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Future of Textkit

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Future of Textkit

Postby Carolus Raeticus » Sun Oct 11, 2015 9:17 am

Hello,

it has been noticed that Jeff Tirey, the founder of Textkit, could not be contacted for some time, which has some problematic side effects. The reason for this may be simply that he is too busy with work. However, the possibility of serious repercussions up to and including the demise of Textkit itself, cannot be excluded.

Please use this thread to:

  • report attempts (hopefully successful) to contact Jeff,
  • discuss alternatives in case of the worst case scenario.
And just in case, does anyone know how to upload Textkit to Archive.org's Wayback Machine? Can that be even done without the express consent of Jeff?

Bye,

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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby bedwere » Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:32 pm

I've just tried to contact him through LinkedIn.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby Paul Derouda » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:01 pm

I've sent him a message yesterday through Facebook. I'm not his Facebook friend, so I don't know if the message goes through in the same way as it would if I were.

What rights do the other moderators here have?
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby Scribo » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:17 pm

I can veto posts (and the opposite) but my powers are limited and new users are beyond my hoary touch. I spoke to Jeff briefly about this months ago, haven't seen him too recently but have messaged him also. I wouldn't worry about the situation, looking over the modlogs it would be nice to be able to verify the new users but it's not as if this place is near collapsing.

I'm sure Jeff is just a bit busy right now and will be back with us shortly. Meanwhile I've contacted some of the other mods.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby Pros » Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:58 pm

I spoke to Jeff Tirey today by phone. He is alive and very busy. He told me he would address some of our concerns with a long anticipated post today.

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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby jeidsath » Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:13 pm

Wonderful news!
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby Carolus Raeticus » Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:20 pm

Hello Pros!

Thank you for your help. This piece of news comes as a great relieve.

I really like Textkit:

  1. It is open for perusal by anyone (and not largely behind a wall). No "gated community" for me!
  2. It provides a common place for those people interested in Latin and those in Greek. I may not start to learn ancient Greek, but it is nice to know that people who do are only one mouse-click (or two) away.
  3. It has a friendly community.
  4. From the technical point of view it is very user-friendly (I can't judge the moderator's point of view, of course).
Therefore: Textkit, live long and prosper! :wink:

As an afterthought I would like to thank everyone who contributes in whatever way in creating this community, keeping it alive and perhaps even grow. One does not realize a thing's value until it is lost (or about to become so).

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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby Markos » Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:57 pm

Carolus Raeticus wrote:I really like Textkit:
  1. It is open for perusal by anyone (and not largely behind a wall). No "gated community" for me!
  2. It provides a common place for those people interested in Latin and those in Greek. I may not start to learn ancient Greek, but it is nice to know that people who do are only one mouse-click (or two) away.
  3. It has a friendly community.
  4. From the technical point of view it is very user-friendly (I can't judge the moderator's point of view, of course).
Therefore: Textkit, live long and prosper! :wink:

5. Textkit was the first forum to create subforums for and therefore to encourage writing in Ancient Greek. More production in Ancient Greek is found here than all other forums combined. Its loss would be sorely felt.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby daivid » Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:00 am

Pros wrote:I spoke to Jeff Tirey today by phone. He is alive and very busy. He told me he would address some of our concerns with a long anticipated post today.

Pros

This is very good news - I was beginning to worry something really bad had happened.

Textkit is extremely valuable and for that reason is important that some provision, in the form of deputies, be made for when the key person is unable to to devote enough time to it.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby Jeff Tirey » Tue Oct 13, 2015 12:44 pm

Hello Textkitters,

I got a phone call yesterday which is the nudge I needed to login. I'm very sorry for my long absence but as you can judge from my inactivity, I have been very busy and it's been hard for me to make Textkit the priority that it deserves to be.

Thank you for everyone's concern as well - I am alive and kicking :-)

Okay, I think we need to begin a discussion for turning over control of the forum to a new admin team. I'm willing to assist, but I don't think I can drive this project. I was told that there are some members who wish to take on this project.

I will be monitoring this thread and replying ;-)
thanks - Jeff
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby Scribo » Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:11 pm

Bump me up if you like.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby jeidsath » Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:41 pm

I'm willing to help out in any way that I can, but I'll volunteer the following (in addition to Scribo): mwh and Qimmik as our resident experts, and I think that bedwere, Markos, and Paul Derouda would all be wonderful candidates.

People who know the Latin board better than me might have more suggestions.

Also, are Textkit finances something that we can donate towards?

EDIT: I should probably volunteer my technical resources. I lead a Devops team at work, and may be of some use.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby bedwere » Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:26 pm

Jeff,

I never had the opportunity to express to you my gratitude for Textkit. If i can help in any way, please let me know.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby Paul Derouda » Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:06 pm

In addition to the above mentioned, I think daivid has also told us he'd be willing.

It seems to me that mwh and Qimmik are the most knowledgeable of us in matters Greek and Latin. I suggest that they should be exempted from these chores, so that they can continue to use their time here for the benefit of everybody!

And I also want to thank Jeff for this superb site!
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby edonnelly » Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:31 pm

I'm happy to help out. I rarely post anymore, but I visit nearly daily and keep up with lots of threads. Textkit is a wonderful resource and I'd love to help keep it great.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby daivid » Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:21 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:In addition to the above mentioned, I think daivid has also told us he'd be willing.

It seems to me that mwh and Qimmik are the most knowledgeable of us in matters Greek and Latin. I suggest that they should be exempted from these chores, so that they can continue to use their time here for the benefit of everybody!

And I also want to thank Jeff for this superb site!


I would indeed be willing to join an admin team.
And I second the thanks to Jeff for setting up and establishing textkit.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby Jeff Tirey » Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:21 pm

That's great to hear. I know and trust both of you, so let's do this.. I will upgrade your accounts now and If more mods/admin need to be created, I think you two can drive those decisions while just keeping me informed.

thanks - Jeff
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby Paul Derouda » Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:21 pm

This looks great!

In order not to overburden our new admins, I think we definitely need some more people with the rights to accept and refuse new members. That's the big bottleneck, right? I think the more the better, or what do you think? (I don't suppose everyone needs to be full admin?) I think all names that have been proposed until now are trustworthy. I don't know folks from the Latin side so well, but how about Carolus Raeticus?
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby Jeff Tirey » Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:46 pm

You are correct.

I think a moderator is all that's needed in order to manage the new user queue. There's quite a bit of spam that always makes it's way through, something that has always been disappointing about phpBB. I have not looked in awhile to see if there are better alternatives. - Jeff
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby jeidsath » Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:57 pm

Discourse (https://meta.discourse.org/) gets around the spam issue through user trust levels. It works well, by all reports.

NodeBB has a good anti-spam plugin.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby Jeff Tirey » Wed Oct 14, 2015 4:39 pm

jeidsath wrote:Discourse (https://meta.discourse.org/) gets around the spam issue through user trust levels. It works well, by all reports.

NodeBB has a good anti-spam plugin.


Would that require a full migration to a new forum platform?
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby jeidsath » Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:00 pm

Either of those solutions would require conversion. I only mention them because you said that you had looked for alternatives. A phpBB to Discourse script exists, but I imagine that the biggest technical investment would be in setting up the new system -- especially if you haven't used Docker before. Discourse is nice, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you are spoiling for the free time to make a major investment in the community. Discourse is perhaps better designed than phpBB from a community perspective, but Textkit is a very collegial group and doesn't have many of the same problems that most internet communities suffer from.

There are phpbb3 spam solutions, of course, but I imagine that you have looked into these:

https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/mod/ ... od/faq/548
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby mwh » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:54 pm

How about giving this thread a permanent place at the top, so it doesn't get buried under new posts? If only for the historical record.

Kudos to those who have taken on new Textkit responsibilities, already to good effect — and of course to Jeff for getting it rolling in the first place and aiding in the transition to a new phase!

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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby edonnelly » Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:08 pm

What a difference! The new moderating team has completely cleaned all of the pending posts. Most were spam but the others were released. Hopefully things will go smoothly from here on out. If there are any new problems or things appear not to be happening, let us know.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby jeidsath » Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:43 pm

Are emails from Textkit still working for anyone? I used to get notifications on PMs -- sent from jeff@pre23.com. I haven't since February.

Maybe it's just my account.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:47 pm

Actually, I wondered about the same thing. No more mails to me either.

Another thing: although there seems to be enough people moderating now for the present, I think we could still use some more. You never know what happens...
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby bedwere » Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:08 pm

jeidsath wrote:Are emails from Textkit still working for anyone? I used to get notifications on PMs -- sent from jeff@pre23.com. I haven't since February.

Maybe it's just my account.

I bet that jeff@pre23.com went the way of the dodo and now it cannot send email.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby jeidsath » Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:13 pm

Regarding email, I used to run my own Postfix servers (and still do). But nowadays rather than setting up SPF and DKIM (way too easy to misconfigure), I generally use a third-party: SendGrid, SparkPost, Mailgun, Mailjet, Mandrill.

This site is also very useful if you think your server's emails are getting flagged as spam: https://www.mail-tester.com/
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby ÓBuadhaigh » Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:59 am

Glad to hear you're well, Jeff.

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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby mwh » Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:14 pm

I repeat my suggestion of keeping this thread at the top, as with the light-bulb threads that come at the head of the Learning Greek forum, for instance. That way newcomers can see what's been going on.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby jeidsath » Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:31 pm

ἐν μετώπῳ αὐτοῦ πέπηχα, ὦ Μιχαήλ.

(Stickied, I think)
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby Montcombroux » Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:02 pm

Kudos to those working to keep Textkit alive! And hats off to Jeff.
I lack the techie skill to offer assistance in that department and I am still a beginner in Ancient Greek. I will certainly lend my moral support (for what that's worth). Textkit is and has been the most valuable resource for those interested in Latin and Greek.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby PsittacusMagnus » Fri Oct 16, 2015 12:06 am

.
Last edited by PsittacusMagnus on Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby Pros » Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:17 am

Hello PsittacusMagnus,

Welcome to Textkit. Sorry for the delay. I hope this forum is
profitable for you.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby PsittacusMagnus » Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:07 am

.
Last edited by PsittacusMagnus on Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby Paul Derouda » Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:32 am

PsittacusMagnus wrote:Only took me a couple of months to get approved! :)

Someone is really going to have to go through deleting spam accounts. Easy to find some through looking at the website links they provide.

Welcome!

Along with you new users there were a zillion spammers waiting to get approved. We deleted 99.9 % of them but one or two Trojan horses were bound to get through... :) Feel free to report a spammer if you spot one, that'd help us a lot. I think there's a button you can use to report a spam message, with a little red exclamation mark. We're the new moderating team, the word new implying that we're still learning!
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby PsittacusMagnus » Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:24 am

.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby Paul Derouda » Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:33 am

OK, you mean that. Accounts that have actually been banned still show on that list. Although it's still at least in theory a problem that they can promote their links merely by showing up on the list, they are not allowed to post. I don't know how big a problem that can be; but clearly the most important thing is that all of you real new members are no longer prevented from joining.

I don't think Jeff always followed his own rules quite to the letter, if it was clear that a poster's intentions were honest.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby PsittacusMagnus » Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:39 am

.
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Re: Future of Textkit

Postby Paul Derouda » Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:53 am

Good point. We'll see if something can be done about it.
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