On the future of TOSP

So, while I have plenty of blogging time to on my hands, I have decided to think a bit about the future of this blog, and the project as a whole. Here are some ideas that I’ve considered trying, I’d really appreciate some feedback on them.

Blogging ideas

Buffered posting

TOSP’s posting rate is generally bi-weekly most of the time, but jumps between weekly and daily when I’ve got lots of spare time on my hands (which typically happens during summer holidays), and can go has low as monthly when hell gets loose in my life (typically in the beginning and the end of a school year). Now, as a semi-regular webcomic reader, I know how annoying irregular posting rates can get, so I was wondering : given the option, would you rather have me buffer posts during lucky days so that you get a more regular posting rate, or do you prefer to always get the latest and greatest post as soon as possible like it’s done today ?

Moving to a new host

This one is for when I’ll have some money to spend, which should occur around November. Currently, TOSP benefits from free hosting at wordpress.com, and I’ve got to say that it’s probably the most awesome blogging package that one can get for the price. However, there still are some annoying limitations in there, such as the way I am unable to use my storage space for anything other than pictures and office documents, the fact that I would have to pay a significant extra to tweak my CSS, or the total lack of control which I have on the ads that are displayed to people who are not registered members.

Due to this, I’ve been pondering moving to a paying host for some time. Without looking very far, I can easily find hosts for something between $5/month to $7/month, domain name registration included. The thing is, looking at advertising revenue for low-traffic websites, it seems unlikely that I will be able to recoup these costs through subtle and tasteful advertising alone. And although I am perfectly fine with dedicating a few hours of my monthly spare time to this blog without expecting anything in return, I do not feel very comfortable with throwing money at something without any hope of ever getting it back. Hosting my blog myself does not sound like a good idea either, since I don’t have enough time and knowhow to get into such a huge undertaking. Any other idea ?

Code and documentation ideas

So, Sourceforge.net have sent me a rather important mail recently. Apparently, in a few months, they are going to discontinue several hosted web apps on the platform, and this includes Trac, which I currently use to store TOSP’s (ill-updated) documentation, milestones, and bug reporting mechanism. So now, either I decide to install and maintain a copy of Trac myself, which seems like a time-consuming bad idea, or I move the whole thing somewhere else, like on Sourceforge’s new CMS or Github (I like them as a project host as much as I hate using git as a tool). I guess now is the right time to ask : what would you expect from the replacement of this trac app ? Do you want new content ? New features ? Have other open source project hosting ideas ? Feel free to comment !

3 thoughts on “On the future of TOSP

  1. Amenel August 5, 2012 / 6:15 pm

    I haven’t come around here for a very long time (Opera lists 99 unread blog posts) but I’ve always enjoyed reading this blog. My two cents: you do what suits you. Posting rate is a matter of taste. Some like it regular, others don’t care. I don’t. Because I know people have a life and life can get hectic some times. Mine has been, launching my translation business, which explains why I’ve been away. So I suggest you keep it as it is – irregular. I don’t see why “regular” should be a requisite. It’s not like you were making a living out of blogging. Are you?

    As to hosting, I happen to have tried out a few hosters in France and my current best is PlanetHoster. Worst is e-clicking. OVH is way too restrictive. I’ve heard horror stories about 1&1 so I don’t recommend them.

    I don’t think hosting a blog system-powered website is much of a “huge undertaking”. With cPanel and Scriptaculous, I think it should be painless.

  2. Hadrien August 6, 2012 / 10:14 am

    Make a living out of blogging on OSdeving matters? I wouldn’t know how even if I wanted to :) No, I was more concerned about reader convenience. So far, I’ve been assuming that for blogs that are updated less than weekly, regular readers would use mail notifications or the RSS/Atom equivalent. But I know that for more frequently updated publications, like OSnews or webcomics with three updates per week, I find it more convenient to regularly poll the homepage, in which case irregularities in the publication rate become a frustration. So… Just wondering if some readers did that with TOSP.

    As for hosting, thanks for your suggestions! Indeed, PlanetHoster’s offering sounds interesting, and it’s pleasant to see a good host that speaks my language. Now, when I talked about huge undertakings, I mentioned the possibility of hosting the thing myself. I’ve once managed to get an Apache server on my home computer visible on the web as an experiment, but that was enough to convince me that a good hosting service that will take care of server hardware, network connections, and software for me, while magically keeping the whole thing up all the time, is definitly worth the monthly bill. I agree that getting my blog transferred on one of those, on the other hand, would likely be a piece of cake.

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