MediaWiki:Forum-moving-statement/en

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Absurdopedia hosting

Historical background

In 2006, when we just opened, the founder Sikon has created a section on a free hosting Wikia. At that time our project was really tiny, and nobody predicts its great popularity in the future. So he saw no reason to buy his own servers for Absurdopedia, to spend his time and money.

Now, in 2010, times have changed. We have 3000 articles. 180 thousands of edits were made in our project . We are well-known to many, our articles are valued high by search engines. We managed to create a project of which we can be proud. And now, in 2010, more and more often we come to question: is it rational for us to reside on Wikia? There're some reasons below, why we - meaning the whole project - should now leave.

Disadvantages of Wikia

  1. Weak tech. service
    Our project is from time to time affected by some "experiments" with wiki engine caused by Wikia. This includes:
    • slow servers. Last serious slowdown was 22-25 August. [1] And Wikia really can't do anything with this: if for a website on it's own hosting in such a situation it is normally enough to add another server, large wiki hosting like Wikia would have to buy hundreds of new servers to overcome such a slowdown.
    • various modifications for their non-Monobook skins only. Appear without any notification. Example.
    • parts of untranslated interface appear periodically.
    • many users registered on Wikia have default Wikia skin enabled (Monaco for now, + currently they are developing another one), where our website in many senses looks wrong. We do not support Monaco, but can't do anything with the situation when someone selects for himself this terrible appearance and sees something not in the way how we planned it.
    Wikia denies advanced configuration for websites residing on it
    • E.g. they can't request more than three custom namespaces (we've already used two - for Portals and Incubator). Because of that we can't allocate namespaces for HowTo, Undictionary, Unsource projects (etc.). This makes sorting of these projects' articles in categories harder: each author must set a sorting key for his articles manually.
    • Another example: we can't update DPL module that is very convenient for portals pages generation: in a version from 2007, that is installed on Wikia, it is unable to do almost anything. And, for example, on Wikia we can't limit this module's usage to administrators only; in fact, that's a serious security risk and causes unacceptable security level.
    • Typical Wikia settings provide an easy enviroment for vandals: we have neither tools for fast deletion of pages created by a vandal (something like Nuke extension), nor AbuseFilter for some edits restriction; we don't have an easy option to block TOR exit nodes with the MediaWiki module for this.
    • We can't bind a second-level domain.
  2. A lack of freedom. Ads.
    Residing on Wikia, Absurdopedia depends on any possible solutions of Wikia about the terms of such hosting. E.g. they can in any time insert ads after each paragraph in our articles, and we won't do anything with this, because on a free hosting we should respect the terms on which it is provided.
    To tell the truth, now we're directly violating two things from http://www.wikia.com/Terms_of_Use . At first, we have commited unauthorized removal of right column with Google ads in Monobook skin. It was a terrible amount of space subtracted from articles and decreasing the width of each page of our site. To justify I can say that the existance of this column was completely unacceptable (e.g. it ruined Main Page layout) and there was no way to legally negotiate with Wikia about this (only small sections of Wikia can remove ads for payment, less than 20000 hits per month - as you can see, it's not our case). The second violation - we have installed Rambler's counter (TOP100) that provides us with a valuable statistics (referers etc.).
    There're currently ads in English (at the bottom of each page) relating to another Wikia sites, this sites are in English too. In the opposite to the right column, it's still acceptable, but we don't like it. These ads are being shown even to registered users.

Why is Wikia good?

Wikia hosting has one good side - it's free. In the same moment when we're ready to buy servers for our project ourselves, there's no reason for us to use this benefit (and Wikia).

A proposal

I propose moving Absurdopedia from Wikia hosting to our independent server(s).

Implementation

The technical side of moving process, finding servers for this all etc. is being implemented by me, Edward Chernenko. I also take responsibility to pay for everything needed for this myself. In such way the control over project will be completely in the hands of authors, and by 0% - in the hands of people unrelated to our project (e.g. some Wikia employees).

Proposed new URL: absurdopedia.net (already reserved).

It the community approves the move process, it will take about 10 hours to do so (editing will be disabled for this time). Everything will be saved: full pages history, all images, logs, deleted edits. All user accounts will be reserved; a bot will send them new passwords by request via Special:Emailuser on Wikia.

After the move:

  1. temporarily (before #2 is completed) we'll setup a JavaScript redirect to a new domain and block editing of a copy.
  2. we will send a request to Wikia to: a) remove their copy, b) setup a redirection to the new domain.

Edward Chernenko? 05:34, September 24, 2010 (UTC)