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Thread: FencingArchive.net - Game Over

  1. #1

    Default FencingArchive.net - Game Over

    Hi All,

    Some of you will have been familiar with FencingArchive.net - a number of you have helped, commented, advised and critiqued (helpfully) the site however it is now time to put that part of British fencing history behind us. The site was always a one-man effort and despite the positive feedback it received it was always a bit of a struggle to keep it updated and stable. It collapsed again earlier in the year and by the time I had got round to taking a look at it GDPR had arrived. I looked at whether or not the site would fall foul of GDPR and to date I'm still not really sure. I'm unwilling to take on the risk of having to pay a €20m fine (and I'm also unwilling to fund a lawyer to advise me), so it's time to close the doors.

    I've learnt a lot through the process, initially the site started as a procedurally-writted PHP site running on a shared VPS and over time it moved to an AWS ElasticBeanstalk application, then a Laravel aplication running on a Docker stack on Azure. Initially there was a whole separate site for mobile devices until I learnt about responsive frameworks. I've learnt about funding a site through online advertising (pro-tip: it basically doesn't work. I've earned about £360 over the course of 5 years through advertising, however hosting costs ran at about £50 per month for most of that time. Fencing just isn't a big enough market to attract decent-sized advertisers).

    It's a shame that British Fencing never took the project on (there were discussions in 2014 but they never went anywhere) - this is the sort of service that I feel they should be running for members, however they don't seem to see it that way.

    It's been fun, but it's time to do other things now.

    mattc

  2. #2
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    A great shame, always thought it had great potential, with some fun attributes. When you had it up and running and in full swing it was always good seeing Results up promptly.
    What a waste of what could have been a great tool for BF.
    But Heh Good Luck in your future endeavours mattc

  3. #3
    Senior Member danKew's Avatar
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    Matt, do you have a SQL dump of your data? If you do, may I have it?

  4. #4
    ***** Legend hokers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattc View Post
    however hosting costs ran at about £50 per month for most of that time.
    Damn that's a lot for hosting - what were your hosting requirements in terms of space and bandwidth? Surely there have to be cheaper hosts out there?

    Shame to see it's not continuing - I hadn't thought it was being updated with recent results for a while, but I thought it was a good concept.
    “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

  5. #5

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    £50 per month was my total monthly AWS bill - there was other stuff on the account too but fencingarchive.net was the most significant project. I could have reduced the bill but I used the project to learn about various aspects of running 'big' web projects, therefore I was doing things like running load-balancers so that I could auto-scale the application servers. None of that was really necessary to handle the load (although I almost fainted when I received an automated email to tall me that the app servers had scaled up to handle traffic WITHOUT me running some tests. Beijing 2016 did have some impact on me!).

    In keeping with the spirit of GDPR I probably shouldn't distribute the underlying data and I probably shouldn't tell you that the most recent backup is here: https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/b...-26T000001.sql and I definitely shouldn't tell you that I haven't yet realised that this is publicly accessible...

  6. #6

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    Interestingly, although the human traffic to the site was quite low, the shear number of pages meant that there was a continual load from search engine crawlers (and other crawlers) - which I had to pay for, of course...

  7. #7
    Senior Member danKew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattc View Post
    In keeping with the spirit of GDPR I probably shouldn't distribute the underlying data and I probably shouldn't tell you that the most recent backup is here: https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/b...-26T000001.sql and I definitely shouldn't tell you that I haven't yet realised that this is publicly accessible...
    You're a star Matt. I've imported it all into my system and I'll whack a front end on it shortly - so all your hard work won't be lost

  8. #8
    Senior Member danKew's Avatar
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    So I had a couple of spare hours this evening, and here is the fencingarchive data imported into my system* and preserved - that's not just epee, but also all the foil and sabre data too.

    http://epee.me/fa/

    If I can get my head around how to merge the sites together without creating dupes, I'll do that too

    Thanks again Matt for sharing your hardwork

    * There are still a few anomalies I've noted - I'll fix those up in due course.

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