creating forums for cooperatives

14 Antworten [Letzter Beitrag]
jaisgossman
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Beigetreten: 06/18/2018

Hello world!

I am on a mission. I don't have a lot of knowledge to help me out, so I am throwing this line out into the ether to see if my mission might be able to be accomplished. My mission is to create a forum for a food cooperative that I am starting with some others, and eventually to host this forum on a server that is in our cooperative. However, I have very little know-how. I managed to get Trisquel installed on my own laptop, after I had used Linux Mint for some time (I no longer can use mint, for reasons unknown to me...)

But all that is beside the point of finding out what forum service I could use, and if there is a good one, how do I begin administering it? I have no knowledge of how to do this, but after numerous failed attempts in other directions, I am here, asking for advice. I want to learn how to build this forum service for our co-op members and volunteers "from the ground up", so that I might better be of service to that community.

What are the suggestions? Keep in mind I can't do it all at once. My mission is to have something semi-workable by March, so I will be taking baby steps. I consider it a learning process. Some basics of my situation: I am using Trisquel on an old acer laptop aspire 5610Z. I am trying to participate in the EOMA68 project on crowdsupply and hope to do some experimentation with that.

So, first steps first, what forum service should I use? Or am I getting ahead of myself?

jxself
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Beigetreten: 09/13/2010

From within Trisquel: sudo apt install phpbb3. Ta Da.

jaisgossman
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Beigetreten: 06/18/2018

cool! I did this... ran quite a few different things, some menus popped up that I forget now. I ran the install command a few different times seeing what would change when things seemed to fail. wish I could remember what some of the prompts that popped up were. this is what I get now.

jais@Ding-bat:~$ sudo apt install phpbb3
[sudo] password for jais:
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
phpbb3 is already the newest version (3.0.14-1ubuntu1).
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 38 not upgraded.
jais@Ding-bat:~$

So, where do I go from here? is there a resource that teaches php language? how should I get a simple forum hosted?

Magic Banana

I am a member!

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Beigetreten: 07/24/2010
jaisgossman
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Beigetreten: 06/18/2018

Okay maybe a change in tack....

I haven't really been able to figure out where I'm oriented in all this, but so it goes. I'll keep pushing that rock up the hill. One problem is I don't want to host this online yet, I just want to see how I can tool around with it.

A new idea I had, however, is more at the os level. I'm interested in the php language itself, and want to know how that works within an "offline" context. I like that one can leave a message for users of trisquel when prompted to re-login screen. I want to know what level this is happening at, and if that can be inspected in terminal.

Sasaki
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Beigetreten: 08/11/2014

Hello, if you want to learn how to make a forum, phpbb3 is indeed the solution. Looks like you want to learn php a bit, spip (spip.net) is a good cms with quite easy deployment and configuration, and a good learning curve. It includes a forum natively, that you will have to configure to suit your needs (see the official forum for an example).

For your food cooperative you may try foodsoft wich is a very useful tool. https://github.com/foodcoops/foodsoft

jaisgossman
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Beigetreten: 06/18/2018

wow! foodsoft looks incredible. I hope I can get up to speed with it, I really am starting from the beginning. by "cms" do you a content management system?

Magic Banana

I am a member!

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Beigetreten: 07/24/2010

Yes, he does.

Sasaki
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Beigetreten: 08/11/2014

I am actually trying to update the version that we use at our food cooperative. With the help of the developper, I will soon be able to write a comprehensive and complete tuto about how to install it.

Learn some basics with phpbb and/or spip, and I'll come back to help you with foodsoft.

jaisgossman
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Beigetreten: 06/18/2018

you rock

jaisgossman
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Beigetreten: 06/18/2018

I'm having trouble with the php install. I bought a domain on Bluehost (don't know if this is a good idea, but it is my learning space, so it should be). instituteforcreativeasylum.net. I'll be using this as a testing ground.

I'm working through the phpbb install guide and I'm hung up before even starting. here https://www.phpbb.com/support/docs/en/3.2/ug/quickstart/installation/ is where I am. "After you have decompressed the phpBB3 archive and uploaded the files to the location where you want it to be installed" I don't understand where this would be. am I supposed to uploading the files somewhere on the Bluehost server? how might that be done?

strypey
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Beigetreten: 05/14/2015

jaisgossman:
> "My mission is to create a forum for a food cooperative that I am starting with some others, and eventually to host this forum on a server that is in our cooperative."

This is great to hear! A few clarifying question. What exactly do you mean by a forum? Do you mean a set of discussion boards like these ones, where you will just talk about things that affect the cooperative, or other things you're all interested in? Or do you mean a set of software to help you run and manage your food coop? If it's the latter, you might be interested in some of the free code software projects listed here (I have added Foodsoft, thanks for the tip Sasaki):
https://www.coactivate.org/projects/permaculture/food-coop-software/

When you say you want a server "in our cooperative", do you mean that your cooperative has a shop or an office somewhere, and you want the server to be a computer located there? Or do you just mean that you want the server running your forum software to be under the control of your coop, rather than managed by a third party?

jaisgossman
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Beigetreten: 06/18/2018

My aims for the forum are along those two lines. I think they are two separate pieces, but would like to see how they could fold into each other. The Foodsoft piece I think could be very useful for working with our sources, perhaps membership would be able to guide our inventory through that, but it would likely be just the core/board at the beginning. The forum I imagine to be more accessible to the general membership, and maybe even a more general public. I would like to determine how to schedule classes and what classes might be through this forum.

For both of these, I think having control of the server means housing it. However, I'm not sure how feasible that is right now, with my level of competence. Security is one question I have. It seems to be a tradeoff of whether to pay for something like Discourse, since that would provide security, but I also have to pay for. I don't want to pay for something that our members won't be using, hence my wanting to learn how to do it myself. Doing it myself seems to open us up to a less secure system that I might not understand. We are building the cooperative slowly, so because of that, I imagine I can work on this forum slowly as well. I think of it as learning ingredients, technological and nutritive!

strypey
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Beigetreten: 05/14/2015

I'm in a similar boat. I want to be able to be more self-sufficient when it comes to network services, and to able to mentor others to upskill themselves, just like I can when it comes to fixing computers (although I still need to seek expert help here from time to time ;). But it can be tricky to figure out where to start. I think the MVP wisdom helps here; start with the very simplest thing that could possibly work, and then build out from there.

If you have access to a spare computer, or you can afford to buy a 2nd-hand one (it doesn't have to be very new as long as it works), I suggest you experiment with self-hosting services just for yourself, or maybe a few trusted family and close friends, using a self-hosting distro like FreedomBome or YUNOHost:
https://freedombone.net/
https://yunohost.org/

That way you can learn a bit about running a server, and some of the security measures you can take to protect it, without making your coop members serve as guinea pigs ;-P

> I think having control of the server means housing it. However, I'm not sure how feasible that is right now, with my level of competence. Security is one question I have.

The first thing to think about is your threat model. Things are never either "secure" or "not secure". You have to think about what you're securing against. When it comes to housing a server, that includes:
* having to move the server all the time, especially from building to building. That will result in unreliable service, and potential damage to the server during moves.
* the server getting wet because the building isn't watertight, or overheating because there isn't a sufficiently cool place to keep it.
* the internet connection to the building, or the account with the ISP, being insufficiently reliable for 24/7 server uptime.
* someone stealing the server because they think that can sell it for crack money (honestly, it's more likely to be something like that than the Men in Black ;)
* and yes, the possibility of someone entering your building and trying to crack into the server by physically accessing it.

If you don't have a place to house the server that you can secure against these threats, either a space used by the coop, or in your own home or office, you're probably better to start off with leasing server resources from a datacentre for anything you're going to make your coop members dependent on.

I also suggest you make contact with the folks from social.coop. They are a bunch of cooperatives geeks, and some of them are also sysadmin geeks, eg the ones who run the social.coop Mastodon instance. Their Loomio group is here:
https://www.loomio.org/d/0RHZmGUB/

Depending on what country you're in, I could also potentially put you in touch with a tech coop coalition/ network that could support you with some mentoring.

Sasaki
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Beigetreten: 08/11/2014

Hi ! I managed to install an instance of foodsoft on our cooperative server.

The recommended way is to use the docker image. If you know some basics about docker and mysql, you should do it without much problems.

simply run

docker pull foodcoops/foodsoft

and follow the recommedations on the wiki about the deployment. You'll have to use an old version of mysql (like 5.5.

docker pull mysql:5.5

I've beginned to write the step by step tutorial, it will be uploaded soon.