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Massive Free Republic Changes

Posted on 12/21/2001 4:19:13 PM PST by John Robinson

There will be some massive changes to Free Republic from now through the end of the year. I'll quickly iterate those changes now.

  1. Most important, on the 27th, Free Republic will be down while I move my network along with Free Republic to a new host. We're moving from UUNET to Verio. This in itself is a massive undertaking, and availability of the site may be intermittent. We will use all available resources to mitigate outtage. Verio underbid UUNET by about $17,500 on a one-year contract, so this is really worth it. ;-) Overall, bandwidth will be less expensive 2002 by about $25,000 which will be passed straight to Free Republic.

  2. I'm making massive changes to the structure of the database, will be replacing the posting program, and the latest posts program. While I'm converting the database and working out bugs some features may be down. Hopefully for not too long.

  3. When Free Republic's new posting program is online, the routine to post an article will be different. First, an article will be indexed into many topics. So instead of a pulldown to select the topic, there is a field where you can list as many topics as you feel appropriate. And at any time later an article can be added to additional topics.

    Second, no more "Category" and "Section". Both have been replaced by the extended topic system.

    Third, the posting of an article and a comment have been decoupled.

    Fourth, there will be different types of articles you can start. Shouldn't really call these articles anymore, discussions is a better term. The very basic "Discussion" requires just a topic, title, and body. "Article" requires topic, title, body, source, source url, etc. Some topics may not allow some types of discussions. There will be only 'article' type threads in "Breaking News" for example.

  4. The topic system in general will be completely changed. Once again you will be able to create your own topics. But to keep the topics from becoming the anarchy they were before my 1999 changes, all topics will live in topic groups. Those groups: General Interest (all existing topics); Highlights (Breaking News, Extended News, etc -- these are their own topic now); Hot Topics (current interests, such as Anthrax Scare, etc.); Local Topics (These will replace the Locales); User Defined (a sea of Freeper topics.)

  5. Bump Lists will be integrated with the new topic system. Bang_List could have its own topic.

  6. It will be possible to host many forums within Free Republic. Each forum would have its own management features, user list (with independent user levels), moderators, etc. Some forums may be private, some may be created for special projects, some may just be alternatives to Free Republic.

  7. Finding articles should be much easier. There will be a title search, you will be able to list articles in a specific topic, or with a specific keyword. Maybe full searching of the article itself or its comments. (Looking for the right technology.) And Author and Source searches will work again.

  8. Sidebars. Any topic can be added to your collection of sidebars.

  9. There are more features, but I'm really pressed for time. :-)


TOPICS: Breaking News; Free Republic
KEYWORDS: banglist
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To: Shenandoah
Could you explain all that again?

haha
51 posted on 12/21/2001 4:59:01 PM PST by jjbrouwer
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To: RedBloodedAmerican; Jim Robinson; ironman; kristinn; Mercuria
Split the savings with us? ;)

Sounds like we'll be having one hell of a grand Inaugural Ball party in January 2005 for Dubya's second term!

52 posted on 12/21/2001 4:59:32 PM PST by Rockinfreakapotamus
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To: John Robinson
and I was just getting a handle on html! now the navigation gets even MORE complicated?

Still worth it, Jim, thanks for the update. Now if I can just memorize that font thing....

53 posted on 12/21/2001 4:59:40 PM PST by The Drowning Witch
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To: Tree of Liberty
Amazing job, Mr. Robinson. If I could pester you for one additional change, could the system clock be placed on either Pacific or Eastern time?

For the life of me, I can't figure out what time zone it's currently set for.

Try clicking on Settings at the bottom of this page, or go to:
http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/settings?

54 posted on 12/21/2001 5:01:41 PM PST by RonDog
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To: Poohbah
Dude Hellish shot the moose in the arse about two years ago. Billie patched him up and hung a potted plant over the scar.
55 posted on 12/21/2001 5:02:23 PM PST by harrowup
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To: John Robinson
SpellCheck?????
56 posted on 12/21/2001 5:02:32 PM PST by WHATNEXT?
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To: John Robinson
I want dibs on Detention Hall.
57 posted on 12/21/2001 5:03:35 PM PST by harrowup
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To: xm177e2
Hehehe good catch.
58 posted on 12/21/2001 5:04:56 PM PST by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: John Robinson
Well, there's got to be one in every crowd, John, and this time it's me.
I liked the way it used to be!
'Course I liked Baby Ruths for a nickel, too!
59 posted on 12/21/2001 5:05:02 PM PST by COB1
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To: harrowup
I think that one goes to A+Bert...
60 posted on 12/21/2001 5:05:25 PM PST by Poohbah
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To: WHATNEXT?
Free Spell Check Software

Works great with FR's reply boxes.

61 posted on 12/21/2001 5:05:35 PM PST by Senator Pardek
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To: John Robinson
First, an article will be indexed into many topics. So instead of a pulldown to select the topic, there is a field where you can list as many topics as you feel appropriate. And at any time later an article can be added to additional topics

This sounds really neat (along with all of your other promised improvements.) I hope I am really busy on the 27th so that I don't miss FR too much when it is down. :(

Thanks for all you do.

62 posted on 12/21/2001 5:05:46 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: John Robinson
The topic system in general will be completely changed.

Good move. The present system has "bothered" me for a long time. The basic conflict is between "News", and everything else. Something can be news, but at the same time be related to "Business" or "Government" or "Philosophy", etc. I'm glad you have addressed this logical inconsistency.

Fixing the "Search" feature will be a blessing. As much as I like google.com (which, unfortunately I am forced to use to find older articles), it has different "priorities" than I have in mind. I can do a google search for something that I know is in your database, but their engine simply doesn't find it many times.

The "memory" [posting of full articles] function of Free Republic is one of it's best features, but if you can't find an article from six months ago, then what good is it?

Here's wishing you and your Dad have a happy holiday and a prosperous new millenium.

63 posted on 12/21/2001 5:07:33 PM PST by snopercod
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To: John Robinson; Snow Bunny; Alamo-Girl; Republican Wildcat; Howlin; Fred Mertz; onyx; .30Carbine...
Most important, on the 27th, Free Republic will be down while I move my network along with Free Republic to a new host.
(((PING))))))
Please let me know if you want ON or OFF my ping list!. . .don't be shy.
64 posted on 12/21/2001 5:07:59 PM PST by MeekOneGOP
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To: Broomhilda
**Ping**
65 posted on 12/21/2001 5:09:06 PM PST by TwoStep
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To: John Robinson
How will the archives be handled, when and if they come back online John?
66 posted on 12/21/2001 5:09:42 PM PST by kylaka
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To: RonDog
It works great. Just found what I'm looking for.. Thanks
67 posted on 12/21/2001 5:09:45 PM PST by VinnyTex
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To: John Robinson
I'm pleased to see that you're dumping SpewSpewNet. They account for about 10-15 percent of my total spamload, and I'm glad that they won't be receiving any more of your money.

Well done.

68 posted on 12/21/2001 5:09:59 PM PST by strela
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To: John Robinson
Thanks, John.
69 posted on 12/21/2001 5:10:25 PM PST by jaime1959
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To: John Robinson
Private forums at FR? Pretty shady. If anyone has something to say, they should say it to everybody.
70 posted on 12/21/2001 5:10:31 PM PST by let freedom sing
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To: John Robinson
With all of the new bells and whistles, ot would be better, by far, if FR went back to the way it used to be; mostly articles, editorials, political cartoons. This didn't used to be a CHAT ROOM, with teen threads, rockband threads, religious threads ( that aren't political, but PHILOSOPHICAL ! ) , " singles " / flirt threads, T&A threads, bash women / men / regions / Lincoln threads, " what's the best line in a movie, rock song,etc. thread, and the rest of that dort of thing. The way things are now, these threads overwhelm " hard news " !
71 posted on 12/21/2001 5:13:23 PM PST by nopardons
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To: John Robinson
Third, the posting of an article and a comment have been decoupled.

It will be possible to host many forums within Free Republic. Each forum would have its own management features, user list (with independent user levels), moderators, etc. Some forums may be private, some may be created for special projects, some may just be alternatives to Free Republic.

Whew.... massive, yes. I see that you are pressed for time, but when you get time, I would be interested to know why these changes are being made, why would you want to "decouple" articles and comments, and what's this about "private" forums? Could end up getting a little "cliqueish" around here, no?
Anyways, good luck with the move.

72 posted on 12/21/2001 5:13:49 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Of course, the big questions are...

Did Ted Nugent come up with this idea?

And:

Will we be logged in?

73 posted on 12/21/2001 5:14:20 PM PST by Poohbah
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To: John Robinson
i'm glad you didn't go to 'network 54'.
what a sKrewed up mess that place is!
74 posted on 12/21/2001 5:16:25 PM PST by rockfish59
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To: John Robinson
Sounds good to me. You must be some kind of Internet genius.

Your father must be proud to have a son like you.

I would be.

75 posted on 12/21/2001 5:16:43 PM PST by LibKill
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To: John Robinson
I like to use these types of threads as a good way to get some good FR info out

Useful links

76 posted on 12/21/2001 5:18:43 PM PST by smith288
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To: John Robinson
Wow! Great. Keep up the good work.
77 posted on 12/21/2001 5:19:07 PM PST by monkeyshine
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To: VinnyTex
Please ohhhh please bring back the archives. All the way back to Feb of 97 if possible.

I second that. I have tons of empty bookmarks that I leave in place just to keep a record of the thread title, just in case all the archives are ever resurrected.

78 posted on 12/21/2001 5:20:21 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: let freedom sing
We've been talking about you behind your back for several weeks now...that's why you didn't get invited to the Christmas Party in Denver.
79 posted on 12/21/2001 5:21:25 PM PST by harrowup
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Comment #80 Removed by Moderator

To: John Robinson
Hi John! Sounds like some great changes indeed. So, from your description, I would be able to have a Daily Dose forum instead of a thread?
81 posted on 12/21/2001 5:23:06 PM PST by rintense
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To: John Robinson
JohnRob, didn't you use to be JimRob?

foreverfree

82 posted on 12/21/2001 5:23:40 PM PST by foreverfree
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To: nopardons
re: your post #71
Good post. Maybe these changes will offer a way to filter out all the juvenile "chat room" type stuff you mentioned.
83 posted on 12/21/2001 5:24:14 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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Comment #84 Removed by Moderator

To: RonDog; Pete-R-Bilt
That did the trick. Thank you both.
85 posted on 12/21/2001 5:34:39 PM PST by Tree of Liberty
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To: foreverfree
John Robinson is Jim Robinson's son.
86 posted on 12/21/2001 5:35:32 PM PST by Tree of Liberty
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To: xm177e2, deport
Oh lordy, you guys are nice not to drop the hammer on me. I hadn't even seen how to do that yet.

Dadgum new-fangled thingamajiggers!

87 posted on 12/21/2001 5:36:52 PM PST by Harp
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To: John Robinson
Can you make it so that items in the sidebars will launch into the dedicated browser window the same way entries in the Latest list proper do? (Presuming of course the user's account is set up to launch entries to a dedicated browser window.)
88 posted on 12/21/2001 5:41:43 PM PST by Don Joe
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To: John Robinson
I'm in the midst of a major allergy attack - this is too much to understand right now. Take two benadryl, and check back in the morning.
89 posted on 12/21/2001 5:42:46 PM PST by mombonn
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To: John Robinson
John

Who owns this new forum software? If not Free Republic, LLC, does FR pay a fee for the use of the software? If so, how much?

Also, in view of the bandwidth savings you achieved by having only 50 replies per page, coupled with the new and cheaper contract for bandwidth, why was it necessary to raise more money than usual in the quarterly fundraiser?

Thanks in advance!

90 posted on 12/21/2001 5:42:49 PM PST by Z2
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To: .45MAN
*PING*
91 posted on 12/21/2001 5:45:59 PM PST by dansangel
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To: John Robinson
John. John. JOHN.

FR down on the 27th???? That's my birthday. That's NO present. I'll have to plan a book to read. Or a floor to scrub. Or a feast to cook. Or a day out of the house. Or a building. Or a breakdown...

Hurry, please!

92 posted on 12/21/2001 5:51:03 PM PST by FrogMom
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To: American Preservative
Dylan, eh?

Ev'rybody...must...get...FReeped.

93 posted on 12/21/2001 5:51:39 PM PST by CounterCounterCulture
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To: RonDog
Thanks for the important ping, RonDog! *laying in provisions*
94 posted on 12/21/2001 5:51:39 PM PST by lonevoice
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To: John Robinson
A personal question. How does one get on the Bang List?
95 posted on 12/21/2001 5:52:02 PM PST by jackbill
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To: John Robinson
John,

I post on other forums where one can edit his own posts to correct spelling and grammar errors, etc. Any plans to incorporated such a feature at FR?

Also, will the user ever be relieved of the necessity of supplying his own HTML tags?

96 posted on 12/21/2001 5:52:25 PM PST by Z2
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To: Poohbah;RedBloodedAmerican
RedBloodedAmerican asked....."For instance if I run a forum thread called "The Gridiron" and someone posts there who insults my Miami Hurricanes, can I ban them or nuke them from FR because I don't like that they dislike football or "my team"?"

Poohbah, you replied...."Actually, you'd just boot him from The GridIron, and then he's free to trash your decision on the rest of FR."

Do you know this for a fact?

97 posted on 12/21/2001 5:53:45 PM PST by eazdzit
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To: John Robinson
Yikes, John and Jim, we love you, but when you use the word "massive" - it scares the heck out of me. I never see that word connected with anything positive, i.e., "massive heart attack", "massive earthquake", etc.

Hey - we'll deal with it, though - you guys are heroes to us out here who've finally found a forum for our thoughts and opinions - we now know that we are not alone. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours, and can't wait for Freeping in 2002!

98 posted on 12/21/2001 5:55:44 PM PST by Inspectorette
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To: Z2; John Robinson
incorporated = incorporate

See what I mean?

99 posted on 12/21/2001 5:55:49 PM PST by Z2
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To: WHATNEXT?
"SpellCheck?????"

Know!

Gramatically. Incorect peaces; r all ways amuseing.

Frohliche Weinachten!

100 posted on 12/21/2001 5:56:11 PM PST by Jakarta ex-pat
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