ADMIN: I think we are going to .... : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

For the last few days my attempts to get onto this forum have been met by a page announcing that this (and several other forums hosted by Lusenet) have been moved to, are temporarily unavailable, and that links will be posted on the page shortly. In the mean time it appears that you have all been happily adding and answering questions. Has anybody else been unable to get onto the LF forum here?

-- Graeme Hird (, June 04, 2002


Response to I think we are going to ....

The reason why I did not post a notice about the move to is that I discovered it the same way as you did. I did not agree to it definitively and was notified only one night before. However from January to now I was not able to get an alternative site set-up, as a few alternatives didn't materialize, so might still be the best option by default.

The move was going to happen in 24 hours, but it seems the volunteer in charge was not able to complete it due to other commitments, so for a short while the forum looks availble at On community/forums, there is nothing yet, but on "Unified views" you'll notice that the LF forum (and others) are now listed.

Let's wait a little and see what happens.

I'll post updates on the LF page if necessary.

Here is the collective email I received: At Philip's request (and of the staff), the following forums (one of which you maintain) are being incorporated into B&W Photo - Film & Processing B&W Photo - Printing and Finishing Brownie Cameras Camera Equipment Canon EOS FAQ forum Canon FD Large Format Photography Leica Photography Pentax 67 SLR People Photography Later tonight these forums will become inaccessible through LUSENET, and they will be available on within 24 hours. Any postings made by users with accounts under the same email address will have their LUSENET postings incorporated into their history. If a user (including any of you) do not have a account, or an account under a different email address, a new one will created which you can access by asking the server to email your password to you. If you registered a account with a different email address then you used on LUSENET, an administrator can merge your new account(s) with your existing one. In place of these forums I'll post an explanatory message and a link to Eventually this will be replaced by an automatic redirect to the new forum. If you have any questions, please email me. Philip has left for the summer already. Sorry for the short notice, but summer looms.

-- Q.-Tuan Luong (, June 04, 2002.

Response to I think we are going to ....

Yes Graeme, I got the same announcement yesterday and I was just checking today to see if the new link would be available.

This is most confusing !

-- Pascal Quint (, June 04, 2002.

to Q.-Tuan Luong:

Why don't you go with a regular ISP (a small one) and get sponsors to cover your expenses? It should be possible! this forum is valuable not only to the users here but also to manufacturers and distributors. They should be told about this forum and the valuable service you provide. As the matter of fact this forum is a far better place to spend advertising / PR dollars than through regular advertising channels (which is probably 5 times as expensive as what you could charge!).

Need help? Email me!

-- Per Volquartz (, June 04, 2002.

Wait jus'ta minute young man!

No ones going anywhere until you clean up your darkroom!!

And! Wipe up that hypo!!!!!

You haven't had a stopbath in a week!!!!!

When you answer a few more 1000 Questions

then and only then you can go.

No!! You cant use the weesner, take the Calumet.

I don't care what the other kids say the

Calumet works exactly the same.

Enough of this GO CLEAN YOUR DARKROOM!!!!

-- John Forrest Grunke (, June 04, 2002.

I don't see any reason not to have it a if it's free and it works, which it probably will. If not, I hereby pledge 50$ for the next year's service. Please don't go with advertising if you can help it, and I love the simple format (black text, white background, no flashing, dancing bears -- GAWD I hate that!).

-- Erik Ryberg (, June 04, 2002.

Did anything come of Josh Wands solution?

It shouldn't be too hard to extract all the archives and add to them to that?

"I've been a lurker here, and a semi-active participant in the People Photography forum. I was a bit distressed about the prospect of the greenspun servers going away, so I started writing a facsimile of the q-and-a system in a more portable form than ACS is (PHP/mySQL vs. AOLServer/ACS/Postgres/Oracle).

The result is Mind you, it's not finished yet (most notably missing are email notifications, but that will be added within the next week or so), but the core functionality is there and solid.

My next task after polishing up the service to current levels is to figure out how to move existing content-- I can write a spider, I suppose, but I might ask philg if he can give me raw database dumps of both the forums (and any others that might wish to move) so I can import them directly into my new system.

I also plan on releasing the source code so that others can maintain similar services on most popular UNIX webhosts.

How does this idea sit with the forum?

-- Josh Wand (, April 09, 2002."


-- tim atherton (, June 04, 2002.

Well, it's still there and working. I haven't done much to it in recent months (been busy looking for work), but from a user perspective it works just fine. You can see here what remains to be implemented (most notably admin features).

I guess we'll wait and see what happens with; if it goes sour I would be happy to maintain my software at my site. The issue of importing the archives remains unresolved as of now, however.

-- Josh Wand (, June 04, 2002.

man oh man, I got the DT's (shakes) after not being able to log onto the LF site as I do everyday!

We REALLY need to have the archived chats on CD roms that are searchable. The computer/programming part of it is over my head though...

Best wishes to all! miles

-- (, June 04, 2002.

Josh, thanks for your effort and offer, and sorry for not replying to you earlier (I was on a long trip less than a month ago).

I agree that porting LUSENET to mysql/php would have been a solution, since it would allow us to run the QA Forum in its present form from a regular account with a web host (as opposed to the dedicated server needed to run OpenACS with its fringe technologies).

However, the missing features (in particular admin and categories) are really needed to manage a forum as large as this one (more than 50000 postings).

For transfering the data, all I can do is spidering Lusenet, as the "forum dump" feature provided on the admin page hasn't been working from last December.

For now, we will go for posting, but I will also archive the forum at another site where you will be able to search only for LF contents with the google engine.

-- Q.-Tuan Luong (, June 04, 2002.

Well that WinHTTrack worked like a dream - I downloaded the whole caboodle onto my hard drive (a good few MB...) and now I have the whole archive on there that just opens up with IE.


-- tim atherton (, June 04, 2002.

To: Q-Tuan Long

I must agree with Josh W. about a PHP/MySql solution. I have got the embryo of one working at my machine as well. In saying that I do volounteer to help with the coding of the missing functions, i.e. cooperate with Josh if he needs the help. I am a programmer by profession and I have vast experience with PHP and MySql.

So, from a programmers view, what are the advantages with a PHP/MySql solution?
First, it is easy to maintain, as most/all of the HTML is clearly visible to anyone who has access to the source-code. PHP as such is also relatively easy to maintain. Anyone who is decently versed into any form of programming could update the pages if anything needs to be fixed/added.
Second, it is a well proven technology, being used on lots of sites. (Finding a webhosting service which will provide the servers and services is very easy, as it is built upon the most common platform out there.)
In terms of "stability", it is one of the most stable solutions that you can find, IMHO. I'm not blaiming anyone, but the the up-and-down of LUSENET may be because of the platform choosen isn't as stable as it could be.

There are lots of good suggestions and also offererings in the other replies. I take it that we are all very grateful for the lack of advertising and the simplicity of the forum(s). These things are very valuable in times of ad banners flying by faster than a Nikon F5 at top speed. I'm quite sure that Robert White, Badger Graphic, HP Marketing, SK Grimes et al. agree upon the fact that this forum gives them quite a lot of business opportunities. Why not approach them and possibly give them a separate sponsors page if they decide to help this (these) forums out a bit.

So, if some help is needed with the forum I do volonteer. While the simplicity of the forum is of utmost importance, I can think of some small details that could improve the useability of the forum even further. Such as a good search function... Besides, I wouldn't mind having a look at the admin pages either. (A static version, or a "print screen" would do nicely.)

-- Björn Nilsson (, June 04, 2002.

Without trying to rain on's parade - their generosity is appreciated - could someone actually detail what is needed from a hardware/server/isp requirement? Many have volunteered excellent software/programming support, but I'm at a loss trying to determine what hard resources are required. Finding a physical home might not be so complicated if there is a better understanding of what is required.

-- Paul Coppin (, June 04, 2002.

There's currently a posting in the Moderated Forum (from Services that says ten of the LUSENET active forums, including this one, will be moved (including archives) starting at midnight (EDT) tonight.

-- Sal Santamaura (, June 04, 2002.

First of all, during most of my visits to I have found that site quite slow and overloaded with traffic. (Whenever that kind of fact is to be "proven", the site if of course very fast, but anyhow.) That is the main reason for my input in this discussion.
About the hardware/ISP requirement of a PHP/MySql solution.
What is needed is really an ISP who can provide the database space, as the forum doesn't have that much load on it. The PHP pages will probably be some 20-50 Kb in total. (Yes, there shouldn't need to be more code than that.)
What is needed is database space, and judging from the downloaded pages that I got on my machine the database would need some 100 Mb of space, which would give the forum(s) a bit of space to grow over the next year or so.
There is also the question about server load. It is possible that the admin could provide some user statistics, but my personal guess is that there are no more than say 15 persons active at the forum at any given time. I don't think that during "rush hours" there would be more than a few hits per second on the database, with a more typical 1 hit per 5 seconds, still during rush hours. Translating these figures into normal english means that there is quite a low load on the system and we are considering the very opposite of
A typical ISP (here in Sweden that is) would normally give you 10- 50Mb of webpage space and 10Mb of database space. The traffic would be limited to 0.5 to 10Gb per month, with more traffic adding to the cost. So what is the cost for such an account? Well, it is in the region of 100-200$ per year. To suit the need of the LF forum (and possibly the other brothers and sisters that is supposes to move from LUSENET) the cost would probably be about 300-500$ per year. My personal guess is that an american ISP would cost less. It's rather a matter of finding a good ISP that delivers good and steady bandwidth.
I havn't mentioned hardware, as most ISPs should have ample hardware to deal with the requirements of this forum. Ordinary sub $1000 boxes running Linux provides more than enough power, and most ISP have lots of that kind of servers which are bundled to make the combined solution fail-proof and powerful.
So, where to find that money, which isn't much? I and others have given suggestions on this thread before.

-- Björn Nilsson (, June 05, 2002.

Bjorn, I agree with your estimates. The hosting fee is not a problem at all if a php/mysql solution is available. Otherwise, an OpenACS system would need a dedicated server, which would cost x10 more. However, the main resource is the time needed to write (?), install the software, transfer the old data, and maintain the system.

-- Q.-Tuan Luong (, June 05, 2002.

This and other LUSENET forums now appear at the bottom of the Unified Forum View. They've already attracted postings by people not previously heard from (that I can recall) on LUSENET. I think that being on will increase hit rates significantly. Staying relatively obscure here or at another domain would probably keep them low.

-- Sal Santamaura (, June 05, 2002.

Please, lets stay obscure. If every thread has 80 answers this forum will get way too tiring to follow. I dont want to deny anyone LF info, but the fact is this forum is sooo nice the size it is now, and bigger wont be better IMO

-- Wayne (, June 05, 2002.

Seeing as I am unemployed for the moment, I will start working now to implement categories and admin features. It shouldn't be too hard.

As before, the biggest problem is importing the archives... if someone else could work at converting all that data into some database-friendly tables (questions, answers, categories, etc), I can migrate it all into my database schema.

Would it be helpful to set up a sourceforge project to manage the development?

Also, I should mention that the best advantages of PHP/MySQL in my mind is that they are available on nearly every Linux/Apache server in existence, which makes it very portable across different hosting companies.

-- Josh Wand (, June 06, 2002.

Although isn't particularly linux/mozilla friendly . . .

-- Erik Ryberg (, June 06, 2002.

Hmmm, looks fine on Mozilla 1.0/win32...

-- Josh Wand (, June 06, 2002.

Oh, sorry, that was Netscape. It works great in Opera.


-- Erik Ryberg (, June 06, 2002.

I'm sorry for the delay in transferring the forum archives to Some of the server slowness that you are seeing on is that we are doing some big updates on to move the 10 LUSENET forums over. Some of these are quite large, and if not done right will crash the server. We have made some mistakes and crashed the server four times in the past two days, and one of these took 2 hours to recover from.

Also, the email addresses used on LUSENET are creating a number of problems. Some of them duplicate email addresses on This was obvious and was handled. Others duplicate email addresses on except for case. It seems obvious now, but I didn't think of this, and it meant basically redoing half the migration.

Anyway, we are working very hard to get these forums over and we apologize for the inconvenience. Once migrated, including messages that have been posted after this forum was turned back on again, I believe the people running LUSENET are planning to shut down the forums here.

Everyone who has ever posted a message to this forum now has an account on You can go to and "recover" the password that have been generated for each of the email addresses that you have ever used (including all of the misspellings and case differences). It will probably take a while longer to make the posting histories in each user workspace look reasonable but at least the archives will read reasonably.

-- Brian Mottershead (, June 06, 2002.

Brian, while I commend the staff and volunteers for their efforts, I thing it would have been a good idea to make sure that the transfer was really wanted before even starting to work on it.

-- Q.-Tuan Luong (, June 07, 2002.

O.K., so we appear to have been moved to whether we like it or not. Given that, where in the morass that is do I find our beloved large format forum? It doesn't appear to be under where the medium format and nature forums are located (and where I would expect to find it). And once I do find it, how do I set it up to send me emails of just the topics I want to receive?

Thanks, Kerry

-- Kerry Thalmann (, June 07, 2002.

The forum is currently in the location that the software puts it by default. uses a highly customized version of the Arsdigital Community System, and the default location is now somewhat obscure. When we have the forum fully migrated, I assure you it will have at least the same prominence in as the Nature or Medium Format forums.

-- Brian Mottershead (, June 07, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ