Old Announcements: 2001

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This is where you can find h2g2 announcements from 2001. For the latest developments, check out the Announcements Page.

Announcements Index

21 December 2001: h2g2 Office Closed for Christmas

OK, technically the office isn't closed, but nobody is going to be coming into the office over the Festive Season. The h2g2 team will be off on a well-earned rest from 22 December to 1 January, but we'll be back in the office nursing our hangovers on 2 January.

We'll still be processing moderation referrals in batches over the festive season, but unfortunately we won't be able to deal with replies to moderation failure emails until we return to the office, as we don't have off-site access to those email accounts.

New entries are still scheduled to appear automatically on every working day, and the new servers are now being administered by the main BBC Internet Services Division, so there'll be someone keeping an eye on them throughout the break.

The whole h2g2 Team would like to wish all our Researchers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year... and we'll see you all on 2 January!

19 December 2001: Christmas Scheduling

Because the office is closed over the Christmas break, and because we don't want to starve you of your five Edited Entries per working day, we're scheduling the site to rollover automatically while we're off partying too hard.

This means that those who have Edited Entries going up over Christmas will be emailed in advance, as we are pushing all these entries through the Editorial Process now. This may have some strange effects on the Month of h2g2 page, and will mean that the Info page shows a larger number than you'd expect.

We're back in the office on 2 January, when things should get back to normal. Well, as normal as they ever are...

18 December 2001: Servers Upgraded

A big smiley - ok to Jim Lynn for getting into the office at 6am this morning to upgrade the servers - he's now recovering, and h2g2 is a lot zippier than before. Now we're going to concentrate on finishing off the next site release (scheduled for release early in the New Year), so watch this space!

13 December 2001: Planned Downtime Rescheduled

We have now rescheduled the downtime required to upgrade to our new servers, and it's happening on 18th December at 6am GMT. It won't take longer than two hours, and should actually take less time, so don't be afraid to check back often.

5 December 2001: Planned Downtime Postponed

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the server upgrade we had planned for tomorrow morning will not be happening. It's now looking like it will happen next week. We'll post another announcement when we have another date and time scheduled.

And before anyone asks, the postponement is for operational reasons (i.e. lack of the necessary people to do the work) not technical reasons - the new servers are ready and waiting.

30 November, 2001: Proposed Standard for GuideML 1.0 Released for Comment

Soon we're going to define exactly which tags are implemented in GuideML, disabling all other tags. To kick off the discussion about which tags we should be supporting in GuideML we've put together a Request for Comments on the Proposed Standard for GuideML 1.0.

If you're a GuideML user, make sure you have your say before it's too late and your favourite tag is left out of the standard!

29 November, 2001: Planned Down-time On or Around 6 December

The Good News - We are upgrading the servers that run h2g2! Here are the changes:

Current ServersNew Servers
Dual Pentium III Xeon 550MHz


Windows NT

SQL Server 7

Web servers x 3
Pentium III 800MHz

512Mb RAM

Windows NT
Quad Pentium III Xeon 900MHz


Windows 2000

SQL Server 2000

Web servers x 4
Dual Pentium IV 1GHz


Windows 2000

The Bad News - To do this upgrade we need to close the site for about two hours, while we copy the database over to the new servers. We are hoping that this will happen early in the morning (GMT) of Thursday 6 December, but this is not a definite time. We will publish the confirmed times as soon as we can, with announcements on both the Front Page and the Announcements page.

23 November, 2001: Review Forum Stats

For those of you interested in the various Review Forums, we've put together a graph of the number of entries in the various Review Forums over the last few months. Enjoy. smiley - smiley

In case anyone missed it first time round, there's also a graph of Edited Entry Length to keep those statistics fans happy...

12 November, 2001: Defamation Explained

As we've recently had to fail a small number of entries for defamation, we thought it would be useful to add an official page to h2g2 explaining what defamation is, and how you can avoid the pitfalls of defamation law.

Check out our entry on h2g2 and Defamation for more details. We have also added a couple of links to this entry from the House Rules, but the rules have not changed otherwise.

7 November, 2001: BBCi Toolbar Added

The bbc.co.uk website has been rebranded as BBCi, and a part of this rebranding includes the addition of a global navigation toolbar at the top of every single page on the bbc.co.uk website. As a consequence of adding this toolbar to h2g2, we have removed the BBC Online branding from the top-left corner of h2g2, and have replaced it with the pre-BBC h2g2 logo. (Please note that in Goo the logo doesn't yet rollover in yellow, as we are halfway through developing the next release and would rather include the rollover code as part of a proper release schedule.)

These changes may take a little getting used to, but the advantages to h2g2 are great:

  • If you click on the 'Categories' link in the BBCi toolbar, you will see that h2g2 is listed as a category in its own right. This section, aimed at people who haven't been to h2g2 before, links to the most important areas of h2g2 for new visitors.

  • Similarly, if you click on the 'Communicate' link on the BBCi toolbar, you will see that h2g2 has its own section on this page too. Here we will be listing three of the five latest Edited Entries every working day, demonstrating the breadth of entries on h2g2.

  • The BBC homepage has also been redesigned, and as always we'll be putting in our requests for a weekly appearance here (though space is a premium on the homepage, so nothing is guaranteed!).

  • The upshot of this is that h2g2 is only two clicks away from every page on the BBC website.

In short, this is very good news for h2g2.

5 November, 2001: Top 5 List Problem

Our server has decided to celebrate Bonfire Night with a few fireworks of its own, with the unfortunate side effect that the Top 5 lists on the Front Page are now having to be updated manually. We're working on fixing the problem, but in the meantime we apologise if the lists don't tally exactly with reality.

1 November, 2001: Smiley Ideas List Published

We've trawled through the insanity of the Conversation Forum hanging off the h2g2 Smileys page, and have compiled a list of all the suggestions made for additional smileys on h2g2 - the h2g2 Smiley Ideas List.

If you want to suggest more smileys for h2g2, then make sure you read this list first! We'll add any (sane) ideas to the list as they come in.

29 October, 2001: Feature Ideas and Bug List Published on Site

To encourage further Community involvement in the development of h2g2, we have published two new pages on h2g2.

The h2g2 Feature Ideas page lists all the ideas that get posted to the Feature Suggestions Feedback Forum. Essentially this is our to-do list for developing the site, though that's not a promise that everything will be implemented!

The h2g2 Bug List contains all the bugs that get posted to the Bug Reports Feedback Forum. Hopefully this page won't be as busy as the Feature Ideas page...

23 October, 2001: Update to Afghanistan Crisis Guidelines on Quoting the BBC

Following a number of suggestions, we have updated the h2g2 Guidelines During the Afghanistan Crisis to say that quoting the BBC is acceptable as long as the quote is accompanied by a link to the source on a BBC website.

22 October, 2001: h2g2 Guidelines During the Afghanistan Crisis

Along with a handful of other areas on the BBC website, h2g2 is currently hosting debate about the Afghanistan crisis. As these constitute the first online public debates the BBC has ever operated under wartime conditions, it is essential to the continuation of these debates that they are conducted responsibly and with the sensitivites of all parties in mind.

To this end, we have compiled a set of h2g2 Guidelines During the Afghanistan Crisis, which everyone who wants to discuss the crisis on h2g2 should read.

If you have any comments or questions on the guidelines, please ask them in the Forum hanging off the guidelines themselves, and we will try our best to answer all your concerns.

17 October, 2001: Multiple-Researcher Bug Fixed

The bug reported on 12 October, 2001 as 'Serious Bug Found in Editorial Tools' has now been fixed. If anyone does spot a problem with multiple-Researcher entries as they go into the Editorial Process, please do let us know!

15 October, 2001: h2g2 Announcements Page Gets Friendly URL

Now that Jim's back from his holiday, the h2g2 Announcements page has earned itself a friendly URL. You can link to this page using the following URL:


or you can link to it in GuideML using the following:

<LINK H2G2="Announcements">h2g2 Announcements</LINK>

12 October, 2001: Serious Bug Found in Editorial Tools

Thanks to Ormondroyd for tracking down a rather nasty bug in the Editorial Tools. Currently, if an entry with multiple Researchers is recommended by a Scout, then the copy that is made for editing is only credited to the original author, and all other Researchers are rather rudely forgotten (though the original entry is untouched). This is obviously not cricket, and we'll endeavour to fix it as soon as possible (and in the meantime will copy over the Reseacher list by hand). However, if you spot any Edited Entries which seem to have lost Researchers in their transition from Peer Review to the Front Page, please let us know in the Editorial Feedback Forum and we will rectify the problem.

12 October, 2001: New Process for Lifetime Bans Finalised

Researchers' suggestions have been included in the Transgressions Procedure for Lifetime Bans which is now officially in place. Many thanks to everyone who commented.

9 October, 2001: Entry Length Guideline Added

We have extended point ten in the entry on Writing for the Edited Guide. It now points out that the Editors may split extremely long entries into shorter ones once they have made it through Peer Review. This does not mean you should always write short entries, it's just that sometimes it might help the Editorial Process to flow more smoothly if we split them up before sending them to the Sub-editors.

9 October, 2001: House Rules Clarified

The House Rules have had a new Transgressions section added that clarifies the procedure we will follow. We hope it's much clearer than the previous version.

9 October, 2001: A First Draft of the New Process for Lifetime Bans

A first draft of the new process for dealing with lifetime bans has been written. If you have any comments, please post them to Forum for the entry itself, and we will consider them before making it official policy. Thanks!

1 October, 2001: A New Process for Lifetime Bans

Following Hoovooloo's suggestion for A Modest Proposal we are going to formalise a process which will be applied to everyone who faces a lifetime ban for abuse of the site's rules. This will initially take the form of a new Help Page describing the process, which we will be putting together as soon as possible.

1 October, 2001: Planned Additions to the House Rules

We are also planning to add a section to the House Rules describing the process that will be applied to transgressions. This follows from Colonel Sellers' Magna Carta.

1 October, 2001: Three New Smileys

We're very happy to announce three new smileys:

smiley - peacedove <peacedove>

smiley - peacesign <peacesign>

smiley - sheep <sheep>

Enjoy - more soon!

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