FYI: solid.community pod shutting down

From the Solid Mailing List (public-solid@w3.org):

Hi All

After a quarter of a decade the decision was made to shut down the community pod. There were a number of reasons for this, but the most urgent of which was due to health issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic

Of all the options available to me, shutting down was the least bad.

It was quite difficult to run as a grassroots project given that we didnt have any funding, didnt have our own servers, relied on others for source code, and so on.

What started as my experiment to allow users to try out node solid server, took on a life of its own. If you consider that Google Plus with all their resources lasted about 2000 days, and we, as a pod, lasted almost 1000, that’s quite amazing really.

I am sorry that it happened so quickly, I just felt there were limited options. There was a lot of work behind the scenes. Given the rapid escalation of the pandemic, something had to give.

While the data is kept safe and backed up, I appreciate it is disruptive to have to change a WebID that you’ve invested time in. I have had to do this myself and I know how painful it can be.

If there was some way for users to reclaim their webid or accounts, and it was easy to run. I’d be open to doing that, perhaps after the peak of Covid-19 passes. It would require a server tho, which we dont have at the moment.

I’d like to thank everyone that took part in our journey, especially our amazing admins. All of whom worked skillfully and tirelessly for the community, sometimes for years, without ever once being paid.

Keep safe, and hopefully we’ll see each other safe and healthy after the Covid-19 crisis has peaked

Best
Melvin

Source: https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-solid/2020Oct/0005.html

There is now an NSS server at https://solidcommunity.net/ that should have all pods from the old solid.community site and uses the same passwords. Just login, no conversion necessary AFAIK. [edit : some conversion may be necessary, see the comment by @bourgeoa below]

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Some points of clarification…

The title of this topic is misleading. The topic on this forum should be adjusted to reflect the actual situation, which is:

The solid.community domain was turned off by its owner. The server and data always has and will continue to be managed by the solid project team. It resides in the same place, under the same cloud account that receives its funding through Tim’s Solid project at MIT. Solid Project Administrators needed to quickly stand up a new domain (solidcommunity.net) and point it to a new cloud server instance to ensure a safe transition. The new cloud server instance was connected to the data volume on which the pod data was hosted.

See the original notice here: https://gitlab.com/solid.community/proposals/-/issues/16

See this message from @timbl on the mailing list - https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-solid/2020Oct/0020.html

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I came late to this but don’t think a fair picture is gained by reading the links which @justin posted, so encourage folks to read the thread from the top:

https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-solid/2020Oct/0005.html

I continue to respect and trust all involved, even though it’s apparent that they are not entirely happy with each other.

That we are here is IMO a lesson for Solid as an idea, which the community and all those who seek to empower users must try to learn from. Cloud and third party services, whoever runs them, have a fundamental problem which needs to be addressed, but has so far not been taken seriously.

I hope this can be a wake up call.

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I’m sorry - but I have to respectfully disagree. This issue didn’t start with the thread that you linked to. It started here - https://gitlab.com/solid.community/proposals/-/issues/16 - with the link that I shared. Since this topic was started with the only other thread related to this issue, which began after we did our best to resolve the problem - I did not reshare it again. The timing and sequence of events matters if you want a fair and accurate understanding.

It’s nice that you are responding on the forum @Justin, more please.

We can disagree, because posting the last item in that thread rather than the start is likely to cause people to miss the bulk of that discussion, and IMO changes the picture it paints.

I didn’t post the last item in the thread. I posted a new thread created by @timbl - https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-solid/2020Oct/0020.html. It’s not the same one as the one referenced earlier in this topic.

Indeed you did, apologies. Posting a separate single post on the same mailing list made it even harder to discover the longer discussion that preceded it, so I’m not sure how I got to the one I’ve linked! Obviously others would have found it difficult to discover.

So the effect of only linking to Tim’s new thread was to give a different impression from that in the discussion preceding it, which was the point I was making.

I’m sure this wasn’t your intention. What’s important to me is to understand as much of the picture as I can and for this to be the case for anyone in the community. It affects a lot of us and inevitably reflects on the project and key members of the community.

Melvin first introduced me to the project and in effect to Tim, who I then met for a long chat over lunch and since then I’ve known them and others online for years now. I have respect for both of them and believe we’re all involved because of values we have in common. The situation is both unfortunate and concerning to me personally. I want to understand for myself, and so we can all learn from this, including how users of Solid can be affected when third party services are involved. IMO we need to recognise the latter and look for mitigations.

Returning to my earlier point, I realise not everything can be aired in public, but we can gather together relevant information that is already public.

The difficulty in doing that highlights another issue that we can see causes problems repeatedly. Which is the number of different communication channels used by those at the centre, rather than coming together in one place that’s easily accessible to anyone interested in the project (such as this forum).

That makes it very difficult for most people to keep abreast of the project, even when things that affect a lot of us crop up, such as the fate of solid.community.

None of the points I’ve made are new, and I’m not the only one who has said this, or advocated at least one place where all the important information is easily available to anyone, and where key members of the community join in the discussions.

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Your text/turtle resources (.ttl, .acl, meta) may still contain solid.community links.

To convert them to solidcommunity.net links you may use solid-ide.

It can be applied to any pod containing solid.community links not only solidcommunity.net pod’s.

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