Rook wrote:Was it ever up?
It's *mostly* still there for anyone who still wants to use an NNTP interface.
The newsgroups that are there are pretty light traffic-wise, and has been going *slowly* downhill since roughly mid-2001 (it went way up from 1998 until 2000 when it peaked). Since about 2005, the administration changed majorly, and the site has mostly just been kept alive for historical uses.
Rook wrote:I tried to become a member about 6-12 months ago, and haven’t heard back. I’ve heard from other AFOLs have had the same story with some waiting actual years. If you've got some inside knowledge, is this something that the community is looking at updating/making more user friendly?
"Member" is an unfortunate term.
In order to post to LUGNET, you need to have a posting setup with them, which is NOT a "membership". It's basically something that a LUGNET admin has to acknowledge in order to let you post, and requires a valid name and email address. That'll let you post via email, via NNTP, or via the web interface. HOWEVER, before your posts appear, you'll have to manually verify them via email (VERY ANNOYING).
However, there's also something called "membership". In late 1999, LUGNET introduced "memberships", which essentially was a way to support LUGNET financially. Being a "member" allows you to:
- Post WITHOUT email verification, but only if using the web interface.
- Maintain a set list using LUGNET's set database.
- Host limited (textural) web content.
- View LUGNET without ads banners.
Becoming a "member" ALSO requires administrative action, but it ALSO requires a $10 payment, *AND* it requires that you have a posting setup.
The problem is that, well, nobody's actively maintaining the admin side of things on LUGNET. The admin interface is very annoying and complex-- it was originally created to run on the UNIX command line, and NOT through a web interface (a very bare-bones interface was added later). So it's difficult for admins to use. Also, there was never any pro-active attempt to keep admins who would be active. As far as I know, there are 6 people with admin privileges for posting/member setups, and those people aren't really able to perform *all* of the needed functions (only 2 of the 6). And pretty much all 6 members aren't really interested in updating the system, or have forgotten how to do so.
So... it's not getting better in any hurry. It's mostly there for historical reference-- so if you weren't already a member or had your posting setup done in 2006 or so, chances are slim that you'll get it set up now. It's still possible-- you just need to get the attention of one of the 2 admins who can get your account set up.
As for making it more friendly? Um... There's currently some new functionality under development at LUGNET, but I doubt that the existing newsgroup system will become friendlier to use any time soon. The NEW content might be, but the old content, probably not.