QBASIC.COM gone?

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Mark
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Post by Mark » Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:09 pm

The domain QBasic.com is compromised. The people I've used to host it have a bug in their system, or they are the originators themselves, that put links at the bottom of every one of my pages stored there. I have to manually wipe them out.

I have an account on another, more reputable, host that I can move QBasic.com to.

The reason why QBasic.com looks like it does is because a vocal amount of people complained that it didn't render correctly in Lynx or other text-based browsers, so I tried to make the layout completely HTML 4.01 valid. Now people complain about it. This is what I mean. No one is ever happy with the end result unless it's their work or matches their expectations.

If anyone has any idea what to do with the site, post suggestions. I'll move the site right now if you want. I can restore the old site too, but that's a step backwards in my opinion.

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Post by tlsuess » Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:12 pm

To preserve the site or at least make it somewhat-like it's been preserved, I can make a PHP crawler to record each post and the date and time. I can make a PHP forum similar to N54's since the design is very simple. At least it would be centralized so the site itself would get more hits.

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Pete
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Post by Pete » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:07 pm

Well, if QBasic.com is ever going to get a good ranking on search engines again, you HAVE to get rid of those spam links. It would still be #1 otherwise.

On a side note, I don't think that we should create a NEW forum at QBasic.com -- it should continue to link to the Network54 forum. The N54 forum was only ever active because it was linked to by QBasic.com, and would die otherwise. The LAST thing we want is another QB forum dying off.


Here are a few ideas:

1. Make a simple "QBasic portal" that has a community news feed (like QBasic News, but make it automated by consolidating the RSS news feeds from all the other QB sites). It should have links to all active QB sites on the front page. Also include a "Forum News" section similar to what Plasma set up at PhatCode.net which aggregates the last 5 posts from all community forums to show what people are discussing. In addition to news automatically gathered via RSS, community members can submit news items as well.

2. If we can find an ambitious and dedicated person, have them make a new QBasic website and archive similar to what is now at QB45.com. But this is going to have to be a really dedicated person who won't flake out. Someone hardworking and thorough...like Lachie Dazdarian (though he would never do it heheh). This would mean taking all the content from the old QBasic.com and from games.qbasic.com and make a NEW website with all the content organized and readily available. It's a huge task though, so that might not be realistic.

3. A "QBasic Top 50" website? QBTop50.com shut down a few months ago, and nothing has filled the void.

4. A QBasic wiki -- assuming there are enough people out there who would be interested in updating it. Not just covering programming tips and QB commands, but also QBasic community history, notable games, etc.

5. Link QBasic.com DIRECTLY to the Network54 forum. It would serve two purposes: increasing Network54's post count, and cutting out the middleman (since the only link worth going to from the QBasic.com homepage is directly to the N54 forum anyway).

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Post by Nodtveidt » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:14 pm

Mark, my company would be willing to host qbasic.com, and likely for less than it's being hosted for now. If you let me know the requirements, I could have you set up in very little time. We are one of Puerto Rico's only private web hosting companies, and own and rent servers all over the world in a number of datacenters on many networks. Let me know if you're interested.

Mark
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Post by Mark » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:20 pm

Alright, I'm moving the site. I already changed the DNS servers. It might take a day for it to make a difference.

EDIT: Cost is nothing to me. I run a forum with over 12,000 members and over 100 people on simultaneously for most of the day. I get paid to run AionSource.com. It was bought and then I was hired to run it. I also have a job at a local grocery store. I'm fine. Thanks for the offer, though.
Last edited by Mark on Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pete
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Post by Pete » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:22 pm

By the way, I think #1 is the best option -- the QBasic Portal.

To illustrate it better, here are examples of what I mean:


The NEWS FEED consolidates RSS feeds from all the sites in the Qmunity (we could use Yahoo Pipes to do this very easily, or do it server-side). Each post references which site it originally came from and adds the news verbatim (possibly truncating it after a few hundred characters).

Exactly like what is done here: : http://tracker.freebasic.net/planet


The FORUM FEED is a page split up into boxes that syndicated the last 5 or 10 posts at all the active QB forums (QBasic News, QB45, N54, etc.), just like what Plasma did here: http://www.phatcode.net/scene.php

Note that the Scene News page used to have 6 or 8 different forums listed, but as forums have died off, Plasma deleted them.


LINKS to active QB sites in the sidebar.


Keep it light and simple. Possibly all on a single page with no sub-sections.

Mark
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Post by Mark » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:23 pm

That's kinda what I wanted QBasic.com to be. But it turned out like it is now due to the request made by certain groups of people.

I'll see about changing that though. I have a better handle on php and javascript than before.

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Post by tlsuess » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:31 pm

Just a quick tip, don't pull a Mike Doise and use PostNuke, which really "nuked" QB45 back in the day.

I definitely understand about preserving the QB forum since the forum at N54 has been around forever, but I guess I was just thinking of what might happen when there's another "Zip" that comes along and does something to ruin it.

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Pete
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Post by Pete » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:42 pm

tlsuess wrote:I definitely understand about preserving the QB forum since the forum at N54 has been around forever, but I guess I was just thinking of what might happen when there's another "Zip" that comes along and does something to ruin it.
Ahh, gotcha. Well, if all the people on the N54 forum would agree to switch to a new forum, I would be all for it. Especially if there were a way to transfer the old posts database along with it.

Problem is, usually when you switch a forum to a new domain and format, you lose the majority of the users in the process.

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Post by tlsuess » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:45 pm

If people agree to have it moved, I'll write a forum that mimics the one at N54. It's a simple design, but as long as there's a MySQL database and PHP available, I can do it.

I'll try to make a crawler in PHP that'll read all the posts and record them into a MySQL database. It'll probably take a while since there are almost 2000 pages worth of posts! :shock:

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Post by Pete » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:51 pm

That sounds great -- though personally, I hate the setup and layout of the N54 forum. It's really outdated, hard to read, and I hate the fact that you can't register.

I think we should probably bring this discussion to the Network54 users and see what they think. QBasic.com belongs to them a whole lot more than it belongs to those of us who are not active members.

Someone should email Network54 Pete (not me, the other one!) and see what he thinks.

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Post by tlsuess » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:58 pm

I agree. We should ask what they're wishes are and if they decide to go along with it, we can make a better QBasic.com.

I know N54's design is very old and somewhat resembles an old WWWBoard site, I would suggest for something simple but not overly simple. When Marcade and I were working on QB45, he suggested something small and simple since users tend to get discouraged from using sites that can overwhelm them with features and links.

We can decide on the forum and its design later but first we need to see what the Qmunity says.

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Post by Mark » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:59 pm

The Freebasic place is based on Drupal, that's obvious. Joomal is a good CMS too. Anyone have any suggestions on which to use, or other scripts?

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Post by tlsuess » Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:11 pm

Joomla is pretty good. With the right layout and theme, it's almost undetectable. Most CMSes I see can be distinguished because of their layout and similar themes. Joomla would be good but I'd suggest either making or using a different theme than the original.

On QB45, I wrote the CMS instead of using a different one since the goal was simple: File archives and a small community.

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Post by Pete » Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:18 pm

The Freebasic place is based on Drupal, that's obvious. Joomal is a good CMS too. Anyone have any suggestions on which to use, or other scripts?
I don't have any experience with Joomla, but I found Drupal to have too many features and too overly-complicated when I played around with it.

I think big CMS scripts like that are too heavy if you're making a small site -- unless you want to develop this into something huge (which means you'd also have to commit to a lot of maintenance time).

For just a "portal" like I described, I'd do something simpler... such as Wordpress with this plugin:
http://devthought.com/wp-o-matic-the-wo ... greggator/

But I honestly think that you should make QBasic.com into a site with no sections, just one front page with all the information readily available.

Well, that's what I would do at least. :)

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Pete
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Post by Pete » Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:23 pm

On another note, did you know that http://games.qbasic.com sets off some type of anti-malware warning in both FireFox and Chrome?

I emailed Lachie about it a while ago, but he seemed uninterested in fixing the problem. Maybe this has something to do with your webhost?
Warning: Visiting this site may harm your computer!
The website at games.qbasic.com appears to host malware ? software that can hurt your computer or otherwise operate without your consent. Just visiting a site that hosts malware can infect your computer.
For detailed information about the problems with this site, visit the Google Safe Browsing diagnostic page for games.qbasic.com.
Learn more about how to protect yourself from harmful software online.

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Post by tlsuess » Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:35 pm

I think something simple like you described would be good. All the information on the front page is the way to go. I don't think QBasic.com really provides anything besides the Qmunity and maybe the file host and games section.

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Post by Mark » Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:41 pm

Hmm, Wordpress seems to be a better idea than a full-blown CMS. I was thinking about using this skin until something better comes along: http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/clockworksimple

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Post by tlsuess » Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:55 pm

Wordpress is fairly simple to set up but it's more geared on websites that have more of a blog-type feel for them. I mean there's nothing wrong with it, but it might be tough if the forum moves to QBasic.com.

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warning

Post by qbasicfreak » Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:59 pm

I also have been getting the warning!

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