[volunteers] [svlug] Linux to Politics ratio

Daniel Gimpelevich daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us
Sat Dec 1 20:26:18 PST 2007

On Sat, 01 Dec 2007 18:58:54 -0800, Lisa wrote:

> On Sat, Dec 01, 2007 at 04:20:25PM -0800, Paul Reiber wrote:
>> YES - moving _ALL_ the services currently handled on svlug.org
>> onto the Linode - TODAY - would be an AWESOME thing.  But if
>> we can't physically power off the existing SVLUG server after
>> that migration, however, we're worse off than before.
> I disagree.  My opinion is that, if the mail and the webserver
> are on two different machines we are *better* off because if the
> most unreliable machine we have dies, we still have the
> webserver running (where we can explain why the mailing list is
> down) and, if linnode crashes (doubtful that that would happen
> for long), we'd have the mailing list to explain why the website
> is down.  Whereas, as it is now, if the most unreliable machine
> we have dies, we lose BOTH.

No, because while the new website would not be a souped-up reinstallation
of the old website setup, the mailing list stuff would be pretty much that
at first and is in more immediate need of migration than the website. Once
the Linode host takes over in exactly the capacity in which the current
host is serving, the current host may be repurposed for a time as the new
home of the website, and the multiple-basket scenario you're preferring
could still happen. Would this still be consistent with the agreement you

>> I.e. MAILMAN and EMAIL and spam filtering and whatever else is
>> running on our old host all needs to move - not just the
>> website.
> That would be nice, but I think 1/2 is better than nothing. 
> Wouldn't it make sense to get some other opinions on this?

And two halves are better than one.

>> Well, heck.  "Wait for the Wiki" came solely from my
>> reasonable goal of helping volunteers ensure they don't waste
>> their time and efforts.
> As opposed to using the time I'd already spent (admittedly, on
> my own, for the helluva it) as well as getting our website off a
> machine (many moons ago) that's believed to be a VERY flaky
> machine?
> What I recall is that the answer always was, in full
> (paraphrased): Wait for the wiki... it should be REAL soon now.

AIUI, its flakiness is almost exclusively a function of the way it's being
used and the way it was set up. I was one of the people who chanted the
wiki mantra, but always in the context of hearing "there's nothing the
Linode host can do beyond DNS." This is yet another consequence of not
airing out the LUG's "dirty laundry" in public, a necessary evil.
Obviously, not ALL the time already spent is salvageable, but we have some
unique opportunities now for maximizing how much of it really can be
salvaged. The details can be hashed out right here on this list.

>> We want to replace the existing static,
>> log-in-to-edit-files-from-the-command-line website solution
>> with a wiki for obvious reasons.  If you can get MoinMoin
>> working beside all the _OTHER_ stuff our site needs, all
>> inside a Linode host... well, GO FOR IT!
> I think that, while that may be an admirable goal, getting our
> website onto a more reliable machine as opposed to a flakey
> machine, by someone who had already done 90% of the work, was
> not worth NOT doing just because it isn't "everything we want."

Of course moving the website alone is not worth not doing, but not taking
care to make things not need REdoing is how the current server ended up in
such a sorry state presently.

>> The MoinMoin will SOMEDAY come about... and we'll host it
>> somewhere, as wiki.svlug.org maybe, and hook it up to the
>> "main website" after it's up and working.
> In that case, as Rick has mentioned many times, they don't even
> NEED to be on the same machine.  And, as Mark has mentioned
> several times (a while ago), it'd be nice if the main site were
> on a very reliable machine and then we could do wiki-type stuff
> on an experimental machine -- such as the VM host that you seem
> to love the thought of so much.  I always liked that idea, but
> it was always rejected.

I don't know exactly who rejected that, but remember: Ideas never die.

>> No objection whatsoever!  However, please ensure that
>> everything SVLUG's website does today still works after that -
>> mailman, spam filtering, etc - and please share how you're
>> intending to assure that.
> The mailing list does not have to move.  I am not an expert on
> mailing lists.  If that's a *requirement* of the move (which, as
> I said, doesn't make sense to me --- I'd rather NOT have "all
> our eggs in one basket") then I guess we stay on the machine
> that most experts in our group would not be surprised to see DIE
> totally any day now.  *shrug*

As I said above, movement of the mailing list being a requirement of the
move doesn't need to require moving the website egg into the same basket
at the same time permanently. If that's too big a mouthful to parse, see
above[, Rick].

>> Thanks, Lisa, for speaking up, even though you were a little
>> uncomfortable.
> I was more speaking up about my justification for the
> committment -- I was authorized and didn't think I needed the
> authorization in writing... I didn't think that SVLUG was that
> kind of group.  But, as I said, ask others who were there...
> more than one has confirmed the accuracy of my memory.
> Lisa

I'd like to take this opportunity to strongly urge you to seriously
consider possibly joining Ed and Warren as a VP candidate yourself.

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