SUGGESTION @notifications and #hashtags

Since this is already a heavily customized BBS,how about adding some of the fancy new syntax things that the kids are all using these days?

We can already be notified if a thread we are watching has activity, but what if someone wants to draw our attention to something we may not have seen yet? Throwing in an @MichaelWelter or something and the system will send an email similar to the watch email when it sees the @ and an actual user name.

This would need a user control panel update that would let users subscribe/unsubscribe from notifications (default unsub) in addition to the other code.

The process could happen on demand during the save action or in a cron job at night looking at the posts from “today”

The #tag thing would throw a post reference into a new tag_search table. Presently you can search for keywords (any or all) or you can search for author, this would add a third search box for tag and there could be an ajax that would assist users as they begin typing that search keyword that would hint with hits from the tag_search table. Results there would be really fast since the table would be two columns (tag [no need to normalize with a tag_list and a tag_id - just store the raw text], and post number). Might want a soundex on that ajax result in case someone has a different idea of how to make a phoneme.

Two more tangental ideas.
When you’re reading (not just editing) a post and you think someone ought to see it too. Make a column to the right of each post with a place to tag users. Type in @user (no ajax help here so that a list of user ids cannot be grabbed via brute force) and, depending on alert settings, when that user next logs in there will be a prompt that they have things that they may want to watch. (On second thought, this is what happens when whether users unsub from email alerts or not, there is always a notification of things they may wish to see)

There could be a second type of tag (again on the right hand side of the post column) - readers of a post may add a topicality tag to it. Some of these may be obvious (like the subforum it’s under) and some might flag a post for potential to move to a more correct subforum. If we did have an available_tags table [sigh, normalization is always better in the long run] then it could be seeded with the topics from the forums we already have. Other categories for tags could be OS, DBMS, #timesavers, SAP version number, and we might need a #defunct tag to throw on things that have stopped being relevant no matter how useful they were in that one strange post or way back in 1998. This is sort of served by locking some forums presently.

Would a reply automatically get the same tags applied as the original post? Are tags just one type of metadata about a post that might warrant an expansion? Instead of a tag_search_table have a post_metadata table - now with three columns where one of them is meta_data_type of which tag is just one type…

kbrazell :us: (BOB member since 2003-08-19)

LinkedIn has a neat way of presenting suggested tags when you’re authoring a post. It doesn’t use a lot of screen real estate and that makes it good in my book.

kbrazell :us: (BOB member since 2003-08-19)

I like the @ idea! There are actually several code changes on “Beta BOB” that never got migrated over, including some new posting stuff but nothing that fancy. I’ve been out of coding mode for several years though, so I don’t remember where things were when I last was working on them…

Another alternative that I have been considering is upgrading to a newer platform. It’s fairly amazing to think that we’re operating BOB on code that was essentially written in 2002. :shock:

Dave Rathbun :us: (BOB member since 2002-06-06)

That sounds to me like platform stability! Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke (and beat with a whip those say that “If it ain’t broke, break it” - they’re idiots, or have a bridge they want to sell you).

Those features you have on BOB beta… I’m between gigs and bored. If your backup/restore process is good I could throw some tuits your way and we could see what we could do.

In fact if your backup/restore process isn’t good, I might recommend making a container of some kind of the platform. If you had it virtualized you could back it up by copying one file… Two files if your DB is on a different machine than your web server. That’d give you portability and so many other benefits too.

kbrazell :us: (BOB member since 2003-08-19)

Moved to About BOB forum from OT.

I back up the source code on releases. The database is automatically backed up every night at 2AM and downloaded to an off-site RAID storage device.

The code is stable, but every time I upgrade PHP or MySQL I hold my breath to see what breaks. :slight_smile:

I know there are a lot of new features that could be added via AJAX or even some of the Google Javascript libraries. We’re a long way from being mobile friendly, and that’s something that would be nice to have!

Regarding virtualization - we’re on a physical (dedicated) server. I recently tried to price upgrading because our operating system is soon going to be out of date (and it seems easier to move servers than updating the OS) and I can’t get anything anywhere near what I have today for as cheap as I can get it today. That seems weird, right? Hardware is supposed to get cheaper? The best price I found for a new server with equivalent specs as far as size of HD and RAM and bandwidth was about 5x what we’re paying today. So we’re staying put for a while.

If we had to move servers, I would upload the current source, restore the database, and as long as the domain is the same everything would just start working.

Dave Rathbun :us: (BOB member since 2002-06-06)

I’ve used Dreamhost for years. They are pretty inexpensive. I have friends that work at Rackspace and it’s too much for a hobbyist per month but they talk about having great service (and my friends are not in marketing, some are helpdesk)

kbrazell :us: (BOB member since 2003-08-19)

I tried looking at Dreamhost and they won’t let me view pricing without creating an account. Their “starting at” price for a dedicated server is $169 / month, but I imagine I’m above that price level.

My current hosting plan includes a RAM upgrade (MySQL loves extra RAM) and dual disk controllers (database is hosted on one disk with index spaces on the second disk), and 1.5TB of monthly bandwidth (which we never come close to using up). We started on a company called ServerMatrix which got bought out by EV1 which got bought by The Planet which merged with Softlayer which got bought out by IBM. Or something like that. :slight_smile: I just know that to get into my control panel I have to go through IBM cloud services now.

That also probably explains why new plans are so much more expensive…

Dave Rathbun :us: (BOB member since 2002-06-06)

Dreamhost pricing is spread over several pages
[list]Basic hosting and virtual private server
Cloud hosting (scroll down. How is “cloud hosting” different than any other kind of hosting?)
Ala Carte (You gotta add additional storage blocks in 100GB chunks and pick a tier per CPU&RAM combo)
Dedicated hosting 1 (Self managed)
Dedicated hosting 2 (Fully Managed)[/list]

I’m trying to dig deeper into the thing to find the pricing you have to have an account to see.

On that first dedicated hosting plan, going with an annual billing instead of a monthly billing saves you $20 per month at that first tier (so $149 instead of $169 if you go with the self-managed version)

How much storage is the DB taking?

kbrazell :us: (BOB member since 2003-08-19)

We’re currently on an 8-core system with 4GB of RAM. I thought we had upgraded to 8, but when I checked the system it says we have 4. Hm.

I’ll have to check the DB size. BOB is one of several sites hosting on our server, and one of the other databases is much larger. There are currently 16 domains hosted on the same server, all sharing the same MySQL instance.

Dave Rathbun :us: (BOB member since 2002-06-06)