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    • CommentRowNumber201.
    • CommentAuthorRichard Williamson
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2022
    • (edited Apr 29th 2022)

    I have now disabled caching for the moment; I may turn it back on once the migration is complete, but it was costing unnecessarily much (not really much, but disproportionately much in comparison to everything else) to invalidate things in the cache during the migration. The caching layer is still there and in use as a reverse proxy (handling for example the redirect of the nForum and personal webs) and for caching some things, e.g. historical pages, it is just operating with ’no-cache’ behaviour towards the static site where the nLab pages are located, which means that it does cache things, but always does a check towards the static site as to whether anything has changed. There will probably be a slight slow-down in page viewing due to this, but it should still be snappy.

    • CommentRowNumber202.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2022

    Re #200 That sounds like a good idea. Almost an nLab hackathon. Perhaps this could also feed into Urs’ desire for his presentation. Give people small pages they can edit and fix small things, or make small improvements, to wet their heels.

  1. Almost an nLab hackathon.

    Indeed! Then I’ll probably start a new thread for this purpose once I’ve fixed the table issue, to draw more attention to it and plan it/carry it out.

    • CommentRowNumber204.
    • CommentAuthorDavid_Corfield
    • CommentTimeApr 29th 2022

    Re #198 on redirects, there’s also the simple wish to have to type less, even when I know the target name, e.g., if I want to link to a plural.

    The hackathon sounds like something overdue, though I imagine there will be quite a few pages needing careful consideration as to whether to delete or modify.

    • CommentRowNumber205.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2022

    Same problem as 156 and 157 is occurring with torsion group, as torsion group redirects to torsion group.

    • CommentRowNumber206.
    • CommentAuthorDmitri Pavlov
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2022

    There appears to be a serious bug in the editing functionality, which results in user edits being discarded: https://nforum.ncatlab.org/discussion/13669/microflexible-sheaf/?Focus=98020#Comment_98020.

    • CommentRowNumber207.
    • CommentAuthorJohn Baez
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2022
    • (edited May 2nd 2022)
    Maybe you folks already know this, but the security certificates on the nForum has expired. Thus, my Firefox browser warned me not to go ahead and visit this site... but I said I was willing to take the risk and went ahead. Other less brave users think something really bad has happened.
    • CommentRowNumber208.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2022

    John, there’s this thread on the nForum

    • CommentRowNumber209.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2022
    re: #180: I'm a professional Python dev (a data engineer, specifically). I've also got experience developing middleware. If you're still looking for volunteers, Richard, I'd love to help out. Feel free to email me at coryandrewtaylor (at) gmail (dot) com.

    Thanks!
    Cory Taylor
    • CommentRowNumber210.
    • CommentAuthormattecapu
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2022
    I can be available for #200
    • CommentRowNumber211.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2022

    Hi, Richard! Just wanted to let you know that Urs Schreiber wrote an emotional post on twitter and on what is the nlab page to the effect that ’nlab is dead’. Seems like some kind of miscommunication. Maybe he couldn’t access the forum due to the expired certificate and assumed that you stopped working on migration? Anyway, maybe you could reach out to Urs to sort this out? Thank you for your efforts!

    • CommentRowNumber212.
    • CommentAuthorRichard Williamson
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2022
    • (edited May 3rd 2022)

    I’m very sorry, but a member of my family fell extremely seriously ill on Sunday, and I have been travelling and without a functioning computer since then. Adeel Khan is extremely kindly looking into the SSL issue.

    Unfortunately, whilst several people have been very understanding, I consider the Twitter post and some of the things written on the nLab talk group to be distasteful.

    Adeel before me did a lot of great work in getting the nLab stable, and for a number of years I have been building on that, adding functionality and maintaining things behind the scenes. I have been following the nLab from the beginning, and have been a user for most of that time. This year I have been working extremely hard towards a long-term future of the nLab that is highly robust, performant, and stable. All of this with more or less no benefit to myself, just because I felt the project to be worthwhile.

    However, it is clear that this work cannot go on without the support of the community. I am not on any social media, and not involved in any online projects except this one, but to me what has been written in the places I mentioned, and the overall attitude/approach, crosses a line which means that I cannot continue. I have always tried to act fairly and with respect to everyone, and have always acted in the way I felt would benefit the nLab most. If I were to have received the backing of the community, or at least not explicit negativity, I would have continued; as it is, I am resigning with immediate effect.

    • CommentRowNumber213.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2022
    I am extremely disappointed in Urs Schreiber's behaviour on here in the past few months. He seems to be the only person here who is constantly complaining about the nLab migration here and elsewhere and it is his behaviour that has lead Richard Williamson to resign from the nLab.
    • CommentRowNumber214.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2022

    Commenting again to say that I (213) am different from the guest at 211.

  2. I’m currently getting 404 for all nLab pages. Is this part of the certificate issue which Adeel can fix? If not then I beg Richard to try to get things back online before understandably stopping work.

    I do understand why Urs is upset. He has been the main contributor to the nLab and was making many edits a day until that was taken away from him without warning. However I do think that some of the things he has said have been alarmist and unwarranted. In particular calling the nLab dead when we were in fact returning to normality. I hope we can find a way to complete the migration and get the nLab into a state where it no longer depends on any one person.

  3. Just a quick note in haste that the 404s started once the nForum came back; I’m not quite sure how that could have happened, but have contacted Adeel. Very grateful to Adeel for bringing the nForum back.

    • CommentRowNumber217.
    • CommentAuthoradeelkh
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2022
    • (edited May 3rd 2022)

    I have reverted ncatlab.org to its December 2021 state, with the old instiki-forked software. The nForum should now be working as well. It may take some time for DNS changes to get propagated everywhere (clearing cache can help).

    More details:

    • The issue with the nForum was just an expired SSL certificate. However, renewing it actually required me to have the DNS pointed back to Saunders instead of the new AWS server, just for our SSL provider LetsEncrypt to be able to verify the renewal request. (When I say “required me to”, that’s just because of my lack of access to / familiarity with AWS.)

    • After renewing the certificate, I reverted the DNS back to AWS. Somehow, this ended up breaking the nLab itself, and also re-breaking the nForum.

    • In view of this, and also of Urs’s independent urging, I re-reverted the DNS to Saunders, and re-configured the web server to show the old Instiki-based software.

    I don’t have time to do much more right now, but I hope that in the near future, the nLab community can come to a consensus on the future of the nLab software. I think Richard’s new software looks exciting from what I’ve soon and I hope he is willing to reconsider his resignation, as it would be a shame for the tremendous amount of hard work he has done to go to waste. Perhaps we could carry out the migration to the new software in parallel, while the current version continues to exist and be editable? Surely it will not be too much work to, once the new system is ready, take the new edits after Dec 2021 and migrate just those to the new software.

    • CommentRowNumber218.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2022
    As a frequent editor of the homotopy type theory wiki, I am extremely upset that the recent changes have virtually reverted most of my contributions to the HoTT wiki which were made after December 2021.
    • CommentRowNumber219.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2022

    And it looks like the HoTT wiki is now inaccessible, reaching a 404 Not Found page.

    • CommentRowNumber220.
    • CommentAuthoradeelkh
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2022

    Guest #218 and #219:

    Is this the wiki you’re referring to? I am able to access it and see edits as recently as today.

    • CommentRowNumber221.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2022
    Yeah, that is the wiki I am referring to. I was just editing it 2 hours ago.
    • CommentRowNumber222.
    • CommentAuthoradeelkh
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2022

    Guest #221: if that link is not working for you, please try clearing your cache or using another browser. Is the main nLab also not working for you?

    • CommentRowNumber223.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2022
    The HoTT wiki is working again for me and it seems to have all the latest edits up to today again.
    • CommentRowNumber224.
    • CommentAuthorKeith Harbaugh
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2022

    Just a comment from the peanut gallery: I have the utmost respect and admiration for all the hard work, insight, and technical skill that Urs, Richard, and a small army of volunteers have put into this project. I greatly appreciate, and find invaluable, what they have done. I hope that some temporary setbacks in what was no doubt a technically challenging transition, sort of “changing horses in midstream”, do not overly disenhearten and discourage people.

  4. I’d like to echo Keith and add a thank you to Adeel for your work getting the recent downtime fixed!

    I don’t have time to do much more right now, but I hope that in the near future, the nLab community can come to a consensus on the future of the nLab software. I think Richard’s new software looks exciting from what I’ve soon and I hope he is willing to reconsider his resignation, as it would be a shame for the tremendous amount of hard work he has done to go to waste. Perhaps we could carry out the migration to the new software in parallel, while the current version continues to exist and be editable? Surely it will not be too much work to, once the new system is ready, take the new edits after Dec 2021 and migrate just those to the new software.

    This all sounds perfect if it can be done that way. Do you think the existing server will hold out for the time being?

    • CommentRowNumber226.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2022

    Thanks Adeel!! What a relief.

    I have rented an AWS server since the time we made the first attempt at migration (if I can recover my login data, will have to check, but I am for sure being charged for it each month). If there is a volunteer who is capable and has the time/energy resources to migrate the current installation as is to that server, please contact me.

    • CommentRowNumber227.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2022

    I don’t know how much money the nLab donations amount to, but I suspect they aren’t actually enough to pay a dev to do full-time work to finish the job Richard started. If this is the case, we should have been advertising the possibility of supporting the nLab financially more heavily, seeking microdonations, perhaps even on a regular basis. Complaining that the money we have is not being spent on a paid developer, and blaming the only active volunteer we have, is disingenuous. Especially when said volunteer has asked more than once for others to join in and help him on a volunteer basis, with apparently little effect.

    In any case, as far as our “fund raising drive” went, it was pretty poor from a marketing standpoint. If we are serious about using the goodwill in the category theory to leverage some income, then complaining publicly about the state of the nLab is not how to go about it. We could have pulled a “the nLab needs you!” lever, letting people know that editing is not happening, this is unhealthy long-term, and that hard cash means we could probably pay someone to hurry up the job. I feel Urs’ analogy is flawed, even if I agree it feels like that to him, since for probably 99%+ of users, not much changed about their nLab experience, given how few active editors we have.

    • CommentRowNumber228.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMay 4th 2022
    I haven't seen a drama like this unfolding in public and am completely captivated. Everyone in this thread seems so driven that makes the whole unfolding so wholesome despite its current tension. I commend everyone for their heroic effort surrounding nLab! ---a recent fan
    • CommentRowNumber229.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMay 4th 2022
    Software developer here who has encountered nLab a few times in the course of dipping toes into category theory. Just wanted to say I am also excited to see the culmination of the migration to a FaaS architecture, we have done something similar at my workplace a year or so back and it worked well for us for similar reasons (content can be served statically, only need to run code when editing, thus big cost savings from not having to run code on every GET request). Amazing effort getting it this far on volunteered evenings Richard!

    Sincerely hoping that you were able to be there for your family member, and that things turn out as best as they can. -Daniel, another fan cheering for the nLab team.
    • CommentRowNumber230.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMay 5th 2022
    Outsider here who stumbled upon this discussion. I would be very surprised if anybody would even be willing to spend any time/resources on the development/maintenance of the site in the future. Being a volunteer seems completely underappreciated by some. Sad to see this much work being wasted over the peculiarities of some.
  5. Just a very quick message to say thank you very much for all the kind words to those who have taken the time to leave a comment here, much appreciated!

    • CommentRowNumber232.
    • CommentAuthoraerskine
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2022
    I'm sorry to see this recent turn of events. It's said that if there's one thing worse than developing software, it is dealing with data. And if there is one thing worse than data, it is users! I have a great respect for the people who have brought the nLab this far, and would like to re-iterate my earlier offer of support. I use AWS a lot in my day job, know my way around LetsEncrypt/certbot, and would be happy to help everyone reach a stable state here.

    (I don't have the bandwidth for the Herculean task Richard had taken on -- but I could help with getting the new code staged somewhere, if it were available, so that others might eventually feel empowered to help?)
  6. That’s very generous aerskine. It sounds like the top priority is the issue that Urs mentioned in 226, of migrating the nLab as-is to AWS. How difficult do you think it would be to do that?

    • CommentRowNumber234.
    • CommentAuthoraerskine
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2022
    Hi Oscar, it's difficult to say! The most efficient way to find out would be for Richard, or Adeel, or anyone else with knowledge of the current deployment, to give me a call or strike up some conversation online somewhere. Allan.
    • CommentRowNumber235.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2022

    It’s unfortunate that this drama is playing out publicly, but it’s even more unfortunate that only part of the drama is publicly visible. I don’t think the solution to that is to try to make everything public, but I would like to caution all observers not to leap to conclusions based only on what you can see.

    Work is already underway on stabilizing the nLab in both the short and long term. Thanks to everyone who’s offered suggestions and help; we will be sure to reach out to the community if anything is needed.

    • CommentRowNumber236.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2022

    My wish is to retire quietly from this thread, but I must just record here that I have truly have no idea what insinuations are being made in the previous comment. For my part, I consider everything I have ever done with regard to the nLab to be public knowledge, and there is nothing that I wish to hide or am aware of hiding.

    I did not wish to mention it, but I suppose I must now respond specifically to one insinuation that was made in the nLab talk Google Group that I was somehow blocking access to the funds that were donated by the nLab. This is completely untrue: the money has never, at any point, been my responsibility, and I have no idea actually of how to access it. It has always been handled entirely by the Topos Institute; Brendan Fong, who has in the background quietly helped the nLab immensely by putting everything in place for handling these funds and by continuing to oversee them, will be able to confirm this, but there should be no need to make the enquiry.

    • CommentRowNumber237.
    • CommentAuthorRichard Williamson
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2022
    • (edited May 6th 2022)

    (The above was me :-). I am by the way happy to share any code with anyone, just ask; the code that I have written over the past years for the nLab, which comprises a large part of the ’old’ software, is completely in the public domain. Just to correct a typo as well: ’by the nLab’ should have read ’for the nLab’.)

  7. Is it possible for you or somebody else to create another repository on the ncatlab Github, and upload the source code over there?

    • CommentRowNumber239.
    • CommentAuthorRichard Williamson
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2022
    • (edited May 6th 2022)

    Yes, I can and will do that. I was originally planning to thoroughly document how everything fits together and how to deploy things, etc, and may not have the energy/motivation to do this now, but can at least post the code, and people can get in touch in case there should be any desire to deploy it, etc, in the future. It will probably not be before the end of next week at the earliest unless there is an urgent need for it. The code for the ’old’ nLab, i.e. that which is now live, should be up to date in the git repository.

    • CommentRowNumber240.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeMay 23rd 2022

    Why wasn’t this ever put on the main page of the nLab while the migration was happening: reality check

  8. Christian Sattler contacted me to remind me about #239; my apologies for the delay, I have now made everything available here.

    • CommentRowNumber242.
    • CommentAuthorKeith Harbaugh
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2022

    Just a note of appreciation for all that Richard has done for the nlab! Thanks in particular for archiving your work. Maybe not farewell but just a pause or break? :-)

    • CommentRowNumber243.
    • CommentAuthorGuest
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2022
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