NING: And Other Mysteries of the ‘ChainLink Universe’

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A clarion call went out the other day:

Lost: One Chainlink Discussion
Posted by h’ 1.0 on July 16, 2013 at 9:21pm

Can anyone find this one? I tried and failed.
It had something to do with a cyclist’s death, and Crafty Cycling Chick asked what’s involved in assembling a Ghost Bike. I tried to copy the info into the Ghost Bike group and NING disappeared it.

Something is happening that should not go unheeded:

Reply by Lisa Curcio 6.5 mi 15 hours ago
It appears that the Forum search function is not working at all! I have tried a couple of searches over the last couple of days that should have returned a lot of discussions, and it tells me there is nothing.

Reply by Julie Hochstadter 14 hours ago
Apparently NING’s search function isn’t working. Until it is fixed you can use google and start with: site:thechainlink.org

NING having hiccups is not a good thing. It should be noted that in addition to this situation there is still the question of how and what the “improvements” slated for the site will look like. What I have heard thus far does not make me feel “warm and fuzzy“.

Reply by Tony Adams 7 mi (dirtbag hipstr) 10 hours ago
This might be a good time for some re-asurrance that the Chainlink will be be moving to a non-Ning platform/solution when it gets upgraded?

Reply by in it to win it 8.0 mi 10 hours ago
What’s the upgrade timeline again?

It would appear that I am not alone in this sentiment.

Reply by h’ 1.0 9 hours ago
My question re: the upgrade is whether current content will be preserved. As obviated by this discussion, I use chainlink as kind of a notepad for some things (perhaps unwisely) and it would be a bummer if they went away. On that note– any help locating above-described discussion appreciated. It may have been one of the many Neil threads, or could have been a previous tragedy.

This is a fair question and should be answered in the affirmative.

Reply by Julie Hochstadter 6 hours ago
Search box has been added to above latest activity.
h’ – I’ll dig now and see if I can find it. If you have found it already, let me know.
Tony – Plan for now is to stay on NING. They are in the process of their own upgrade with a whole lot of improvements, open API, etc. Once they upgrade, we will reassess and if everything looks good, begin our redesign.

A Pig In A Poke

I was with you until I read that last line. Here’s why:

  • NING is both a service and a software package. If you plan to stay with NING fine, they will see to it that the conversion of your data is seamless. If not they should be told immediately that you demand a copy of the DATABASE in its entirety. This includes all of the TABLE definitions and that includes which are the KEY FIELDS. You should never walk away from NING without this information in hand.
  • If you are moving to a different software application you will likely have to know STRUCTURED QUERY LANGUAGE (SQL). But in addition to this you will also need to have a firm grasp of a procedural language like PHP to get the screens to display in a fashion that resembles what you current see in NING.
  • What surprises me is that NING is offering APIs as an upgrade. That technology is probably a decade or more old and should have been present in their product ages ago. In products like WordPress they call these Plugins. That particular product has a very streamlined and user-friendly means of installing and uninstalling such add-ons. You should look for that convenience in whatever you eventually move to (if you do not stay with NING).
  • If I were you however I would be doing some dual planning right now. It is far too late to decide after you have looked at the updated NING that you really want to change. Act as if you plan to do that now. Get the necessary information in hand and act accordingly.
  • Any good database system should allow you the luxury of doing a complete DUMP of the data in its DATABASE. Take the time to practice that now before you actually have to. Be certainly also to make sure you collect the IMAGES stored in your DATABASE. You are going to need a fairly hefty bit of hard drive space to make this possible (given the fact that you have folks who upload images each and every day following their morning ride).
  • You owe it to yourselves and your “customers” to do this thing right. At present it “sounds” as if you might be trying to “wing” this. Under no circumstances should you consider trying to do this without a great deal of planning nor should you let some knucklehead from the ChainLink Community give you “free advice” along the lines of “we can always take care of this later“. Trust me that this is not a group of technical wizards regardless of how they project themselves.