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Time to give up?

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Time to give up?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 27 Aug 2016, 17:01:58

Face it folks, the PO.com Forum got totally hosed in the server move last week. It's not coming back the way it was IMHO. In fact, days have passed without any visible improvement in the state of the forum application.

There SHOULD be an option to fall back to a full backup less than a month old, and perhaps then apply the incremental backups taken since then. I'd like discussion on this point - I personally would prefer to lose all the posts since the last full backup as long as the forum app and all the features in it will work again. I understand that this is necessarily going to involve an outage of several days length.

Other member opinions?
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Re: Time to give up?

Unread postby kublikhan » Sat 27 Aug 2016, 17:06:38

I ran into the SQL problems/site is down messages a few days ago but had no problems today. In fact the site seems more snappy and responsive than usual.
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Re: Time to give up?

Unread postby ennui2 » Sat 27 Aug 2016, 17:32:46

The site's usable, but it's still not running correctly. For one thing you can't edit a post after you submit it.

And the view new posts function doesn't work. You have to use view active threads instead.

That being said, I do wholeheartedly suggest that it's time for KJ to give up and leave, hopefully after PStarr.
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Re: Time to give up?

Unread postby kublikhan » Sat 27 Aug 2016, 17:36:22

I edited 3 posts today without a problem.
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Re: Time to give up?

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 27 Aug 2016, 18:14:36

If its a choice between having limited functionality or optimum functionality but losing much if not all previous posts/data at least temporarily. I vote optimum functionality. I understand why the owners/administrators might be reluctant to do this though
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Re: Time to give up?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 27 Aug 2016, 19:25:38

I just don't have any confidence that we have something that can be made to work anymore. Since the last server change, the site has been broken, half the new threads and new posts in existing threads don't show in "Member View", "View New Posts" isn't working right, some forums are inaccessible, new posts get eaten at random, and the annoying pass through the Login routine is the only indication that the post you attempted got swallowed without a trace.

I don't believe that continuing to leave the forum up and running with a broken forum app is helping database integrity, either. I've decided to voluntarily refrain from posting (except in the Technical Support forum) until I can at least view the threads properly. If I am correct with my suspicions, anything you do with the forum in it's present barely functioning state will only cause more database damage, and will also constitute wasted effort.
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Re: Time to give up?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 27 Aug 2016, 19:28:56

There's also an element of randomness in the way things don't work anymore. The edit button is gona again for me, even though the above post is but a few minutes old.
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Re: Time to give up?

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Sun 28 Aug 2016, 05:13:00

Can admin chime in & let us know what caused these issues? I can't but wonder if certain people at 5 eye level would rather we all "give up"?

(The site is far quicker now, but quirks here & there I don't have time to dig into)
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Re: Time to give up?

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 28 Aug 2016, 06:28:37

I'm still getting the register loop problem. That needs to be fixed. Having the site run quickly is of no use if all it does is quickly run you in a loop. :x
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Re: Time to give up?

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Sun 28 Aug 2016, 10:16:55

My guess is that the server upgrade had the side effect of introducing a newer version of php. New versions of php are quite often not entirely backwards compatible with earlier versions thereby necessitating changes to php application code. We got caught on that last year after upgrading our departmental mail server -- a web mail application started to show problems we had not seen prior to the upgrade. That particular web mail implementation was no longer being maintained so we had to encourage our users to switch to another web mail implementation.
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Re: Time to give up?

Unread postby davep » Sun 28 Aug 2016, 11:51:09

Kaiser, the problem is that code upgrades and revamped software integration were needed (as well as having hosting issues) so going back to a previous backup wasn't a viable option. Kindly stop pontificating from a position of ignorance and be thankful that Dan is spending time to get this to work. It's a thankless enough task as it is without such "contributions", tbh.
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Re: Time to give up?

Unread postby admin » Sun 28 Aug 2016, 12:46:58

test 2
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Re: Time to give up?

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Sun 28 Aug 2016, 18:05:35

Good to see the site is not doomed
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Re: Time to give up?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 30 Aug 2016, 01:41:08

davep wrote:Kaiser, the problem is that code upgrades and revamped software integration were needed (as well as having hosting issues) so going back to a previous backup wasn't a viable option. Kindly stop pontificating from a position of ignorance and be thankful that Dan is spending time to get this to work. It's a thankless enough task as it is without such "contributions", tbh.


I personally spent time and effort into three posts that the server swallowed up. I appreciate the fact that the admins were trying to improve operations when the problem occurred. But what was before a fairly rare SQL error became an acutely misbehaving server that ate more messages than it accepted. That was a very very much worse situation. Based on the average number of posts, the server was swallowing about 75% or better of the posts - and I could not list the messages posted by others. The site was effectively unusable for a week.

I know this stuff happens. The only thing I am questioning is the decision to leave the site up when it was so broken, and to allow it to munch messages for days on end. We lost dozens if not hundreds of posts is my guess.
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Re: Time to give up?

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Tue 30 Aug 2016, 03:30:44

I didn't lose any, as soon as I saw it clunking, nah, just be patient. First big crash in years.
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Re: Time to give up?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 30 Aug 2016, 10:26:58

SeaGypsy wrote:I didn't lose any, as soon as I saw it clunking, nah, just be patient. First big crash in years.


I understand that. I used to work for a fault-tolerant computer company that had "seven nines" reliability. That means that there was a 0.9999999 probability that the application could not run because the hardware was broken. The operating system was necessarily more complex, but still offered five nines reliability. Seldom did we have a customer who could use the system to that level, but we had at least one (the service bureau for the New York stock exchange) that also achieved five nines reliability with application and operations crew. (They still bitched about an average of 5.25 seconds of unscheduled downtime per year, of course.)

Which is why I can say with complete confidence that all web servers and all consumer devices, be they some flavor of Unix, or Windows, or Apple, or Android, are complete and utter junk. I was working with better computers for the better part of four decades.

YES I also understand and appreciate our volunteers. But you need to understand that there is a very high bar which a few very professional operations crews can achieve, and regularly do achieve.
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Re: Time to give up?

Unread postby davep » Tue 30 Aug 2016, 10:35:03

And no one expects this forum to achieve five nines reliability. So what's your point? It's not as if the users have imposed an SLA on the site Admin.
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Re: Time to give up?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 30 Aug 2016, 11:39:32

davep, I was hoping not to get too specific, but you leave me no choice. Having this site effectively down for over a week was not a shining example of smooth operations, or even competent operations.

I know, you get what you pay for, and I am as grateful as anyone for our volunteer forum operations. But I'm not going to congratulate anybody when the site was unusable for 11 days. It was tolerable, because nobody's well being or income depends upon this place.

Your own standards are different, you have made that clear. Even five nines reliability is an annoying failure rate for a stock exchange, for patient record keeping at a medical facility, for nuclear power plant operations, or even for online shopping. I was immersed in that world for 37+ years, and the only way we achieved such industry-leading performance was via a continuous improvement process that included root cause analysis of every failure.

I've only been a member here a little more than 3 years. Still, I remember two prior occasions when we suffered days-long outages, and this last was longer than both those earlier outages.

So you need to reset your standards. You seem to have the wrong perspective for a moderator, one of whose job functions is to represent member interests to whomever provides the virtual server. I understand that the Admin is also a volunteer - I still can't congratulate that person for the last two weeks.

One management style for high performance is to minimize criticism for screwups and describe a level of performance to strive for. But praising somebody who finally fixes a problem they caused themselves does not improve performance - it never has, and never will, and it's a frequent mistake.

I've actually said more than I wanted to say on this topic. I'm hoping you'll think about what I said.
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