Improvements to Sir-Toby.Com

General discussion about anything on Sir-Toby.Com that isn't covered by another forum.

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Sir Toby
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Improvements to Sir-Toby.Com

Post by Sir Toby » Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:00 pm

As I mentioned in the Thoughts on Sir-Toby.Com topic, I intend to "make sure something is gained for costs incurred." In this case, I am adding advertising to Sir-Toby.Com and I intend to make improvements to Sir-Toby.Com to compensate for the cost to visitors for having to put up with ads.

This topic is for outlining some of the thoughts I have for improving Sir-Toby.Com and for getting feedback from everyone here regarding what improvements they would like to see to the site.

The first improvement I will make to Sir-Toby.Com is to update the server hardware. This will allow me to upgrade the operating system the Sir-Toby.Com server is running, and is a huge barrier to accomplishing most of my other goals. This is something that I have been working on for the past few weeks. Unfortunately it has been a slow moving process. I will keep you posted on the progress of this upgrade.

Other improvements involve Extend-A-Story. There has already been a report of a scalability issue in Extend-A-Story. I need to spend time updating Extend-A-Story to handle a larger number of concurrent users. I also intend to add new features to Extend-A-Story. Feel free to look at the Extend-A-Story Feature Requests Tracker on SourceForge and let me know if you have a preference for any of the features listed there. If you have features you would like to see added to Extend-A-Story that aren't listed, feel free to list those as well.

I also intend to update other software that is used on Sir-Toby.Com. In particular, I know that there is a new version of phpBB that adds a number of new features.

Additionally, I am looking to add brand new features to Sir-Toby.Com. The first one that comes to mind is a wiki so that authors have a central location to document information about the stories they are writing. MediaWiki is the first option that occurs to me since most everyone should be familiar with it, and it allows for the uploading of media (such as images) for use in the wiki. I am also considering adding a personal blog on the Sir-Toby.Com main page so that the main page is more dynamic and always has freshly updated content to hopefully attract more visitors.

Finally, I am also considering updating the design for Sir-Toby.Com. This is the trickiest improvement to consider as part of the charm of Sir-Toby.Com is its simple and functional design. My goal is to come up with a design that is more attractive to new visitors without losing its simplicity and functionality.

Let me know your feedback on anything I've mentioned here. Also, let me know if you have any other ideas for improvements that can be made to Sir-Toby.Com.

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Post by Sir Toby » Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:56 pm

Just wanted to give a quick update on how things are progressing with my work on Sir-Toby.Com. In short, I haven't made much progress. I've recently started going back to school (getting my Master's degree in Computer Science) and in combination with that and some other things going on right now, I haven't had time to work on the site.

I spent a significant amount of time researching hardware for the Sir-Toby.Com server, but never did find anything I was really happy with. Now I hear from a friend who works for an ISP that they are preparing to offer a service where you can run a server off of a virtual machine hosted on one of their massive servers. Sounds like an intriguing service as it keeps me from having to perform hardware maintenance (which I suck at) and the network would be much faster and more reliable than I could ever hope to achieve on my DSL connection.

I'll keep you updated with new developments as they arise.

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Post by JH » Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:05 am

Thanks, and good luck with the Masters degree.

For quite a few years now, the reliability and speed of your site has been excellent, but obviously that might change if you managed to attract a large number of new users or introduced some processor-intensive new features..
JH

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Post by Sir Toby » Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:14 am

JH wrote:Good luck with the Masters degree.
Thank you. I'm having a blast so far. I'm especially enjoying the Artificial Intelligence course I'm taking now. Some of the concepts with regard to Natural Language Processing may give me some ideas for improving Extend-A-Story. Hopefully I'll have some time at some point to explore those ideas.

Oh, and as a special gift for my AI professor: That cake tasted goop. :wink:
JH wrote:For quite a few years now, the reliability and speed of your site has been excellent.
Thank you again. I think that the switch from hosting the site at Pop Art to hosting the site myself helped a great deal. Also, migrating from ASP to PHP helped as well. Not to mention I learned a hell of a lot about how to write database-driven web applications between version 1 and version 2.

I do remember how terrible it was with Pop Art for a while. I am hesitant to move to a provider instead of hosting it myself because I will lose a great deal of control in the process. Although on the other hand, not being responsible for the hardware would be a nice benefit. I feel rather lucky that I haven't suffered a major hardware failure all these years.
JH wrote:Obviously that might change if you managed to attract a large number of new users or introduced some processor-intensive new features.
Bandwidth is my main concern. I have a limited amount of upstream bandwidth I can get with my home DSL connection without paying terribly high rates for bandwidth. The current connection is working out well, but I do get concerned about site responsiveness when I start a large download (like when I want to play with a new Linux distribution).

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Post by Lots42 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:33 am

I took one look at the Features Request Tracker and my brain shut down in confusion. This is not new but still, I donut gettit.

Anywho, a third game set in modern times, focusing on two or three central characters would be awesome sauce.
- Burbank/Chen 2020. Sexy is as sexy does.

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