Open issues

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Phoenix
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Open issues

Post by Phoenix »

Forum name
The question of the forum's name has been brought up. It is unlikely but possible that M* has a copyright in the name "Vanguard Diehards" and, if so, no other forum can use it without permission. This forum was not set up to steal M* intellectual property, but to solve a problem that M* will not or cannot. As far as I am concerned, the forum can be named anything. "The Boglehead Forum", "The Vanguard Investors Forum", even the "Diehards Forum" are all probably names safe from copyright questions.

Forum ownership
I do not own this forum in the same way that M* owns its forums. This forum took about half an hour to set up using off the shelf free software. That process is repeatable by anyone, only minor technical skills required, on any host, disk space and bandwidth permitting. The forum currently runs on a personal hosting account that costs $5 per month, which is my treat.

If the VGDH bigwigs - "founding fathers", if you like - wish to set up an official organization to oversee a discussion forum, that is perfectly fine with me. I would donate my time to setting the same sort of thing up over at diehards.org if that is deemed a good place for it, or at any other place. If M* realizes that enough people are fed up, maybe they will finally act by doing something about the troll or upgrading their creaking software. That would be fine with me too.

Copyright in posts
If this forum stays here, this needs an official published policy. I would happily adopt any reasonable policy and am willing to defer to the wisdom of others on wording. For the moment, assume that you have copyright in your own posts.

Privacy policy
This too needs an official published policy. For the moment, assume that any information recorded by the forum software that identifies you will not be disclosed to any third party without your express permission or a court order. That includes the IP address(es) you post from and your email address (unless you intentionally reveal it in your profile).

Rules of engagement and moderation
This needs policy and, if the policy includes moderation, moderators to enforce the policy. Once again, I would adopt any reasonable policy that is proposed and I would defer to the wisdom of others on wording. Believe it or not, I already have two offers to act as moderator in email. For the moment, assume that I am the moderator and that my sole moderating function is keeping trolls out. I will moderate for content only if I see spam or something clearly illegal or obscene.

Technical continuity
The questions of host reliability and backups has been brought up elsewhere. My experience with this host is that they are reliable but not perfect. An hours long outage once or twice per year is possible but that's what you get for $5 a month. It's a free forum for non-trolls. My opinion is that an occasional outage is no big deal but I am happy to pass on the responsibility and expense to anyone who insists on better. The issue of backups in case of complete failure is easily handled. Trust me on that.

My motives
My purpose is to show how easy it is to set up a fully functional discussion forum with minimal effort and at negligible cost. There is value to all in gathering at one place so taking off from M* is not a good thing. However, if M* does not care enough about their forums to send in a cop to stop the rampant vandalism, then it's time for the neighbors to start discussing what to do about saving their neighborhood themselves.

You can save your own neighborhood. You don't have to put up with neglect from city hall. Something like this is both possible and easy.

One last thing. I would hope that any new forum, whether it's this one or one somewhere else, would not require its members to put up with advertising. Of course it costs money to keep a forum running but it's not very much money. There is certainly no reason to subject the members to pages with ad after ad after ad, blinking and flashing, offering services that most Diehards wouldn't dream of recommending themselves.

Followup
This thread is being left open for replies. If you have responses to any of the above or suggestions for policy, please put them in here.
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Bylo Selhi
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Re: Open issues

Post by Bylo Selhi »

First, let me congratulate Phoenix for taking the initiative to do something about M*'s benign neglect over the continued vandalization of the Vanguard Diehards forum. Thank you.

Second, FWIW I know Phoenix personally. I can attest to his sincerity and his altruism. I'm confident that there are no hidden catches, ulterior motives (or forthcoming ads ;)) To that end I'm willing to lend a hand and donate some cash to keep this forum viable, independent and free.

Third, in case anyone doubts that I am who I claim to be, Mel or Taylor can e-mail me and I'll confirm that this really is me.

Cheers...Bylo
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tfb
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domain name

Post by tfb »

Pending development elsewhere, we should assume this forum is here to stay. Even if M* acts on the trolling issue, it's unlikely to act on

- excessive ads on the forum
- lack of good features in its software
- M* owning what we write

How about reserving a domain name? diehardsforum.com or diehardsforum.org are both available. Let's grab one of those for $6 a year before cybersquatters take them.
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.
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tashina
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Post by tashina »

I can vouch for Phoenix as well.

Some of you (over at Morningstar and here) have questioned, mostly jokingly, if he is Hocus.

I am an administrator (helping out John Greaney) at the retireearlyhomepage.com forums. I go by my real name online. I have access to IP address locations, and can tell you with as much assurance as is possible online that Phoenix is not Hocus. I have corresponded privately with Phoenix enough over time to know who he is IRL and he seems to me to be a very technically capable and reasonable person.

I have volunteered to help out with any administration or moderation that this board needs. I have no interest in being the primary admin, because I am not familiar with all your topics, but I'd be happy to help move posts to proper locations and keeping an eye out for troublemakers and spammers. I'm online a lot in the afternoons/evenings.
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Forum name

Post by Wagnerjb »

I would like to second TFB's suggestion to get a domain name. I would glaldy send a donation to help defray those costs if necessary.

Please do not choose to name the site "Bogleheads". My experience is that use of Vanguard funds is one of the primary common themes bringing us together. While many people follow Bogle's advice, I suspect there are more who follow folks like Bernstein, Malkiel, Fama/French and Sharpe.

I vote for something like the Vanguard Forum or the Diehards (and only if legal problems prevent this from being called the Vanguard Diehard forum).

Best wishes.
Andy
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Bylo Selhi
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Re: Forum name

Post by Bylo Selhi »

Wagnerjb wrote:I would like to second TFB's suggestion to get a domain name.
Perhaps we should explore this option first:
Phoenix in thread [i]A port in a storm[/i] wrote:If diehards.org is willing to host this forum, I am willing to do my best to set the software up for them and pass them the database.
ISTM that diehards.org is already up and running. It already draws a lot of traffic from "Diehards." It would be dead easy to integrate this forum into it so that people would have a single point of entry to both forums. Of course the sponsors of diehards.org, Alex and Larry, would have to agree.

P.S. There are many ways to integrate this forum with diehards.org that range from something very simple like a link from there to here, to hosting this forum on their server, to something much more sophisticated like integrating threads from both forums into a single "virtual" forum, etc.
Last edited by Bylo Selhi on Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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indexfundfan
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Post by indexfundfan »

I agree that we should get a domain name. The current link is simply too difficult to use.
My signature has been deleted.
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tfb
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diehards.org

Post by tfb »

I agree. Having the diehards.org domain name is ideal. They can either take over the hosting or simply alter their DNS records and point the diehards.org domain over here. That does not have to be mutually exclusive with obtaining a domain name for this forum though. If diehards.org takes over hosting, we can point diehardsforum.org (or whatever name we pick) over to their place. If diehards.org decides to point here, then both names point to here. If they decide to stay with M*, then we have our name, they have theirs.
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.
brama
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Two things

Post by brama »

Great work so far on the new forum.

Two quick inputs:
1. I agree on the need for a better domain name. Pointing diehards.org to here seems to be the best solution, but of course requires the consent of the owners of that site.

2. Would it be so bad to have some ads on the forum? Google text ads might have minimal visual impact and annoyance to the users. I would envision some sort of non-profit could be set up that receives the revenue and uses it to pay for the hosting of the site, and maybe one day it could grow to be enough to pay for Diehards conventions or other activities?
I'm not married to this idea, but wanted to raise it for discussion or a quick shoot-down.

Thanks,
Bram
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oneleaf
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Post by oneleaf »

Would it be better to have a reasonable annual signup or annual fee? Or would ads be preferable?

I tend to agree with Phoenix in the first post, that it would be great to find a way to continue without putting up with ads.
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simba
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Post by simba »

indexfundfan wrote:I agree that we should get a domain name. The current link is simply too difficult to use.
For now we can use this tiny link until the issue of domainname or alternatives are resolved.

http://tinyurl.com/27umzp

For those who want to know the Terms of use of Tinyurl
Terms of use:

TinyURL was created as a free service to make posting long URLs easier, and may only be used for actual URLs. Using it for spamming or illegal purposes is forbidden and any such use will result in the TinyURL being disabled and you may be reported to all ISPs involved and to the proper governmental agencies. This service is provided without warranty of any kind.
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indexfundfan
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Post by indexfundfan »

I still have a leftover domain name from my hosting package. I offer to register it if needed. We just need to settle on the name.
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Phoenix
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Post by Phoenix »

I have registered diehardsforum.org. Thanks to tfb for the suggestion.

The name is already being propagated to other name servers. After things have settled down, 24 hours or so, I will move this forum over there.

If it is decided eventually that the forum should hang off diehards.org or be owned by a non-profit entity agreeable to the M* VGDH founders, I will transfer ownership of the domain name gratis. Consider the $6 out of my pocket a donation to a worthy cause.
Griz
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Post by Griz »

Phoenix,

Make sure the version of the forum you are using is up to date. You may even have to get the ZIP from phpbb.com itself, as I have seen in years of running forums the versions on web hosting are not always up to date. This must be ensured to not allow hi-jacking of the site itself. There are security flaws in older versions. Actually, I think phpbb has a new beta version out, which may be interesting to use.

-Jon
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oneleaf
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Post by oneleaf »

Griz wrote:Phoenix,

Make sure the version of the forum you are using is up to date. You may even have to get the ZIP from phpbb.com itself, as I have seen in years of running forums the versions on web hosting are not always up to date. This must be ensured to not allow hi-jacking of the site itself. There are security flaws in older versions. Actually, I think phpbb has a new beta version out, which may be interesting to use.

-Jon
Actually, should we even continue with phpbb? I don't know if the new beta version has fixed all of the flaws, but I know that many forums have moved from phpbb due to a plethora of security nightmares. Can read some more about it here. Some issues are privilige escalation, spambots being hard to control, and also xss vulnerabilities.

Does anyone know if it is worth going to any other softwares? Just wanted to bring it up since it's always best to figure it out earlier rather than migrate later.
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Phoenix
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Post by Phoenix »

The phpBB version is up to date, with no known security vulnerabilities. I have looked at the beta of phpBB 3 and it is very whizzbang featurewise but I would be a lot more worried about security vulnerabilities in it.
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simba
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Signatures

Post by simba »

A request to prevent signatures (gif/jpg/links to other sites) - although one liners text signatures are okay.

I am not sure what others think but I am okay with one having an avatar and displaying one line text signatures. Having gifs/images as signatures is a distraction in my opinion.

What do others think?
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Bylo Selhi
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Re: Signatures

Post by Bylo Selhi »

simba wrote:What do others think?
Agreed. Avatars are already restricted to 100x100 pixels. Images in signatures, especially large and/or animated ones, should be discouraged, if not banned outright.

That said, give Phoenix a while to catch his breath. He's done more to improve the functionality of the Vanguard Diehards forum in one day than M* did in 10 years.
Wagnerjb
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Improved functionality

Post by Wagnerjb »

That said, give Phoenix a while to catch his breath. He's done more to improve the functionality of the Vanguard Diehards forum in one day than M* did in 10 years

Hear Hear!!

I authored a new post while I was in the Off Topic forum and posted it, but I meant for it to be in the regular forum. I immediately noticed that it posted in the Off Topic forum and went out to move it. Not figuring out how to do this (help for the future?), I simply deleted the post. Then I went to the regular forum and started over with a new post.

I wouldn't even dream of this capability in the old forum

Thanks Phoenix :D
Andy
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Post by norm »

Griz wrote:Phoenix,

Make sure the version of the forum you are using is up to date. You may even have to get the ZIP from phpbb.com itself, as I have seen in years of running forums the versions on web hosting are not always up to date. This must be ensured to not allow hi-jacking of the site itself. There are security flaws in older versions. Actually, I think phpbb has a new beta version out, which may be interesting to use.

-Jon
Jon,

I have belonged to two forums for a few years that use phpbb and there has never been any security problems as far as I know.
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DRiP Guy
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Re: Signatures

Post by DRiP Guy »

simba wrote:A request to prevent signatures (gif/jpg/links to other sites) - although one liners text signatures are okay.

...

Having gifs/images as signatures is a distraction in my opinion.

What do others think?
Agree - bloated photo sigs are a redundant and messy drag, just to boost somebody's ego.
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CountryBoy
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Thanks to Phoenix

Post by CountryBoy »

Thanks for your great work Phoenix!

You are doing great!

Country Boy
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orthros
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Re: Signatures

Post by orthros »

simba wrote:A request to prevent signatures (gif/jpg/links to other sites) - although one liners text signatures are okay.

I am not sure what others think but I am okay with one having an avatar and displaying one line text signatures. Having gifs/images as signatures is a distraction in my opinion.

What do others think?
I'm fine with this. Only a slight tweak: I'd allow one liners with a blog web site written by the author. It's how I find my favorite blogs.
johndcraig

Numbering?

Post by johndcraig »

Phoenix

Great job on this forum.

Is it possible to number threads and posts as per the M* forum? I appreciate the fact that this forum has excellent search capabilities, but how does one easily refer someone to an earlier thread or even to an earlier post within a very long thread?

Thanks

John
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Bylo Selhi
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Re: Numbering?

Post by Bylo Selhi »

johndcraig wrote:Is it possible to number threads and posts as per the M* forum? I appreciate the fact that this forum has excellent search capabilities, but how does one easily refer someone to an earlier thread or even to an earlier post within a very long thread?
Like so :arrow: http://www.diehards.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2532#2532 (which, as it happens, if you go there will also answer your questions in more detail ;) )
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simba
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Show Topic ID

Post by simba »

Phoenix/Alex,

There's a lot of interest in the topic ID showing up the viewforum. Any way you can install this mod?
Show Topic ID on Viewforum
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Re: Show Topic ID

Post by CyberBob »

simba wrote:There's a lot of interest in the topic ID showing up the viewforum.
It's just a number, so why the interest, unless you are going to reference something by that number. But doing it that way is not the best way to do it because it still involves someone going out to search for that number.

Bylo suggested the best way. Just click on the little Image icon and make a direct link to where you want to reference. The actual number would then be irrelevant.

I don't quite see why the actual number is important. Or am I missing something?

Bob
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Bylo Selhi
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Re: Show Topic ID

Post by Bylo Selhi »

CyberBob wrote:It's just a number, so why the interest, unless you are going to reference something by that number. But doing it that way is not the best way to do it because it still involves someone going out to search for that number.
In the M* forums there's a Jump To field by which you can go directly to a conversation. I'm not aware that there's anything comparable with this forum software. In any case it's much more convenient to search by keyword once you get used to the idea. But if all you know is a thread or post number, you can manually plug it into a URL, i.e. thread http://www.diehards.org/forum/viewtopic ... ][b][i]nnn[/i][/b][/u] or post http://www.diehards.org/forum/viewtopic ... [b][i]nnnn[/i][/b]#nnnn[/u] in order to get a direct link.
I don't quite see why the actual number is important. Or am I missing something?
I think it's just something that people are familiar with on M* so they want it here too.
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simba
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Re: Show Topic ID

Post by simba »

Bylo Selhi wrote:I think it's just something that people are familiar with on M* so they want it here too.
Bob - Agree with Bylo. It's more of a familiarity issue. Personally I would use the direct link but others may not. Since the technology is new it may take some time getting used to it.

There were some others who requested the topic id.

There was another issue with a user wanting to print a topic. Currently the option is to cut and paste into a doc or select a portion of the topic that you want to print. There is a mod/update available called Printer-friendly topic mod that removes all the avatars etc and makes the printing easier.

Again just because it is possible does not mean it has to be implemented but knowing we have options is always good.
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CyberBob
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Re: Show Topic ID

Post by CyberBob »

Bylo Selhi wrote:In any case it's much more convenient to search by keyword once you get used to the idea.
Have you tried the Search function on this board yet?
I just did, and WOW!, it's 1,000% better than the search at M*.
I especially like that you can easily search for a particular term AND author at the same time. Marvelous!
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tfb
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What's going on with diehards.org?

Post by tfb »

I thought diehards.org is going to host this forum? But after a weekend of upgrades, it just added a link to this forum and disabled the search for M* forum. Is it done for its transition?
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.
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tashina
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Re: What's going on with diehards.org?

Post by tashina »

tfb wrote:I thought diehards.org is going to host this forum? But after a weekend of upgrades, it just added a link to this forum and disabled the search for M* forum. Is it done for its transition?
Yes, Diehards.org will be hosting. It hasn't been moved yet. Phoenix had to leave town unexpectedly. He should be back soon and then we'll make the transition.

tashina
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