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(Should we leave Wikia?)
(Should we leave Wikia?)
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::::::::See below. I moved the toolbar to the top of the page, but that may not persist, pending [[w:User talk:Sannse#TOS_vs._toolbar_move]]. --<span class="sigpic">[[User:M.mendel|◄mendel►]]</span> 00:10, October 3, 2010 (UTC)
 
::::::::See below. I moved the toolbar to the top of the page, but that may not persist, pending [[w:User talk:Sannse#TOS_vs._toolbar_move]]. --<span class="sigpic">[[User:M.mendel|◄mendel►]]</span> 00:10, October 3, 2010 (UTC)
   
:::::::::When I first saw this new "skin" I thought it was some kinda databade error. It looked like not a skin, but an error. It's impractical as hell and looks ugly. Same with PvX, the skills on top of each other in the bar? I never knew I should put my laptop's monitor vertically instead of the usual and useful (and ergonomic) horizontal... Also, a lame thing to force the changes upon us. They don't seem to understand the way a gaming wiki works.
+
:::::::::When I first saw this new "skin" I thought it was some kinda databade error. It looked like not a skin, but an error. It's impractical as hell and looks ugly. Same with PvX, the skills on top of each other in the bar? I never knew I should put my laptop's monitor vertically instead of the usual and useful (and ergonomic) horizontal... Also, a lame thing to force the changes upon us. They don't seem to understand the way a gaming wiki works. [[User:Frustraatio|Frustraatio]] 13:11, October 4, 2010 (UTC)
   
 
== Adblock vs. Oasis ==
 
== Adblock vs. Oasis ==

Revision as of 13:11, October 4, 2010

← Moved from GuildWiki talk:Community Portal

Transition Schedule

October 6, 2010
All logged in users will be able to “switch on” the new look for themselves on any wiki they visit.
October 20, 2010
All users will see the new look on every wiki.
Logged in users will have the temporary option of viewing and editing wikis in Monaco.
November 3, 2010
The option to use Monaco will be removed.

Should we leave Wikia?

See http://wikia.pastebin.com/DF8YwGhK -- in short, we may not be allowed to change anything about the new interface, since everything may be deemd an "ad" and thus against the TOS. Could somebody dig up the statement where Jimbo Wales promises that GuildWiki won't get more ads than it had when moving to Wikia? The way Wikia is reading it, it seems more than half of our screen real estate is going to be ad; maybe we should claim breach of contract and demand our domains back. :-P --◄mendel► 23:47, September 27, 2010 (UTC)

GuildWiki:Wikia Move. I can't find a concrete statement saying, "We will never increase the number of ads on GuildWiki." However, Gil does mention a number of times that "our intention is to reduce the amount of advertising, not increase it." I'd say Wikia's intentions have changed dramatically in the past 3 years. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 00:56, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
I don't see anything in the formal contract that requires Wikia to honor any other statements any of their staff ever made. In fact, 7.1 pretty much says, if there was a deal besides this one, too bad. I don't see them promising anything except reporting on profits, returning profits to the community, providing tech and live support, and allowing us to opt-out of new features and skins. It seems to me that they haven't done well on those promises, but then again, they aren't contractually obligated. They expressed serious interest in reducing ads on GWiki, but didn't actually promise to do so. However, we have been encouraged to "fork our projects if [we] feel [wikia is] doing something wrong."
Seems to me that, if GWiki is going to see anything different from Wikia that someone would need to speak to their executives to clarify what this site's special status means today.  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 01:52, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
I'll bring everyone's concerns to their attention if you all make them known here. Felix Omni Signature 01:53, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
7.1 just says "This is the sole and final contract between Wikia and Gravewit concerning the sale of the www.gamewikis.org domain name." It doesn't say that it prevents Wikia from making any promises to the wider GuildWiki community, because the contract did not concern the community in any way.
However, you are quite correct in observing that Wikia has not followed through on their promises very well, other than keeping Monobook as an option (although they currently have it for all wikis, so you can't exactly say they did to keep their promise to us specifically). We did ask for an annual report somewhere around the end of 2008, but they basically told us that there was no need to run a report because we were just a huge money sink (no, I can't recall where this conversation took place on the wiki). I don't know if anyone has ever called them out on that promise since then. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 02:12, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
Gil Penchina and Jimbo Wales aren't exactly "staff", AFAIK they're founders and co-owners of Wikia. --◄mendel► 14:43, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
Gil Penchina was and still is CEO, and Jimmy Wales was the co-founder of both Wikipedia and Wikia. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 15:11, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
That's the page. What I remembered (from Hi from Jimbo Wales) was
  • "In any event, our intention is to reduce the commercialism of the site, not increase it."
Also, Gil Penchina wrote:
  • "We DO NOT plan to put lots of ads to the site, in fact if you look at our sites, they typically only have ONE ad per page instead of TWO so I had hoped we would be viewed as an improvement. Also when you login to our new skins, the ad unit is EVEN smaller."
  • "I had hoped that by reducing the number of ads and improving the software, we could help make Gamewikis a better place"
  • "For now all I can say is that we want to reduce the number of ads without eliminating them"
So if they want to make half the page untouchably ads under the terms of their TOS, they'd pretty much have turned around on these pledges. (There are also promises about profit/loss reports and regular data dumps which have not been kept properly.) --◄mendel► 14:41, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
What can we do if we take these concerns to Wikia and they tell us to shove it? We have no leverage and no reliable alternate host. Felix Omni Signature 16:10, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
That's the catch: There currently is no viable alternative MediaWiki-based wiki farm, so Wikia can do whatever the hell they want without having to worry too much about their "big" wikis leaving. There's http://www.referata.com, which is tied in to the semantic web and strongly supports SMW, but it's been mostly slow and unreliable when I've tried to access it. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 17:14, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
http://wikkii.com/wiki/Free_Wiki_Hosting maybe? 63.232.208.113 17:32, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
Hm, that looks very promising, thanks for pointing it out. I was going off of my own limited experience and Wikipedia:Comparison of wiki farms, which doesn't even list Referata.
Key points about Wikkii:
  • 100% free, one (1) small ad in the sidebar.
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth.
  • Advanced Hosting option is also free, with no additional ads, and allows for complete control and customization of your wiki (you even have to install MediaWiki yourself).
  • They will set up a domain name for free for wikis with 250+ unique visitors per day (pretty sure we'd qualify for that, but I don't know where to find the statistics), so we could be located at guildwiki.com again (Wikia only owns (*.)gamewikis.org, guildwiki.com had been maintained by someone other than Gravewit).
  • Site appears very responsive.
If Wikia really does screw us all over with this new skin, I'd say this is a good option to consider. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 18:15, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
That IP was me. I looked at the wikipedia comparison article first too, found absolutely nothing likable, then googled "free MediaWiki host." And it looks good. Felix Omni Signature 18:58, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't like the wikipedia comparison article. I also found this list [1]. It loads a bit slow, but it has some additional mediawiki options. --JonTheMon 19:04, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
Joy. They've gone and modified the Terms of Use so that we can't modify any "core features" with sitewide .js or .css.
"You further agree to: [...] * Not intentionally block, remove, or otherwise obstruct the proper functioning and view of advertisements, and/or user interface and functionality by other users, including but not limited to changing or adding javascript or CSS changes to the Service that would prevent the proper display or function of advertisements and/or user interface and functionality." (diff, bolded parts were added)
Specific examples from Sannse's blog: "It’s not permitted to remove the right sidebar modules, blogs, and image attribution or add a banner that shifts the entire content area down the page, or alter the fixed width."
I'm sure they intentionally left the part about "user interface and functionality" sufficiently vague so that they could shoot down pretty much any modification to their precious new skin. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 20:36, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
After that blog post, I'm for moving, I know Solar Dragon (WikiSimpsons Sysop) is thinking of leaving, too - so we can get traction around this. Comments? -- RandomTime 20:41, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
There's also shoutwiki -- RandomTime 20:44, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
That's a pretty low trick for them to pull... Not being allowed to edit ANYTHING is just plain stupid, especially with all the new "features" they're giving it. I've seen screen shots of the new skin, and it's ugly as hell, and seems highly impractical too from what I hear about it.--El Nazgir sigEl_Nazgir 20:32, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
Skill QR table under new Wikia skin
The worst part, IMO, is the fixed-width. It's a good idea in theory, but they've made the width too small to be practical for any wiki with large data tables, which we have in truckloads - just imagine any of our Skill QRs scrunched into 680 pixels. Better yet, click on the thumbnail to the right (sorry for the crappy compression, I don't have anything besides Paint at work). I used Web Developer to set the table to width: 680px; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.8em;, the default settings for the new skin. In reality, the table would be even skinnier, due to margins/padding within the content section.
Maybe these QRs could use a redesign anyway, but Wikia shouldn't be forcing us to redesign the core functionality of our site to work with their corporate-committee-designed skin. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 20:54, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
Here's an actual Oasis shot. I'm taking requests. --◄mendel► 21:58, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
Elite skills by capture location (Prophecies), Warrior Krytan armor/Male, Quick access links. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 23:11, October 2, 2010 (UTC)
See below. I moved the toolbar to the top of the page, but that may not persist, pending w:User talk:Sannse#TOS_vs._toolbar_move. --◄mendel► 00:10, October 3, 2010 (UTC)
When I first saw this new "skin" I thought it was some kinda databade error. It looked like not a skin, but an error. It's impractical as hell and looks ugly. Same with PvX, the skills on top of each other in the bar? I never knew I should put my laptop's monitor vertically instead of the usual and useful (and ergonomic) horizontal... Also, a lame thing to force the changes upon us. They don't seem to understand the way a gaming wiki works. Frustraatio 13:11, October 4, 2010 (UTC)

Adblock vs. Oasis

Guys your wiki is the best for this game, but as far as wikia's inclusion of ads is concerned, mozilla extensions such as Adblock help reduce the invasion of screen real estate. s for the skin looks like a cheap friendface clone :(. The preceding unsigned comment was added by 91.108.110.204 (talk • contribs) 14:01, 2010 October 3 (UTC).

Thank you for your feedback. Unfortunately, adblock won't make the sidebar any smaller, nor remove the fixed width for article content. You could check w:c:muppet: to see if it helps reclaim the space taken up by the top banner ad. --◄mendel► 22:41, October 3, 2010 (UTC)
In any case, Oasis is merely a symptom of a larger issue: Wikia is changing direction away from things that are helpful for GWiki (although they might be very good indeed for smaller, less established sites). (You can see some of those issues elsewhere on this talk and in the Summary.)  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 22:52, October 3, 2010 (UTC)
TEF, you forgot to mention w:User:Tennessee Ernie Ford. :) --◄mendel► 08:21, October 4, 2010 (UTC)

Oasis Screenshots

Potential move to Wikkii

Well people, I'm looking at Wikkii's hosting terms, advanced hosting option, etc and so forth, and it seems like an extremely reasonable choice. See Features, Advanced Hosting Requirements, and Rules. What are everyone's thoughts? Felix Omni Signature 22:24, September 28, 2010 (UTC)

Look like the best that I've seen - I like the fact we can have full control over the whole wiki. The problem is getting users used to the change. -- RandomTime 22:34, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
I presume it would be violating Wikia's ToS to have [guildwars.wikia.com] redirect to the new site. Felix Omni Signature 22:37, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
  1. I think someone here should see if renegotiation is possible.
  2. I think a proof-of-concept of some sort is worthwhile.
  3. Should those measures prove unproductive, it's worth considering leaving GWiki and moving to GWW — why should fans/contributors have to deal with wikia baggage?
re: getting used to the change. That sounds like a call for Someone has suggested merging this page with a completely different site; discuss.  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 22:41, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
  1. I think Wikia has made it very clear that there won't be any exceptions for any wikis, period. They're not making any concessions for Wookieepedia or WoWWiki, so why would they do so for us? We're not nearly as important as we were 3 years ago.
  2. Proof-of-concept... of what? The new skin on this wiki? Just go to your Preferences -> Skin -> New Wikia Look. It's utter crap. Never mind, that's not enabled until October 6.
  3. What, and wrestle with their admins to get SMW enabled and redo all the work I've put in over the past couple months? Without admin rights for myself? No thank you.
Exactly - we would probably replace the main page with a similar message, then ask Wikia to lock the wiki. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 22:53, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The main difference between ShoutWiki and Wikkii is the lack of the "Advanced" option - ShoutWiki staff manages all configuration/extensions for all wikis, just like at Wikia. I can't find anything specific on ShoutWiki about their ads (looks like 0, from what I can see with ABP disabled, but that can't be right) or storage/bandwidth limits (I'd expect those to be pretty restrictive if it really is ad-free).
I say if we're going to leave Wikia to protest their restrictions of community freedoms, we go somewhere where we have full freedom over the wiki, like what Wikkii offers.
I guess the next step, if we're going to do this, would be deciding who's going to "own" the wiki. Obviously the initial contact with Wikkii and setup would be handled by one person, but after that, would we want the backend administration left in the hands of that one person, or handled by a team?
The new skin won't be forced on us until next Wednesday October 20, so we've got a little time to plan this out before rushing ahead. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 22:45, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
TEF, I balk at the very idea of abandoning GuildWiki and moving everyone to GWW; besides being a rat-infested hell-strewn bureaucracy of stupid, GWW has an absolutely different attitude about what makes a wiki. GuildWiki is people, no doubt about it. GWW is "Document the game and shut the hell up." While I am equally active on GWW as on GWiki, I still prefer this one.
Ish- I would like to try my hand at negotiating with Wikia before we start making real plans to leave. Now that we have viable alternatives, we won't be at their tender mercies. Felix Omni Signature 23:11, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
Right, thus the big if I included there. I just thought it would be a good point to bring up before someone rushes ahead on their own to set something else up. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 23:39, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
I am establishing a preliminary contact with Wikkii to get their thoughts and support and to add some leverage to negotiations with Wikia. I will not be committing to anything, of course. It would be great if other users could put out some feelers toward shoutwiki and the other potential hosts as well. Felix Omni Signature 00:06, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
If we need it I can provide some minor financial aid, enough to purchase enough space on some third party server to store information during a transfer for a month or two. This is not an official commitment, and it is not a vote towards splitting. Personally I would like to play ball with wikia, and only move if they are obstinate in their demands.--Łô√ë Gigathrash sig Gîğá†ħŕášħ is hosting a Card Creation Contest! 00:34, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
I've had about enough of Wikia coming in every several months and saying, we're going to change things on you whether you like it or not. How hard would it be to move? Is it a simple copy all the pages over? Do we lose the page histories? Do we lose a bunch of pages outright? Does everyone have to create a new login?
Servers and bandwidth aren't free, though, and I'm somewhat skeptical that Wikkii can stay free forever with just the one little ad. Quizzical 06:56, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
I share your skepticism. Though, with wikia you pay for more infrastructure and personnel than you do with wikii. We do not lose the page histories or any pages. tfwiki.net organized the move so that users had to confirm their logins on the new wiki. --◄mendel► 07:44, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
Wich means we WILL lose all the inactive (old) contributers, and a lot of the once-a-month contributers. And I think also a lot of anon help, right? I don't know. I'm pro negotiaiting with wikia first. But if they refuse to budge (read, take away my monobook) then I want out of here. Arnout aka The Emperors Angel 08:27, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
I'm unfamiliar with most of the problems caused by wikia, but I've heard plenty of more experienced people swear about it. I doubt negotiations with wikia would actually work, but I am still in favour of it before doing drastical things such as moving completely. IF we move, I suggest the main page should indeed say something clearly about the site being moved to the new host, including a link (if wikia lets us do that).--El Nazgir sigEl_Nazgir 11:08, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
I'm no wiki pro but on this page it looks like there have been relatively few people sharing their opinions considering this is a fairly large wiki. I'm not sure how easy/hard it would be to do but maybe a poll is order to try and get more people's views on the matter. Just a thought.GenericName 17:20, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
That's exactly why I added it to the sitenotice (the message that appears at the top of every page), so that we could get more people involved in this discussion. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 17:24, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I wasn't aware that the site notice was only added recently.GenericName 17:32, September 29, 2010 (UTC)

Correspondence with Wikkii

Yesterday I sent this message to the Wikkii staff via their Contact Us form:

Hello,

My name is <SECRET SECRETSON>. I am a bureaucrat of GuildWiki (http://guildwars.wikia.com), a large wiki dedicated to ArenaNet's online game Guild Wars. We've been hosted by Wikia for several years with varying levels of satisfaction, but right now they are eliminating the current default skin and forcing a less-than-optimal new one. On top of that, they are also changing their Terms of Service to prevent modification of global .css. Because of these actions, we are seriously considering finding another host. At the moment, Wikkii is at the top of our list of options, so I'd like to establish a preliminary contact in preparation for a possible move.

First, a few important things about GuildWiki-

We average around 150,000 page views and 15,000 visitors a day (source: http://www.quantcast.com/guildwars.wikia.com)- this would presumably qualify us for a free domain name.

Our license is the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA) 2.0.

We currently have approximately 160 active editors (those who have edited in the last 30 days).

We are currently running MediaWiki 1.15.5. We use a number of extensions, including Semantic MediaWiki. In the event of a move, we will in all probability opt for Advanced Hosting and configure them ourselves.

Now, knowing all that, I would like your input as to whether you believe Wikkii is a feasible hosting option for us and if you foresee any problems in a potential move. I look forward to hearing from you.


And today I received this response:

Hi <SECRET>,

Sure, we would be able to accommodate your wiki. With our Advanced Hosting you can install the Mediawiki of your choice, as well as the extensions of your choosing.

You could feel free to try us out and see if it is suitable for your needs.

Any other questions or problems please post on our forums :)

Kind regards, Lindsay.

They seem confident enough, but I was hoping for some details about their server arrangement, total bandwidth, and so forth. How should I reply? Felix Omni Signature 22:27, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
Ask them for those details :-) (It would also be useful to know about their support and backup plans.) I don't think the person responding is treating this as anything other than a standard question, rather than something of more than passing interest. So, maybe it's also worth asking (again) if there's someone you could chat with in gory detail about the mechanics of a move and what life would be like for host/site 30-60 days after that.
Also, I think it would be worth asking whether hosting GWiki has any advantage for them. It would be nice if we could develop a synergistic relationship if we're letting another company host.  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 22:39, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
Getting details on bandwidth would be good, because a lot of places that say "unlimited" really mean "it's really, really high and 90% of our users won't ever reach it," where we would more than likely fall outside that 90%. Other details I would ask for:
  • In addition to MW, can we install our own AMP packages? If not, what versions will be installed for us? (They say we get cPanel and FTP access, but don't specify full root control.)
  • Would we be able to modify the Apache configuration at all? (Some of the finer details of MW config are most easily done in httpd.conf, which shared hosting providers usually don't let you access.)
  • Support/backup, like Ernie mentioned.
  • What about cron access? It would be very nice to have a weekly/biweekly cron job to create XML dumps or even full DB backups.
That's all I can think of for now. I've used cPanel before, and while it's pretty robust and very useful for the not-so-tech-savvy, it's got nothing on root command-line access. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 23:03, September 29, 2010 (UTC)

Get server

Moving to any wiki farm requires advance negotiation; GuildWiki still isn't exactly small, we require DPL (and possibly SMW) and should probably have our own server. And if you look closely, the "advanced" option is exactly like having our own server, except that they've set up Apache and SQL for us and tell us what ads to run. I'd rather run our own server; in fact, I'd rather form a wiki assocoiation of self-administrated wikis that run their own server farm than ever rely on a business model that removes control over my wiki from me. If Giga can cough up one month's worth of root server, I'm sure between us and our users we can get the money and do away with ads altogether. (See also the poll on Welcome PvXwiki.) --◄mendel► 06:25, September 29, 2010 (UTC)

Get me a realistic server cost number and set dates for a move if this goes through and you have my support.--198.199.136.144 07:08, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
Anon is me, I got logged out randomly.--Łô√ë Gigathrash sig Gîğá†ħŕášħ is hosting a Card Creation Contest! 07:09, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
If we have someone who can handle the hardware side, great! (Is that what Giga was volunteering for here?) I would be happy to help with the software side - I used to do Apache/PHP/MySQL installs all the time when I was a developer, so I have plenty of experience with that. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 15:02, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
What operating system did you install them on? I assumed the hardware needed to be rented anyway. --◄mendel► 15:06, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
Mostly RHEL, with a few on HP-UX and others. I realize that we would more than likely be using a free flavor like Debian or Ubuntu, in which case it's even easier: Debian has a package system for installing everything (even MediaWiki itself, but that package is only at the 1.12 version, we're on 1.15) and Apache/PHP/MySQL are core components of Ubuntu server edition. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 15:37, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
From my experience of the desktop release, Ubuntu repositories aren't the most up-to-date. Not sure how core server tools like PHP/Apache/MySQL are on that front. This looks like a promising move, and with the power of open source softwareTM we should be able to get this running pretty quickly. Not sure how much the bandwidth would cost (and that's the limiting factor). -- RandomTime 19:34, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
That's a bit odd, because Ubuntu's MW package (1.15.1) is newer than Debian's MW package (1.12.0). The latest stable standalone version of MW is 1.16.0.
To summarize the main components:
Component Debian Ubuntu Standalone
Apache2 2.2.9 2.2.14 2.2.16
PHP5 5.2.6 5.3.2 5.3.3
MySQL 5.0.51 5.1.41 5.1.51
MediaWiki 1.12.0 1.15.1 1.16.0
Looks like Ubuntu's actually more up-to-date right now. This trend appears to continue with the dependency packages, too. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 19:57, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
I'm happy to admit I'm wrong on that one. -- RandomTime 21:26, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
Yes, Ubunutu has always been more current than Debian. Anyway, Wikkii is running MW 1.15.1 as well. Their .php and SQL versions are older though. --◄mendel► 21:58, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
That's just on their main wiki. We could use whatever versions of whatever we wanted with their Advanced Hosting Option. Felix Omni Signature 22:19, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
I didn't understand their terms like that: advanced means we get to install the mediawiki .php scripts, but the server software itself is pre-installed. --◄mendel► 23:15, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
I have Ubuntu laptop distro (x64) and I've checked a bunch of the server / dev packets, and compared those to what debian and fedora offer. For the most part Ubuntu has the most up-to-date, and if its not the most up to date, its the most stable recent release. — Scythe 0:05, 30 Sep 2010 (UTC)
Hey there. I'm the head of Dungeons and Dragons Wiki and a player of Guild Wars (occasionally). We're also moving in response to the Wikia changes, and we're looking to set up private hosting (system administrator: me). If you guys need any assistance or even want to share a server to push down hosting costs (provided you can't find it lower elsewhere, like that Wikkii site), let me know (email MORGON dot KANTER at GMAIL). Surgo 21:47, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

I am running a root server (Xen host) which is not under a heavy load (and having an approximately 2 hits per second extra won't hurt it much, too). I could imagine creating a linux Xen guest for GuildWiki, configuring it actually in any way we need, with 2 restrictions... I would keep command line root access restricted to a very small number of persons (2-3, including myself, all acting on agreed guidelines like "never compile things from source if not absolutely needed", "always document what you have changed" etc.), and I think a small AdSense (or similar) ad somewhere on the page won't hurt. Daily backup should not pose a great problem (hourly backup for the database either). Bandwith is not limited, but will be cut down to 10 MBit/sec if we surpass 5TB/month significantly - so unless every average page view transmits megabytes of data, this should be sufficient. I would strongly vote for Debian (squeeze is stable enough, running Debian "Testing" since years without major problems, and we all know the Debian policy of declaring a distribution "stable" when most of the packages are already obsoleted :D). I don't care about having any particular Wiki rights. If you are interested, contact me at dmitri dot barski at gmail dot com. And yes, I would provide this at no cost (unless you expect me to get up at night to check whether the server is running :D). Dmitri Barski 09:43, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

I reset your indent. That's a very generous offer, and I'd like to try this. If it works out, it'll be better than getting hosted elsewhere; even if it doesn't, we'll have already solved a lot of difficulties we'd have to cope with when moving someplace else anyway. --◄mendel► 10:41, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
I'll try to set up the VM today in the evening (European evening, that is), but cannot promise. Please send me an email so that I can provide you login data. Dmitri Barski 12:57, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

Another option- Curse.com

I've been told by the head of another wiki that's leaving Wikia that http://www.curse.com is offering to host various gaming wikis with near autonomy. They host several other small-to-moderate sized wikis, and it seems to be fairly popular gaming site, so we might see an increase in popularity and userbase. There would be ads, and the curse.com banner somewhere, but that's hardly different from anywhere else. What do you all think? Felix Omni Signature 22:52, September 29, 2010 (UTC)

I think I'd trust them over Wikkii, but I don't know about the ads. It looks like a banner ad at the top and bottom of every page, and the top banner seems to always be Flash. I also encountered a splash-page ad when going to the Evony Wiki. Definitely need more details on the server environment, too.
(Their wikis are linked in their page footer, took me a bit to find that, although not all of those are hosted by them - the Diablo and FFXIV wikis don't show the Curse footer, at least.) —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 23:18, September 29, 2010 (UTC)
Apparently the footer is only put on the larger wikis. It's determined by traffic flow. Felix Omni Signature 04:09, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
Would we be considered a large wiki?--Łô√ë Gigathrash sig Gîğá†ħŕášħ is hosting a Card Creation Contest! 04:16, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
Definitely. Felix Omni Signature 04:19, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
I've been told that we would probably not be granted root command server access, but they do have cron job capabilities, and weekly xml/db dumps would be feasible. Felix Omni Signature 04:24, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
We would be their largest wiki by far - their current largest is www.theromwiki.com, which has less than 1/3 of our pageviews (36.7k monthly according to Quantcast; we have 158k).
Root access probably isn't that big a deal, but it would make a number of things easier, like the initial configuration and installing extensions. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 04:33, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
It may also be worth mentioning that Curse is currently building up their Guild Wars area, and in fact they recently acquired GWGuru (http://www.guildwarsguru.com/forum/announcement-future-guildwarsguru-t10448269.html?t=10448269). It may be advantageous to be affiliated with what is likely Guild Wars' largest fansite. In fact, we may even be able to regain fansite status. Felix Omni Signature 04:45, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
"Curse.com is currently down for relocation to a new data center." I lol'd. --Macros 04:47, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, well. Timing is everything I guess. However, we would be getting shiny new service. Felix Omni Signature 04:48, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
I'd rather see a moderate amount of ads that looks like it could be sustainable indefinitely than too few and make it look like there is going to be tremendous pressure to add more later. We saw where the latter got us as time passed with Wikia. The Runes of Magic wiki on curse.com looked more appropriate. Well, if you ignore the script error message that often prevented the top ad from appearing, that is. Quizzical 04:52, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
The errors are because they're moving to a new data center tonight, and should be resolved very shortly. That's what I was told, anyway. Felix Omni Signature 04:55, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

(Reset indent) After reading all the pros and cons of everything. I feel strongly that Curse.com would be the best choice. Not just the facts that so many game wikis are moving there or that guru is there, but that they seem stable to handle as much as they have on their system. I feel confident that they could handle guildwiki without much of any problems. I could put up with a footer and a small add compared to other sites that could leave more unsecure feelings than this one does to me. After all, curse seems to handle many guild wars fan sites and I feel that is a good plus. To me, it is better having a site that is familiar or has things on it that's already enough to be a little bit familiar with guildwars. Also, that having wiki availability shows me that they are capable of game related wikis as well. My vote, my choice rather, is for Curse.com and I'd like to offer any help on anything that I could do. File:User Ariyen sig icon.gifriyen 04:13, October 4, 2010 (UTC)

Your argument is similar to the one that orginally brought GuildWiki to Wikia. --◄mendel► 08:22, October 4, 2010 (UTC)
That seems like an oversimplification. The reasons for leaving have some similarities in that both moves have come about because the old host stopped being a good fit (then: too expensive, too hard to self-maintain; now: more effort to maintain than it should be). The reasons for choosing a destination are different (then: someone paid money and and Wikia was a better-than-adequate choice, moving to the upcoming server-farm of choice; now: curse.com might be the upcoming game site of choice and it happens to provide support for wikis).
The fact that we are likely to move now that doesn't mean that Wikia was a bad choice back then. In fact, I'd say Wikia served its purpose and might easily have remained a good choice if they had gone about deciding on a new direction with input from larger wikis.
I agree with Ariyen that familiarity, demonstrated enthusiasm for similar projects, and perceived stability are worthwhile things to consider. However, I would much prefer to move to a site that sees specific benefit from Guild Wiki's association with it. That's pretty much the only way to ensure that, as the host evolves as a business, it has a vested interest in ensuring that GWiki is part of that evolution. Wikia has never behaved as if GWiki success was important to Wikia's succcess.  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 08:52, October 4, 2010 (UTC)
So go contact curse.com and tell them about us!--Łô√ë Gigathrash sig Gîğá†ħŕášħ is hosting a Card Creation Contest! 08:59, October 4, 2010 (UTC)
In a nutshell (i.e. oversimplified), the argument goes "we don't like to deal with money and/or server hassles, so let's get hosted by somebody who hopes to make financial profit from hosting us because that'll ensure they'll want us to keep going." This ensures that we'll be on the losing side when the need for profits conflicts with the wishes of the wiki, and the best we can hope for is that this occurs in the far future or never.
I've suggested to Felix that he ask curse.com what minimum length of time they expect to be hosting GuildWiki, and, given our experience with Wikia, how their attitude would be if at some point in the future we decided to move again. --◄mendel► 09:24, October 4, 2010 (UTC)

PvXwiki

Hey guys. I'm Phenaxkian (obviously) a sysop over at PvXwiki (for any GWikians that are reading this and don't know what PvX is, it's a wiki for GW builds). The general feeling over there is that the new skin is....rubbish...and I'm putting that nicely, believe me. While most of our userbase wasn't keen on Monaco either (we much prefer monobook), we all agree that the new skin is ridiculous.

Not to mention that when this skin was announced, the original plan was to remove monobook. That has since been retracted, purely because of ONE wiki. That would be Uncyclopedia (i belive that's spelt correct), one of the biggest wikia wikis. Now personally I don't like the fact the only reason it's being kept is because of that one wiki. If they up and move, Monobook will be gone tomorrow. As such I think the feeling is we'd rather go somewhere that we can make such decisions on our own, and not have them forced upon us. As well as being able to sort out our own custom extension. While wikia helped with that a great deal, there are still isuues with it, one of which a user has actually supploed the solution and it simply needs wikia to copy to the relevant places, which hasn't been implemented for months.

Now of course, we've not really had any formal discussions so i can't reliably say "our users want to leave if guildwiki does" or anything like that, but for me personally, and i think the majority of the sysops, that would be the preferred course of action. ~ PheNaxKian talk 00:36, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for letting us know! If you have anyone over there who has experience with hosting providers that they feel they could give us some recommendations, send them on over. We've got a couple "pretty good" options already under discussion here, but if we could find a "very good" option, that would be better... obviously. >.> —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 03:53, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
Just to clarify, we didn't (and don't) intend to remove monobook as a personal option -- possibly we said something that made that unclear? -- Sannse@fandom (help forum | blog) 21:52, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
We probably got confused around the fifth time we had to reset our skin back to one that didn't blow. I guess we just took that as subliminal messaging. -Auron 00:42, October 2, 2010 (UTC)
Each time it was mentioned the phrasing seemed to be carefully constructed in a such a way that doesn't preclude its removal in the near (or not so near) future. I think this is what has people so cagey, waiting for the other shoe to drop. --Tlosk 00:44, October 2, 2010 (UTC)

An overly dramatic topic header

I go away for three weeks and the shit hits the fan. Just like in game. Have you ever noticed how the Kurzicks always take Etnaran Keys when my guild is incapable of ABing (such as when we're all on vacation for three weeks?) It's not a coincidence. Though I admit I have become a lurker in recent months. I'm a lurker at heart, and now I'm regressing. I still check the wiki everyday and keep up on all the discussions and dramas; except for the last three weeks, of course. Normally, as is my lurker habit, I'd stay out of this. But Felix asked me to give my two cents on the matter. I'm not sure what he expected me to say - I have nothing to contribute to the technical side of this, what with moving servers and mountains, and I'm pretty sure the anti-Wikia bandwagon is full.

I will say this, however. I'm fine with Wikia under 3 conditions:

  • I get to keep monobook
  • I get to keep my custom .css
  • And I get to keep using ABP (not that they could do anything about that anyway)

That's the way I feel. I'm content with the way it is now, because I can hardly tell Wikia owns GuildWiki. I usually only notice them when someone starts a discussion reminding me to opt-out of some new feature. I know Mendel and Ishy and a few others (the ones forced to come into contact with Wikia) don't feel the same way. I probably would too if I were in their position. Which is one reason why I will adamantly refuse any position of authority; that is, if someone were crazy enough to nominate me. But that's neither here nor there.

Wikia has not treated us with all that much respect. I know it's probably hard to make friends and share beers with each of the thousands of wikis on Wikia, but still. GuildWiki has been disappointed in Wikia ever since we first met them - right after the deal was closed and we became one. It's ironic that the very act of buying GuildWiki caused it to lose most of its value - its contributors. Wikia made a bad investment in GuildWiki and got burned from it. I hope they learned something that will prevent the same thing from happening to another wiki someday in the future.

If GuildWiki decides to move, I'm afraid I won't be able to help much. I'll donate some money, but I'm ashamed to say that it won't be very much. I don't have any experience with any sort of programming, and running a server is orders of magnitudes beyond me. I know nothing about running the backends of websites. If GuildWiki moves, I'll be right there with it, but I'll be just another lurker. --Macros 02:39, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

You're a darling. Felix Omni Signature 02:54, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
Don't worry, we'll need plenty of "lurkers" and/or non-techies like you and Arnout to thrash the wiki around a bit and shake out all the bugs after we move (IF we move). —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 03:49, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
I am flatterd. I am, however not your common lurker ;-) I actually patrol RC! But there is not much going on these days. Arnout aka The Emperors Angel 07:06, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
No, you're a non-techie. I've modified my comment to make it more clear that the two are not necessarily equivalent. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 12:31, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
I am too, following this topic, and while I don't have very much to input at the moment, I am taking in everything that has been said thus far. It is too early for me to make a judgement call on all of this, but as was already said above, we do have time to make a decision before "the shit hits the fan". Whatever decision is made, I am all for it, and will be right here in helping wherever it is needed. Though I may not be as active of a contributor as I once was, I still patrol daily. -- Isk8 Isk8 (T/C) 13:49, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
I would also like to add that I am (as of today) keeping an eye on this situation as well, despite being incredibly inactive here. (haven't played GW in a while, and I've been busy with personal projects and Bulbapedia.)
However, I am still available to help out where possible; I've got a bit of experience with MediaWiki on the server-side (installed and ran my own wiki for a short, short while once), and I haven't lost my edge when it comes to wiki-coding, in the off-chance that we'll need anything to be updated there.
I was never a big fan of the Wikia move in the first place, and I'll admit that the ghastly skin played a large part in my inactivity ('tis been killing my mojo on PvX as well, when I occasionally stop in there to check what's new in the meta). I've been involved a bit with Bulbapedia, MarioWiki, and ZeldaWiki in forming the NIWA, which has been attempting to keep Nintendo-franchise-themed wikis out of the grasp of Wikia with some good degree of success, so seeing GWiki and maybe even PvX leaving Wikia would be especially sweet for me; only thing that would make it better IMO is if we moved to our own personal servers, and some sort of explosions were involved.
That's about all I've got to add. Wikkii seems like a great option, assuming we maintain the amount of control over the servers that we need; Curse.com seems like an even better option potentially, although once again, I don't know how much control we'd have (although perhaps, being hosted by a site that's already dedicated to gaming, that might not matter as much, presumably they wouldn't be against letting us have whatever we need there).
I'll be keeping an eye on here as best I can (Pokémon Black and White just released in Japan, so Bulbapedia's kinda busy right now, not to mention my own personal work). But I should have time to check in here ever so often, and I'm not particularly hard to contact otherwise if I'm needed. -- Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 15:15, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
I've hardly ever contributed - mostly tiny nitpicky things - but I think this wiki has done more to keep me in the GW community (and likely the game) than anything else. I am all for moving; Wikia has clearly not delivered on the promises they made to the community when we did the original move, and if we can find a home that's a bit less draconian about changes, so be it.
That said, curse.com may be a better bet financially than Wikii.com, but curse's ads would be incredibly annoying to me, at least. I visited their site, and went to three of their wikis and got full-page "your page will load in 5 seconds" ads, in addition to the overwhelming barrage of advertising contained in each individual page. I'd say Wikii.
You posted this in the correct section of the discussion and with better markup.~~CerahWhisper
Hey Cerah Whisper. I've jsut talked to someone from Curse.com and as far as he's aware no such "your page will load in 5 seconds" screen/ad exists. If you could provide a screen shot of it that'd be helpful =). ~ PheNaxKian talk 20:16, October 3, 2010 (UTC)
Phenaxkian: I saw the same 5s pause. It happened when I went from curse.com to the WoW database site (different domain name). I didn't see an ad, but I do get annoyed by automatic redirects that first send me to page that tells me I'm automatically being redirected. (Yeah, I know the redirect note is on the originating domain and it's there in case there's a delay in finding the other site, but it's not a very useful message.)  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 20:26, October 3, 2010 (UTC)
You had ABP active, didn't you? I saw the page as well, and ABP was blocking about 20 different objects for me. I didn't have time to disable ABP and get a screenshot before the 5s expired, and I couldn't make the page display again (apparently it removes itself from your history and probably sets a cookie so it doesn't display again for a certain time). —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 20:48, October 3, 2010 (UTC)
I wholly agree on explosions. Shotguns that shoot rockets would do nicely, I think. --Vipermagi 15:25, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
I'm more or less a lurker too nowadays, but I check RC every day and catch up with discussions. I gave a bit of my opinion above, but I can't judge the whole situation. So well... If Felix, Mendel, and Ishy agree on leaving definitely, I will support and follow them.--El Nazgir sigEl_Nazgir 15:39, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
@Jio: If you have any recommendations on dedicated hosting options, that would be great (i.e. what are the various NIWA wikis using?). I've done some checking around, and the cheapest good providers seem to be around $70-80/month. I don't know if that's something we could consistently raise through donations, but I think it's definitely an option we should explore.
In other news, I'm going to be heads-down doing some major test execution at work today - got 2 days to run and document over 100 SQL test scripts. Yee-haw. So if I don't participate in the conversation much for the next 6 hours, that's why. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 15:57, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
I've never been a huge contributor to GWiki (see contributions... <_<), but I've been horribly spoiled by this wiki. Why? It has got to be the best wiki for a video game, the best single repository for information, I have ever seen. I try to get information for other games, and am just disappointed because they don't have information logged and proven true on such the scale as GWiki has. For this, I both deeply thank not only all the admins, bureaucrats, sysops and the like, I also thank every helpful contributor, ever. I didn't really like the Wikia move in the first place, but so long as it kept GWiki up, I could live with it. The fact that I live with it means I'm actually fine if negotiations occur and Wikia bends its ear to listen, and we end up staying, but I'm also fine with us going if Wikia is going to stifle the hard work that's been put into this site over the years. Tl;dr: I'm on the fence, but I wholly support the decision made by the community at large. Skippster 23:44, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

Another quick clarification - personal css/js will remain, and the Terms of Use do not relate to those. (And, as I just mentioned above, monobook as a personal choice will still be in place when we switch) -- Sannse@fandom (help forum | blog) 21:54, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

To clarify the clarification, Macros' original post that he was fine with wikia as long as that remained, as they do still remain, he is find with Wikia -- RandomTime 21:58, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
Sannse, we'd rather have Monobook as our default skin - like our current "competitor". From your "first look" on, I've addressed the issues I have had with Monaco (speed and bloat) and received no reply as to what the new skin would do in that respect; right now I am having problems getting my blog replies through, and I have problems getting the site .css to update, and sometimes pages don't load, and I know MediaWiki can do better than that. I think I've special:supported something about the site being slow subjectively through all the included external references (or maybe posted that on a talk or a blog?) and never received a reply, IIRC. All of that can't be cured by personal .css/.js; add to it the shock I get every time I see our site logged out, which will only get worse with Oasis. You know right well that we can't go on editing the site in variable-with small-sidebar Monobook if we want it to look good to our readers, most of whom are not logged in (as well you know). Monaco was sufficiently like monobook (not least because we made it so) so this didn't matter too much; in fact, many people in our gaming community use both wikis and can be sure of not having to adjust too much between the two. With Oasis and the restrictions you've placed upon our ability to modify it, all that will change. You know, somebody else said it first on one of the staff blogs: at first, I thought, eh, we'll "monobookify" this skin and go on like before; you've closed the door on that option, so the time has come to find out whether another setup is going to serve GuildWiki better than Wikia does.
What I would have liked to have seen here (or on the AWAA forum) is a clear statement of how Wikia intends to support people who want to fork their projects. I feel there's considerable insecurity about that, and it would add to Wikia's good reputation as an open content hosting service if you were clear about how people who fork their projects (calling it a move) should expect you to react to that. What about databse dumps? image dumps? existing admin/bureaucrat rights? links/link exchanges to forked projects? --◄mendel► 05:18, October 2, 2010 (UTC)

NIWA

In reply to Dr_ishmael's query, "what are the various NIWA wikis using", I'm not entirely positive, but I may be able to ask around (or one of you can, NIWA has a contact page and a forums on the NIWA site). I know that Bulbapedia has its own servers, which are run privately; they're tied to the rest of the Bulbagarden network, which is all owned by one guy.

Metroid Wiki and Wikirby (Kirby Wiki) were both brought about after the creation of NIWA (which was originally just Bulbapedia, Mario Wiki, and Zelda Wiki); I know both Metroid and Kirby wikis are run by members of the original alliance, but I don't know how the hosting is provided (I believe they're also run on private servers, supplied by NIWA members, but I've never asked them personally).

All in all, I'm fairly certain all of the NIWA wikis are run privately, an option I'd strongly suggest going for. However, I will point out that, first off, server stress is a big issue to keep in mind; Bulbagarden has multiple server boxes allocated to different parts of the site (Bulbapedia takes up multiple boxes), and the whole site still has occasional slowdown when new games are released. Certainly there's very little danger of anywhere near this amount of traffic on GWiki at this point (unless we get a magical new expansion before GW2's release), but still, keep in mind that we will need a good bit of power. -- Jïörüjï Ðērākō.>.cнаt^ 03:12, October 2, 2010 (UTC)

If Felix/Mendel haven't contacted them yet, I'll send an inquiry to the NIWA people in the morning. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 03:56, October 2, 2010 (UTC)
I have not, and mendel may be asleep. Felix Omni Signature 03:57, October 2, 2010 (UTC)
Eh, I've already written it up, and it doesn't seem likely that mendel would've done so yet, I'll just go ahead and send it. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 04:33, October 2, 2010 (UTC)
Good idea. --◄mendel► 04:58, October 2, 2010 (UTC)
So far, I've received responses from the owners of the Star Fox and Advance Wars wikis, and they're both using shared hosting at Dreamhost (it was also one of the options mentioned when TFwiki was thinking of moving to a new host last year). Be sure to return for my writeup on Dreamhost, same chicken time, same chicken channel! —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 04:23, October 3, 2010 (UTC)

Continued

I'm up for a move. I've been paying attention and they completely IGNORE ALL NEGATIVE FEEDBACK. If we're really going to win we need to contact other large gamewiki's and make sure they know what their options are. rąʂKƴɖooƿɭɘş 05:14, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

That's not been our intention, but you can't say much to "I hate it" when it's not possible to say "OK, we won't switch then". So we've been trying to respond to any questions (where we have answers, many things are still in flux as we continue beta testing) and to gather all feedback for the team working on the new look. -- Sannse@fandom (help forum | blog) 21:58, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
I can understand that - I think quite a lot of the annoyance (myself included) came from large amounts of criticism, and then the next staff blog not addressing any of that, and instead bringing a new "look, this is the new skin, this is the cool stuff we're doing - have fun" post. This created the atmosphere that you didn't care about user criticism. This seems to have been confirmed by the TOS update -- RandomTime 22:01, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
If things are still in that much flux that you can't even answer questions about them, then why have you already committed to a release schedule? —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 22:12, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
The thing to do when you can't say "OK" is to demonstrate "we hear you". Your FAQ doesn't say that; it says "this is what we want you to hear", and so do the recent blogs. I think of other experiences I've had with Wikia and suspect that this is a problem (?) with your corporate culture. --◄mendel► 05:38, October 2, 2010 (UTC)

Forking the wiki and changing hosting is one thing

getting the userbase to follow is another, and planning that part is probably the most important one. Just dropping in briefly to point out the need to think about moving the community as well, Amy Awien 18:10, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

I thought about that too and voiced my concern a bit above here. If we truly move, we need waving banners and orchestras declaring our move (in a matter of speech of course). Practically, what I can think of is a sitenotice, a message on the community portal itself, and a biiiiiig message at the top of the main page, and... Well, can't really think of anything else atm... --El Nazgir sigEl_Nazgir 20:46, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
That's assuming Wikia wouldn't revert them. And they most likely will. Felix Omni Signature 20:56, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
Spam it until they bleed? Or mail users? I know shadowcrest did that for wintersday once... Arnout aka The Emperors Angel 21:19, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
The Wintersday events Shadowcrest and I tried to organize one year were an unmitigated disaster. Felix Omni Signature 21:26, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

Take the "GuildWiki" brand with us. Change everything here to the name "guildwars@wikia". This will make searches for guildwiki on google point to the new community. --◄mendel► 22:17, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

If we were to do that, would we need to remove pages from the guildwiki namespace? --JonTheMon 15:02, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
Move them to GuildWacky namespace. Felix Omni Signature 20:16, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
TFwiki had a selective scorched-earth method:
  • Users were able to flag their user(talk)pages for deletion with a special template.
  • Most of the Project: namespace was deleted (GuildWiki: is our specific alias for that ns).
  • A number of "notice"-type templates were deleted (nothing used in mainspace).
  • All permabans were revoked.
I'd say that's a good list to start from. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 20:37, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

Summary

→ Moved to GuildWiki:Community Portal/Leaving Wikia

(the page is getting too long to find the summary...also, keeping it in the main page will encourage more ppls to keep it up-to-date)  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 20:38, October 1, 2010 (UTC)


Commentary on summary

Obviously, I've missed some details (so, please feel free to edit/update above). But the idea is to keep the summary distinct from the rest of the talk so that casual readers (or committed lurkers) need not follow every eddy in the rivers of text above.  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 15:56, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

Buying a server? How much would that cost? If hiring a server would costs (I think I read that up the page somewhere) 80$, that's gonna be expancive. I'd be willing to donate, but I'm a student, and as such, don't have much. And PvX moved to wikia in the first place, because costs ran out of hand. If we consider buying our own server, we should also consider a back-up plan, incase financial support fails. Arnout aka The Emperors Angel 17:18, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, you're right. I meant leasing one from a server farm (same idea as hosting on a wiki farm, but we would have to manage all the wiki-infrastructure, too). That was suggested when people were worried that there wasn't an available wiki farm that supported GWiki's current toolset.  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 18:30, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
I've added GuildWiki to the Anti-Wikia alliance page. If anyone objects, please do say so. Felix Omni Signature 19:04, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
No objection, just a curiousness towards that page you mentioned.--El Nazgir sigEl_Nazgir 20:47, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
It's listed just above in the Summary. Felix Omni Signature 20:55, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
Just because i saw it mentioned. Money wasn't the only reason PvX moved to wikia. One major reason was that GCardinal, and Hhhippo didn't have the time/weren't motivated to keep supporting the wiki (as in, updating MW and keeping our custom extension working and what not). I actually think we were fine for running costs with just a couple of ads (though don't hold me to that point). ~ PheNaxKian talk 22:20, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
Arnout, we have lots of users, so the small donations add up. See GuildWiki:Welcome PvXwiki for a poll I did when Pvxwiki moved; it looked like this was quite feasible.
TEF, correction: the tech support both via the noticeboard, special:contact and irc has been ok; Uberfuzzy's generally been helpful and competent in solving our problems. --◄mendel► 22:25, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
He has? Erm, competent: absolutely. Helpful: certainly. Available on demand? Timely in responding to our requests? Have we been able to engage in live support (as mentioned by Penchina/Wales)? I have had a different impression. Then again, I don't have to deal with the tech issues, so remove/amend the relevant bullet based on your understanding.  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 22:52, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
Timely: yes, most answers to Special:Contact were reasonably speedy, often very much so. Live support is on irc; I've used it; it's not available 24/7 though. I don't recall teh original promise, so I can't judge how faithfully it's been kept, but support is not one of the areas where Wikia has problems. The problems have been communicating changes to us, and forcing them on us whether we wanted to or not. --◄mendel► 23:00, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
The original promise is available above (partially quoted and referenced in the link Ish provided). If you're saying you can pretty much always get someone on IRC during business hours plus and that stuff always gets fixed quickly, remove the note. I thought I remembered you, Ish, and someone else say otherwise. (Anyhow, I am glad that someone is checking my summary for accuracy — it's hard to know sometimes if stuff gets missed.)  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 23:12, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

Well I read every comment on this page, looked at the new Wikia format, and I agree that there should be some sort of move. I don't know much about the sites that are being considered, but whatever is decided, I'll support it the entire way. I love this wiki a lot and would hate to see anything happen to it. TheSeer99 00:52, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

fr.guildwars.wikia

Hi, I'm not really part of GuildWiki community here, even though i've used the wiki much in the past, but change of the Terms of use is for me like the last drop of water in an already full bucket and altough i might not be able to move some of the smallers wiki i've created, i support de move of all Guild Wars (1 and 2) related wikis on Wikia, if their community decide to do so.
I would be please if that would include fr.guildwars.wikia but i just posted about this on the forum there a few minutes ago and didn't get any feedback yet.
Can i ask a thing ? How can the images be moved to a new host without any need for someone to manually reuploading them ?
Thanks. — TulipVorlax 03:46, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
Heya Tulip. You should be able to move the entire site from the database dumps linked at the bottom of your statistics page  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 05:23, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
Tulip, I asked the staff of Curse.com whether they would be open to hosting the french guildwiki in the event that we choose to move to them. They responded positively; it seems the founder of Curse is also French. You may want to communicate with them directly. Felix Omni Signature 05:40, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
TultipVorlax, yes, you're part of this community. The database dump does not have images in it, as you propbably noticed. MediaWiki can import images from a zip file; in the past, Wikia have provided that. I can probably make you a list of files so that a download manager like fdm can load them for you so you can make the zip file yourself. It may be possible that the import doesn't work completely, and then you'd have to manually upload the rest; but the File: pages themselves would already be in the database dump. --◄mendel► 07:20, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks.
I'm not sure anymore about this because the other founder say that all of this is stupid and that i dont do much on the french wiki... On this page (in french).
So for now, i might just leave them and let them work out alone with the problems caused by Wikia. — TulipVorlax 21:34, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear that. I've uploaded two screenshots to the french wiki; you might want to put thumbnails of those up on the move page. I've tried to find a page with wide content that looks bad in the narrow space, but I couldn't find one easily -- it may be that in its present format, the content might look ok in the narrow space if one ignores the advertising. --◄mendel► 05:55, October 2, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, i dont think there is many big tables on fr.guildwars like there is on GuildWiki, the main problem of their ads is like with any others wikis that use infoboxes that get pushed down. My main concern wasn't really the new skin but the impossibility to remove link to the Special:CreatePage or anything like that that i would see as harmfull to the wikis i administer even though Wikia staff think the contrary.
I dont know if Curse already has a french community, if they find someone willing to participate, i can help setting up copy but otherwise, i'll just mind my own bussiness and work on my own projets and try to raise my gamerscore on my Xbox account and enjoy life. Lol.
Oh ! I think i know of a page with a big table that could be squished :
http://fr.guildwars.wikia.com/wiki/Guild_Wars_Wikia:Mise_en_page
And maybe skill list but the tables dont begin at the top of the page on thoses.
Jaxom's problem, if i may say, is that we had many bad experiences in the past that forced us to have to redo many of the pages we had done and he fear of having to redo it all again on another site. But maybe it's also that the actual french wiki is well ranked in Google now and receive a lot of visits.
Anyway, i just published an article on my blog (in french) titled "Farewell Wikia" or so (it's in french, lol). So, i'll come back here from time to time to see how things are going for you guys but i can't do much for the people of the french wiki if they already made up their mind without even knowing all there was to know. If Jaxom think there is no alternate to Wikia, i can't convince him of the contrary. He is more or less of a good gaming buddy but were nothing much (even though he's in my Messenger contact list). — TulipVorlax 01:29, October 3, 2010 (UTC)
Pff.. Last thing Jaxom said is that i do nothing on the wiki as if i know the inside of the game as much as he does, and he said that i dont do anything on the wiki as if all CSS, JS, and other admin stuff that i did wasn't worth anything.
I think i'll be in Borderlands (and L4D2) a lot in the next few weeks.
See ya guys. I'll delete my wikia cookie now.
Thanks for caring. — TulipVorlax 02:11, October 3, 2010 (UTC)
Aw, man. Sux. Well, come visit us where ever we end up. Maybe we can find an easy way to make things like data tables function in more than one language.  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 04:20, October 3, 2010 (UTC)

Are we asking the wrong question?

We have been asking where we could go that wouldn't cost GWiki much (if anything) in terms of monthly or transitional fees (and effort). Instead, maybe we should ask:

Are there any websites out there that would love to have our content (and traffic) and would (therefore) be willing to pay GWiki to host us?

I am not suggesting that any member of the GWiki team get paid. Instead, this compensation could be in the form of tools, contest prizes, and so forth. (i.e. things that would be valued by our readers or would make it easier to setup GWiki2 etc). What about the IGN or Ziff Davis and so forth?  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 22:18, September 30, 2010 (UTC)

Curse.com would be the closest option to that at the moment. Felix Omni Signature 22:40, September 30, 2010 (UTC)
Let's get more info on Curse. I hadn't heard of them until now, but they look pretty good, and their new datacenter is really nice. As long as they give us the freedom to configure MW how we want and install the extensions we need, I think we can live with the ads. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 01:37, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
Mendel, Phenaxkian, and I have compiled a list of inquiries for the Curse staff to answer. The idea is that we want to make them work for the privilege of hosting us. http://pastebin.com/fKKGFkpK is the current list, unsorted and unedited. I basically copy+pasted from various places. If you have anything you'd like to add to it, say so fairly soon, because I'd like to send the e-mail tonight. Felix Omni Signature 01:46, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
0. That would have to be negotiated with Wikia somehow, wouldn't it? How did TFwiki do it when they split? Also, would our wiki userbase be integrated with the overall Curse.com userbase? How would username conflicts be handled? (thinking back to the GW-xxx thing that Wikia did)
2. Root and shell are two different things - you can have shell access without having root/su privileges. Root isn't terriby important, if they're willing to do a few little setup things for us. Shell, on the other hand, would be extremely useful - while you can do a lot of things through FTP, it's a helluva lot easier if you can do it directly on the command line.
3. I assume that's referring to PvX's build-template system?
5. Might want to make that one of the "kicker" points - if we don't get that, no deal (in nicer terms, of course).
6. How are the domain names for their other wikis handled? Did Curse set them up, or did the individual wikis have to register them? (e.g. www.theromwiki.com, we would obviously want www.guildwiki.com)
7. More than likely they've already got a LAMP codebase on all of their servers, pretty certain we wouldn't be able to modify that. However, knowing what versions we'd be getting would still be helpful.
8. "Would we be able to modify the Apache configuration ourselves, or would Curse staff be willing to make small modifications for us?"
9. They may already have their own backup scheme in place (as you have covered in #10), which would make that part of this question redundant. A cron-scheduled current-pages XML dump would still be handy, and we could use cron for other things.
That's all I can think of. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 02:27, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
Hai gais, I'm off to troll! rąʂKƴɖooƿɭɘş@fandom 04:37, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
Felix, point them to the quantcast links for GuildWiki and pvxwiki. (See my user page).
tfwiki had something set up where, if you tried to log in as an existing user, the server took your password and logged into Wikia to verify you're you. --◄mendel► 07:32, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
Aha, I thought they might have done something like that. I'll contact them to see if anyone still remembers how they did it / if they still have the code for it. If not, I'm pretty sure I can code it myself (I've done it in Perl before). —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 13:10, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
Derik Smith is probably the one to contact. His blog is at http://deriksmith.livejournal.com/ , and his wiki page is at http://tfwiki.net/wiki/User:Derik . Btw, go to tfwiki if you want to experience a large wiki being really snappy. --◄mendel► 16:59, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

A few answers

  • Auron, the bureaucrat of PvXwiki, communicated with Curse.com's content manager, Donovan, today on MSN. He gave me permission to post the logs of their conversation- a number of the things they discuss answer some of our questions as well, which I'll summarize below.

Log: http://tinypaste.com/7eb3a5

Summary (with corresponding questions answered):

0) The wiki databases are all separate entities. They would not be integrated with Curse's main database. We would have to re-register our accounts. (How this works with imported page history I don't know) (I also still need to look into Transformers' method)

2) We will be getting some sort of server access. No details given.

3-5) PvX stuff, they're cool with it

12 & 13) "nothing besides a 728x90 ad," but also our souls and blood signatures (may be in jest)

I'm going to refine some of the questions, remove the PvX-only ones, and send the e-mail tomorrow. Any further suggestions, comments? Felix Omni Signature 05:57, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

What if you don't have a blood signature for previous unimportant reasons that, say just for example, caused you to replace your blood with a tonic of nitrogen and carbonic acid?--Łô√ë Gigathrash sig Gîğá†ħŕášħ is hosting a Card Creation Contest! 06:34, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
You're immediately executed. Felix Omni Signature 06:40, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
  1. Please find some way of asking what they can do for us (as a highly trafficked site) that would be different from the usual. Wikia treats us like any other wiki-of-the-month; it would be good to be valued by the new host.
  2. Auron didn't point them to the database dump; maybe it would be useful to do so.
  3. In the IRC exchange, they mentioned that they were getting lots of wikia queries. Please also ask how this might/might not make things more difficult during the transition period.
  4. Also, is there anything they can do to help us get the word out, so that the 1/month contributors/lurkers can find the new address.
Thanks for taking this one.  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 07:36, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

A heading to prevent merging with the above

I've just left comments on a couple of specific points, but also wanted to leave a general comment on why I'm not responding heavily here. I understand your concerns, and am very aware of the past difficult relationship between GuildWiki and Wikia. Of course we don't want you to fork, but we respect your right to do so if you so choose. We are trying to keep our communication to the Wikia staff blog as the best way to reach the most people, and also trying to resist jumping in on individual community's discussions to allow them the time and space to talk about this. I'd love you to try the new look (I know some here have done so as part of the beta program) and see how well it works, but I will (try to) limit my encouragement on that to the blog rather than here. Thanks -- Sannse@fandom (help forum | blog) 22:17, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

That sounds acceptable - I'd rather not comment on the blog (but i'm sure you're already aware of that) - and I have indeed tried the skin on community (albeit for about 5 mins, I saw no features that I would like, and it didn't run wikEd). Thanks for the comments -- RandomTime 22:22, October 1, 2010 (UTC)
Sannse: thank you for taking the time to come here to respond.
My concern is that Wikia is moving in a direction that makes sense for Wikia, but doesn't seem to do much for GWiki. The content space is shrinking into 1990s sizes, some of the options that Wikia touted not too long ago are being removed, many of the things that make Wikis different from forums are being...awkwardly changed.
I understand that Wikia has to balance providing a free service with making money. I also have to balance volunteering my time where it does the most good and where it's the most fun for me. I am concerned about the amount of downtime, lag-time, and bug-time we have experienced as Wikia rolls out any change. I am concerned about the way in which changes that benefit Wikia's new direction are rolled out as if they are primarily beneficial to existing wikis of all shapes and sizes. I am concerned that features change and then aren't supported b/c staff is busy looking at the next set of changes.
My impression — and Wikia as a corporate entity has done nothing to address this — is that the fruit of my efforts will be money for the company, but not things that make it easier for me to contribute or to browse/read/learn. Wikia staff should rightly be proud of their efforts — there's a lot of slick looking stuff that's come out of hard and productive work — but, unfortunately, near as I can tell from previewing, it makes things less productive and less fun for me.
Finally, GuildWiki is a large site with lots of unique and return viewers. I would think that Wikia could learn something from how we view the wiki world, but, again, near as I can tell, our opinion was never asked about what works, what would be better, and what would be worse. As you know, any sort of Beta release means most of the core concepts and requirements are well established; at best, only 15-20% of a large scale roll out is going to be affected by any feedback. Unfortunately, the new direction seems fundamentally at odds with how I interact with wikis.
So, as of 20 October, I plan to stop contributing to any Wikia wiki. It's not because "I hate" the new skin. It's because Wikia's new direction makes me feel that I'm providing free content for someone else to use to make a buck. What I used to feel is that I was providing my time in exchange for hosting services.  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 22:45, October 1, 2010 (UTC)

The advantages of Wikia

I think we need to accept that Wikia is what it is. But that means understanding what Wikia is, and what it is not. It's not a one-size-fits-all wiki hosting service suitable for anything and everything.

Suppose that you play a fairly obscure online game and you think it ought to have a wiki. You decide to try to start it yourself. But how? Do you know how to buy a server and run it yourself? If you can rent a server, do you know what software to run on it? Most people aren't willing to simply take a loss on hosting a wiki; would you know how to properly get ads to pay for it? Maybe a few of you would, but well over 99% of wiki users would not. I certainly wouldn't, and I think I'm more tech-savvy than most of the general public.

The huge advantage of Wikia is that they handle most of that for you. You can start your wiki and they'll run the servers, provide the bandwidth, arrange for the ads, and so forth. And you don't even have to pay Wikia for the service; they get their money from the ads on your wiki. It still takes some decent wiki editing skills to successfully start and run a wiki. But this is the sort of thing that I could do, as could quite a few of the regular editors here. That dramatically lowers the barrier to starting and running a wiki.

The changes that Wikia makes are very often made with smaller wikis in mind, to make things easier for people who aren't that tech savvy. If the choice is having a wiki on Wikia, or not having a wiki at all, then Wikia is a pretty good option. I've contributed quite a bit in the past to wikis for Pirates of the Burning Sea and Wizard 101. The game I'll most likely play after I quit Champions Online is Uncharted Waters Online, and the only wiki for that so far is also on Wikia. (Or perhaps I should say, the only English-language wiki; the game launched years ago with Japanese, Korean, and Chinese versions.) Without Wikia or another hosting site vaguely like it, those wikis likely wouldn't have existed at all.

But that doesn't mean Wikia is suitable for everyone. Wikia also has a wiki for the game I'm playing right now, Champions Online. But that's not the main wiki for the game, as one player set up a wiki at www.champions-online-wiki.com. It doesn't have ads, and presumably that player is simply paying the cost out of pocket. If you have someone willing and able to do that, it's the ideal setup for the community, really. No changes will be forced on the wiki from the hosting site, and people don't even have to be harassed by ads. But most wikis don't have any bureaucrats with the technical expertise it takes to pull that off, and that's where Wikia steps in.

But that doesn't mean that Wikia is suitable for GuildWiki. I don't know exactly who does the most complicated technical work, but I have the impression that Dr. Ishmael and Mendel do quite a bit. Having that sort of expertise in our community means we have options that a lot of wikis don't have. Changes that genuinely do make wiki administration simpler for people who are moderately tech savvy can hamstring real experts. Wikia is inclined to make such changes anyway, because they do improve the service for their target audience. A hosting service that says, here's the ads you have to display, and otherwise, lets us format things however we want, could be a lot more appropriate for us. Quizzical 03:28, October 2, 2010 (UTC)

Support Per nom -- RandomTime 10:03, October 2, 2010 (UTC)
Generally well-said. One thing to consider is what happens when Ishiy and Mendel becomes MIA due to (insert favorite conspiracy theory or natural/supernatural causes)? Whatever options this community decide to choose, it should not depend on requiring a handful of individuals staying alive in a role of responsibility that cannot easily be replaced by others. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa) 21:24, October 2, 2010 (UTC)
That's a point I hadn't previously considered, but it does support the idea of moving to another established host rather than opting for private hosting. We can't be sure that mendel and ish won't be struck by cars tomorrow. Felix Omni Signature 21:31, October 2, 2010 (UTC)
Ironically, if Mendel/Ish/etc were already gone, GWiki would be in bad shape on 3 Nov. The new skin is mandatory for all casual readers and GWiki isn't setup to handle it. So, contributors (and esp. technical people) here are already going to have to do some hard work whether or not GWiki (as a concept) remains at guildwars.wikia.com or moves some place else.
If GWiki moves and sets up sensibly using a well-designed css/js/SMW/etc, the presence or absence of technically clever admins will become less important...as long as the host continues to function well. If the hosting company evolves into a new type of business (as Wikia has), well, this wouldn't be the first site to have to move every couple of years to keep its cultural identity.  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 22:12, October 2, 2010 (UTC)
The MediaWiki software is very well documented, I'm sure any reader with an IT background could administer it (JonTheMon and RT come to mind; there are certainly others). Ask yourself what would happen to gww without Poke? ;)
At worst, the wiki continues to run the way it does (hope somebody does backups!); with Wikia, if you don't keep up, the wiki degrades over time as it fails to adapt to new features. The strange mix of colors on the Monaco user pages is a case in point. --◄mendel► 22:19, October 2, 2010 (UTC)
and we need to ensure that if whoever is currently in charge becomes MIA, the replacement would capable of obtaining shell access. Imagine a wiki whose Bcrats are MIA and the community need to get new admins/bcrats appointed. Now imagine a wiki on a private/generic hosting service where all the wiki ppl with shell access have gone missing and the community needs to get the replacements shell access. I consider those two situations to be on different orders of magnitude, unless you use a preventative measure of constantly ensure enough active people have shell access. With Wikia, or any established wiki-hosting service, the security risk of getting a total-outsider to come and fix/tweak CSS/JS and MW features is far less than convincing a general web-hosting (or private-hosting) service that your original IT point contact is gone and you want to give some new person shell access to fix major issues discovered in your software custom-installed by the previous IT person. In other words, in the absence of the original point-contact people, any hosting solution we adapt MUST be able to recognize and give full powers to the representative(s) selected by the wiki community. That is the part where I don't know if general web-hosting services are capable of dealing with. It's not about technical ability, it's about gaining restricted access from the higher POWERS THAT BE when whoever had access are all MIA. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa) 00:03, October 3, 2010 (UTC)
We're going to have at least 2-4 people with access to the server and/or the funds. They're spread out around the globe. What is the chance that they'll go MIA at the same time vs. the chance that Wikia closes down? --◄mendel► 00:40, October 3, 2010 (UTC)
My comfort level would go up by a lot if we can manage to maintain 5 d-: And this includes actively ensuring we get replacements when any of the existing ones cease to be active. <- not sure how compelling this is coming from someone who already ceased to be active... -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa) 00:59, October 3, 2010 (UTC)
So, there's two separate threads here: (1) what is Wikia and is it a good fit for GWiki and (2) regardless of where GWiki is hosted, how do we ensure an orderly succession of technical rights and priveleges? Mendel or PanSola (since y'all are writing the most about it) can you split the section accordingly? (You have my permission to move/copy any of my text as needed.) Thanks.
Regarding (2) as I note above, succession is more of an issue at Wikia than it should be b/c it's actually harder (as Mendel notes) to maintain GWiki as is to conform with Wikia's evolution. Wikia issues have come up every business quarter since I started being active here. If we lose the active, technically-ept ppl today, we are SoL. Most other places, once we're established elsewhere, the day-to-day need for expertise is reduced — sure, we'll want to have people with the right know-how and access, but unless the Haggis is really hitting the fan, the site won't need anything special most days or even most months.  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 01:22, October 3, 2010 (UTC)

Dreamhost

Welcome back!

Pros about Dreamhost:

  • Unlimited storage/bandwidth (I'd trust them on this more than I would Wikkii)
  • 50 GB of storage dedicated to backups (should be enough for a complete backup)
  • 1 Free domain name registration (they are an ICANN-accredited registrar)
  • Tons of other features that we probably don't care about very much (a free DreamBook.com guestbook! .....who even uses those things anymore?)

While shared hosting isn't really an option for us, Dreamhost does have a VPS add-on option that looks promising. In addition to the shared plan features, the VPS plan includes full root access and 24/7 live chat support. The pricing scales based on how much RAM you need, at a rate of $50/GB.

To do this right, we need 3 VPS's - one for the web server and core wiki software, one for the database, and one for the static content (basically the File: namespace). Now it's hard to say exactly how much RAM we actually need on each of these, but based on the research I've done today, it seems like 1.5 GB for the web server is a reasonable estimate, and around the same for the database (I'm less sure of the db estimate, though). As a bonus, they have VPS's specifically tuned for being MySQL servers, and they're offering a 20% discount for using both a standard VPS and a MySQL VPS. The content server could easily run on their minimum option of 300 MB.

This comes to a total cost of around $150/month (including the shared fee and the discount). I also did a little research into various ad revenue options, and we could probably earn around $100/month (again, very rough estimate) from Google AdSense. To make up the difference, we could add another ad service like Project Wonderful, or just solicit donations. We've already had a number of users express their willingness to donate should it be needed, so I don't think we'd have a problem paying for this option.

One additional thing about their VPS service: you can instantly scale your RAM allocation at any time. This means, for example, when the next installment in Guild Wars Beyond comes out and we experience a surge in pageviews, we could scale up the resources for a month or two, then scale them back down when we no longer need it. The surge would also bring a corresponding increase in ad revenue, so any situation like that would pay for itself, at least in part.

Pretty much the only drawback I've noticed is that they only run Debian Linux. As noted above, Debian's packages aren't as up-to-date as Ubuntu's, especially the MediaWiki package. This isn't a real big issue, though, because we could always compile the applications from scratch instead of using the packages. I'd have to research the changelogs for the AMP components to see whether it's critical for us to use the most recent version over the Debian package version, but we would definitely want MW 1.16 (for one thing, it includes Wikipedia's Vector skin).

In summary, if we want to avoid any sort of "shared" situation (at Wikkii or Curse or wherever) so that we can have complete control over our servers, but don't think we could afford a fully dedicated solution (cheapest option would be at least $300/month), I think this is a very good option. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 04:57, October 3, 2010 (UTC)

So, I'm still wondering if Curse et al would want to treat us better than smaller sites because we are bigger. Again, shouldn't someone be willing to pay to host us? Giving us reasonable peak-usage scaling options, 3 servers, backups, etc in exchange for increased traffic/visibility? While GuildWiki isn't huge, in our niche, we're big. That should, I would hope, be worth something.
If not (or if we don't have time to negotiate something reasonable), then this sounds promising: manageable costs in exchange for flexibility, scalability, and control. (The one other icky thing about managing our own: someone has to manage/account for the money; something we don't worry about right now.)
Thanks for looking into this.  —Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 07:05, October 3, 2010 (UTC)
I'm not exactly involved but I should point something out. The packaged versions of MediaWiki are a mess, there's a good potential to have issues with it and not have good support from the MediaWiki community because few people use the packages, and they aren't really well supported methods of installing MW. The packages don't even bother to upgrade the wiki's database when you upgrade the package iirc. MW is a simple php based application, it's trivial to install from source, there's nothing to compile, and you'll get better support from the MediaWiki community. The rest of the software should be fine. ~ NOTASTAFF Dantman(Local TalkAnimanga Talk) 08:42, October 3, 2010 (UTC)
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