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Database upgrades finished



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Dearest Members and Visitors of the Fountain Pen Nuthouse,

 

This morning 5 am EDT, 10 am GMT, we successfully concluded a set of major database upgrades.

 

Since the setback we suffered early November last year, we upgraded the forum software, once we fixed the database corruption experienced. That corruption caused us to have to go back to an earlier version of the database software, effectively putting us at a level 3 major versions behind the most recent supported production release.

 

After research over the last few months and over a week of preparations, the necessary back-ups and processes put in place, during a long call with the Hosting Supprt Centre, we upgraded the database software to the latest, strictest and most secure version. This version is supported by our forum software, after all, so from this point of view we are now completely up-to-data with serverside software versions and upgrades.

 

We still need to make some minor adjustements in the setup of the configuration of individual tables and overall behaviour, but this upgrade may be considered a major milestone.

 

Anyway, in case you do find there are some problems with storing any images, etc., or saving a post, please let us know in the Community Feedback forum, to which you have access as a registered, signed-in member.

 

Thank you very much in advance!

 

Warm regards,

on behalf of The FPN Moderator and Admin Team,

Wim

the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever

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mizgeorge

Thank you for all the hard work Wim, I have some idea of what's involved, and it's tedious and time consuming. It is appreciated though :)

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white_lotus

Yea!

 

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Thank you very much indeed for all your hard work.

We appreciate it. 

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thanks for all that hard work. The site does now feel better than before...

a fountain pen is physics in action... Proud member of the SuperPinks

fpn_1425200643__fpn_1425160066__super_pi

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Thank you all, much appreciated.

One of the enhancements is indeed increase of database speed, with the upgrades.

 

We did run into a few minor problems over the past few hours, and these were fixed minutes ago (I hope). Some issues with new accounts upon registration :).

So we tackled a few outstanding minor changes as well :).

 

We'll keep an eye on how things go, but other than the registration issue, so far so good.

 

Warm regards, Wim

 

the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever

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Rainbowpizza

Keep up the good work! The site has a little pep in its step now!

1. Law of Mechanical Repair - After your hands become coated with grease ink, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee. 2. Law of Gravity - Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner. 3. Law of Probability - The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act. 4. Variation Law - If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now.

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Thank you!

 

It appeared that some of the larger tables in the database never got converted to the faster database engine type, and I learnt that could be done manually. However, just to be on the safe side I wanted to get to the latest supported database version first.

 

Since things appear stable now, and I had to fix and configure a few other things as well, I just fixed those too. With large tables, such as the posts and message tables, it does make a difference indeed.

 

Warm regards, Wim

the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever

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A Smug Dill

It seems to be a new phenomenon, after the database upgrade, that new member creation entries are appearing in triplicate in activity streams:

 

large.1299920034_Newmembercreationentriesintriplicateinactivitystreams.png.2408ae416eec1c282b406bc0afe53dea.png

 

Kinda brings to mind how Classified ads are also created in triplicate.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Yes, they are. It looks like what we used to see in Classifieds, is now happening with registrations, while new users get an error message saying they cannot be registered.

 

I am working on it as we speak.

 

Warm regards, Wim

the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever

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Ok, hopefully fixed now.

We'll keep an eye on it.

 

Amazingly enough this was caused by the remains in the databse of an application we started using sometime around 2009, to deal with spam. There wasn't much else back then, and we only started it using litterally with only a few days to spare before the spamstorm hit us, going from 10 spammers a day to over 300 spammers a day. With 10 minute per sapmmer required back then to delete each of them, it was a godsend :).

 

However, subsequent improvements in other parts of the system, and no longer using (and removing) that specific add-on apparently did not remove anything, and that came to haunt us yesterday after the move to the new databse version. The latter is much stricter in dealing with default values, and that caused these problems - no default value for the remaining column of that old add-on, which we haven't used in more than 10 years now. It did survive all the migrations and conversions we have ever done, however, just to haunt us yesterday, and part of today .... :)

 

Warm regards, Wim

the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever

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A Smug Dill

:thumbup: Wim, I'm glad to hear you finally hunted down the culprit! 👏

 

Hopefully that resolves the issue of the triplicates haunting the Classifieds as well?

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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21 minutes ago, A Smug Dill said:

:thumbup: Wim, I'm glad to hear you finally hunted down the culprit! 👏

 

Hopefully that resolves the issue of the triplicates haunting the Classifieds as well?

 

Yes, my thought immediately too when we found the culprit. I need to look at that, will do so later today.

 

We did have a version of a Classifieds add-on in the old software, and some of the tables have exactly the same name, even though they are from completely different authors, and despite there being no  relation at all between the two packages, orthe authors for that matter. And considerign naming conventions used in the software, even columns may have been named the same.

 

However, after another long night, trying to fix the registration problem, I will now first go for a bit of a walk.

It has been a crazy week, well actually more than a week, again .... Feeling a little tired, and can use some fresh air :).

 

Warm regards, Wim

the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever

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A Smug Dill

View accounting seems a little askew, and it boggles the mind if — or, more precisely, how — the system being brought up and down could have generated spurious reads to the database for one entry but not the other:

large.106817004_Viewaccountingforgalleryimagesseemsalittleoff.png.a13e57a94766f87855c9e33a32309bba.png

 

The issue is trivial, though, and of no concern. :)

 

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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13 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

View accounting seems a little askew, and it boggles the mind if — or, more precisely, how — the system being brought up and down could have generated spurious reads to the database for one entry but not the other:

large.106817004_Viewaccountingforgalleryimagesseemsalittleoff.png.a13e57a94766f87855c9e33a32309bba.png

 

The issue is trivial, though, and of no concern. :)

 

Phew!

Wiping my brow :) ....

 

I had a look at the Classifieds issue, and I found it is a different issue, although also due to an impossible write to the database. So I tried to mislead it. Hope that that works. In this case an extra column was required, but no idea what the type of data is supposed to be stored in it. Best guess was a varchar for now :).

 

I'll check how that works out ....

It appears to be caused by people not completing all mandatory fields, however.

 

Warm regards, Wim

the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever

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Since this database upgrade I keep getting an odd screen on pressing Unread Content.

I see the Unread Content box but the posts are covered by a completely blank box that has an X on a tab on it's top right hand corner. There's nothing at all in the box that does anything and it goes when I press the X but when I want to Load More Activity it comes back again. Is the idea that I need to press this X every time I refresh the screen?

 

Edited to add I've deleted my history and it hasn't fixed it.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 09.35.11.png

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A Smug Dill
1 hour ago, Dione said:

… a completely blank box that has an X on a tab on it's top right hand corner.

 

Is that an over-the-top ad panel of which the content is somehow blocked, but the element containing it is still being rendered?

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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1 hour ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

Is that an over-the-top ad panel of which the content is somehow blocked, but the element containing it is still being rendered?

Looks like it.

 

I normally do not see anything at all in that spot when no ad is displayed. Unfortunately the standard rules for displaying html and css are generally not as standard as it may seem.

 

Maybe check out a different browser and see itf it is caused by the browser or not.

 

Warm regards, Wim

the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever

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When I first wrote the post about this problem it was only happening on my laptop this morning. When I logged into my iMac the problem wasn't happening. Since the latest fix I have exactly the same problem on both machines. Even in dark mode the white box covers up the posts on the black screen.

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Hi Dione,

 

I actually posted a reply to your previous reply, but both disappeared because of having to restore a slightly older database backup after a problem caused by one of the fixes for a few small irregularities I tried to fix.

 

That white box is caused by our highest earner advert position. I have asked the agency to supply us with a transparent version, but so far they could not.

 

The reason you see a white empty box was based on your statement that you clicked the ads away. I have seen that happening before while experimenting a few years ago.  indicating you are not interested in the ads displayed, means that when trying to display an ad, the box stays empty. And because it has a white background, it stays exactly like that.

 

I also mentioned that that particular ad is our highest earner.

 

We are now only at around 50% of the funding with ads and donations, as we had to start fom scratch early December after fixing the database crash, moving to a new server, upgrading the software and converting the database for the newest software version, basically a month of fulltime, 24/7, 10-14 hour and more workdays.

it really is a shame you could not let those ads run regardless. Even I do, despite the fact that as an Admin I could very easily switch them all off for myself.

If you do want for our website to survive, I'd seriously suggest you either allow ads to be displayed, or maybe, if you can, take out a donorship. FPN can be totally ad free for anybody here for $30 a year, or $4 a month, with the Rhodium Supportership (see our Store), as that gives you the option to switch off ads completely, plus a bunch of other benefits.

 

Because of the size of the site, requiring a rather big server to support it, the hosting costs are quite high, and in addition we have to pay for software licencing costs, occasionally some additional custom development (as little as possible), and as an offcially registered company because we do receive funding by advertising and donations, bookkeeping, accounting, and taxes. Just the out-of-pocket costs, and that is all we hope to receive, amounts currently to about € 22000 to € 24000 on a yearly basis.

 

The work that goes into this site, i.e., the work the moderators do, and the admin team (i.e., me), is all done on an unremunerated, volunteer basis, so that money really goes to just keeping the site running.

 

HTH, warm regards, Wim

the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever

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