Re: Alt photo blog
I've had an experience very similar to yours. I've since learned to always, always keep an off-site backup. This shouldn't be a problem.I had a very painful experience last year with a virtual private server company. The lesson is that, avoid cheap service, and don't put all faith in any one company, even the high-end server companies.
Agreed. This was part of my motivation for suggesting a CMS solution, as it could accept both email submissions and posting directly through the website.Therefore, it is probably best for this parallel system to be simple to use and email-based from the poster's view. That is, the new parallel system should accept email submissions, extract the attachments, and present them with the text body on a web page.
Authentication is a very tricky issue for a list that's publicly available. If I post a password to the list, it gets cached by Google and the like and can be seen by anyone. If I authenticate based on who the email is coming from, I'd either need to maintain a duplicate copy of alt list members' addresses or get dynamic access to Gord's list. I'm not too keen on either of those, but at this point using a password in the subject line seems like the best solution to minimize spam, but I'm certainly open to suggestions.One problem here is authentication. I oppose unauthenticated system because it is very easy to be flooded with spams. One solution is to use the From header line of the email (e.g., all list member are allowed), and another solution is to require a password in the Subject line or somewhere in the email, change the password periodically and post the latest password to the list.
Most CMS systems use PHP/MySQL, which is very easy to backup and/or transfer to another server/format/etc., so that shouldn't be a problem if I go that route. The other option I've been thinking about is to create a very lightweight email-only system that handles file size/ naming and responds with a link to the file in question. If I do this MySQL will still be used to store the data.In making such a system, the data format should be designed to make it portable, that is, not dependent on a particular server and can be copied over to another computer (Linux, Mac or whatever) and still read easily. Although I do not see a mature implementation of this yet, when one becomes available, a CMS based on SQLite rather than client-server model based database system is preferred. I know several CMS and photo gallery platforms are currently undergoing this expansion to work with sqlite, and so using such a system may make the database conversion very easy in the near future.
I'll be putting some thought into this over the next week or so to figure out how to make this as user-friendly and archival as possible. I welcome any input anyone may have, on or off list.