A need for a smooth step by step guide to setup a TZM Discourse forum

It is always a good thing to have a standard procedure to setup a TZM Discourse forum.
To have notes and notices on things and general understanding, so that anyone
with a need would be able to improve upon or make a backup forum in the worst case scenario.

I share this concern as well and in fact it was one of the first things I was trying to arrange. From the proof of concept of the forum up until several months into production. But there was no interest, and it wasn’t because I didn’t try to recruit these people :slight_smile: In the ideal situation there are a total of 3 admins. It’s a nice number to reach agreements even if there are disagreements. And it’s also a small enough group to keep an overview of what everyone is doing. Because admins need to be able to coordinate their changes and understand them in order to maintain a stable system.

But it’s not that simple. These other 2 admins need to be proficient in Linux administration (webservers, mailservers, security, and much more), Ansible, and scripting, because not every edge case can be documented. And if there are issues, people need to be able to solve them, because that’s what an admin does. It’s not just a title someone can claim, it comes with responsibilities. They also should be in the EU if we want to make GDPR compliance easy and our privacy policy. Furthermore, they need to have a genuine interest in the forum. These are general requirements, although they may seem high requirements on paper to some. The job of an admin requires this.

To be clear, the documentation is already there. On the Discourse forum is about 98% of what someone needs to know to setup a Discourse forum and any plugins. The other 2% is in the private GitLab project which includes the Ansible playbook to setup the tzmc1 server. On this GitLab is also a README.md which describes a reinstall and a recovery of the forum. Which indeed requires access to the backups. Which will be given to admins. There are also docs in Staff, but again, we do not have the right people in our community to join. And making our backups public would be a very, very bad idea.

So this is impossible at the moment. It’s also not going to happen that I’ll make the backups public. Because they contain private information. That would be considered a data leak according to the GDPR and that comes with consequences.

So in short. The documentation is there and maintained by me. The position of the 2 other admins is still open, but there are no candidates. This makes me a single point of failure, because if I get hit by a bus, then the forum is indeed also gone.

I could poke a guy from the Dutch IT team to be a backup admin. He won’t be active on the forum. But at least someone could fall in and also restore/maintain the forum in case I go to the “infinite hunting grounds”.

Done, @d.ruhe has limited sudo rights on the server and is an admin on the forum. He can download the backups and restore and administer the forum in case I can’t.

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