Moacad roadplan

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This page is to be used to discuss the future of the Masmcwiki website.

Official/Unofficial affiliation[edit]

Current Status[edit]

Currently the wiki is referred to as 'unofficial' this is due to the fact that it is student run with very little input from academy staff. Originally Cory Pate received the hosting from a free three year promotional deal with http://1and1.com the moacad.com domain name was payed for by Cory Pate for the first year, and by SGA for the second year. Recently the academy administration has decided to stop paying for the domain name due to the use of profanity on certain pages of the wiki.

When the three year deal with 1and1 Andy started providing hosting however if anyone else has access to a server it would be good to have more redundancy. The registrar for the domain switched to namecheap.com because the provide support for DynamicDNS which will be used to updated the domain name if/when servers go down. This task was undertaken by Andy and Joesph Courtaway, and paid for by Clayton Buback. Currently, the domain name is set to expire in March of 2011, if nothing is done.

In order for the masmcwiki.com website to continue to operate the most important things is a domain name.

Costs:

  • Domain name: namecheap.com has the price set to $8.88 a year. Typical prices for domains are around $10.00 a year.
  • Hosting: Payed hosting prices vary greatly depending on the service and usually range from $2.00 a month and up. Free hosting is usually available though various websites, but these may contain adds or lack features. Self hosting is also an option if anyone has a reliable internet connection that allows it.

Funding Requirements: (if anyone knows these or can find out, please fill them in)

  • SGA: Not an option. By the very nature of a wiki page, it would be impossible to monitor it to the degree required to secure Academy funding.
  • Alumni Association: The Formation Committee of the Alumni Association met and decided to not undertake this project. They decided this mainly based on the fact that if the association did, we would want more control over everything than we believe this community would want to give up. Furthermore, some professors have been looking at the site, and some have expressed that they disapprove. Apparently some of the opinions may be construed as something other than opinion and can lead to bigger problems (legally, I assume). - Stuey

This option is a favorite of Dr. Jennings. There would be no required censorship, and it would be an opportunity for the Alumni Association to finally start impacting the lives of current students. This is definitely the route to take. - Alum2010

Discussion[edit]

I liked the idea of having the wiki run entirely by the students, in which case I think rules governing profanity would be acceptable. I do not think that students viewpoints should be suppressed due to the wishes of the academy, but laying down rules about how to express a viewpoint is not necessarily bad. As for other parts of the moacad.com website, such as the alumni.moacad.com subdomain, I think having a review process would be fine there since those do not express the opinions of students. --Andy 22:23, 1 May 2006 (EDT)

I would like to know what rules the Academy wants to impose before they will resume funding the domain. The highest level of restriction I'm inclined to accept is zero profanity (and we'll have to define profanity clearly) on normal pages and no gratuitous usage on discussion. I consider user pages to be essentially fair game. If they can accept those terms, I can as well. -Chrax 22:41, 1 May 2006 (EDT)
Down below you suggest getting funding through the alumni association. I think being independent of the Academy would be better personally so you don't end up having to deal with those politics as well. -Patecd 22:58, 1 May 2006 (EDT)
For clarification, would you consider being funded via the alumni association as being independent of the Academy, or are they too closely related? -Chrax 00:06, 2 May 2006 (EDT)
Perhaps we should ask the alumni committee what their definitions of independent are. I'm not sure if using the Academy as even just an address makes them too interconnected or not. -Patecd 09:12, 2 May 2006 (EDT)

I think all the rules should be set down fairly clearly somewhere so that everyone knows what is and is not review and allowed, that way the credibility of having a 'student run' website is not damaged. --Andy 22:23, 1 May 2006 (EDT)

Agreed. No matter how this goes, I think standards of behavior ought to be established. -Chrax 22:41, 1 May 2006 (EDT)

Alternatively, if we wish to be fully "independent" we could discuss getting our funding from the alumni association. -Chrax 22:41, 1 May 2006 (EDT)

This is actually how a lot of this got started. I mentioned the possibility of getting involved with the alumni association as being a way to fund the site and wiki. There's a ton of good information on here and I'd hate to see people back off from being associated with the site due to its content. -Patecd 22:54, 1 May 2006 (EDT)
I like this idea as well. I wouldn't be surprised if the alumni association had some rules for us as well, however they would probably be more lenient than the actual academy. I don't remember entirely how it's set up, but would there be any problems with the being affiliated with the academy though the alumni association? --Andy 23:44, 1 May 2006 (EDT)
Again, I think there should definitely be more discussion on the topic with the actual alumni reps. As they begin to get more established, I can talk more with Allen and Stu (two people I've already spoken with) and see if we can get more details ironed out. Anything I say/do will be put on here to keep everyone in the know. Part of my worry as Chrax said is that the site will no longer be used even though it does have so much information. I agree that people should be able to voice their own opinions, but I don't have a problem with setting a few ground rules and incorporating them as Andy suggests. -Patecd 09:18, 2 May 2006

Zero-profanity sounds perfectly acceptable for actual articles. For discussion pages and user pages, though, it should be different. As long as people aren't dropping the F-bomb at the drop of a hat, I would think it to be acceptable. On a side note, just how much does it cost to host the site for a year? If the amount is low enough, I think it'd be worth it to pay the few bucks rather than submit to overly-strict censoring guidelines. --KoopaTroopa211 23:11, 1 May 2006 (EDT)

When it gets closer to January, we can scout out some different hosts. I'm not sure about other people, but I think it would be better to have an actual host than try and host it ourselves somewhere. It would probably be nice to have a host that provided many of the same services. As for price, there's an enormous range...I'll let someone else take a shot at an amount. As for the URL, I think it would be good to transfer it to an actual registrar instead of purchasing it through the domain. In 1and1's case, we need to fax in some paperwork, unlock the domain name, and then transfer it to a registrar. The one I use would charge a couple bucks for the transfer for example. After that, it's a fairly minimal fee to register the domain for multiple years. -Patecd 23:23, 1 May 2006 (EDT)
If the alumni assoc. can't pay for it, I'm sure we could get something student funded going. I know at least 5 or 6 people who'd give like 5 bucks or so if needed. If the incoming class down the road decides they don't want to fund it, I think there would be enough people still associated with the wiki who'd be willing to pitch in a bit to keep it running for a year. -(TheGrunt)

It would probably be good to start using some of the default wikimedia pages as well, particularly the Disclaimer and About pages since they are displayed at the bottom of every article. This could help to express that the views of the students are not necessarily the views of the academy. --Andy 23:44, 1 May 2006 (EDT)

Wow has this gotten complicated! Being the first-step propagator of all this, let me clarify the basic sequence of events: Dean Samudzi called me and a couple others to his office. He had been contacted by the NW Communications people because they'd found the site and thought it had been officially published by the Academy, and didn't like some things - profanity, for example.

We then explained to him that the wiki is separate in every way, except that sam ("the new doug") had assumed financial responsibility. So Davy said, "OK, I'll put it on *my* credit card tomorrow and we'll handle it from there."

The circumstance suggests he forgot :P.

So, personally, given the low cost, I think we should go with the original plan. With five bucks or so from a few members we should be on stable fuel for a few years. Let's get moving and make the technical decisions and *then* worry about a long-term solution through the Alumni Association. -(Mpnolan)

That's might be a good idea, at least for the domain name, since we don't want it to get dropped and reregistered to someone else. We'll have to make sure we still figure out a long term solution though, otherwise they will have this same problem in a year or so. --Andy 11:57, 2 May 2006 (EDT)

Another possibility for funding could be private, possibly from alumni, without going through the Alumni Association. From the sounds of it, the yearly costs are not extreme and therefore could be funded by a single graduate. But before any funding is asked for it would be a good idea to have a definitive plan for the site including short and long term goals, rules (language, etc.), process for site administration and how administrators are chosen, and all disclaimers that may be necessary for an unofficial/unaffiliated site.

On a side note, I would personally like to see this site become a resource for current students as well. It could include class notes from all classes, study guides/hints for specific teachers/classes, as well as a way for students to discuss class topics on their personal time without having to set up specific times for study sessions, etc. (If this is already included in this site or somewhere else, I apologize for the waste of space. I have been away from the site and the academy for awhile.)
Go for it, There are also other parts of moacad.com that could be used as well; for discussion there's a forum at http://moacad.com/forum but not many people have been using that recently. If you think something is a good idea, go ahead and try it out, make some categories, start some pages, and see what people think. --Andy 20:04, 27 Jun 2006 (EDT)

An everything2-like Academy site[edit]

The wiki is a great project, but it's boring.

Okay, this isn't entirely fair. There are a lot of well-written and interesting entries. The site is very informative and I wish I'd had it when I applied to the Academy. But the problem I have is with its structure.

For me, it inhibits creativity. It's hard to add new ideas if they don't fit into the rather strict hierarchy that has developed. I'd like to have a place to archive inside jokes and anecdotes, for example. The stuff on the Records Set page is fun, but it doesn't belong there. I don't want to delete it - that would be waste. So let's set up a separate channel.

To make an analogy, I want a place that is more like everything2 than Wikipedia. More like a time capsule than a guidebook. I want something that I'd enjoy reading even if I had never heard of the Academy!

Does this sound cool to anyone else? And a technical decision: should it be set up on moacad.com (more reason to change hosting!) or should I or someone else host it on their own account/webserver? - Mpnolan 13:50, 2 May 2006 (EDT)

I like the idea. I'm not sure how far it would go, since I'm more of a write a big article and let others modify type. But it may make contribution seem a bit less intimidating, and allow for a more complete picture. I would recommend it being hosted on moacad.com. I like centralizing stuff like this. Speaking of which, someone might want to redo (read: reskin and promote) the forum, since it is dead. -Chrax 02:43, 3 May 2006 (EDT)
Cool. I think your Tulsa article is a good example of the kind of article you'd see on this site. Here's a brainstormed list of possibilities: dean samudzi, soda machines, dean pinnozoto, cl week, foof chair, cheezel weasel, running a webserver, sending transcripts, georgia tech, mattress surfing, justin lynn (he's a character!). All the inside jokes on the 2E page. Personal stories of getting kicked out. I'm imagining, as an ideal, a lot of personal, emotional stories like you see on everything2, but I'm having trouble coming up with examples of those out of thin air. - Mpnolan 15:46, 3 May 2006 (EDT)

Forum[edit]

Should Matt's forum hosted here?

I think so. It makes sense, because why would either he or Elena want anything to do with it after this year? -Chrax
We might consider converting to punBB, its a streamlined version of phpbb. But its not all that neccessary. -Squishypickle
Looks good to me, I nominate 'you' to make a nice list of advantages and disadvantages --Andy 17:38, 7 Jan 2005 (EST)

Could we, or would it even be worty trying to build the forum into the wiki, so that you only have to register once?, I'm thinking this because we already do a lot of discussion here anyway, we might as well use something made for discussions to do it. --Andy 19:25, 7 Jan 2005 (EST)

I think that would be a good idea, and major props to whoever does it *MATT*. -Chrax
We are starting a wiki for my department at my school. We are also using a phpbb forum and the guy running it figured out how to set it up so you only have to register for one. I can give you his contact info if you're interested -Thomas

Databases[edit]

What about the Student databse, and the Object database Mike was making?

The student database, unless something has changed since last I used it, was done terribly. Neat idea, but I don't see any advantage it might hold over a wiki page except that it cannot be defaced. If we are to keep using it, I would suggest that we either try to get an interface to it in the wiki, or we at least fix up the moacad page to not be so ugly. -Chrax

Old stuff[edit]

What should we do with the old stuff such as pages of SGA minutes and such?

I am of the opinion that we give them to some poor hobo in need of a blanket. -Chrax

Also something needs to be done with the SGA applications.

One of them was down, last I checked. I turned the other into a regular html file that can be readily put into any format. Only problem is that MediaWiki doesn't allow for forms except for on special pages, which Andy will have to make. -Chrax

Connectivity[edit]

How should stuff be linked together?

What I've gathered so far is that everyone generally wants the wiki to be the first thing you come to on moacad.com so there would have to be links on that (this) to other parts of the site (and then back again). Where should we put them? I'd prefer to have them be more permanante links (as opposed to a link from an article) because something like Matt's form (if it comes here) would be another major part and it would be nice to get a more standardised set of links throught the entire site.

It would be good if everything was categorized on the front page like wikipedia, and maybe a standard navbar could be put on every page like I did on my webpage. -Squishypickle

If possible, put section links (forum/whatever) under the "navigation" menu on the left.