The software that runs this website is called "Stack Exchange 1.0".

Stack Exchange 2.0 is coming: http://blog.stackexchange.com/post/518474918/stack-exchange-2-0

First the good news: Stack Exchange 2.0 is going to be free.

Now the bad news: The current version of SQLA (using Stack Exchange 1.0 software) will probably be shut down on Tuesday, July 13, 2010... that's the date displayed on the SQLA "admin" page. This is not my idea... I'm just finding out about it now.

Migrating to Stack Exchange 2.0 software is not simply a technical exercise, otherwise I wouldn't be asking what you think.

If you care about SQLA then please read this long blog post and tell us what you think: http://blog.stackexchange.com/post/518474918/stack-exchange-2-0

asked 14 Apr '10, 10:31

Breck%20Carter's gravatar image

Breck Carter
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2

If you don't respond to this poll then you are implicitly voting "thumbs down" on SQLA... so govern yourself accordingly! :)

(14 Apr '10, 13:20) Breck Carter
2

From a fairly brief time watching SQLA, I see that it does 2 things that the Sybase newsgroups don't: 1) Ranks contributors with credibility/karma/whatever you want to call them points. 2) Allows answers to be ranked, so you can read the most valuable/complete answer first

I think both of those characteristics have value. Now PHPBB lets you rank users, so there's an alternative for (1) that is truly open source. I don't have an immediate alternative to cover (2), but I expect they are out there.

So, is Stack Exchange worth the pain for you?

(14 Apr '10, 14:12) Rob Waywell
3

I prefer SQLA over NNTP newgroups (and of course HTML based forums) for usability and efficiency. IMHO the concept is fine (and proven to be functional), but this place is not actually crowded and could use more publicity. The criteria allowing Stack Exchange 2.0 sites to exists (and go public) are not really clear to me, but that's another topic.

(14 Apr '10, 15:04) Reimer Pods
3

One question that wasn't answered well in Joel's blog post was if the reputation that users of SQLA 1.0 will count when they are "deciding" if they will allow the creation of a SQLA 2.0. The only example he used was reputation on StackOverflow. Almost by definition, the fact that this site exists means that the users of this community probably won't have much reputation on StackOverflow.

(14 Apr '10, 18:56) Chris Kleisath
1

@Chris - Its not very clear is it, but the vibes don't feel too good if you compare the stats at http://www.stackexchange.com/directory/list?sort=1 with their critera in the blog post. At the current levels of usage (and they aren't likely to change much by July) I fear SQLA is toast on the SE platform.

(14 Apr '10, 19:28) Justin Willey
1

@Rob: I agree with your matter-of-factly analysis of the 2 important points and would add a 3rd (emotional) point as "It runs on the cool SO software" - I'm no SO contributor so far (and as such possibly would not contribute much to vote-up SQLA to SE 2.0) but until now the close relationship seemed fancy. - Now it looks more of a bondage...

(14 Apr '10, 20:33) Volker Barth
1

@Rob: Just 2 more points: 4) The possibility to edit (i.e. correct or improve) all entries and 5) The focus on creating more general "answers" (for a broader audience) than just answering a NNTP question. Personally, I think I put more involvement in my contributions here than in the newsgroups just as the focus seems broader - more examples, more sidenotes and the like. (And I hope it's worthwhile.)

(14 Apr '10, 20:59) Volker Barth
1

@Volker - on the what's good list, I think the tagging system (though it could be improved) has a lot going for it (especially with the ability to re-tag questions)

(14 Apr '10, 21:19) Justin Willey

@Rob: Feel free to start a SQL Anywhere site using phpbb. I've seen it in action and it's crapware when compared with the StackExchange / StackOverflow software... so good luck!

(15 Apr '10, 11:57) Breck Carter
1

@Justin: Please post your thoughts on tagging: how it should be done, etcetera. I have my own opinions but... one of those opinions is that my opinions aren't working that well :)

(15 Apr '10, 11:58) Breck Carter
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Several people have asked the question (in one form or another): "What is Sybase iAnywhere going to do about this?"

Let me be clear, I am not answering that question just yet. Why? Because we don't exactly know what we are going to do.

That said, however, those of us within Sybase who have participated in the SQLA experiment have been quite busy discussing what we could do. While we have remained silent in this public forum, we have been quite vocal among ourselves.

In particular, we have been following all the discussion in this thread with much interest.

So, while I can't offer a solution just yet, I want to be absolutely clear:

We do not want to let this SQLA community die, and together, I am sure we will come up with something that will enable it to continue.

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answered 16 Apr '10, 13:30

Chris%20Kleisath's gravatar image

Chris Kleisath
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accept rate: 38%

edited 16 Apr '10, 20:22

Thanks for this clear statement - this is what I have hoped to hear:) And I fully agree that it's too early to know exactly what to do.

(16 Apr '10, 14:01) Volker Barth

I would personally like to see SQLA move to Stack Exchange 2.0. It's a valuable resource for me and my business. Also, the interface is better than a traditional newsgroup interface.

I hope it keeps going... Good Luck!

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answered 14 Apr '10, 15:04

Brad%20Wery's gravatar image

Brad Wery
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accept rate: 0%

1

I didn't see the part in the blog post about stackexchange owning all the groups. I would rather it be independent. This OSQA option looks pretty cool.

(14 Apr '10, 18:44) Brad Wery

I would also like to see SQLA to continue.

The StackExchange Layout has proven to be a useful interface. If we find a Open Source replacement it's fine for me. The Open Source alternative would make it possible for Sybase to host SQLA later for the community. It would be a good addition to the current support offerings and could be a replacement for the existing support via news groups.

Thanks for the good work Breck.

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answered 14 Apr '10, 18:23

Thomas%20Duemesnil's gravatar image

Thomas Dueme...
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I love how SQLA works... and I love all you guys that make this a great community. I can also tell you that I've won over the hearts of a couple non-belivers in SQL Anywhere by pointing out the existence of SQLA.

The one thing I haven't liked about Stack Exchange in general, is that it is held by a private company that has no interest in the success of the SQL Anywhere as a product. What can happen is what Joel says is happening -- SE 1.0 is going away.

The fact that SQLA is owned (I think) by Breck, hasn't bothered me a bit. He has contributed countless hours in this... out of pure graciousness as far as I can tell. But he does have a personal interest in the success of the product. Once the $149/month bills start hitting Breck's mailbox, I was wondering if it would still work for him. (I was privately rooting for an advertising model if necessary, but that doesn't work unless you have a substantial volume of page views.)

What if Breck went away and focused instead on MySQL group? (Breck is already on record with a blog post extolling the virtues of MySQL ;-)

This platform (SQLA) has given me access to Sybase's best and brightest by posting here. I would really hate to see that go away.

I've been using what we now call SQL Anywhere since it was called Watcom SQL 2.0. But I could never find an NNTP client that I liked, so I never went to the newsgroups, instead either finding the answers the hard way, or just not ever using cool features about the product that I didn't know about (hello? Derived tables? I'm talking about you!) I've often wondered how much more popular SQL Anywhere would be if support wasn't primarily though NNTP.

Anyway, if the SE 2.0 model doesn't work, who knows what Joel and his investors will do next. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Meanwhile, having this open question hanging in the air really impedes the growth of SQLA. Who wants to invest in building a database of questions and answers if it it only going to disappear in July?

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answered 15 Apr '10, 20:39

Ron%20Hiner's gravatar image

Ron Hiner
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edited 16 Apr '10, 11:20

2

Arrgh, I forgot about that part, everything else is gonna run on MySQL. But... SQLA runs on SQL Server, and the important part is "someone else is running it", I'm an end user. If I hire a plumber, I don't care if he uses an astrolabe to fix my pipes as long as they get fixed. If I was building SQLA from scratch, no question: web services running inside SQL Anywhere.

(16 Apr '10, 08:35) Breck Carter
2

Just to add: while the NNTP newgroups are hosted by iAnywhere, in my understanding they were never an official part of a SQL Anywhere support concept, even if Sybase employees take part in it (as they do here). Breck's approach with SQLA did show a new and promising path to better support. So I hope Sybase has recognized that and will do something appropriate.

(16 Apr '10, 08:40) Reimer Pods

Having heard form Breck this morning, I came and read this discussion and thought I should add a few comments:

  1. We'll be delighted to help you guys with OSQA, and I'm pretty sure you'll be delighted with the results.
  2. Although we have never yet tested OSQA with SQLAnywhere, we'll be happy to explore it, and there's a good chance we can get it to work. We happen to use PostgreSQL, but MySQL is also supported and other SQL back ends can be.
  3. You guys may want to start looking for a domain name of your own. The OpenID logins that most people use are tied to the hostname of the site, so if you have your own they will be a bit more portable.
  4. While we're happy to provide the refugee hosting we mentioned at StackExchange, you still may want to consider hosting your own OSQA in a shared hosting site. We expect to have WebFaction support very soon, and other hosting providers will follow.

I'm really sorry for all the stress everyone is feeling from the fear of disruption, but I think you have a neat community started here and everything will be OK.

Cheers,
Rick Ross

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answered 17 Apr '10, 11:50

Rick%20Ross's gravatar image

Rick Ross
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4

I have registered sqla.info, a small step forward after the huge setback :)

(17 Apr '10, 13:36) Breck Carter
4

@Rick: If you are willing to port to SQL Anywhere, you shall not want for assistance, advice and support... it shall rain down from the heavens upon thee! :)

(17 Apr '10, 13:44) Breck Carter
4

SQL Anywhere has support for Django. See http://code.google.com/p/sqlany-django/. If you're interested, I have a port of the Stackexchange database (via the XML data dump) at http://goo.gl/xM9a . Will be watching this space closely since we were also using SE, are on the market for a replacement, possibly one that can integrate with our SQL Anywhere 11 back-end.

(17 Apr '10, 14:30) Vincent Buck
3

@Vincent, that looks very promising, and we will be excited if we can add support for SQL Anywhere. @Breck, I like your domain name a lot, and I hope we'll be able to make this transition easy for you.

(17 Apr '10, 16:07) Rick Ross

Since I'm not shure if commenting is responding to the pool, I decided to do both (after commenting). Yes, I'd like SQLA to be continued, if it's on Stack Exchange or SE 2.0.

And thanks for your time and dedication!

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answered 14 Apr '10, 15:06

Reimer%20Pods's gravatar image

Reimer Pods
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accept rate: 11%

Reading the StackExchange plan it seems pretty bureaucratic and really you wonder if its likely to last any longer than it takes to burn the VC's cash. In SE2 sites only seem to exist at the whim of SE's owners and private, or 3rd party owned or 3rd party hosted sites aren't allowed any more.

I don't think anyone, whatever issues they may have with SQLA, disagrees that it's a world better than the newsgroups, however I don't see that SE2 really offers a long term way forward, and certainly not one that I would think iAnywhere would want to endorse. Despite the chat on SE's site about not leaving existing communities in the lurch, it looks like that's exactly what will happen to sites like SQLA come July.

I don't know if Breck has been able to examine any of the alternatives, but I notice that one open source offering, OSQA, has a StackExchange import that seems to work well enough for Home School Help Desk to have migrated. It looks slightly different, but all the essentials are there and since it uses MySQL it can probably be made to run on SQLAnywhere! At least an Open Source solution would stop anyone else from just switching SQLA off some day!

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answered 14 Apr '10, 16:28

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Justin Willey
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edited 14 Apr '10, 21:45

1

I'm sure there are other Open Source offerings out there as well that might be as or more appropiate than OSQA - it was the promise of an import of the SE dump that looked particularly enticing :)

(14 Apr '10, 16:53) Justin Willey
2

What would be the costs of hosting something like this? A benefit would be less risk due to having fewer parties involved (e.g. stackexchange dictating terms). Personally, I would look at OSQA (or any other product) seriously and try it out. This way you can at least sell ad space to cover costs.

(14 Apr '10, 17:59) Brad Wery

I love 2 things about SQLA: 1. It is easier to search and read. 2. Breck watches over it and keeps it extremely useful to us.

We certainly DO want to see SQLA continued!

Since Breck currently does all the hard work, I will follow any method he deems appropriate.

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answered 14 Apr '10, 17:10

Bill%20Aumen's gravatar image

Bill Aumen
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3

Agreed, but we also need to give Breck an escape route so that he doesn't need to look after SQLA forever, and realistically I think that means something that sooner or later, iAnywhere will be prepared to support. Unless of course Breck can come up with a way for him to make money out of SQLA - and there's now no prospect of that on SE2!!

(14 Apr '10, 17:25) Justin Willey

In case y'all were wondering...

The current plans for SQLA are "wait and see"... wait and see if the folks at StackExchange change their minds about eliminating the Software-as-a-Service model altogether, wait and see if the deadline changes, wait and see if... if...

Let's be honest, the "wait" part is true, but it's "wait until"... as in "wait until my temper cools."

It might not matter what the folks at StackExchange say or do from this point forward because the trust is gone. You have to trust someone before you do business with them, that's a prerequisite.

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answered 15 Apr '10, 18:54

Breck%20Carter's gravatar image

Breck Carter
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2

I haven't read all the related material, as I see others obviously have, but I have enough years of experience to have decided to "move on" when I see I can't trust someone/some company. Looking back, my mistakes were in hanging on too long and getting burned again. Let's get outa here.

(15 Apr '10, 20:36) Bill Aumen
2

I guess we all do wait - but that might turn SQLA into a "lame duck", and that might not be what we want... I would appreciate to get to know what iAnywhere thinks of SQLA's future - they could bring in perspective at this point. Do you hear me?

(16 Apr '10, 08:20) Volker Barth
1

@Volker: Just to be clear, "wait" does not mean "wait for a very long time" or "wait until July 12 and then panic", it just means "wait until my blood pressure goes down" which shouldn't take too long. As far as Sybase / iAnywhere is concerned, are you sure you want them involved technically? You like the SDN that much? :)

(16 Apr '10, 08:28) Breck Carter
1

@Breck - Part 1: I think the future of SQLA will be strongly dependent on the contribution of iAnywhere experts like Glenn, Mark, Ivan and so on (where "experts" is understatement) - and the attractivity for new users will also be (or remain) stronger if they notice that they can connect with the product makers directly. - As we talk about possible migration paths, hosting costs and site ownership, us "ordinary users" can lay responsibility completely in the current administrator's (i.e. your) hands.

(16 Apr '10, 10:38) Volker Barth
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1

@Breck - Part 2: But one might feel this is somewhat unfair, and I could imagine that one possibility for "broader shoulders" would be that iAnywhere would sponsor or supply a hosting environment. So I would like some kind of "We are going to support that SQLA project further on, as it ise useful for us"-statement from their side, possibly with certain conditions. - Well, that was a LONG comment:)

(16 Apr '10, 10:40) Volker Barth
1

@Breck - (no) Part 3: I agree with Volker's comment (to make this a short one).

(16 Apr '10, 12:29) Reimer Pods
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Here's the current status as of midday Saturday April 17 FPT ( Florida Poolside Time :)... a copy of the latest SQLA data dump is in Rick Ross's hands, and he's going to make a private OSQA implementation available for me to evaluate.

Then, I'm going to have a look and decide if OSQA's worth pursuing further.

And then, we'll see where we go from there.

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answered 17 Apr '10, 16:18

Breck%20Carter's gravatar image

Breck Carter
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question asked: 14 Apr '10, 10:31

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last updated: 18 Apr '10, 00:52