Forum:Third board meeting: 19 October 2019
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Forums: Index > Third board meeting: 19 October 2019
Next board elections
- Current board terms end in early January so will aim to get the election process in motion around December 2019 - January 2020.
- Process will likely be the same as last time (maybe overlap question/voting phase and shorten it). Voting system will be the same (analysis of previous results showed no changes with different voting requirements or voting methods).
- Four main things for board:
- Supporting the community (making sure we don’t turn into Wikia)
- Approving contracts and budgets (how to spend overage, ...)
- Long-term vision of where we’re going (big features, other games, etc)
- Functional roles for individuals
- Maybe include a pt-br representative - see if pt-br want a rep and go from there.
- Currently at 88-90% market share compared to Wikia. Hard to make further gains.
- German wiki (http://www.schnupptrupp.org/) is interested in moving to a subdomain of RuneScape Wiki (de.runescape.wiki). To do this we would need to get the GE extension working (Cqm is still working on this); there would also be further manual work that Cook has volunteered to do.
- RuneFest was very useful for making contacts with JMods - people working in the web, engine and API teams.
- Jagex gave us lots of information on drop table data.
- Working with web team may possibly allow opt-in access to additional player-specific information, which would enable unprecedented wiki personalisation.
- Cook will pitch ideas to Jagex based around the wiki being able to develop more personalised features.
- Our annual budget from Jagex has increased by 50%. This was prompted by wiki downtime back in July caused by problems with OVH (hosting). We will be transitioning to a more expensive but reliable and geographically diverse service from Google. Kitty is working on this.
- We currently make a profit each month, this will be reduced after the Google transition, but we will still profit.
- There was previously a payment delay on Jagex’ end (around July) that resulted in Cook having to cover costs out of pocket. This shouldn’t happen again as we have resolved the issues with Jagex and have built up a buffer of savings for emergencies. Cook needs to claim back what he spent.
- Corporation tax (of 20% of profits remaining at the end of tax year) is due at the end of July. We chose to spend some of this on marketing expenses for RuneFest (RuneFest tickets, badges, t-shirts for wikians and to give away to attendees at the wiki panel, group meal and hotel for wikians attending runefest).
- Suggested further uses for future profit: increase pay for sysadmins? More financial support for wikifest?
- Gaz and Cook are considering a change to VAT rate (flat-percentage scheme rather than percentage tax), since our total VAT-reclaimable expenses are minimal.
Comment - Given the general lack of detail here:
- Last I heard, schnupptrupp weren't interested in moving. What changed? Also, what "manual work" in involved? I believe they also have custom extensions, so what effort is needed to integrate them into our setup?
- Are there any estimates of the time it will take to change hosts? What downtime is expected during the transition (if any)?
- What sort of surplus/profit are we making? If Jagex didn't pay us again, how long could we afford to carry on?
- Is there money available for Cook to claim back or is that not factored into the current financial plan?
- If the wiki backend isn't being moved to k8s (implied by ideas for future profits) what is?
- We're there any issues raised at previous meetings that were resolved? Is there anything left unresolved and what is the impact of that?
- I talked with Bowserkor (the main guy at Schnupptrupp) at RuneFest, and the main things that changed were that they realized they were not going to get any meaningful Jagex support on their own, and their technical admin became even less reachable in the year since we'd last discussed. The main custom extensions are something that does Grand Exchange prices (last prices are from about a year ago), and a world map extension. They've agreed in principle to switch those over to our system, although this is blocked by the shared-database exchange extension being launched. The manual work is mostly in exporting their content over here, getting the skin working reasonably well, and replacing their exchange/maps/calculator stuff with our own. I estimate it's about 20 hours of work.
- We're not expecting any read-only downtime when we switch over to GCP/k8s. It's likely that the databases will be locked to writes for a period of up to 6 hours, but we'll have a more accurate idea (and timing) as we get closer to finishing the technical work.
- There's an important distinction here between cash flow and profit. We've been making a nominal profit consistently since February (I'd rather not share the exact numbers in this setting because it could harm our future negotiating position, but I'm happy to discuss privately). However, due to the timing of when we invoice and receive payments, we often have a large accounts receivable balance, which constricts our cash flow, and has in the past put us in undesirable positions that I've put my own money in to temporarily alleviate (which I'll be clawing back at the next payment). It's worth repeating that this is a matter of cash flow, not actual profit. Because we're using cash basis accounting and we're receiving a quarterly payment right after the end of our tax year, we're reporting close to zero profit to HMRC for the year.
- The wiki backend is being moved to k8s, not as a hypothetical, but as a current project. There was a miscommunication about the draft of this thread that resulted in the initial ambiguity.
- I think the main unresolved thing is having quickly reproducible infrastructure in the case of bad events. This is a long-term thing that we're attacking with the GCP migration, and we have a shorter-term emergency fix that uses Puppet to spin up a copy of the wiki on a large single machine. ʞooɔ 00:54, 28 October 2019 (UTC)