The Future of the BFA Forum

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willhawkes
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Real Name: Will Hawkes

The Future of the BFA Forum

Post by willhawkes » Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:02 pm

Hi guys,

The world has moved on from the days when the forum was buzzing with afterglows and banter. Now however the eyeballs have moved on to YouTube and Facebook. No-one posts here, few people come here, and (unless you specifically search for britfoos), Google's algorithm spiders don't visit either.

In addition the technology which the forum sits on is coming to the end of its natural life. Keeping it alive takes up time and money (about £100 a year).

But the forum itself is still a rich source of foosball wisdom and indeed British table football history. We'd love to find a way to archive the public parts of it it in a publicly accessible way, (private forums would of course remain thus).

Archiving the forum is itself technical. Here's what we've been told from the tech point of view:

Re Archive:
- Option 1 : just archive the database and source files - not browseable in any meaningful way unless you reset the site up on a local machine / webserver
- Option 2: involves running the spider over the current site and turning all pages into static HTML - this could then either be made available via a webserver, or easily browsed locally (ie via a browser). Whether you could tell the spider to "login" prior to starting (to capture the private stuff), I'm not 100% sure - but I think it's possible in principle. Also, would index all the administrative parts too (if logged in as an admin) unless you put some rules in place to prevent that. You'd also be doing the whole thing twice, once as an authenticated user, and once as an anonymous user. I use this - https://www.httrack.com/ - if you wanted me to do it, I'd have to charge as it takes ages to get right. It might be someone else can do it - I'd rather it isn't me :)


We're keen to hear from anyone out there on this. In particular:
- Should we just keep it up a while longer and spend money on it?
- Should we just file it away and be done with it?
- Are you interested in supporting the archiving process (option 2 above)?

Tell us what you think, below.

Cheers,

Will Hawkes
Chair, BFA

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Dancing Defence
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Re: The Future of the BFA Forum

Post by Dancing Defence » Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:41 pm

It would be sad day to lose the forum, but times move on and if it isn't making sense financially and time-wise then there's probably not much rationale to keep it going.

It would be great if option 2 (archiving process) could be done by someone.

I remember the days when the this forum (and the old Topica one before that) used to be a hotbed of communication. The structure of Facebook groups don't quite have the same appeal to me.
Naeem

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Martyn
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Re: The Future of the BFA Forum

Post by Martyn » Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:39 pm

This site should be preserved at all costs imho, it was THE place to go with anything foos related. It contains our history and countless pages of excellent stuff including results and reports. A really good read.

I believe we lost acres of documents in the past when a well intended upgrade didn’t quite work.

It’s easy to throw things away when they don’t work as well as they did. And who knows, this forum might well come back into its own one day. Keeping it open for just £100 is a bargain.

Martyn
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein

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