We're back (ish)

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Dal
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We're back (ish)

Post by Dal »

Hi all,

First-up, for those who don't know why the forum suddenly disappeared and why it's taken so bloody long to get it back online, here's a brief explaination;

I was notified the forum has gone down on 13th May by MugUK. The whole VPS had been deactivated at the webhost - so I raised a support ticket with them. I was told that the VPS platform itself had been retired and that I should have received a notification of the change back in January. I trawled back through my emails and couldn't locate any such notification, plus I had only renewed a couple months before, so was a bit peeved they took a whole year's subscription from me while knowing they were deprecating the service! Anyhow, got all that sorted and purchased a new VPS.

OVH agreed to give me another two weeks' access to the old box. I keep a backup of the VPS on my NAS in any case, but still good to double check config and that kind of thing plus the uplink from the old VPS is way faster than my home DSL so it made transfering nearly 30GB of data a breeze.
I transferred all the data over to the new box but couldn't really start getting my head into the server config due to work and family commitments. This wasn't exactly a planned piece of work and my schedule has been pretty full for the past few weeks!

I managed to do things in small bursts - but there was a lot to do, not least because the phpBB install was a bit out of date and wouldn't support the latest LAMP stack (specifically didn't support PHP 7.2). So I needed to work through all that, update the phpBB extensions, migrate the database and various other bits of general system 'faffery'.

I eventually took the decision to bring it online yesterday to load test it. This highlighted some performance issues where the database engine just hogs the entire cpu and brings the whole server to a halt. After trying various dba approaches, I have concluded that this is likely to be a phpBB extension that's misbehaving. So for the time being, I disabled them all and purged their data. I will be slowly re-enabling them to see if the problem re-occurs although I suspect the culprit will be one of three (Recent Posts, Similar Topics or Stop Forum Spam).

There's still some bits to do. I haven't got around to making the styles phpBB 3.3 compatible so the forum might look a little different (profiles on the right being the obvious difference). I can also finally update the wiki to use the latest version of MediaWiki and apply an SSL cert to it.

Please be patient - I can't yet guarantee the performance is where it should be and I may be taking the service on / off line as and when I need to work on something.
STE: Desktopper case, IDE interface, UltraSatan (8GB + 512Mb) + HXC floppy emulator. Plus some STE's/STFM's
Dal
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by Dal »

It's definitely the Stop Forum Spam extension. Seems there is a fix for this issue on Github, so I have downloaded the latest commit from there and applied it to the board. Will see if that helps...
STE: Desktopper case, IDE interface, UltraSatan (8GB + 512Mb) + HXC floppy emulator. Plus some STE's/STFM's
Dal
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by Dal »

Dal wrote: Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:13 pm It's definitely the Stop Forum Spam extension. Seems there is a fix for this issue on Github, so I have downloaded the latest commit from there and applied it to the board. Will see if that helps...
Nope, that didn't help at all!
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by mfro »

Thank you for all your work to keep the forum up!

P.S.: my personal experience with phpbb is to keep away from extensions that aren't part of the official distribution and are not absolutely needed.

They will sooner or later bite you.
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by Dal »

mfro wrote: Wed Jun 17, 2020 5:05 pm P.S.: my personal experience with phpbb is to keep away from extensions that aren't part of the official distribution and are not absolutely needed.
Definitely the case with the old mods - they were a nightmare to troubleshoot. I remember the pain of those all too well!!

At least extensions exist in their own silos and can be enabled / disabled exclusively through the admin panel. The annoying thing is, out of all the extensions, the Stop Forum Spam one is arguably the most important from a security perspective. It will be interesting to see how busy we all get in the mod / admin team while it's disabled - it could be nothing to be particularly bothered about.
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by robdaemon »

Thanks! I'm happy to see the site back.

Do you have a Patreon or something so we can help sponsor the site, or do you want / need that? I'd be happy to throw some money in every month.
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by ST Graveyard »

Thanks a lot Dal. Really appreciate it!
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by Gnu »

Thank you for all the work and effort you are putting in to keeping the site up and running for all of us!
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by terence »

Thanks a lot for all the work done !
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by 1024MAK »

robdaemon wrote: Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:54 am Do you have a Patreon or something so we can help sponsor the site, or do you want / need that? I'd be happy to throw some money in every month.
For Donations, see this topic.

Mark
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by aktiv8 »

Thanks Dal

Your effort is apprecated. Managing several (simpler!) sites myself, I know how much of a headache things like this can be
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by joska »

Dal wrote: Wed Jun 17, 2020 5:21 pmThe annoying thing is, out of all the extensions, the Stop Forum Spam one is arguably the most important from a security perspective. It will be interesting to see how busy we all get in the mod / admin team while it's disabled - it could be nothing to be particularly bothered about.
I'm running a small phpbb forum myself, and even *with* the Stop Forum Spam extension spam was such a problem that I had to resort to manual activation of new users. 95% of new registrations are from spammers which slips through the Stop Forum Spam filter.
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by Symoon »

Happy to see the site back, thanks to all those involved!
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by Avanze »

We appreciate your hard work, Dal. Thanks for bring the forums back online.
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by TheNameOfTheGame »

Thanks Dal
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by 1024MAK »

Dal carried out some more tweaks yesterday, so hopefully everyone’s forum experience is improving.

Personally I would like to thank Dal for all the hard work he has done and is continuing to do to keep the forum and wiki online and usable ImageImageImage
:cheers:

Mark
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by TheNameOfTheGame »

I hope wide mode page viewing will come back soon also. I miss the full-width viewing, but glad to have the forum back on-line.
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by DarkLord »

Glad it's back - thanks for the (persistent) hard work Dal. :)

PS I can't find the new posts button? It's not at the top or in the 1st/2nd box
down like it used to be...

Thanks.
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by Atari74user »

A massive thank you for bringing the Atari Forum back, and for all of the hard work!
:cheers:
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by leglod »

Hello and thank you for this work, I was afraid that the forum would not come back! It is a wealth of information from the Atari world :)
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by darwinmac »

DarkLord wrote: Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:52 pm Glad it's back - thanks for the (persistent) hard work Dal. :)

PS I can't find the new posts button? It's not at the top or in the 1st/2nd box
down like it used to be...

Thanks.
I know you mentioned this on AtariAge. What new posts button are you missing? I see the link I've seen before the upgrade.
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by wongck »

Thanks Dal and all who helped .... the speed of this forum is very fast now.
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by dma »

Indeed, forum seems even faster than before the upgrade!
Great job Dal and all!
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by DarkLord »

darwinmac wrote: Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:43 pm
I know you mentioned this on AtariAge. What new posts button are you missing? I see the link I've seen before the upgrade.

Bob C
Okay, before the upgrade I actually had a button on the left side, just below the first panel that said "new posts".

It's not there now but I'll use that drop menu so it's all good. Thanks. :)
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Re: We're back (ish)

Post by DarkLord »

Oh...doesn't the Chrome script blocking all the MiSTer stuff not work anymore?

Thanks.
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