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Author Topic: A very incomplete history of Talossa's Wittenbergs  (Read 1933 times)

Offline GV

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A very incomplete history of Talossa's Wittenbergs
« on: December 03, 2019, 04:57:57 PM »
Talossa went online in late 1995 or early 1996.  Originally, our online presence was Ben Madison's old website.

This came a few years after the consumer internet had started to gain traction in this country and around the world, and at that time, it was still a huge novelty and not the hand-cuffing bane it is now becoming.  Those were fun times.

By this time, discussion forums had been around in one form or another for decades, and as a part of Talossa's part in that, a name was needed.  I imagine it was Ben who coined the name 'Wittenberg' for our discussion forum, and of course, the name has stuck.

If one counts the two forums exclusive to the Republic of Talossa, this is Talossa's fourteenth Wittenberg incarnation and the Kingdom's twelfth.  Here is a listing for all of these, using the Roman numerals used since Witt's first incarnation:

Wittenberg I came online, presumably, in late 1995 or early 1996.  It was followed in quick succession by II, III, and IV.

Wittenberg V: This is the Wittenberg that, I believe, saw the 1997-1998 drama.  By the time I came along in 2000, it had been retired, but was still accessible in archive form.

Wittenberg VI: This was my first Witt, and UC was Wittmeister and also kept backups.  The system was such everytime a backup was made, all posts had to be deleted from the live board so that the system would not crash.  VI went offline ca. 2000-2001

Wittenberg VII: I believe MPF administered this one for at least part of its existence.  It was around ca. 2000-2001 and did not last even a year, perhaps.

Wittenberg VIII: The most infamous of all Witt incarnations, a perfect storm of viruses and a failed backup caused the Great Wittenberg VIII Crash of 10 November 2001, which wiped out our records of 9-11.

Wittenberg IX: This was the first Witt that used the single-cascading thread format we use today.  The internet was well into this forum format, but the vast majority of Talossa railed against this, and this Witt lasted literally about a week.  No archive was made of this Witt, as there was nothing of any consequence that went on there.  We went back to using Witt VIII.

IX was online ca. February 2003.

Wittenberg X: Wittenberg VIII was taken offline permanently on 21 February 2003.  Wittenberg X went online on 20 February 2003 and was the Witt that saw us through Halloween and was the Witt 'commandeered' by the Republic in 2004 under circumstances so extenuating it is still a sore spot to many on both sides of the question, but for very different reasons.  Beyond 1 June 2004, the preservation status of this Witt is unknown.

Wittenberg XI: On 1 or 2 June 2004, Pete H. came to the Kingdom's rescue, and this is the Witt which, as this writing has been an absolute champ of reliability.  Unfortunately, it is on the proboards.com service, which does not allow for native archiving and could go kaput at any time imho.

Manually archiving this Wittenberg is still a work in progress.

Wittenberg XII: The first of the two Republic Wittenbergs, it went online ca. 2009-ish (MPF??) and lasted a year or two.  The preservation status of this Witt is unknown.

Wittenberg XIIb: The last of the two exclusively-Republic Wittenbergs, it went online ca. 2009-10 and was taken offline at Reunision on or about 20 April 2012.  The preservation status of this Witt is unknown.

Wittenberg XIV: You're looking at it.  It went online, today, 3 December 2019.


luc

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Re: A very incomplete history of Talossa's Wittenbergs
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2019, 05:14:42 PM »
This is the perfect way to inaugurate the new Wittenberg :)

Offline GV

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Re: A very incomplete history of Talossa's Wittenbergs
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2019, 05:19:40 PM »
This is the perfect way to inaugurate the new Wittenberg :)

Thank you!  If we can get at least three years out of this Witt, it will be a success in my book.  It is important to know this is the first Witt since X that has been put together and put online in a unified/re-unified Talossa.

My chief concern is native-archival functionality.  I cannot yet find out how to archive this thing.

Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: A very incomplete history of Talossa's Wittenbergs
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2019, 08:42:48 AM »
It's really a shame that both Witt X and the different RepubliWitts were allowed to just go offline, and that they currently only exist in archive form on the computers of a few people.  At the time, the argument was that there were a bunch of conversations in the forum only available to registered users, where people in the Republic said stuff they didn't want others to know now, but it is going to be a big gap in our history going forward.  In time, the Republic will be known for what people said about it, not what it was.  That's a serious loss.
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Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: A very incomplete history of Talossa's Wittenbergs
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2019, 01:50:33 PM »
In time, the Republic will be known for what people said about it, not what it was.  That's a serious loss.

Well, if fewer people had told lies about us because they had a disagreement with our very existence, that might not be a problem. But seriously, MPF put Witt X online in read-only format a while back, though I can't remember where. I forget who hosted Witt XII.

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Offline Sevastáin Pinátsch

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Re: A very incomplete history of Talossa's Wittenbergs
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2019, 03:37:13 PM »
If we can get at least three years out of this Witt, it will be a success in my book.
Now that we collective own the database, there should be no limit to the lifespan. No-one can lock it up. No-one can take it and leave.
Sevastáin Pinátsch, Senator for Atatürk
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Offline GV

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Re: A very incomplete history of Talossa's Wittenbergs
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2019, 01:07:37 AM »
If we can get at least three years out of this Witt, it will be a success in my book.
Now that we collective own the database, there should be no limit to the lifespan. No-one can lock it up. No-one can take it and leave.

I'm talking about the long-term stability of the software and the underlying code.  Improvements in tech happen all the time.  I'll say this for ProBoards: their software is stable.

Offline Sevastáin Pinátsch

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Re: A very incomplete history of Talossa's Wittenbergs
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2019, 08:11:27 AM »
I'm talking about the long-term stability of the software and the underlying code.
I guess I'm not too worried about that. This software has been developing for over 15 years. For that matter, it evolved from the same original code base that Proboards once used (YaBB).
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Offline Quedéir Castiglhâ

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Re: A very incomplete history of Talossa's Wittenbergs
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2019, 01:58:05 PM »
RE: Witt XI, Pete's admin account was set up in the wee hours of June 4. Not sure if the account formation was the genesis of the board. First post was June 6, to the best I can tell.

So, a two day window for your incompleteness, GV. ;-)

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luc

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Re: A very incomplete history of Talossa's Wittenbergs
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2019, 03:07:17 PM »
This forum needs a subscribe button for interesting historical tidbits.

Offline DNVercaria

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Re: A very incomplete history of Talossa's Wittenbergs
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2019, 12:52:14 PM »
It's really a shame that both Witt X and the different RepubliWitts were allowed to just go offline, and that they currently only exist in archive form on the computers of a few people.  At the time, the argument was that there were a bunch of conversations in the forum only available to registered users, where people in the Republic said stuff they didn't want others to know now, but it is going to be a big gap in our history going forward.  In time, the Republic will be known for what people said about it, not what it was.  That's a serious loss.

I can't see the hidden logic in this. The Republic would be known for what their citizens said and discussed in public and not for their password-protected stuff, which analogously might resemble people in public places, opposite to people in their living rooms and bedrooms, or some such. Researchers might regret the lack of access to those hidden informations, but still the Republic will be known for what it evidently was on the public side.

Anyway, given the required server software and passwords are still floating around, there are complete backups of the entire Witt XIIb content, AFAIK.

Offline Eðo Grischun

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Re: A very incomplete history of Talossa's Wittenbergs
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2019, 09:18:40 PM »
It's really a shame that both Witt X and the different RepubliWitts were allowed to just go offline, and that they currently only exist in archive form on the computers of a few people.  At the time, the argument was that there were a bunch of conversations in the forum only available to registered users, where people in the Republic said stuff they didn't want others to know now, but it is going to be a big gap in our history going forward.  In time, the Republic will be known for what people said about it, not what it was.  That's a serious loss.

I can't see the hidden logic in this. The Republic would be known for what their citizens said and discussed in public and not for their password-protected stuff, which analogously might resemble people in public places, opposite to people in their living rooms and bedrooms, or some such. Researchers might regret the lack of access to those hidden informations, but still the Republic will be known for what it evidently was on the public side.

Anyway, given the required server software and passwords are still floating around, there are complete backups of the entire Witt XIIb content, AFAIK.

Yeah.  This.

Sometimes the desire to have 100% complete archives of everything borders on becoming an obsessive fetish.  We do not need a record of absolutely every single word that ever got uttered.
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Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: A very incomplete history of Talossa's Wittenbergs
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2019, 10:13:45 PM »
There are two reasons for keeping archives:

1) for people to be able to write histories of Talossa later, or at least being able to do historical research (eg. the Cort has just called for emails that were written 6 years ago);

2) for obsessives to find out whether X person badmouthed them on a private forum 10 years ago, so they can bring it up in unrelated political arguments later (not that I know anyone who does that 8))

But honestly, there is no real point in keeping archives if someone doesn't write the histories to make them understandable to newcomers, otherwise they're just noise. One problem was that KR1 was trained in history-writing and thus knew how to write a narrative, although of course his narratives were politically tendentious at best. There has been no Talossan history written worthy of the name since A Nation Sundered. Honestly, the fact that the pre-Reunision Kingdom overreacted to Ben's lying histories by deciding to have no history at all is in itself a tragedy.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2019, 10:15:56 PM by Miestrâ Schiva, UrN »

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Offline DNVercaria

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Re: A very incomplete history of Talossa's Wittenbergs
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2019, 12:24:08 PM »

Wittenberg XII: The first of the two Republic Wittenbergs, it went online ca. 2009-ish (MPF??) and lasted a year or two.  The preservation status of this Witt is unknown.

Wittenberg XIIb: The last of the two exclusively-Republic Wittenbergs, it went online ca. 2009-10 and was taken offline at Reunision on or about 20 April 2012.  The preservation status of this Witt is unknown.


If I remember it correctly, Witt XII and Witt XIIb were the same forum in two different places. Witt XII had been installed, hosted and maintained by Andy L., who, when he quit Talossa, didn't want to extend his contract with the webspace provider. So Ián Anglatzara found another provider and installed the forum software. Transferring the database required some undocumented changes of internal variables, so to get this fixed the two forums mentioned above existed parallely for a couple of weeks. Eventually Witt XII was completely transferred to Witt XIIb and therefor, completely preserved.

Offline GV

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Re: A very incomplete history of Talossa's Wittenbergs
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2020, 01:50:54 AM »

Wittenberg XII: The first of the two Republic Wittenbergs, it went online ca. 2009-ish (MPF??) and lasted a year or two.  The preservation status of this Witt is unknown.

Wittenberg XIIb: The last of the two exclusively-Republic Wittenbergs, it went online ca. 2009-10 and was taken offline at Reunision on or about 20 April 2012.  The preservation status of this Witt is unknown.


If I remember it correctly, Witt XII and Witt XIIb were the same forum in two different places. Witt XII had been installed, hosted and maintained by Andy L., who, when he quit Talossa, didn't want to extend his contract with the webspace provider. So Ián Anglatzara found another provider and installed the forum software. Transferring the database required some undocumented changes of internal variables, so to get this fixed the two forums mentioned above existed parallely for a couple of weeks. Eventually Witt XII was completely transferred to Witt XIIb and therefor, completely preserved.

Wow - thanks for this!  2009 to 2011 are the years in which I was almost completely inactive in Talossa.