A Historical Timeline of LibriVox and such (draft)

Comments about LibriVox? Suggestions to improve things? News?
plaidsicle
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Post by plaidsicle » May 16th, 2018, 2:57 pm

As some of you may know, I've been working on a PhD dissertation all about how LibriVox and its amazing volunteers get work done around here. As part of my project, I've been tracking the history of the LV project as best I can, making notes and collecting links and screenshots in order to understand how we all got to where we are today, in 2018 with almost 12,000 finished audiobooks!

I wanted to share a draft of my timeline and invite other volunteers (especially those who have been here longer than me!) to comment or add suggestions/corrections. I know my own little brain and perspective is pretty limited. I'm sure there are things I couldn't find or somehow missed.


https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EGZznLqs0cfJgKQOQ2eVEpQsLia7zY4wj_TAhK0u6hQ/edit

I've set it so anyone with this link should be able to comment on the doc. Please keep in mind that this is a draft version, and some of my citations and other details are not quite perfect yet. I'm still working on it, but I wanted this community to be able to see this sooner rather than later. if you comment, please, of course, be constructive and nice! I look forward to seeing your suggestions and thoughts.
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Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » May 16th, 2018, 3:52 pm

Thanks, Amelia, I enjoyed being reminded of what I've been involved in over the years.
Peter
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Post by kayray » May 16th, 2018, 7:52 pm

Amazing!! How lovely to see it all laid out like that, and be reminded of the milestones and of the voices who aren't with us anymore, some deceased and some moved on to other things. It was so much fun in the early days when I knew every voice and every project.

I tried adding comments to your doc but it just looks like a mess so I will write this post instead.

Sept 26 2005 "Kri" designed our first forums and the graphics and everything. Real name Kristin LeMoine https://librivox.org/reader/14 (That is her married name. She hadn't yet married when she joined us but I can't remember her maiden name. We did a surprise collaborative wedding project of love poems and such to celebrate her marriage to Cory!)

Forum hosting for librivox.org, and technical support, was donated by my husband Dan Parsons (Digisage) in the early days (he's been my ex-husband since 2013) He was either hosting or just providing technical support for us during the Terrible Hack in May 2011, but stepped down soon after. Someone else may remember better than me.

Nov 16 2005 Chris Goringe's (not Gorange) username is "tis" not "tiz". (stands for "Things I've Seen) https://librivox.org/reader/168

July 2 2007 username "Cloud Mountain" (spaces were allowed in usernames back then), real name Alan Drake Davis https://librivox.org/reader/254

It's not important in the Big Picture, maybe, but it sure impacted me (the activator of new accounts) -- the server breakdown on Oct 16 2016 deleted a month's worth of new forum accounts! I sent out an awful lot of apologetic emails asking people to recreate their accounts.

I may have missed it, but is there a mention of the point at which our cataloging system became semi-automated? Many people may not know that we typed out every catalog page, and every corresponding archive.org page, in html code BY HAND for a rather long time! (Barefoot, in the snow, up hill both ways) When we got our first automation it was like a miracle, and it wasn't even nearly as automated as it is now.
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plaidsicle
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Post by plaidsicle » May 17th, 2018, 7:41 am

Kara, thank you so much for helping me out with those additions/corrections. after all my piecing things together from podcasts and wiki and the relevant forum threads I could find, there are sure to be many holes. any other longtime volunteers are definitely welcome to chime in too.
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plaidsicle
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Post by plaidsicle » May 17th, 2018, 8:35 am

kayray wrote:
May 16th, 2018, 7:52 pm
I may have missed it, but is there a mention of the point at which our cataloging system became semi-automated? Many people may not know that we typed out every catalog page, and every corresponding archive.org page, in html code BY HAND for a rather long time! (Barefoot, in the snow, up hill both ways) When we got our first automation it was like a miracle, and it wasn't even nearly as automated as it is now.
This is something that I haven't gotten specific dates and details about in all my researching, so if anyone does recall when/how the earliest automated catalog systems for LV came about, please share!
What I do know (or think I know) comes from these bits and pieces:
  • *November 3, 2005 Volunteers begin discussing a database-driven system to manage recording projects and sign-up readers. viewtopic.php?f=22&t=157

    *November 16, 2005 An uploader tool specifically for LibriVox coordinators is made available —The Validator, written and donated by volunteer tis (Chris Goringe). (cite podcast ep. 50 – McGaughey 2007x).

    *January 3, 2007 A new searchable catalog database is unveiled, including genre categories such as Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Dramatic Works, etc.
    The update also allows for “magic windows” (embedded iframe code) to be added to each project thread, streamlining the project management process. (See Appendix for a screenshot of the magic windows). Site episode 17 (Drake, 2007).
    viewtopic.php?f=24&t=4995
I haven't exactly figured out yet if the Validator was connected to any other automated catalog info-generating tools, or if those November discussions of database systems grew into any automated cataloging tools before the searchable new catalog came out in January 2007. There were hundreds of books finished by then-- but how many were hand-coded into the website? it would be way interesting to know which one was the last hand-coded entry... and which was the first 'automatic' entry...
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plaidsicle
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Post by plaidsicle » May 17th, 2018, 8:44 am

Another question I have is about when the first really required 1-minute test was posted. it looks like from the forums, the 1-minute test has been suggested for most of LV history, but with increasing insistence around 2008 or so. this is interesting to me because it's really the only point of official(ish) gatekeeping at LibriVox-- once those technical specs and volume are right, everyone is welcome to read, which is awesome and unique.
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mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » May 17th, 2018, 10:25 pm

You've mentioned a few times LibriVox was featured in other publications. On January 20th of this year, a YouTuber with a pretty large following made mention of LV in one of his videos, which led to a pretty large spike in traffic: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=68937
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Post by annise » May 18th, 2018, 12:04 am

plaidsicle wrote:
May 17th, 2018, 8:44 am
Another question I have is about when the first really required 1-minute test was posted. it looks like from the forums, the 1-minute test has been suggested for most of LV history, but with increasing insistence around 2008 or so. this is interesting to me because it's really the only point of official(ish) gatekeeping at LibriVox-- once those technical specs and volume are right, everyone is welcome to read, which is awesome and unique.
It's still not absolutely required , it's strongly recommended however.

Anne

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Post by plaidsicle » May 18th, 2018, 5:18 am

Devorah-- thanks, I will add that in!

Anne-- I ought to have put "required" in quotes there. are there often (or ever?) new readers who skip over over the 1-minute test or do something significantly different to check their specifications and volume? a strong recommendation that almost nobody doesn't take seems a de facto requirement in at least some sense.

[edit- missed a word]
Last edited by plaidsicle on May 18th, 2018, 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » May 18th, 2018, 6:05 am

How about "always requested of new readers"?
Peter
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Post by Darvinia » May 18th, 2018, 4:24 pm

I became an admin in January 2013. The new catalogue system was being established but was not finalized. I was reluctant to learn the old system, knowing it was to be deleted so I waited until the new system was in place before MCing my first project. That was August 2013.

The first post in the admin forums (and I hope I'm not talking out of school for this) to say that the system was ready to go was August 19, 2013
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kayray
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Post by kayray » May 19th, 2018, 2:17 pm

Darvinia wrote:
May 18th, 2018, 4:24 pm
I became an admin in January 2013. The new catalogue system was being established but was not finalized. I was reluctant to learn the old system, knowing it was to be deleted so I waited until the new system was in place before MCing my first project. That was August 2013.

The first post in the admin forums (and I hope I'm not talking out of school for this) to say that the system was ready to go was August 19, 2013
Yeah, that was the NEW new catalog system, which replaced the OLD new cataloging system which replaced the old hand-coding routine! I'm going to see if I can get a few of the long-ago admins to check this thread...
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Post by Piotrek81 » May 20th, 2018, 5:41 am

When I click the link I see all the text in crossed-out red. :shock:
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plaidsicle
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Post by plaidsicle » May 20th, 2018, 7:00 am

Piotrek81 wrote:
May 20th, 2018, 5:41 am
When I click the link I see all the text in crossed-out red. :shock:
I just saw this too-- it looks like someone made a suggestion to delete the whole document! not sure if that was a mistake or a troll.
I rejected the suggestion, so it should look more readable now.
'whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.' -Oscar Wilde
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Piotrek81
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Post by Piotrek81 » May 20th, 2018, 8:08 am

Thanks. I read the wholetime line. It's great :!:
Come help us record The Deluge THE DELUGE IS BACK!
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