SourceForge Migration

General help that does not fall into a more specific category

SourceForge Migration

Postby space_egd » Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:33 pm

This topic is focused on migrating away from SourceForge mailing lists, forums, and wiki.
We discussed how such a migration would happen but haven't made a concrete decision.

Some of the big questions seem to be:
1) Should we still use mailing lists?
2) What services will replace SourceForge's mailing lists, fourms, and wiki?
3) What will be the new domain name for the services we pic (i.e.,,, etc )

Here's my take on all of this:
During the testing of the tikiWiki wiki and phpBB forum, their functionality is sufficient in improving the overall capabilities for GMAT communication versus SourceForge. I don't believe the use of mailing lists is the direction we want to go for public GMAT communication. I would have a different view if we were planning to use mailing list primarily as a way of sending out information. Instead we also what gmat users to contribute. Using a mailing list with the primary objectives of disseminating information and expecting new/old users to actively take part in conversations is a mistake due to the flaws I've listed below. Also, if you have a forum with adequate capabilities a mailing list is unnecessary. You may gain additional capabilities but the scattering of information will make it more difficult for your users

My main issues with SourceForge Mailing Lists are the uncontrollable updates/maintenance, faulty software, limited/poor support, difficulty for new users to join old topics, and limited backup capability.
My main issues with SourceForge Wiki are the uncontrollable updates/maintenance, faulty software, limited/poor support, limited backup capability, basic/limiting wiki syntax,and poor html support in wiki.

In the switch all of the alternative systems we go to will have the following negatives:
- Additional service to sign-up for whose username/password aren't directly related to SourceForge and the new Wiki
- Users will have to adjust to a different layout
- Information will have to be transferred from the SourceForge forums/mailing list/wiki (most likely manually)

Below, I'll include a listing of the potential replacements to the SourceForge services I mentioned earlier.

Replacements to SourceForge Mailing Lists and Forum
- Webxone Intranet Service (A Goddard group I participated in used this. Went by a different name though.)
- Internet Forums
--- ... _%28ASP%29
--- ... _%28PHP%29
--- ... 28other%29
- Standard server Mailing Lists (based on cpanel 11, web hosting server software)
- Yahoo/Google Groups

Replacements to SourceForge Wiki
Web-Based wikis

Replacements to SourceForge Mailing Lists and Forum Pros/Cons
Webxone Intranet Service and Goddard sponsored services
- Free if sponsored by Goddard similar to the group I was involved in
- Integrated calender
- Several communication features
- Files can be attached to posts

- Expensive if service not sponsored by Goddard
- Relying on a sponsored service could mean that the service could all of a sudden not be available to us or require funds to extend an expired license
- Software updates are out of our control
- Backup/recovery may be limited, be completely out of our control, or non existent
- Depending on the architecture of the software it may not be possible to transfer existing data to another service, if we no longer could use it
Advantages to switching
- Limited admin controls
- Limited customization options

Internet Forums Pros/Cons
    - Free, if I can install the software on my web host server
    - Images/files can be attached to each post
    - Improved admin control
    - Improved customization of forums
    - Multiple back-up methods
    - Posts can be edited (if abused this feature can be removed or limited)
    - Several forum themes available
    - Ability to search specific forums/sub-forums by keywords and other settings
    - Huge phpBB user base at
      o Free support
      o If a feature is not available, MODs may already exist to obtain that feature.
      o Searchable database (i.e. I had to make a change to enable email notification as a default once you reply to a topic. I found that support off of the phpBB forum through a search of their database).
    - Some internet forums offer calendar support. Not phpbb though.

    - Information will have to be transferred from the SourceForge forums/mailing list (most likely manually)
    - Unable to automatically email users of updates to the forum and provide email digests of the updates
    (Users would have to manually say they want to watch a forum or topic they did not reply to. Users will automatically be notified on topics they replied to. Email digest modification is in the work though.)
    - Users accustomed to mailing lists would take a bit of time to adjust to the new system of communicating

Standard server Mailing Lists
The mailing list service I have on my server is exactly the same as SourceForge but without the archiving capability. Basically SourceForge mailing list is better than what I could provide from my server.

- The sending/receiving of messages is like Sourforge mailing list
- Backups available

- No archiving. (i.e. users couldn't easily search old messages)

Replacements to SourceForge Wiki Pros/Cons
Most wiki's out there will most likely be better than the one on SourceForge. TikiWiki has proved to work out very well for us and a definite on the new wiki software we should use.
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Re: SourceForge Migration

Postby space_egd » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:14 pm

Based on my experience with internet forums, my vote is to replace the SourceForge Mailing Lists and Forums with an internet forum. phpBB is free and works. Biggest draw backs I'm hearing from people is the adjustment to the new service and the inability for phpBB to send our full text of updates to the forums. Those issues are very minor when compared to the pros.

I'd be more than happy to host the SourceForge replacement software services on my personal server if that's the route we go. I'm using less than a GB of my 24GB limit and that limit is not really a limit. If the content of my webpages grows a substantial amount, as long as the content is linked to an html page i have unlimited space available to me.

We also don't have to wait before we register a new domain name before making the tikiWiki and phpBB available to the public. Once we register the domains people that bookmarked the old url would get automatic updates to their bookmarks, based on the documentation in my web host literature. Also the and aren't url's that would conflict with GMAT in anyway. Here's an example of a URL that would've been inappropriate for GMAT even if it was temporary

So what does everyone say to leaving SourceForge and migrating to tikiWiki and phpBB?
Posts: 357
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Re: SourceForge Migration

Postby space_egd » Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:28 pm

When we begin the migration from the sourceforge wiki, forum, and mailing list to our new alternative services I've listed the following actions we'd should perform:

-- Change the links of GMAT website
-- Change the main page of the SourceForge Wiki with a redirect to the new wiki site
(Display that temp redirect will only be up until certain date we specify)
-- Send message to all mailing lists announcing the move to the new services. Announce that certain services at SourceForge will be removed by a certain date and the main form of gmat communications, effective on the day of the message, will occur on the new services.
-- Manually transfer forum topics to new service and remove Forum option from SourceForge menus (Performs by a mouse click from the Admin panel)
-- Manually transfer gmat-users and gmat-info SourceForge Mailing List conversations to the new service. gmat-svn mailing list will still remain since our SVN repository will still be at sourceforge. Due to the magnitude of messages on the gmat-developers list we should keep the archive available on sourceforge and transfer the conversations that are most relevant.
-- Once the date comes for removing the sourceforge gmat-users mailing list, gmat-info mailing list, and wiki disable the ability for people to see them through the Admin panel
Posts: 357
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:02 pm
Location: MD

Re: SourceForge Migration

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