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Least Expected: A Journey of Reconstruction

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Introduction and stuff. [Mar. 14th, 2005|04:10 pm]
Least Expected: A Journey of Reconstruction

least_expected

[wibbble]
[Current Mood |okayokay]

Hi, I'm John, the husband of starbrow, and the guy writing the new archival code for Least Expected, and handling all the other technical stuff.

The code, in a basic form, has actually been finished for some time. You can see it in action on http://elance.slashgirl.org.uk, and on E's other sites if she ever finds the time to input all the meta-data. The code requires cleaning up and some new features added, not least of which will be multiple user support. (At the moment admin authentication is done using Apache's built-in authentication system, which is very unwieldy, but simple to set up and quite secure.)

At the moment, slashgirl.org.uk is hosted at our flat in Edinburgh (in fact, it's hosted on Dome) on our DSL connection. That's fine for E's sites and for our email and the like, but it's not suitable for hosting something like Least Expected. Therefor, Least Expected cannot go online for public access until we have a server colocated, which is unlikely to be any time before the end of the summer, and possibly not at all this year. (The delay is pretty much purely a matter of money: a server will cost us almost US$1,500, and the colocation fees are likely to be around US$100 per month. We're planning to pay for this by offering pay-for hosting, including installation and configuration of a version of the code used on slashgirl.org.uk and Least Expected, but we need to save up money to pay for the initial costs and have several months running costs in place first.)

Until we have the server in place, we're going to work on refining the code, the website, and collecting the stories and entering the meta-data into the database. The last part is likely to take quite some time, and we'll be happy to take volunteer help with it (not least because I can't/won't do it - I'm not a slashgirl and having to read over hundreds of stories is a scary prospect to me).

A lot of people - including starbrow - are excited at the prospect of Least Expected reappearing, but I thought that it was only fair to let you all know right away that it's not going to be appearing right away. There's a lot of work to be done, and there's hosting to organise and pay for. With luck, it'll be available before the end of the year, but it is possible that it won't be until next summer, or even later.

[Updated:
I just quickly want to add that on matters of policy, I can only speak about the broadest levels, ie, what's allowed on the server. I'm not involved in setting policy of Least Expected itself. (I'm just adding this because there was a question about RPS on the previous post which I answered from the point of view of the server admin, but now starbrow is home and has told me the answer from the POV of the Least Expected admin, and its a slightly different answer.)]
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[User Picture]From: wibbble
2005-06-07 04:45 pm (UTC)
UML? (The only expansion I know for that acronym is 'Unified Modelling Language'.)
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[User Picture]From: wibbble
2005-06-07 04:59 pm (UTC)
Ahh.

One of the main reasons is that most shared hosting companies have rules against porn (and this stuff is, basically, text-porn), and most are likely to fold and close our account at the first sign of a Cease and Desist letter. As far as I've been able to tell, fanfiction is fine in the UK and if it went to court we'd win, but in most cases these things don't get to court - it's just a few threatening letters and eventually they find someone that's not willing to risk it. With shared hosting on someone else's machine we couldn't promise to /our/ users that we'd not fold at C&D letters because we'd be on someone else's hardware. With colocation, the colocation company can't be held responsible so it's down to us to keep material up, and to take any lawsuits.

Otherwise, you're right: shared hosting like that would be much more cost effective and would let us get started more quickly.
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