BindleSnitch Community Update

Because of Robert’s abrupt departure, I am worried about what will happen when we encounter catastrophic failures,  which are inevitably inevitable.  In the division of labor, I designed the site and Robert handled background programming issues. That could be a fatal problem. Because of this arrangement, my own programming skills have atrophied while the underlying structure of the site has become much more complicated.

Here’s one example of the difficulties we could run into. Today, I noticed that I wasn’t able to submit a comment without being logged in. We had installed a system that allowed non-members to post comments without being logged in, but you had to provide a valid email address in order to do that. Well, somehow or other, the data block for the email address has managed to disappear and I can’t figure out which of the 80 plugins that run the site is responsible for that error. I used to know but the developers of the themes and plugins are constantly changing their designs, which makes it more and more difficult to do what were once relatively easy tasks.

So, at some point, we will probably encounter a catastrophic error that I can’t fix. I am not on speaking terms with Robert, which is actually quite upsetting since we have been working together on this project for five, six, or seven years (and, no, I really don’t remember how long we were working together.)

These catastrophic errors usually occur when you have to update a theme or a plugin, and they usually result from mistakes made by the developers that take time to fix.

The next time that happens, there are two things that we can do….hire a programmer to come in and fix the problem (which I really can’t afford, either financially or emotionally) or simply roll back the site 24 hours, which means that we will probably (but not definitely) cost us 24 to 48 hours worth of work.

This means that I have to be more rigorous about checking the website several times a day but, since that isn’t always going to be possible, it will be very important for you to let me know right away (through email or my Facebook page) if there is an outage.  This is very important because there is a 48-hour window in which the previous incarnation of the site is available on the automatic backup system at Green Geeks, our hosting company.

Eventually, however, the site will run into an unrecoverable error that I won’t be able to fix because, frankly, I am beginning to have memory issues. Nothing really serious yet, but I am already unable to remember how to do things that I was once able to do quite easily so that the challenge is really a mixture of changes made by the developers and my growing incompetence.

Sorry to go on this way, but I want those of you who have been using this site to know exactly where we stand. I want to keep it open but it is going to be a challenge….unless someone knows someone who knows how to fix WordPress websites that have gone haywire but that will be (a) unlikely and (b) more expensive than I can afford.

So, I guess BindleSnitch is like life. You don’t know where it’s going and you won’t know when it comes to an end until it happens…and neither will I.

Bottom line: I am not going to pull the plug….but circumstances beyond our control will eventually pull the plug for us.

Now if a bunch of folks were to decide that the site is worth keeping up and were willing to divide the cost, I would happily collectivize the whole site amongst the members of the group. That was my intention all along.



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