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Allegro.cc Forums » Off-Topic Ordeals » So uhh, is A.CC (the server) basically dead at this point?

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So uhh, is A.CC (the server) basically dead at this point?
Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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It keeps getting slower and slower and slower. Sometimes taking 15+ seconds to load a tiny HTML page with no async Javascript.

It took an actual 9.8 seconds to load the forum selector page. It took 4 seconds to transfer 4 KB of data. Now it took 8 seconds to load 300 bytes when I pressed the edit button. For those keeping track, that's slower than the original 300 baud modem.

Is this thing limping to the barn, or what?

A single Raspberry Pi A (the original, un-upgraded one!) would be more responsive. I would know, I have them.

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
"Political Correctness is fascism disguised as manners" --George Carlin

amarillion
Member #940
January 2001
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It was very slow yesterday. Today it seems to be a bit better.

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Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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piccolo
Member #3,163
January 2003
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feels a little slow still bear-able though

wow
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i am who you are not am i

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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I heard a rumor that ML is hosting this on the free AWS or something like that so it's resources are very limited compared to probably what it used to have back in the day.. It seems to be too little though because depending on time of day and activity the site seems to effectively be denial-of-serviced.. I wonder if we're reaching resource limits and getting automatically throttled to nothing.

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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If there was more interest in Allegro these days, I'd host it myself. But there's like... 6 of us now.

Recent Threads took 16 seconds to load. 8-)

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
"Political Correctness is fascism disguised as manners" --George Carlin

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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I imagine it's more work than we realize. Which is probably why service is starting to suffer with ML busy with RL.

piccolo
Member #3,163
January 2003
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Chris Katko: the problems that is killing allegro forums was the broken email notification feature that works when it wants too. 2nd the tread locks. this 2 thinks stifle communication on the forums. this is my analysts

wow
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i am who you are not am i

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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bam: Maybe the depot (which is 100x out of date anyway) or some odd features?

But the "proper" Allegro 5 reference is already at liballeg, not here.

And pretty much anyone on the planet can spin up a web forum these days. I've been member of forums belonging to GAME SERVERS. As in, a single hosted instance, for a single game (like a Half Life 2 or Team Fortress server), having their own forums. (Not even a forum for the whole game, for a single custom server! ala "Marks TF2 Server") If that's not a niche, I don't know what is!

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
"Political Correctness is fascism disguised as manners" --George Carlin

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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Certainly spinning up a forum is nothing, but keeping it operating smoothly no matter what is another matter. For one thing, you have to pay to host it. Either in a data center, or you physically run a box on your floor. If you want to be able to quickly recover from hardware or software failures without losing much data you need to maintain a backup regiment, and have redundant hardware lying around to quickly swap in place. And you need to stay on top of it to ensure that it's working properly week after week, day after day. Or you can just pay the extra money for data center staff to do that for you, but I'd wager it's a lot if you want a reasonable guarantee of very limited risk of lost data. Either way, it's an investment. For a venture like A.cc that doesn't generate any revenue many people would not be willing to fork over much.

In your example of a game server having a community forum, I don't think they generally care at all about maintaining the history of the forum. If the box it's hosted on were to suddenly die and the data was all lost they'd just fire up a new box and start over again. For the most part, it only serves as a place to discuss bans and to coordinate community events. I don't think most of them would be worried about losing the posts from 10 years ago. Whereas I think most would agree that the data that is on A.cc is very valuable for many different reasons, and we wouldn't want to suddenly lose it.

In theory, I could host something like this forum. But in practice, am I passionate enough about it to give it the time and attention it needs? Would I do a better job than is currently being done? Probably not. I certainly wouldn't do as good of a job as ML did 10 years ago.

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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bamccaig said:

In your example of a game server having a community forum, I don't think they generally care at all about maintaining the history of the forum. If the box it's hosted on were to suddenly die and the data was all lost they'd just fire up a new box and start over again.

A single, free instance of Google drive could backup all the data. A Sqlite db and some basic javascript, html and css; running on a windows machine (or Linux with 3rd party Google drive app).

Matthew put tons of work into this place and it's awesome. The problem is, is tons of work 5-10 years ago and zero work now, better than someone else starting from scratch who actively maintains it?

Is it better to have a "better" Allegro site... that nobody can actually use?

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
"Political Correctness is fascism disguised as manners" --George Carlin

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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Certainly having discussions with the fearless leader about the future of A.cc and the possibility to pass the torch could be productive. And if anyone else can do a better job of maintaining services here (and is motivated to do so for the foreseeable future) then I'd encourage them to try. I just think it ends up being a bigger deal than one would anticipate.

Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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Well, there are at least the following categories that need to be addressed for the future of allegro.cc to exist for the foreseeable future.

1) Old links need to go away. Outdated files page needs to be cleaned up with the latest binaries and compile guides.

2) Depot needs to be actively monitored for approval and updates. File submissions need to be standardized.

3) News has to be approved.

4) Server maintenance

5) Site maintenance

6) Manual links in forum threads and code tags need to be fixed / updated.

7) Other things I'm sure I haven't thought of

If there's someone out there who can do this, by all means offer your services. I've offered to help with 1,2, and 3 before, and I'm sure there are other people who are willing to help out as well. Up to ML though.

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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I don't really anticipate ML wanting to hand the site over. Because if somebody else is ruling it the politics and the things that made this site great could disappear.

It would probably be better, if ML cannot for the foreseeable future maintain services, for somebody else to start a different site, and for membership to gradually transition if in fact the new site ends up providing better services.

The A.cc from 99 or whatever to 09 or so was great (or at least, since 06 that I experienced). 09 to 15 is more fuzzy, and 15 to 18 seems like a clusterfuck. I don't think any other leadership would preserve the integrity of A.cc. ML was usually pretty fair in his moderation and judgment. Moderation was a very rare event. It was usually just cleaning up single-use spammers. Not punishing active members. And we have experienced open debate countless times without moderation, which is a pretty rare phenomenon.

I don't necessarily think that a new site will do well. Allegro is on the ropes with its recent history. It's still a great library, but I think various factors have contributed to it falling out. Ultimately, I think most of the productive members of the community found themselves working with other more popular libraries and engines. And I think Allegro 5's API sort of turned its back on the simplicity of Allegro 4 which chases off its very target market.

We should probably just coast for now: continue using IRC, continue using A.cc when it's functional, and I guess use liballeg.org or whatever (though I've probably only loaded that site like 10 times in 12 years). ML created A.cc because there was demand for a site. I wasn't around at the time, but I don't imagine it would have been what it was if that wasn't the case. These days we're lucky to have 5 active community members discussing their use of Allegro. If there isn't enough support for a different site it will ultimately hurt us. The failed site might just serve to discredit the project.

Don't let that stop you if you have it in your heart to create a new site. Just heed caution because I don't think that a new site will ever be as popular as A.cc. (Also, if you do create a new site, please base it on the same technology...)

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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I'm not actually going to write an alternative. It's just a discussion piece. We don't really have the members to warrant the effort right now.

I've even considered the last few months trying to learn SDL or SFML and integrating them as a backend into my internal game framework "molto". I like Allegro, but the community size the last few years leads me to start to think of using Allegro in a game as a potential liability. The only other thing I can think of is that everyone is on Stack Overflow instead of a web forums.

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
"Political Correctness is fascism disguised as manners" --George Carlin

Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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Starting a new site is a terrible idea. There's nothing wrong with this site the way it is, aside from maintenance issues, which could be taken up by forum members.

As it is, allegro.cc detracts from the overall allegro community in a way, because all it offers is 5 plus year old downloads that don't work any more, and people complain and you wonder why.

Matthew if I wasn't clear before, I'm offering to help with the daily duties of allegro.cc. It could at least lighten your load. Things like the files page, the depot submissions, and handling the news. I could do all of those things easily. Please let us help you. ;)

piccolo
Member #3,163
January 2003
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I could do 6) if someone could show me how to do it.

6) Manual links in forum threads and code tags need to be fixed / updated.

wow
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i am who you are not am i

MiquelFire
Member #3,110
January 2003
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I think what is happening is that the site will have no instance running, so those long delays are nothing more than starting up an instance to serve the request (which is why if you get a slow request at first, the rest are not as slow)

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Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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It's slow for me pretty non-stop.

[edit]

It seems like the most appropriate thing to do is simply get Matthew to pay the couple dollar hosting bill, and, if necessary, setup an Paypal/whatever account that the members could contribute to.

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
"Political Correctness is fascism disguised as manners" --George Carlin

dthompson
Member #5,749
April 2005
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I'd be happy with contributing. It'd be crap if we can't get this fixed, as I'd imagine that numbers are just too thin these days for any alternative forum to have any sticking power.

I mean, we've got StackOverflow (which has already served us very well for Q&A), but we can't chat shit about politics and religion in a hundred-page thread there. :P

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Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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Matthew! allegro.cc needs you!

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Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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OMG, A.CC IS ACTUALLY FAST NOW.

Did Matthew's welfare check come in?!

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
"Political Correctness is fascism disguised as manners" --George Carlin

Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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raynebc
Member #11,908
May 2010

Page generated in 0.035848 seconds.

Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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My number's bigger than yours is. :P

This reply page took 22 seconds. :/

It's hit and miss.

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