As per discussion in the "feedback thread" linked at the bottom of the announcement we have decided to keep the desktop wizard in place. We have created a 'Hosting 2014' bounty instead with target set to 300$:
Collected money would let us migrate on a dedicated server and keep developing Porteus without sacrifices so if you can - please help us reaching this goal.
As some of you have noticed porteus.org went down yesterday. We got plenty of emails/messages from people asking what happened (some were even funny like 'is porteus dead?').
The answer is: "yes - we had some troubles but were able to overcome them after some heated discussion. Overall - we are back and stronger."
What actually happened? Here is the whole story (hopefully you wont get bored):
Porteus is a non profit organization which has not generate any direct income so far. Our funds come only from users donations and DuckDuckGo search engine. Maintaining a distro means expenses - we have to pay for the server, domain and SSL certificate.
Porteus has always been lucky in that matter.
Mr 'ponce' has provided a server for our default ISOs since the beginning of the project for free. Jay and Hamza (Brokenman Hosting) does the same for the website and forum.
Everything was nice and dandy till Porteus grew in popularity: 3.0 release almost killed our server. The situation became awkward when Porteus (which is hosted for free) started affecting the clients who pay the money to get served. 3 days after 3.0 release things calmed down and everything was back to normal. - Almost.
Our web wizards for the desktop and kiosk editions are bandwidth hogs. During last month the desktop wizard produced nearly 11k of ISOs while kiosk version nearly 2.5k.
Here are the traffic stats just for last month:
As you can see the website and forum are harmless (0.4 TB per month) while wizards are eating everything.
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March: 8.84TB total March: 8.80TB just for the wizards
We are very happy with that but our hosting company not necessarily.
The other thing is that i'm just about to introduce an 'automatic updated' service for the kiosk edition. This can only increase the bandwidth usage and since i need a network without limits (this is a critical condition for automatic updates) i have decided to move the kiosk to another server. My plan is to make a profit from this service and pay the server from the income i get.
So the kiosk problem is solved but the desktop wizard will still be troublesome.
Porteus is growing rapidly - let me show some numbers from DuckDuckGo reports:
Can we break 50k of searches by the end of this year? I'm sure we will
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July 2012 - Searches: 6,453 July 2013 - Searches: 14,984 January 2014 - Searches: 31,115 March 2014 - Searches: 41,780
I can see only 3 options in regards to Porteus popularity/generated traffic:
a) Close the desktop wizard service. Bit drastic but this way all porteus ISOs/extra modules would be downloaded directly from ponce.cc and this way porteus.org server should handle the website/forum traffic easily. The downside is that the wizard is extremal friendly to newcomers ....
b) Do not close the wizard but reduce number of options in it. I have a feeling that people may generate ISOs just to check which option does what. I would definitely remove 'Advanced options' as have seen problems caused by it (nonetwork, noauto cheats) and advanced users should know how to use cheats. They do not need the wizard for this.
c) Rent a dedicated server just for Porteus so it wont affect the clients anymore. This option costs about 710$ per year. In 2013 we have gathered little above 800$ (thanks a lot for that). Unfortunately there is no guarantee that we can make the target every year so this option is not perfect.
d) Let users to download plain ISOs and extra modules we maintain (browsers, office, development, etc) directly from ponce.cc (there is no bandwidth problems on ponce.cc or at least ponce did hide this fact. People often call him a 'prince of Slackware' so i wouldn't be surprised). Keep desktop wizard running but introduce a charge for using it (like 5$ per ISO).
I'm for option d).
It should reduce a number of generated ISOs significantly but wont leave the people who need this handy tool without anything.
I'm sure there are some users who could afford this price (one beer less in the pub). That would solve the main problem: it would lower the traffic greatly but additionally it would bring some income to the project. Maybe at some point we could move to a dedicated server which would host just Porteus
Please let us know what you think about the desktop wizard future (do we need it at all?) in this forum thread: here.