Friday, April 02, 2010

New Blue Obelisk Exchange online at

StackOverflow has served as very well in the past couple of months with the Blue Obelisk Exchange. The BOx was taking advantage of a beta project of StackOverflow, and users of that program can switch to a payed plan after the beta phase was over. That moment is nearing, but the pricing model is just unrealistic for us. There were also some comments on the Blue Obelisk using proprietary software (see Stackoverflow not open source — not a problem?).

To address both issues, and with the help from the developers, I have moved the (CC0) data to the the new host, I got a report today that there were some accounts mixed up (affecting four accounts), but that seems to be resolved now. The Shapado software has an OpenSource license (AGPL), and the code can be downloaded at Gitorious. The new questions page looks like:


  1. @Egon, if you're looking to the long term, i'd avoid piggybacking onto the domain. If Shapado stops offering its service, the Exchange site, all of its inbound links, and many OpenID accounts (especially from Google) will stop working.

    I'd recommend forking over $32/yr to set up your own domain with a good provider (Network Solutions has worked very well for me), then host the site as a subdomain there. Notice how Chempedia Lab uses, not something like Feel free to get in touch offline if you're interested in the details.

    Not sure if Shapado allows the necessary CNAME records, but if it doesn't, it should.

  2. @Rich we do allow CNAMEs, check for example. And we will offer dumps soon so even if we go out of service no data will be lost and OpenID will still work even the Google ones because unlike StackExchange we use it correctly (by using the Simple Registration Extension of OpenID).