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Re: [ML] Hosting of gnustep.org

From: H. Nikolaus Schaller
Subject: Re: [ML] Hosting of gnustep.org
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 2021 18:40:22 +0100

> Am 19.01.2021 um 18:20 schrieb Ivan Vučica <ivan@vucica.net>:
> On Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 5:11 PM H. Nikolaus Schaller <hns@goldelico.com> 
> wrote:
>> It did not need any maintainance in between. But it could be copied to
>> any Linux host with apt-get install apache2 php mysql in ca. 30 minutes.
> This assumes you're always around -- or someone else that has dealt
> with PHP and MySQL is around.

It has to be done only once.

>>> Existing system works, and it'll keep on working, but I am neither
>>> submitting software to the existing system or contributing changes to
>>> it.
>> Why not?
> - The code is not in the main repos

It is on github: https://github.com/goldelico/swi

and can easily be integrated to the repos

> - The deployment procedure is unclear

Indeed, tat is a weak point, but some information is in the README.md.
Well not about the precise installation on gnustep.org.

> - I don't have admin privileges to touch the database
> - Even as a regular user I don't have any sort of login credentials.

What do you need them for? The workflow is based on the assumption
that everybody can openly contribute and reviewers/moderators delete

>>> Moving off of it means less maintenance for whoever's running
>>> machine underlying gnustep.org, and easier contributions by people who
>>> can write Markdown, but not necessarily want to touch PHP.
>> Nobody needs to write PHP (except me as I have written the original
>> code).
> No other person who wants to modify the site should need to touch PHP?

In 8 years nobody wanted to modify it. And to be honest, there are more
people proficient in PHP than in ObjC or Jekyll or others. It is not
at all exotic.

>> You as the user do not need to work that way. Like on Wikipedia you
>> do not get into touch with the MediaWiki code (which is also PHP + MySQL).
>> You just type content into the web form and press the submit button.
> Assuming that's the only thing that should be done.

What is missing? What else should be done?

>>> Storing a list of software in a version control system seems like a
>>> much simpler solution.
>> That is probably a misconception. The database *is* a version control
>> system. Just not git.
> How trivial is it for me to clone it to my local system *right now*
> without having any access to the database, or any login credentials?

What is the benefit of cloning it?

Yes, the MySQL database is quite hidden somewhere on the www.gnustep.org
server. Even I do not remember. This should be changed.

> How do I know who is the approver for the changes?

Ok, good point. These people should be listed somewhere.
AFAIR, currently it is Riccardo and me.

>>> "It already exists" is an easy answer ignoring the question "who has
>>> the backups, who can create the backups, who can approve the changes,
>>> who can fork the site, and who maintains and pays for the existing
>>> system".
>> There are answers, but nobody has asked yet.
> Well now.


>>> Static documentation sites edited via version control systems are
>>> absolutely normal today.
>>> And adding minimal interactivity via Javascript is the very reason why
>>> Javascript came to be in the nineties.
>> Yes, I know the history. And because JavaScript has limitations there
>> is still a lot of server-side activities. And PHP and MySQL became the
>> standard after that.
> They're less and less of a standard these days.

This is not my impression. But I may be biased.

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