Trouble With Trebel
Written by Adok
"I don't believe it... http://www.trebel.org has opened! Straaaaaange...." was ryg/Teklord's first reaction a few months ago when the new beta pages of Trebel had been uploaded. Indeed some people had believed Trebel to be nothing more than a stillbirth only hyped by regularly published articles and news items in diskmags. Well, that's not the whole truth - but not entirely wrong either.
Currently Trebel consists of DC-1's FTP (demo.cat.hu) and other servers all over the world that either mirror the whole archive or parts of it. These FTP sites are fully operational, and, thanks to Skin's efforts, new mirrors get added all the time. So nothing distinguishes Trebel from other archives like Scene.org, technically-speaking.
But Trebel wants to be more than that. It wants to become a kind of scene net portal like Hornet used to be, perhaps even better than Hornet. And to reach this aim, a lot of things are still missing - actually, almost everything is missing: the search engine, which had been promised to be finished in March, the scripts for public rating, and, most importantly, the database with the descriptions of all the stuff the Trebel servers contain. The last thing is something that will certainly take months to do if the result shall be as informative as planned.
The current beta web-site looks good at the first glance, but the impression gets worse as soon as you have realized that none of the internal links works and the few scene news that should console the visitor for the site being not yet finished are already several months old.
After my first request in the internal Trebel mailinglist whether the coding has made considerable headways, a war started in Yugoslavia. Meanwhile the war has ended, the refugees have returned, and the KFOR troops are installing a new administration in the area. Trebel, however, has not changed much. The reasons for this massive delay are pretty common for scene projects: exams, work, nasty harddisk crashes, and partly lack of motivation.
The Trebel team currently consists of ten persons. Most of them, however, are not directly involved in the current process. Some of them do PR for Trebel, organize new mirror sites, administer internal services such as the Trebel e-mail server and the soon-to-open news server, but the majority is waiting for the web-interface of the archive to open; their job is to maintain certain sections of the archive, which they can only do as soon as a working database system is available.
One of the three remaining persons is Scaz, the web-designer. He has already done his job: all HTML files needed for the web-interface are done. The fate of Trebel lies in the hands of just two persons, Tonic and ST. While ST is mainly responsible for the web-server and the future main FTP site of Trebel, Tonic, the founder of Trebel and the owner of the trebel.org domain, is the one who is working on the scripts needed for the web-interface to run.
It does not look like Trebel is going to really open before fall, when the project will celebrate its first anniversary. Expecting the web-interface to be finished in fall is a very optimistic attitude anyway. But who knows. The scene is accustomed to surprises. And, after all, it is Tonic who started the project, it is him who has to do most of the work, and it is him alone who pays the expenses. So it would be impudent if you blamed him for not yet being able to fully enjoy a free service.