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flat assembler > Feedback > Concerning this board's health

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Trinitek



Joined: 06 Nov 2011
Posts: 256
Concerning this board's health
I've noticed that this board seems to catch a few interesting mental illness patients.

That also makes me think. Has the activity on this board been dwindling over the past few recent years? It's active, but it's always quiet, it seems. Or perhaps we have a lot of unique visiting lurkers?
Post 26 Mar 2017, 08:12
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Tomasz Grysztar
Assembly Artist


Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 6435
Location: Kraków, Poland
Yes, the activity on this board has been slowly deteriorating over the past ten years. The times when it was possible to organize something like fasmcon are long gone.

And the most of activity that is left is from the people with "unconventional" mindsets, discussing things that have little to do with assembly. If you look only at the discussions on technical and assembly-related topics, then yes, the board is slowly but steadily dying. I think I managed to bring a tiny little bit of new life here with my fasmg project, but it was not enough, apparently.

Still, I'm considering to propose another meetup in 2019 or 2020 to celebrate 20 years of fasm. If I start working on it early, maybe I can get at least a couple of people interested.
Post 26 Mar 2017, 13:57
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guignol



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 258
What's trinitek?
Post 26 Mar 2017, 15:37
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zhak



Joined: 12 Apr 2005
Posts: 473
Location: Belarus
This is probably because assembly in general becomes less and less popular. With all that cloud technologies and everything. Hobby OS dev boom also seems to fade.
Post 26 Mar 2017, 21:18
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 14924
Location: 6EQUJ5

zhak wrote:
Hobby OS dev boom also seems to fade.

And with many UEFI systems requiring signed boot code the hobby OSes can't run any more. Sad
Post 26 Mar 2017, 22:19
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YONG



Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 7634
Location: 22° 15' N | 114° 10' E

Tomasz Grysztar wrote:
Yes, the activity on this board has been slowly deteriorating over the past ten years.

When (i) the admin keeps turning a blind eye to legitimate suggestions on board improvements and (ii) one of the mods keeps tricking forum members into visiting his/her fake website, what more could we expect? Rolling Eyes

No more complaints. Just enjoy what is left in this board!

Wink
Post 27 Mar 2017, 01:50
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Trinitek



Joined: 06 Nov 2011
Posts: 256

revolution wrote:

zhak wrote:
Hobby OS dev boom also seems to fade.

And with many UEFI systems requiring signed boot code the hobby OSes can't run any more. Sad

I would've thought that the UEFI situation would've dampened OS dev, but the osdev.org forums appear to be as healthy as they've ever been.

I remember talking about this thread, where NASM gets more attention than FASM in general, and from the FOSS community. This guy on Reddit has an idea why FASM is deliberately not included in the Debian repos (TL;DR source portability is an issue; since it's not in C as is everything else, it can't assemble on non-x86 systems).

I suppose the question is... is this a problem? We've let interest in FASM wax and wane organically, but should we shoehorn interest through an effort to produce more auxiliary content, like major community projects or textbooks? Major projects like Menuet and Kolibri seem to have had a big impact in their day. Today, JohnFound's Fresh IDE and his web content engines are impressive, but they're not driving interest.
Post 27 Mar 2017, 05:24
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redsock



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 260
Location: Australia

YONG wrote:
No more complaints. Just enjoy what is left in this board!

Wink

Before everyone gets all teary-eyed and nostalgic, I can say first-hand that a fair amount of legitimate (e.g. organic) traffic originates to my own archives referred from here, and when I began hosting the board here I didn't necessarily do any proper log/traffic analysis (I only donated the virtual machine, hehe, so they really aren't my logs to analyse), but it is far from dead. If Tomasz is interested, I am happy to do organic/inorganic traffic analysis on the board logs.

While I appreciate it is not in its "glory days", there are plenty of lurking people who are interested in what we have all done and are still doing. A decent population of the "heavyweights" around that don't speak much linger here often.

My $0.02 thusly, cheer up I say!

_________________
2 Ton Digital - https://2ton.com.au/
Post 27 Mar 2017, 06:31
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Tomasz Grysztar
Assembly Artist


Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 6435
Location: Kraków, Poland

YONG wrote:
When (i) the admin keeps turning a blind eye to legitimate suggestions on board improvements (...)

Do you have any specific suggestions in mind?

redsock wrote:
While I appreciate it is not in its "glory days", there are plenty of lurking people who are interested in what we have all done and are still doing. A decent population of the "heavyweights" around that don't speak much linger here often.

Yes, the traffic is still there. It is just less of actual technical discussions happening (but still far from zero). Perhaps one of the reasons might be that there are now new popular places for beginners to ask questions (Stack Overflow?). I also tried to probe the options to use another medium to promote assembly a bit, but the conclusions were that I should just write a blog or a book myself. This year I'm going to work on a technical review of a new x86 assembly book, and I consider later starting my own one. As for a blog, I mentioned that I use this board in a similar function, though making a separated and well-organized blog might not be a bad idea and I still consider it, though I'm not even sure what kind of platform would I choose.

Speaking of platform, this board's software is also really outdated. And I'm not even sure if migration to a new version of phpBB at this point would be possible at all, this board had some specific modifications that could get in the way. With the website now running on an assembly-powered server I thought that the best would be to move to a forum software written in assembly, like AsmBB, but JohnFound mentioned to me that his project is not ready to handle a board like fasm's.
Post 27 Mar 2017, 07:22
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redsock



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 260
Location: Australia
I have been quite busy the last 6 months or so, but have some clear-skies ahead for scheduling during which I was going to attend to 2ton.com.au/HeavyThing updates. Perhaps if @JohnFound and/or others here were interested in a coordinated effort, I would be happy to donate time and code toward a mutually beneficial goal. I have been busy doing all sorts of embedded dev of late, ARM even @revo Smile

That being said, it would perhaps be worthwhile to consider literally transcoding phpBB (thus preserving archives) into a pseudo-static site framework (e.g. threads/posts with ETags, etc). There are manifold benefits of doing so. (All of 2ton.com.au is "static" but generated dynamically with a fasm site generator that I wrote but not-published similar to other tools).

I'd be open to ideas/community effort re: this, the database/concurrency/high volume aspects would be a good few chapters of your book too, Tomasz Smile Do I get to be a guest speaker? haha

Cheers

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2 Ton Digital - https://2ton.com.au/
Post 27 Mar 2017, 07:32
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Tomasz Grysztar
Assembly Artist


Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 6435
Location: Kraków, Poland

redsock wrote:
I'd be open to ideas/community effort re: this, the database/concurrency/high volume aspects would be a good few chapters of your book too, Tomasz Smile Do I get to be a guest speaker? haha

These sound like a good topics for another book (volume 2 perhaps? Wink). The one I wanted to write myself would focus more on teaching the assembly language in general (not only x86).
Post 27 Mar 2017, 07:37
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redsock



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 260
Location: Australia

Tomasz Grysztar wrote:
The one I wanted to write myself would focus more on teaching the assembly language in general (not only x86).

Perhaps not coincidentally, my 8yo daughter has been elated this last week due to her primary school introducing them to https://code.org. At first I cringed, only to find that their exercises are actually quite good for beginners. She has been coming to me squealing regularly about how many lines of code she has done with it. Would be a tremendous contribution to the assembly language community if one of us bothered to make something similar but instead of javascript it ended up being assembler Smile

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2 Ton Digital - https://2ton.com.au/
Post 27 Mar 2017, 07:49
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Tomasz Grysztar
Assembly Artist


Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 6435
Location: Kraków, Poland

redsock wrote:
At first I cringed, only to find that their exercises are actually quite good for beginners. She has been coming to me squealing regularly about how many lines of code she has done with it. Would be a tremendous contribution to the assembly language community if one of us bothered to make something similar but instead of javascript it ended up being assembler Smile

Some time ago I have seen a game where you play with an assembly-like language. I thought it was a neat idea.
Post 27 Mar 2017, 07:55
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YONG



Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 7634
Location: 22° 15' N | 114° 10' E

Tomasz Grysztar wrote:

YONG wrote:
When (i) the admin keeps turning a blind eye to legitimate suggestions on board improvements (...)

Do you have any specific suggestions in mind?

Yes, I do. Refer to the following thread:

URLs with () not rendered correctly
https://board.flatassembler.net/topic.php?p=188088#188088

Hope that we don't have to wait another month, another year, or even another decade for the fix.

Wink
Post 27 Mar 2017, 08:17
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Tomasz Grysztar
Assembly Artist


Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 6435
Location: Kraków, Poland

YONG wrote:
Yes, I do. Refer to the following thread:

URLs with () not rendered correctly
https://board.flatassembler.net/topic.php?p=188088#188088

Hope that we don't have to wait another month, another year, or even another decade for the fix.

Wink

As I said above, upgrading to a new phpBB is not something that could be done easily (and we may as well migrate to a different platform like AsmBB one day), so the only way to make any fixes is to make them ourselves in the old phpBB code. I can share these files if someone is willing to work on them, myself I probably will not be able to dig deeper into them in a foreseeable future.
Post 27 Mar 2017, 08:24
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YONG



Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 7634
Location: 22° 15' N | 114° 10' E

redsock wrote:
A decent population of the "heavyweights" around that don't speak much linger here often.

Just curious to know: Since they (the "heavyweights") don't speak much, i.e., they don't post new messages (at all / very often), how do you know that they often linger here?

Rolling Eyes
Post 27 Mar 2017, 08:26
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redsock



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 260
Location: Australia

YONG wrote:
how do you know that they often linger here?

Rolling Eyes

Well I would start by saying: Would all those working at Cray Research, VMware, Oracle, Intel, AMD, etc please stand up and say g'day?

Hah, insert sound of crickets.

It is not rocket science to learn of the companies that visit our websites, especially those who don't bother to hide behind Tor or other anonymising services. Most of the heavyweights (and I will fully concede that they are heavyweights by my own internal system of bias) do in fact lurk Smile

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2 Ton Digital - https://2ton.com.au/
Post 27 Mar 2017, 09:01
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Tomasz Grysztar
Assembly Artist


Joined: 16 Jun 2003
Posts: 6435
Location: Kraków, Poland

redsock wrote:

Hah, insert sound of crickets.

Done. Wink
Post 27 Mar 2017, 09:27
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YONG



Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 7634
Location: 22° 15' N | 114° 10' E

redsock wrote:
Would all those working at Cray Research, VMware, Oracle, Intel, AMD, etc please stand up and say g'day?

These are actually big names!

But they may have employed many lazy (and lousy) assembly programmers who very often visit our website just to look for (partial) solutions to their job assignments.

Wink
Post 27 Mar 2017, 09:58
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rugxulo



Joined: 09 Aug 2005
Posts: 2122
Location: Usono (aka, USA)
Re: Concerning this board's health

Trinitek wrote:
I've noticed that this board seems to catch a few interesting mental illness patients.



All Internet discussions attract negativity. Haven't you ever read YouTube comments? Similarly, IMDB killed their forums entirely about a month ago (long overdue, it was really really bad). There is no "quick fix" for human misbehavior.

I do agree that certain off-topic (dung) "Heap" posts are probably more incendiary than others. I do think the focus for users should be "mostly" on technical (computer-related) topics.

There may be a small human need to socialize and interact with others, even shoot the breeze or discuss topical news, but overall I think it's a waste of time (and often devolves into nastiness). I'm not perfectly self-disciplined myself, but I do think 99% of that should be avoided in lieu of more neutral discussion and concrete/pragmatic/productive topics (like cpu software, algorithms, etc). If not software then at least something innocent and fun like music or video games (not politics or agendas or outrage culture, ugh).
Post 28 Mar 2017, 23:52
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