This forum is going..going ..gone ! : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Of recent we have all noticed that this forum may be going the way of the "dodo bird" in the very near future. Recently Wayne asked the question as to what will happen if this forum becomes suddenly unavailable forever in the future.

I would like to jump to the conclusion that this is very likely to happen. So I ask now and invite everybody to respond to this thread until the question is resolved. Q.-Tuan Luong .. if you are out there and reading this, could you please post an answer here for all of us to read.

If not then would somebody who has the knowledge and skill to move and keep this forum alive please step in and make a definitive and positive action towards placing this content somewhere it will be safe and reachable.

My apologies if I have offended anybody but I just wish to encourage a positive action to begin before it is too late and the content is lost.

Thanks for reading this.

-- James Phillips (, May 03, 2002


"I would like to jump to the conclusion that this is very likely to happen."

The sky is falling! the sky is falling!

Seriously, what proofs do you have do you have to make this supposition? My understanding is that these Lusenet ( forums are being moved over ( even as I write this) to the more powerful, more robust, servers. This does not , as I read it, mean that this forum is goingto be forced into the main forum section, but will run run seperately on the same machines.

My source is a post yesterday from one of the worker bees about this very subject. if tuan wants top do something different re the forum hosting, then I'm sure we will get plenty of notice.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, May 03, 2002.

There is another LF group on Yahoo: -- Q

-- QDB (, May 03, 2002.

Just checked out the yahoo LF site.......what a piece of crap!

If you can put up with flashing adds and the tortuous sign in process it may be ok for you.

I'll happily host it on my web site ADD FREE if there is ever the need, but as someone already mentioned, it's been around for years and will carry on into the future.


-- Clayton Tume (, May 03, 2002.

Please don't move anything to Ya'Hoo. A sure ticket to getting spammed unmercifully along with passwords & problems.

-- Dan Smith (, May 03, 2002.

Yahoo should only be considered as a last resort. I run some groups there and am also a member of the large format group there, and there is nothing I or they can do to get rid of those annoying pop-up ads. The spam mail can be taken care of but it is a major hassle. They made it hard to get to the preference screen, and too many boxes you have to check off. Additionally, Yahoo sometimes munches user profiles. About the only thing I can do is keep spam messages out of my groups and restore privileges to people who got their profiles "eaten".

-- Steve Gangi (, May 03, 2002.

The sky is falling! the sky is falling!

Seriously, what proofs do you have do you have to make this supposition?


the proofs are in the messages last Dec and the year before by Q. Tuan, and the worsening of the access problems here.Heck, even if it isnt going to disappear it is unavailable for days at a time, and those times seems to be getting longer and closer together. Q is currently away I think, and will hopefully fill us in on the situation when he gets back. If you have "proof" otherwise, please provide a link to it rather than dangling a hearsay carrot in front of us ;-) the move to was discussed long ago, and it was almost unanimous that users didnt want to go there

-- Wayne (, May 03, 2002.

There's a fellow implementing a Greenspun-like forum over here He seems serious about it, and invites posters to check it out...


-- Greg Durrett (, May 04, 2002.

I have written to the sysadmin at and asked about this. As soon as I get a response you'll see it here.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, May 04, 2002.

Yahoo has its issues, but it does at least work.

I host a Scan-HiEnd group there which is very successful. If you can live with the popup ads, and know how to deal with the spam issues, there are a number of features that make it a reasonable choice.

This is the best list of the lot. I hope it can be kept going.

-- qdb (, May 05, 2002.

As an addendum to my original question, I only wanted to add the following. My intention was to NOT raise undue fear or concern unduly but just to error on the side of caution. As others and I have read from previous posts that it is quite possible (quite likely) that will not want to host this site sometime in the near future. Before it goes offline, which would mean that we would loose our “avenue of communication”, I thought it might be best to help resolve these issues now.

I now would like to hear from Tuan officially (if he is able to comment) to know precisely what the future of this forum is. As I have mentioned previously that if we do not ACT soon, then perhaps we may not have the chance to act later when the situation occurs. We have already been cautioned that there exists the very probable chance that does NOT want to host this site content in the future. We will only be able to blame ourselves in the future if the wonderful content of this site disappears and we sat idly by and did nothing to help Tuan and the others to save it.

-- James Phillips (, May 05, 2002.

As sites go, this one has minimal software and server requirements. There have been a number of offers of help to host the site, so any fears of it's disappearance are probably premature.

Like others, I'd like to know of our backup plan should we one day find ourselves without our current server.

-- Michael Mahoney (, May 05, 2002.

The sky is falling part II.

I contacted a sysadmin and got the following response:

I had offered to host the large-format forum at one point but after looking at it the work was a pretty big task because of the old code all the forums run on. Philip wanted to move it to but Tuan wasn't sure he wanted to do that. The problem is getting the old data from the machine into the new installation--it's not as easy as you'd think. First I'd like to see if we can move it someplace more stable (like where we can easily keep the old data. I may see if Philip will let me move the machine into my datacenter so I can get it running better and have the ability to get it back up quickly should it crash. Right now that machine and several of the other servers are located in a borrowed space and I don't have physical access to the hardware to kick 'em back to life. This has been a problem and it has taken several days to get someone to restart the servers--this ain't good enough."

From my conversations with Philip, i get the my impression that he is happy to continue hosting the have the LF forum or have it move over to the servers and to keep hosting it from there. but that decision is Tuan's to make. This is one of about two or three dozen LUSENET forums hosted by and a lot of those are effectively dead, but this one is not.

I still haven't tracked down the guy who made the post I referred to in my first post in this thread.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, May 05, 2002.

I just got back today from a five week long trip. The situation is that in December, after my post about the possible move to or alternatives (please refer to "The future of this forum" posting in the Admin category), I received a couple of alternative offers to run the OpenACS software on a server. However, they have not yet materialized. As Ellis mentionned, while setting up a new BB appears easy, transfering the data from to a new BB appears to require some work. What's next ? If none of the alternatives materializes fast enough, let say before the summer, I will hand over the forum to

-- Q.-Tuan Luong (, May 06, 2002.

Am I understanding correctly from the previous posts that starting up OpenACS on a different server and continuing the forum is not the heavy workload problem, but the heavy workload problem is only transferring the historical data over to the new server? If that is correct, I would speculate that most of us would rather continue the forum with no historical data than to continue with Besides, think how much fun it would be to answer all those which- tripod-to-buy and tri-x-vs.-tmax and what-lens-would-you-buy-if-you- could-only-afford-one questions again! I'm serious, I think it would be a shame but not the end of the world to continue on with no archives. Certainly better than Additionally, maybe the historical data could be transferred over slowly as time permits after the new server and forum was underway. I'm frustrated that I have so little knowledge of web servers and the like. Does anyone agree?

-- J.L. Kennedy (, May 08, 2002.

I don't think that this forum needs a particular kind of software to run. It's rather a matter of finding someone who is willing to host it. The reason for me saying this is that I'm a web programmer by profession and that I could easily port the functionality of this forum to whatever is needed really.
This forum is currently run with tcl (pronounced tickle) software which probably is OK, but I have frankly not written a single line of tcl code in my life. But that can be compared to someone who have never shot and processed a single sheet of say Agfa APX 100 or have ever used PMK developer. Not having used a specific film or developer doesn't make me a lousy photographer as I may get excellent results with Ilford or Fuji. (There are of course other brands as well, but I can't remember the names... :-) Porting the functionality of the forum to say Perl or PHP (which are other programming languages) isn't that hard to do. Besides there are already lots of "free" code available which would make the porting into a matter of getting a desireable look and feel. I'm quite sure that there are lots of ideas for improvement of the forum as well.
So, do I have anything against the current forum. In general, no, apart from the regular downtimes from which we all suffer. What I'm trying to say is that IF the forum is to be moved, the important thing is to find a host for it that can give us the space we need and a somewhat better "uptime". Which software to run it with doesn't really matter, as long as it is stable and that it isn't some esoteric kind of stuff which would make the code unmaintainable for anyone except the one who writes it.
Having more or less insinuated it, could I do a porting of the forum to some other kind of software? Well, at the moment I do have the time for it. I cannot answer for what my schedule will look like in say two months. But it is a matter of a few days of coding if so would be the case. And the answer is no, i.e. I don't expect this to bring any greenbacks into my pocket. I'd do it simply because I enjoy this community and all the knowledge in it very much.

-- Björn Nilsson (, May 08, 2002.

I agree with the anything but post.

To the poster just above, apparently there ARE people who are quite partial to this software. See the "This forum and Palm OS" thread. But again, anything but IMAO.

Most importantly though, I hope the people who have the knowledge and ability to help avert the loss of this forum are contacting Q. Tuan and working with him by email to figure out how to do it. Just talking about it here wont help, but it would be nice if those involved keep us updated here.

-- Wayne (, May 08, 2002.

My personal wishes are to keep the old threads, as they are full of resources and I often like to search references to a product or technique. But of course there is little I can offer to pass the archives into a new forum.

If they can be kept, a search engine as in PhotoNet would be invaluable to quickly find old threads. I personally participate to some Yahoo forums but dislike very much the forums messy format, and the recent advert popups are disturbing. The actual Greenspun format or PhotoNet format would be fine. From two evils, PhotoNet would be the least.

My appreciation and thanks to those who will put the ideas into practice. Let us know if we can participate in a way or another!

-- Paul Schilliger (, May 08, 2002.

I agree. would be a reasonable alternative. But if this forum goes to Yahoo, it has seen the last of me. I can't stand the flashing adds. JIm

-- Jim Noel (, May 08, 2002.

J.L. kennedy writes: "I would speculate that most of us would rather continue the forum with no historical data than to continue with"

I don't understand what the hostility is to this forum being hosted on the servers/?

No one said that the forum wouls be incorporated into the main forums, and even if it was you can always select just the p.n forums you want to see and leave out those that you are completely uninterested in.

And once again, if this forum goes to yahoo! not only am I out of here, but I'm going to request that my past contributions are deleted as well. I'm very much more concerned with yahoo!'s copyright claims to my work as they are a corporate outfit that will sooner or later try to wring every penny of value out of their product (our content) than I am with p.n trying to do something similar.

I am also very concerned with continuity, obliterating the past is a rather silly Stalinist approach to education.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, May 09, 2002.

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