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WSL in 2020 and beyond!

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SecondMan
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WSL in 2020 and beyond!

#1

Post by SecondMan » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:11 am

Hello everyone!


As you may have noticed (or not), I am a little less active on the user-facing side of the forum right now. While that has a lot to do with challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have also slowly started work on a core update of WSL.

Core updates aren't new or rare, but this one is a little different. In fact, it's been no less than 5 years since we last made a step as large as this, so I wanted to let you know about it in a separate topic...

What is going on?

The forum is working fine, no? Yes, it is, but here's the thing - the forum core is written in a language called PHP. The latest version of PHP that the forum supports is reaching its end of life in November of this year. When that happens, the webserver hosting the forum will stop supporting that version as well (host policy) and then WSL will stop working and then this entire fun run will be over.

:pom:

That is, unless I do something to avoid that, of course. Luckily, a new version of phpBB was released in January with support for PHP 7.3 and 7.4. This update would cover WSL for years to come, so hurray!

:cheer:

All sorted, then?

It's not quite that simple. WSL is not what you would call "standard phpBB", which pretty much looks like this:

Image

That looks pretty meh.

Indeed. There are over 70 distinct customisations and integrations running in WSL covering everything from custom code boxes over thanks functionality to how the forum looks and feels. Some of those are compatible with the new PHP "out of the box", but many will not be. Some won't even allow the forum to run at all. Even figuring out which is which will take some trial and error and a whole lot of testing.

These additions were implemented incrementally over the years and a fair amount of them aren't officially supported at all today, as developers opt to pursue other things or disappear altogether, something that is not that uncommon with open source software. Or I've customised the customisation to the point where I'm basically on my own :)

So I have my work cut out for me, and it will take me the next couple of months at least to get everything done. On top of that, I may also have to hire someone every now and then to do some custom coding or bug fixing, or there may be functionality that has to go away if it proves too difficult or too expensive to maintain.

Can I help?

Well, if you would be willing to buy me a beer for my efforts, that would be much appreciated!*

Become a Patron!

In any case, I won't let WSL go to waste and I will keep you updated on the progress. Just think of me every now and then while I'm at it :wip:

Thank you for your attention, and wish me luck!
Pieter

*also covers server and maintenance costs, and improves mental health, mood and motivation

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thibaud
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Re: WSL in 2020 and beyond!

#2

Post by thibaud » Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:22 am

Hi Pieter,
I'm certain everyone here appreciate your efforts to maintain this forum, I certainly do. so thank you for that.
I was just thinking, Wouldn't this be a fine opportunity to consider migrating to a modern-er option than phpbb (ie discourse).
We'd loose things and gain others, but hopefully the situation you're in right now (giving dinosaurs a crutch to survive in an evolving world) would be less likely to occur.
in any case, if you need help regarding the front end I can help with that.

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SecondMan
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Re: WSL in 2020 and beyond!

#3

Post by SecondMan » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:08 pm

Hi Thibaut,

If it weren't for that asteroid, the dinosaurs would have been just fine to this date :)

I talked a bit about my choice for phpBB over Discourse (and others) last year.

Discourse is great, but it's hugely expensive to run. Even as open source it requires sudo access, hence a dedicated server. One advantage of phpBB is that it runs on next to nothing. I can currently get away with shared hosting for all of WSL's functionality (plus the VFXPedia archive).

WSL generates no income (but all support helps!) and I'm fine with that. I make people happy with it, and I get to learn a thing or two myself. It may be great to have access to something like Discourse running under the hood, but it's simply out of reach. phpBB might not be perfect, but it's been doing the job. Hey, it's good enough for Blackmagic Design, too!
thibaud wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:22 am
in any case, if you need help regarding the front end I can help with that.
Thank you! I may take you up on that one day :)

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Re: WSL in 2020 and beyond!

#4

Post by Millolab » Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:27 pm

SecondMan wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:11 am
As you may have noticed (or not), I am a little less active on the user-facing side of the forum right now. While that has a lot to do with challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have also slowly started work on a core update of WSL.
Hope you're doing well.
I'm more than glad to do my (small) part by supporting on Patreon.
Hope more and more people could consider doing it. Most of the thing i've been learning here are invaluable.
I noticed myself, on my youtube channel (i made a handful of tutorial during the lockdown), that people take everything for granted, as if they have the RIGHT to have access to stuff for free. This makes me very sad. I don't mean that people needs to feel guilty about that... just, it's not granted.

Thanks for the update!

Cheers!

:cheers: :cheers:

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Re: WSL in 2020 and beyond!

#5

Post by TerryPXM » Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:29 am

Thank you so much for putting this together, I love this forum even if I'm not very active. I certainly am always lurking to see what's up in the unread posts section.
PD: Did I mention this is my favorite forum?

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Re: WSL in 2020 and beyond!

#6

Post by AndrewHazelden » Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:40 am

TerryPXM wrote:PD: Did I mention this is my favorite forum?
@TerryPXM it's my favourite forum, too!

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SecondMan
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Re: WSL in 2020 and beyond!

#7

Post by SecondMan » Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:54 am

Thank you all :)
Millolab wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:27 pm
I noticed myself, on my youtube channel (i made a handful of tutorial during the lockdown), that people take everything for granted, as if they have the RIGHT to have access to stuff for free. This makes me very sad.
I'm sorry to hear that. Hope it helps knowing that there are people around that really do appreciate what you do and try to be part of the conversation, learning and giving back.

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Re: WSL in 2020 and beyond!

#8

Post by Millolab » Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:10 am

SecondMan wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:54 am
I'm sorry to hear that. Hope it helps knowing that there are people around that really do appreciate what you do and try to be part of the conversation, learning and giving back.
Thanks Pieter!