I'm not sure this is the best place for this, but here goes...
I have a forum on Nabble that is almost 4 years old and is thriving, adding about a new member per day. We have lots of in-depth discussions and technical details that we do not want to lose. So roughly one year ago when Franklin announced that Nabble has little, if any, future Greg and I started talking about converting our forums to something else, but eventually realized that there is no migration from Nabble.
I then suggested running an instance of Nabble on our own servers and uploading our backups there. After some discussion I hired Pedro, who had been a sys admin at Nabble, to bring up an instance of Nabble on some Amazon Web Services servers I rented for the purpose. Pedro did and our backups loaded nicely, but he then ran into problems getting the email notifications working properly.
We asked Franklin for help and he suggested Filimonov help us. Filimonov brought an instance of Nabble up on his own server, sorted out the email problems, and Pedro is now supposed to port that to the AWS servers. When that happens, ASAP, we believe we'll have a fully functional instance of Nabble that is from back when the code went open source, meaning before the latest changes were made.
I say all of that to say that I've already spent quite a bit of money getting this far, and fully intend to get it going ASAP so I can continue to run my forum as it is. However, the recent changes at Nabble have caused many people problems such that I am now considering offering to host other Nabble forums on the same instance. But I really don't want to go into business as I'm already retired from IT.
Given that, I'm wanting to know what is needed and if there is an easy way to help a few people. One option would be to host locked, or static, forums for people like Harvey who has moved on. But that may not help others who have spent a lot of time and effort and don't want to migrate to something else.
So, y'all tell me - what do you need? And, are you willing to pay? I'm currently spending ~$50/month on the servers and email system, and with additional traffic that is going to go up. So I'd want to cover whatever the costs are.
And, this will be, for the most part, a static environment. Meaning there won't be any changes to Nabble that disable what we have, although I'd seriously like to get the Assistant Admin role working. Also, there won't be much, if any support. Right now uploading a backup is onerous and while I've uploaded mine it isn't something I want to do, and certainly don't want to do for others. So we'd have to figure out that part.
Anyway, what are your thoughts? What are your needs? And are you willing to pay something to meet them?
I have a private forum with about 20 or so members - it has been going for over 8 yrs now and I started it as Nabble was recommended for embedding in Blogger. We do not have a vast amount of traffic - maybe 5 or so posts a day.
I would like to continue with this forum if I could - rather than try out a new one again from scratch as we have lots of information and photos posted that we would like to save.
I have looked at Proboards but would rather just continue as I am if I could.
We would not mind paying a smallish amount each month - we used to pay at one time with Nabble to have adverts removed.
I'm sure Gary will explain further, but as I understand it, he is hoping to get Nabble software fully running on the server he is renting.
At the moment I understand things are working sufficiently to allow forum backups to be uploaded and made accessible to users according the current settings of that forum. That would provide protection from Franklin deleting a forum on Nabble with insufficient notice. Old posts would continue to be accessible to users.
However, I don't believe that, currently, things are working well enough to be able to host forums that continue to receive new posts and issue subscription emails.
I understand the ambition is not just to get the server fully working but also reverse some of the settings that Franklin introduced some months ago, in particular the combining the "Anyone" and "Registered" groups. Ideally he would also wish to create an "Assistant Admin" group, as there are a number of permissions that an admin gets that one dare not give to members who might be trustworthy with basic moderation of a busy forum.
I know Gary is not wanting to create a business and is not seeking loads of customers. As I understand it all that is sought is just enough people to share the server costs and that those who do accept it's an "as is" service and make no requests for new features.
So I think it's a case of saying whether all you need is an archive because you plan to move future forum traffic to a new board, and how much that is worth to you, or saying that if Gary could fully host your forum you you'd want to move it across, and how much that would be worth to you. Although I guess there may be other possibilities.
If you don't want to make figures public just add email@example.com to my username and I will forward your email to him.
Luckily our forum seems to be working fine as it is (fingers crossed!). We might be having more than the five posts a day that I mentioned but nothing really huge - as we only have about 20 active members and do not plan on getting any more as it is a private group.
So we would not need any attention regarding amendments/updates etc - just somewhere to be hosted. 'As is' would be fine by us.
I suppose it would depend on the costs really - whether to carry on the forum as is, or to maybe get it archived and just continue with a new forum elsewhere - though we'd surely have to pay for the archived one too.
I assume that Franklin's strategy is to continue to introduce measures to reduce his costs and see how many leave, so he can, eventually, get all that are left on a single server, his stated aim.
There are no converters available that allow you to transfer a Nabble forum to another platform. Unless someone comes along who is also able to set up another server offering a fully commercial service then, if you are not lucky and are not hosted on the server Franklin chooses to keep, eventually the choice will become to be amongst those who contribute to Gary's costs or lose your forum.
As I understand it Gary is not wanting to have scores of folk to deal with as customers. He just wants a handful to share the server costs and reduce his to a sustainable level.
That's why it's important for him that people make offers saying I'm prepared to pay X for you to host an archive (with the expectation that you will host a replacement forum on Proboards or some other service) or y to host my forum if you get the server fully working.