Thread: Site outage yesterday

  1. #1
    Administrator webmaster's Avatar
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    Site outage yesterday

    Hey folks, as many of you saw, the message boards were down for most of yesterday, manifesting as database errors. Even today, while the site was back up, old URLs like cboard.cprogramming.com/c-programming/ weren't working.

    tl;dr: Both problems should now be fixed. If you see any issues, please post 'em here.

    Longer form: yesterday, due to old backup files being left around, the server ran out of disk space. (Yeah, I know, not exactly the hardest failure mode to predict or prevent.) After clearing out the extra space and rebooting, the forums were still not fixed.

    While I don't understand exactly why the forums stopped working, what I do know is that the problem was due to the software (vbseo) that generates nice looking URLs for all pages. Unfortunately, vbseo is no longer maintained, but I was able to determine that when it was enabled, it held open persistent database connections that eventually led to hitting the MySQL connection limit. That's why the database errors were happening.

    Unfortunately, since vbseo isn't maintained, I had to disable it. This meant that all the nice URLs got broken - sorry!

    Today, I upgraded to software (DragonByte SEO - dbseo) that's meant to be a drop-in replacement for vbseo.

    So far, it appears to be working - and the site also appears to be snappier, to boot.

    If you run into any issues like old links that don't work, database connection issues, etc, please post them here!

  2. #2
    Administrator webmaster's Avatar
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    Hey folks, you may have noticed a brief (~2 hour) outage tonight as well. That was the result of a woebegone PHP upgrade, the details of which are somewhat tedious and boring, but we've now managed to upgrade to a newer version of PHP too.

    Again, if you see anything that looks off, please post here!

  3. #3
    Tweaking master Aslaville's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webmaster View Post

    Again, if you see anything that looks off, please post here!
    Like 'links/buttons' are missing.

  4. #4
    Informer -Adrian's Avatar
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    Posting, which was notoriously slow and unreliable certainly has gotten a lot snappier. Getting the like button back would be nice!

  5. #5
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    I finally had a chance to spend time with the family and reconnect with old friends. So it's all good. Can you schedule another outage for next week? I have a doctor appointment.
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  6. #6
    Administrator webmaster's Avatar
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    OK, thanks for letting me know -- I turned "like" buttons back on. Do you guys have any opinions on the way they show up and the selection? There are a bunch of customization options for which buttons appear and where that I can play with.

  7. #7
    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    The Facebook Like button didn't work for me: window popped up and then disappeared. Not that I would like these posts on Facebook though since I keep that separate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarne Stroustrup (2000-10-14)
    I get maybe two dozen requests for help with some sort of programming or design problem every day. Most have more sense than to send me hundreds of lines of code. If they do, I ask them to find the smallest example that exhibits the problem and send me that. Mostly, they then find the error themselves. "Finding the smallest program that demonstrates the error" is a powerful debugging tool.
    Look up a C++ Reference and learn How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

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    Quote Originally Posted by laserlight View Post
    Not that I would like these posts on Facebook though since I keep that separate.
    Agreed. Can we just get the old "like" buttons back?
    What can this strange device be?
    When I touch it, it gives forth a sound
    It's got wires that vibrate and give music
    What can this thing be that I found?

  9. #9
    Tweaking master Aslaville's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laserlight View Post
    The Facebook Like button didn't work for me: window popped up and then disappeared. Not that I would like these posts on Facebook though since I keep that separate.
    I was just going to like this post then I couldn't find the 'like' button then I realized it's what we're talking about. *sigh*

  10. #10
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    I'll third that. These buttons, apart from cluttering the page, are useless to anyone (such as me) that don't use those services.

    I personally prefer keeping "likes" local to this site. There's no need to broadcast the posts I like across the internet.

  11. #11
    Administrator webmaster's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, the "like" button was part of vbseo, and dbseo only has social like buttons, not local like buttons.

  12. #12
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    Hmm, there's an "Advanced Post Thanks / Like" module that says it can import "like" data from vbseo. Don't know how applicable (or worth the cost) it might be.

  13. #13
    Citizen of Awesometown the_jackass's Avatar
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    Oh no. What will happen to likes that have already been given before the upgrade? Will they vanish forever or can they be restored in the future? I used that feature as a way to "save" a lot of ancient and really artistic threads. All those are lost now... :'(
    "Highbrow philosophical truth: Everybody is an ape in monkeytown" --Oscar Wilde

  14. #14
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    What was the motivation for switching from vbseo to dbseo? Was it a necessary transition? Was there an actual problem with the old software? I understand that vbseo isn't really being maintained anymore, but I think most of us liked the forum the way it was before this update, and unexpected (breaking) changes are often unwelcome, at least at first.
    What can this strange device be?
    When I touch it, it gives forth a sound
    It's got wires that vibrate and give music
    What can this thing be that I found?

  15. #15
    Lurking whiteflags's Avatar
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    I like that the database errors aren't going to happen anymore. The way I read webmaster's post, vbseo was the principle cause of the instability.

    Likes are something I got used to, but it's not the end of the world if they don't come back. I liked that I could congratulate someone on a good post, but I can get used to pre-like times again.
    Last edited by whiteflags; 05-03-2016 at 03:12 PM.

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