[acawiki-general] Action plan for AcaWiki hosting change (was: Proposal: new hosting for AcaWiki)

Reid Priedhorsky reid at reidster.net
Tue Apr 26 15:33:26 EDT 2011

Hi folks,

I've been on vacation for the past couple of weeks, so here is a 
catch-all response to the apparent list activity while I've been gone. I 
have *not* edited the CC list - sorry for any duplicates.

* I agree that a medium- to long-term goal of being folded into WMF is 
an excellent one, and that the short-term strategy of transitioning from 
Creative Commons hosting to a dedicated MediaWiki provider is the best 
path to that goal.

* I do think that Semantic MediaWiki rather than plain MediaWiki is very 
important because of the type of use researchers are interested in; 
e.g., we need to be able to do searches like "author = X" and get 
citations where the author is X rather than all citations containing X 
anywhere in the summary. My understanding is that SMW can do this but MW 
cannot. Thus, IMO, waiting longer for WMF migration in order to continue 
to use SMW is the better choice.

* I am not very interested in being early-stage tester for an immature 
hosting structure - having reliable hosting is much more important to me 
(and, I claim, most researchers) than speeding development of WMF labs 
infrastructure, particularly if WMF already has a development plan that 
they're happy with. However, if WMF really needs the testing, I am happy 
to have that discussion.

* Regarding Referata vs. Fabricatorz, my take is that Referata would be 
preferable because they are a dedicated SMW host while Fabricatorz 
appears not to be. Referata would be shared hosting, but IMO that's fine.

Given all that, I propose to do the following. And by propose, I mean "I 
will start doing this unless people complain". :)

1. Open a free account at Referata, which gets us acawiki.referata.com.
2. Work with AcaWiki people to get an importable dump, containing 
existing AcaWiki accounts, taking appropriate steps to ensure privacy of 
account holders.
3. Import that into acawiki.referata.com
4. Have the community prod/test the new site; iterate until we have 
consensus that moving to Referata is right and the migration went OK.
5. Work with AcaWiki people to redirect the acawiki.org domain name, 
figure out the financials, and make the final cut-over.

No data would be lost in the transition - people will still be able to 
log in using existing accounts, and all history will be preserved. The 
only change people not paying attention to this discussion would notice 
is some period of read-only and a change in skin.

So the basic steps are: (a) change hosts, (b) become even more awesome, 
and (c) get "bought out" by WMF.

Please reply if anything above seems like a bad idea, if I've missed 
anything, or if you have any other thoughts. I'll start doing stuff 
within a few days unless there are objections or people want to discuss 


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