[theforum] Zombie!

William Anderson neuro at well.com
Sun Jun 2 09:42:02 CDT 2013

Hello fellow evolt-type peoples!

To paraphrase that learned scholar, the renowned Professor Elmer J.
Fudd PhD, things are vewy vewy quiet! :)

I have a suggestion just as I've both reactivated my evolt.org
donation subscription (Dave K, for your books, $20/month sir!) and
have been working on reconstructing the Browser Archive to include
funky stuff like external mirrors to nominally save us space and
increase our coverage (I'm hoping to get some stuff into github soon).

But the suggestion comes loaded with some sticky questions, and a
gentle reminder.

First, the gentle reminder.  Evolt.org is 15 years old on Saturday
15th December 2013.  We should try and do stuff for and on that date
if we can.

Now, the sticky questions.  The tl;dr, in case you're in a hurry:

Dave, how are the finances doing?

Folks, why are core evolt.org pages not being rendered without
authenticating first? (I had to sign in to reach the donate page!)

Are we considering doing the upgrade to the latest version of Drupal,
whatever that may be?

Are we going to reconsider our hosting platform to save some money?  I
think the hosting bill is still around the ~ $45 a month mark, a cost
which could get us a virtual machine with similar if not increased
storage on Amazon Web Services (a service which could not only host us
one or two virtual machines (one for web, one for lists?) but also
handle our DNS which would stop us having to futz around with bind on
tron, and could allow us to allow multiple finance/sysadmin team
members access to pay for and manage stuff using AWS IAM).  I know I
had been talking about trying to migrate tron to a more reliable
server in France, but I think AWS makes more sense, especially
considering the price.

Are we considering mothballing the evolt.org project due to lack of
activity on several fronts?  The website is still there, albeit
fixably broken.  The browser archive is still there, and I think with
a bit of help I can make it really great, partly because it's a vital
resource, and also because I don't want to let Adrian's legacy of
creating it in the first place go to waste.  The lists are still
there, with thelist and thechat still getting some conversations
going.  The last post in here was over a year ago.  The @evolt_org
twitter account is still active, I think it is Martin keeping that

I know some/most of us have moved on from web design, but that surely
doesn't mean this community needs to slowly fizzle out.  Perhaps we
can laser focus back on creating a great web design community?
Perhaps not solely relying on just mailing lists and submitted
articles?  Perhaps we can refocus on an overall technological
perspective?  Perhaps we can refocus on being just a social place for
tech types to hang out, chat, shoot the shit, brainstorm, collaborate,
enjoy each other's company, maybe like a hackernews that predates
hackernews but with more ... I don't know?  Joie de vivre?

It's coming up on six months to the FIFTEENTH ANNIVERSARY of this
website.  I put that in caps because the FIFTEENTH ANNIVERSARY of
ANYTHING on the web is surely something to be celebrated.  More time
has passed between evolt being created and now, than had passed
between THE ACTUAL WEB being created and evolt being created.  We have
done awesome stuff, and I think we keep doing awesome stuff.  I'm sure
le sysadmin team (including my ownsome self) would enjoy migrating
stuff to AWS and taking advantage of their highly available services.
I'm sure John, Martin, Mike and co would love taking on the challenge
of migrating to a new version of Drupal.  I'm sure we'd all love to
attempt a redesign (a PROPER one, not a half arsed one where we start
thinking about it and then nothing happens) of evolt.org using awesome
new web tech.  We could try the competition idea again to try and
attract attention and hopefully reinvigorate the community.  We would
all love to push for more outreach to remind people what evolt.org
was, is and can/will be.  I know we'd all love to think of more things
COMMUNITY.  Yeah, all caps for >50% of the sentence.  I went there.

So this is my rough sketch of a plan.  I call it "Le Plan", but I can
handle a rebrand if necessary.

1) Now: Ensure our finances are on a stable footing for now.
2) June: Hack out ideas for EVOLT15, including a redesign competition.
3) July: Migrate existing theplanet infra to AWS for cost effectiveness
4) August-November: Implement ideas hacked out in June/July, including
redesign implementation
5) ???
6) December: Profit. With Content, Resources and Lurve!

We have done great things together.  Let's do some more.



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