Well, I wrote this up after screwing around with the site to fix something and I ended up breaking something. But that's resolved now, but it plays into what I want to talk about.
I've serviced a technical issue today which was a problem resulting in false Pmail notifications. This is a problem that was fixed for a few us here but I didn't do anything about what may have caused the problem. That is, it was a data issue causing the false notification, and I fixed that data error, but I didn't fix what caused the data error as I don't know at this time where that error is. So I expect it to occur again.
This likely occurred to to my upgrading the server from a Linux Debian 10 version, slated to be obsolete as scheduled in August of this year, to Debian 11. Apparently that upgrade came with some small changes that caused this problem to arise, as the timing just points to it.
I've also looked at creating a dark theme for the site, as that his by far my preference for all web sites. As I type this, I'm in a power outage running on a generator in my backwoods location and without lighting, the white background of this screen is particularly annoying. These white background sites are wholly unpleasant for me at any time.
In looking at that, I found another error that prevented setup changes from saving. There's also the long standing issue with articles getting erased at posting time. I've spent some time trying to track that down but without success in finding an easy solution. It's probably related to character sets than employ new standards that support characters other than our latin (A-Z) characters, now supporting Russian, Chinese, Korean and everything else under creation, including emojis.
All these issues are basically the result of database software that my software uses being upgraded over many years which employs usage rules that sometimes slightly change with each upgrade. And over the 1-2 decades that have passed since this software was last seriously serviced, that adds up!
The site also can't send email right now which means new people can't sign up. Email has become increasing difficult to work with because anti-spam measures have made it very tricky to just send emails. They now require all manner of qualification checks or they get refused delivery. So really this site needs a major overhaul. Obviously everyone of you have been around here for a very long time. But if the site is to survive, then it really needs an overhaul and updating from the current software that was first written some 22 years ago. Really it's a record breaking piece of software for me as nothing else I've worked on has been operational for anywhere close to this long.
But of course this takes a lot of time on my part, and I'm not really well motivated to just spend huge numbers of hours to do it, especially as I got bills to pay and other work I could be looking for. So if there is interest in contributing to the effort financially, then I'll commit to doing it by a schedule.
This site is written in Perl which I would likely use, and upgrading it to a later version would be in order. But I could also, if I want to really redo the site, do it in python which is a programming language that didn't even exist back in 2002 but is very popular for everything right now, far more popular than Perl is. That would also benefit me in allowing me to sharpen my python coding skills, and Perl could well be obsolete in another 5-10 years, given the path it's on.
So what say you? Is it worthwhile to do an overhaul? Maybe it's okay as is as it's basically working and meets the needs of all here. Please comment. I'd like to hear from everyone who is here because I think everyone who is here has been here for a long time or at least using the software for a long time (welcome Rock)!!
Thanks much. I do feel like we here are a like-minded family. The information posted here is in the vast majority of cases insightful and proven again and again to be more accurate and informative than MSM news is, all things related to covid being very much a classic example. Hat's off to Horse on that as I think Horse has been a real pillar for the site in that regard, though others have of course contributed substantially as well. I say that without doing any statistical lookups.
Through the life of this site, big social media tech has been born and has largely sucked usage of non-ad alt sites like this away. To that I say, it is what it is. Each person makes the decision that's best for them, and for some, participating on sites where they can encounter sheep that can potentially be enlightened is where they see fit to go. I myself was on facebook for a few years until they banned me just before the 2022 election for no stated offense other than a generic "violation of community standards" and no opportunity to appeal. I strongly suspect I was singled out by the FBI or other fed agency who notified Facebook who banned me. I didn't think that at the time but since then we learned, thanks to Elon Musk, that such 1A violation collusion actually took place so I'm proud to have been so selected for being honored with having had my 1A rights illegally taken away by federal government action.
Of course in thinking of those others that have left 4um, and this is also an aside, it's hard not to think of Christine who was the driving force in creating this particular site. I guess that was around 2005 when the site was put together after all the drama seen with various other sites. But again, to each of us our own, and we can hope she and all others who used to be here and left are doing patriot good in their preferred spaces.
So that's perhaps enough nostalgia for one posting. But I am willing now to give this site the attention it needs, but having compensation help is basically something I'd require to do so, and of course that comes with morale support in the effort which is also important.
So please comment. I really want to know if there would be support for this effort, and it's okay if there is not. Thank you all very much, and that is for simply being here as long as you have.