Ten Years of RAFCommands 2.0

TL;DR : Its been ten years since Ross decided to take a break and decided to transfer RAFCommands, and when I took over the management with the contributions (Both financial, material, and information) from members on the forum.

Has it been Ten Years already??? Wow!!. how many of you would really thought this would still be continued the way this was envisioned for the next ten years? I hope we have a thread like this in another ten years..

Seems only yesterday that Ross mulled about handing the forum over and it was on a whim that I volunteered with the condition that others chip in with the funds.

At that time 20 members stepped forward to contribute towards the expenses. And I had to turn away a few more as we had reached the limit of what was required. So once again thank you to all those who stepped forward at that time. You know who you are.. (And I have that list with me still). Since then it has been a part of my life and I hope I will be able to continue building this with the same focus.

The forum:

14844 threads prior to the transfer of the forum. 15195 threads after the transfer
89621 posts prior to the transfer of the forum. 90477 posts after the transfer (6000 roughly are from Jon Heyworth!)

Since Ross managed the first 6 years of the forum in the “vbulletin” format . and the second set of numbers come from the next ten years, one might be tempted to think the forum participation has gone down, but it can be explained that many of the answers from ten years ago are now answered via the database, so not many new posts may be coming up.

PS: Ross ran the site since 1999 and various forums since 2001 , Stats from those are not easily available..

Our Top Contributors since then have been. (Posts > 1000)

6072 jonheyworth
4965 paulmcmillan
4224 wwrsimon
3577 Alex Smart
3110 Resmoroh
2634 malcolm_raf
2367 CZ_RAF
1767 HughAHalliday
1587 PeteT
1544 Jagan
1479 Lyffe
1347 dennis_burke
1284 Steve Smith
1117 vrajm
1057 alieneyes
(Thank you all of the above and many who are not listed here, but made 100s of posts over the years participating in these forums)

The Database

I added my own bit of value to the the legacy left by Ross in building the database section which in a way has become one of the most visited sections of the site along with the forum.

Henk’s vision was kept alive (Thanks to this guy) by keeping the unaccounted threads going, but we took that vision it to the ultimate version with the RAFCommands CWGC War Deaths database. What started out as a “Search” tool became the “go-to” database that is recommended even by CWGC. While I always knew that Henks data needed to go into a database, I admit, I never thought we would go beyond 92-93% but to be knocking on the doors of 99% was never truly in question. Thanks to everyone who contributed on the forum and the db directly and also this guy who joined the party late but is keeping it going!

The serials database is the next highly visited section of the database. it started out as mere serial search query tool but ended up becoming a real database.. One fine day we will have all the Accident Cards, Movement Cards, Loss Cards… (i can dream – cant I?). But I have help here as well!

And we fixed the other DBs and integrated them as well. POW DB, Evaders DB , AIR81, AIR27 and the Awards DB – All of these are the only one of their kind on the net. The contributors to these DBs are listed on the DB Page

It gave me an outlet for my own “pet” projects – the LG Index, the SEAC Losses, the Hurricane DB

All in all , the databases over time have 1.5 million individual records (385K serials, 370k gazette entries, 124k CWGC, 100k awards etc)..

Among other things that RAFCommands 2.0 bought out

The old forum archive is more readable at https://www.rafcommands.com/archive/index.php

And finally a big thank you to Ross, even though he gave up the management, he has been providing the encouragement and support needed to ensure we are going down the right path.

Enough of the self-congratulations, I am gonna go pour myself a scotch , kickback and bask in the immense satisfaction all this work has bought me over the years.

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