of 1) reiterating the idea that everyone is a tr@ll (outright destructive if you ask me), with 2) an added accusation that outside re-action is somehow the main and defining factor to the current state of WoS, or indeed should even be regarded a factor in the first place.

And yes, permutations and derivatives of 'I've paid enough monnies I should by now be entitled to ruin a major website among other things' are bad, bad arguments, that should probably not be used wherever human values are in effect.

I know I'm not exactly being constructive here, but neither is this entire discussion. Truth has a way of revealing itself over the course of 3+ years.
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Re: World of Spectrum....

Post by HexTank » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:07 am

Why is this thread a thing? It's like you get a new (girl|boy)friend and can't stop talking about your ex.
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Re: World of Spectrum....

Post by Lorfarius » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:09 am

Better in its own thread rather than building up as snide comments everywhere else. Lots of people are very frustrated after years of it, lets vent and get it out of the way and focus on this place.
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