This forum takes a lot of energy to maintain, and this style of forum seems to be a dying breed - people prefer other methods of communicating. Because of this, we are discontinuing this forum and would love for people to join us on our subReddits.Subreddits:Linux Action ShowTechSNAPUnfilter
Thank you to everyone who has participated here; it's been great. I hope to see you over in the subReddits.
Some history, for those interested, follows.
I've been maintaining the forum for several years. I fell in love with the community back when we started talking about Jupiter, the Linux distribution from the Linux Action Show. At the time, it was alive and vibrant, with many interesting conversations happening every day. The current forum is no longer like that; we seldom get new people signing up and contributing.
I started helping maintain the forum back when we started getting spam posts - as bots got better, it started getting pretty rediculous, and it was obvious Chris wasn't able to cover it all himself. I offered to help remove the spam, and was very vigilant; I kept a window open and refreshed it several times an hour to catch the spammy posts. Eventually, I couldn't keep up with it - there were proabably 50 posts a day or so, and every morning when I woke up, there was a mound of posts to delete. Occasionally, I'd even delete good posts by accident (and the forum software has no way to get it back).
We had been keeping site registration open to provide as little barrier to new members as possible, but that just wasn't feasible anymore; the forum was looking horrible with all the spam. We moved to e-mail verified registration; that worked for a while, but eventually, the bots won. We moved to administrator-approved registration - this meant that I had to go through every registration request and determine whether or not to approve it. I started by searching for the username and e-mail before approving it - if the username or e-mail had spam posts on any other site, I'd deny it. This quickly got out of hand: it took too much time to research every name, and lots of accounts were still spambots. I came up with a simple captcha - a text box with a question: "What is your favorite Jupiter Broadcasting show?". This worked really well at identifying spambots - I never had one that got through after that.
However, the process of going through the hundreds of registration requests every day took a lot of energy and time, and if I was too involved in work and forgot for a couple days, I'd have thousands to go through, and phpBB doesn't make it easy. It would have been trivial to write a plugin that would apply a regex to the answers to automatically approve them, but we had tried several times before to get phpBB plugins and themes installed, and there simply wasn't time - writing a custom plugin just wasn't gong to happen, so for probably a year, I've been laboriously opening hundreds of e-mails a day, opening the profile link in a background tab, and visually inspecting the answer to our captcha question and approving the good ones. Every week, I'd go through and delete all the accounts I hadn't approved (which was also not made easy by phpBB). It was a lot of work, but it was a system that worked.
Until I got locked out of my account. When you get locked out of the account, you need a captcha to let you back in, but the capcha was broken - I couldn't sign in at all. It took a while, but we eventually got Allan to run a SQL update on the database to unlock me - even then, it wasn't letting me log back in, even though I wasn't locked out. Well, I eventually got in again, but it seems that the value provided by this forum doesn't make up for the cost involved, and it's a fragile system. We just don't have enough time to keep it going.
With that, I must say, I'm sorry to see this forum go, but I hope the things I loved about it will continue at Reddit, which is just a different kind of forum, but it's hosted by people who make it their job to maintain the servers and software and keep out the spam.