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View Full Version : PressF1 problems, down time and all that Jazz - please read



Biggles
13-05-2004, 10:42 AM
As you all know the server has been up and down the last day. There will be ongoing maintenance today trying to sort out its problems.

If you find you cannot log in, don't panic -- the problem will be at this end, so don't trying reseting your password.

Our apologies for the hassle, but it seems the server needs a little TLC right now.

UPDATE 3:53pm: Creating new accounts and resetting passwords has been disabled in an attempt to track the error causing problems. Do not be alarmed, well, do not be more alarmed, .... oh... you know what I mean.

[Edited by: admin on May 13, 2004 3:50 PM]

mark c
13-05-2004, 10:55 AM
Hey that'a relief Bruce. I thought 11 hours meant everyone had skedaddled. :D

Biggles
13-05-2004, 11:53 AM
Its up right now (10:53am). Barring further drama today, it is likely to be down this evening at some stage as some work is done on the login server.

stu120404
13-05-2004, 12:22 PM
> Our apologies for the hassle, but it seems the server
> needs a little TLC right now.

YA!, nice to know the Press F1 server is getting some love :x :D

Also donít forget about chat F1(http://chatf1.net.nz) every one ,when Press F1 goes down this evening, I should be there.

Murray P
13-05-2004, 03:05 PM
Yay I'm in. For now anyway.

Umm.... hellooo, helloo is anybody out there.....??

beetle
13-05-2004, 03:12 PM
Nup nobody here MP.......:p


im doing ok on this today but yesterday thats another story.....

:D
beetle

Murray P
13-05-2004, 03:18 PM
Stop malingering, back to work with you ;)

Cheers Murray ;P

beetle
13-05-2004, 03:20 PM
Looks who's talking........:p

:D

at the moment i am actually eating my lunch so there.......:p




beetle

TonyF
13-05-2004, 06:35 PM
> Its up right now (10:53am). Barring further drama
> today, it is likely to be down this evening at some
> stage as some work is done on the login server.
Maybe nip down to Dick Smith and get some new bits ....

Susan B
13-05-2004, 07:08 PM
> > Our apologies for the hassle, but it seems the server
> > needs a little TLC right now.

> YA!, nice to know the Press F1 server is getting some love :x :D


Is that how you do it? Be naughty and you get some love and TLC? ?:|

Hmmm.... maybe I might just try that..... ;-)

Megaman
13-05-2004, 08:42 PM
7:42 I can log in :D

Good work IDG :)

Biggles
13-05-2004, 09:11 PM
BTW - can folks let me know how the speed is after Mark and Jim's tinkering. It certainly is responding faster for me. I'd be interested if others are noticing any difference.

Murray P
13-05-2004, 09:28 PM
I was just going to say sluggish but when I hit the reply link it snapped in like a scolded cat (scolded cats snap snap, don't they).

Thanks guys and girls.

Cheers Murray P

Megaman
13-05-2004, 09:34 PM
it's faster than before

Jester
13-05-2004, 09:52 PM
It was going like a flash till about 20 mins ago, when pages loaded real slow. Just tried again now and it's all good.

J
:D

Laura
13-05-2004, 11:35 PM
At 10.30 pm

Login was fine

Page took 28 seconds to open (Win98SE on Dialup)

This post took 29 seconds to open

Laura
13-05-2004, 11:38 PM
Sorry -meaning unclear..
I meant - this thread took 29 seconds to open in order to make this post.

~~~~~ s y ~~~~~
13-05-2004, 11:43 PM
Personally, I still think it's about the same. Not the fastest I've seen. But much more stable now, after the tweak. Thanks IDG.

Me had 6.5seconds on 256k JetSurf WinXP Pro

Jester
13-05-2004, 11:53 PM
Clicking "reply" till I could type was 2 seconds here on 256K.

But sometimes, clicking "back to topic list" at the bottom of posts seems to stall - up to 15 seconds inactivity then loads fast, whilst trying in another window 10 or so times whilst compiling this reply.

J

Laura
14-05-2004, 01:02 AM
But hey..

As Chilling Silence has said in another thread on this subject, the FAQs now open FAST. Yes, I said FAST!

And as The Bard said: "For this relief, much thanks."

Newbs of the World Unite To Cheer..

Greg S
14-05-2004, 01:47 AM
>can folks let me know how the speed is after
> Mark and Jim's tinkering.

Appears quicker here

Chilling_Silence
14-05-2004, 02:30 AM
Any chance of us knowing what tinkering was done? Im curious... :-)

merlin a
14-05-2004, 11:59 AM
Appears quicker win xp pro on dailup 12 to page appearing full 20-25 seconds for full page loaded.

cheers merlin a/merlin-nz ;-)

R2x1
14-05-2004, 02:04 PM
Oh the relief - just bunged in a couple of fresh hard drives and reinstalled
everything - thought I had really screwed up somehow when no PF1 could be
found yesterday.

The speed is much better now, Win XP and Woosh with Firefox. Still a bit
of waiting for doublecrick even though I don't view it

marke
16-05-2004, 05:47 PM
Hi Chillin'

Yep - we rebuilt the LDAP database that contains all the user information - can you believe it went from 2.2 Gb to 18Mb ... yes ... you read that right!

For reference, OpenLDAP on RedHat uses GDBM by default rather than Berkley DB ... which by accounts is quicker and doesn't continually increase its index sizes without reclaiming space (which is why the enormous size of our userdbs)

Longer term we plan to move to OpenLDAP on berkley - but we want to redesign the LDAP schema to be more efficient (which means doing a data conversion to fit the data into the new schema). I think it's possible - though hard to measure - that the LDAP inefficiencies are causing this forum to be slow at times.

I'd also like to look at upgrading the forum to a later release of Jive - if we can afford it!! The prices have shot up as they have changed the licensing policies. I've been looking at some of the other options - for example PHPbb or VBulletin, but to be honest Jive offers functionality that is at least as good with the added advantage that it is based on Java/JSP ... which is the technology that we're using on many of the other IDG sites.

Of course there's only so much we can do at any one time with 1/2 a programmer!

Perhaps what we should do is set up a real open-source forum and get some of the F1'ers to help build and mod it... any good Java/HSP doods and doodettes out there!!?? ;-)

Mark Evans

stu120404
16-05-2004, 07:22 PM
What happened to Press F1 today? (Sunday 16 of may) it was down most of the morning after noon (in till chill came on MSN & ask me if press F1 was down & I said yes)

Also what type of database is Press F1 using, MySQL? Or something different?

Greg S
16-05-2004, 07:58 PM
> Perhaps what we should do is set up a real
> open-source forum and get some of the F1'ers to help
> build and mod it

I'd be happy to set up a board if it was based on phpbb... and spend a number of hours each week mananging it. All I'd need is ftp access to your server space

stu120404
16-05-2004, 08:00 PM
> > Perhaps what we should do is set up a real
> > open-source forum and get some of the F1'ers to
> help
> > build and mod it
>
> I'd be happy to set up a board if it was based on
> phpbb...

Same :)

Greg S
16-05-2004, 08:20 PM
It would be quite a cool project actually - do it on a trial basis and we could test it alongside the existing site. Be quite fun too to customise it with the PressF1 theme

-=JM=-
16-05-2004, 11:12 PM
Well vBulletin is by far the best forum software that I know of, certainly one of the most popular anyway. phpBB is a nice free package, though I've seen a lot of Invision based boards popping up lately. There is also Snitz but that is an asp based board so would definitely not be where you're looking at going and it isn't as nice as the other packages out there.

stu120404
17-05-2004, 01:29 PM
If you want something that runs on php & is all most the same style as we have now have a look at PunBB - http://www.punbb.org/ here is a forum which uses it: http://webdeveloper.co.nz/forum/?PHPSESSID=27f6c0b330bb2f1b6d3a6bd349f37ee5

marke
17-05-2004, 02:40 PM
Ideally we want to try and stick with the technology we've got and iron out the problems, 'cause migration would be a relatively large project ... we'd have to convert the data (users, groups and posts), apply the relevant look-and-feel etc. All of which takes time and resources that are scarce around here. Not only that - other technology that we're using here revolves around Java/JSP, Apache & Tomcat so there are some synergies in sticking with that configuration (for example it allows us to configure a bank of identically configured machines any one of which can be configured to run Pressf1 in the event of a hardware failure).

However if the alternative is a forum that is unstable, then obviously this is something we need to address.

The plan of action at the moment is to try later in the week migrating onto a different machine, which uses v2 of Apache, v4 Tomcat, and an updated version of the Apache->Tomcat connector (we're currently sitting on 1.13 Apache and Tomcat 4 with the mod_jk connector - the newer box runs Apache 2.4x Tomcat 4.x and mod_jk2 which is considerably faster).

I still think that there is an LDAP speed issue, but I also think that only affects the speed of the initial login - there's no way it should affect non-logged-in speed ... which I've seen adversely affected from time-to-time. for example the speed of the FAQ's.

There's also the option of upgrading to a later version of Jive as well ... there've been a few updates since the version we've got (and a few more features too).

However - because of resource constraints - we have to solve these problems methodically one-at-a-time.

The login problem looks to be nailed now. The next focus is trying to eradicate any speed and reliability issues, which we'll start off with by testing Jive on the newer box.

Will keep you posted. If we decide that it might be a sensible option to migrate to another platform, then of course we'd welcome the help of the old team to help with the setup, testing and configuration of the new software!! We might also need testing help if we upgrade to a later version of Jive as well.

Thanks everyone for your help (and understanding!)

Mark Evans
CTO & Online Business Manager
IDG Communications Ltd

Chilling_Silence
17-05-2004, 03:46 PM
Sounds like PressF1 may have simply out-grown the old software?!

stu120404
17-05-2004, 05:45 PM
marke>

What type of database is Press F1 using, MySQL? Or something different?

I have to say press F1 is nice & fast for me at the moment :)

marke
17-05-2004, 06:18 PM
Yep - MySQL.

We also need to look at the queries to see if they are optimised too. It's possible that there are missing indexes causing a serial read to happen on certain queries ... and slowing things down as a result.

marke
17-05-2004, 06:21 PM
I don't think that's necessarily the case - although Pressf1 is well-used. It's really more a matter of one-by-one isolating what's causing the speed issues ... which is tricky when they are intermittent anyway.

It might turn out to be that an upgrade to the software is a good idea - it might turn out to be something we can fix reasonably easy.

As I said - we just have to isolate factors in a methodical way until we know exactly what the issues are.

Mark

exLL
17-05-2004, 10:07 PM
Just curious. In Dec 2002 Press F1 users queried the IDG survey.
Here is part of Bruce's reply to one post.

>Bruce Buckman
>Posted: Dec 11, 2002 10:55 AM
>The IDG survey uses a cookie to ensure you see it just once.
>Of course, if you are blocking cookies that won't work.
>Swings and roundabouts people . . .

As it has been around for so long now, is it still current and of use to IDG?

The pop-up survey appears each time that I log on after having cleared out my temporary internet files which clears out my friendly Press F1 cookies also. It doesn't bother me, I just close it each time that it pops up.

I have posted in this thread in case it is outdated and you were unaware that it was still hanging around.
Cheers.

Chilling_Silence
17-05-2004, 10:56 PM
exLL>
Try a browser like Firefox. I never go to PressF1 from any other browser except Firefox... Explains why Ive not seen it at all this year :p


Chill.

Murray P
17-05-2004, 11:26 PM
Ditto Here Chill. Not to malign MS but, IE (and it's little mate, OE) just ain't worth the hassle as far as I'm concerned.

Cheers Murray P

exLL
18-05-2004, 12:07 AM
Thanks for the advice Chill and Murray, I might consider doing that.
Cheers. :)

Laura
18-05-2004, 12:52 AM
Now I'm pretty new at this stuff, but even I know that you can block general cookies in IE, but still keep some you do allow.

I'm on Win98SE.
I sorted it somehow so long ago that I'd forgotten about the bob-up IDG survey connected to PF1 (until I saw exLL's post, that is) There's got to be a simpler answer than changing uour browser...

Not that I'm knocking the idea of a browser change..Once I've learned this one thoroughly, I'll want to try another.

And the fact that I can't just toss off the info about how to fix the cookie situation off the top of my head at this time of night probably shows how much I still have to learn....

Someone else will help with that, no doubt... but on its own, it sure ain't a reason to change browsers.

(And yes, I will try Linux when I've beaten Billy Gates' system to my satisfaction)

Greg S
18-05-2004, 01:15 AM
>but on
> its own, it sure ain't a reason to change browsers.

The point about changing browsers isn't to do with cookies - it's to do with the pop-ups - browsers like Mozilla and Netscape can disable pop-ups and still keep whatever cookie settings you want

Laura
18-05-2004, 01:25 AM
Thanks Greg, but I'm doing that OK with IE & Google's pop-up stopper & stuff.
(Haven't one for ages)
Mind you, depends on the sites you surf, I guess....

marke
18-05-2004, 12:54 PM
That pop-up survey that you refer to is an initiative of a group called the Online Publishers Group - of which IDG is a member. Other members include TVNZ, NZ Herald, Stuff, Vodaphone and XtraMSN.

This group was set up to help try and grow the internet market in New Zealand.

Key to this was actually understanding the market too (including how it changes over time). To that end, we commissioned RedSheriff (an internet measurement company) which has since become Neilsen NetRatings to undertake the traffic measurement and run both these popup online surveys (which run on all OPG-member sites) and an extensive telephone survey.

There are basically two reasons that this popup continues to appear on your screen (assuming that you are not blocking popups of course). The first is that if you have filled out a survey previously, it gets invalidated eventually (as the information would otherwise become stale) - and you are then invited to participate again in the survey (this gives us an idea of how people's internet usage changes over time).

Secondly - the survey information gathered is anonymous. The way that we ensure that we are not getting information from the same small group of information over and over again is that we (or rather NetRatings) can place a cookie that says "this person has already filled out the survey, and recently enough that they shouldn't be invited to fill it out again". If you delete the cookie, the system will re-invite you to fill out the survey.

There are tens of thousands of completed surveys - and for the first time, the internet industry in New Zealand is able to start to understand better how people are using online. Which in turn allows them to better ascertain the needs of their audiences ... leading to better sites for you, the reader. In this respect, New Zealand is actually leading the rest of the world, and Neilsen Netratings is using the NZ model as a model for other countries to follow.

I hope that helps explain what the survey is about and what we do with the information gathered? Again, I stress that the information filled out in these surveys is anonymous, and the results are aggregated, and no-one is personally identiable from the surveys. It's simply a tool to help people publishing online to better understand who their audience is, what they want to do online, and how they want to do it.

Mark Evans
CTO & Online Business Manager
IDG Communications Ltd



[Edited by: admin on May 18, 2004 11:56 AM]

Greg S
18-05-2004, 01:37 PM
> That pop-up survey .....
> .....want to do online, and how they want to do it.
>
> Mark Evans
> CTO & Online Business Manager
> IDG Communications Ltd
>
>
>
> [Edited by: admin on May 18, 2004 11:56 AM]

Thanks for that info. As a "pop-up blocker-user I was curious about what it was.

Personally I think a user's browser shouldn't be invaded by pop-ups - no matter what their intent. A much more polite way would be to have a hyperlink asking if a user would like to contribute.

Long live pop-up blockers!

Chilling_Silence
18-05-2004, 02:46 PM
> Personally I think a user's browser shouldn't be
> invaded by pop-ups - no matter what their intent. A
> much more polite way would be to have a hyperlink
> asking if a user would like to contribute.
Yes, good point, I totally agree :-) That way its voluntary and doesnt annoy the person visiting a website! Statistics may vary however then....

> Long live pop-up blockers!
Amen to that :-)

exLL
18-05-2004, 09:16 PM
marke. Thanks for that full explanation about the IDG survey. My main reason for posting was that I had the idea that it might have been outdated and would be uselessly sloshing around in the background of Press F1 and using up your resources. I now know the full story. The fact that it pops up doesn't bother me at all.

Laura. Thanks for your comments too. I use Win 98. I often clear my cookies manually (select and delete) and just leave the three that pertain to Press F1. Your remarks were interesting. I sort of knew that they could be locked in but had not bothered to suss it out.
As it's starting to get rather off topic for the original thread, I'll consider your comments and post in a different thread if I need further help. Thanks again.
Cheers. :)

Chilling_Silence
20-05-2004, 11:19 AM
Well, 16 hours without posting....

Looks like the issue lives on :-(

Greg S
20-05-2004, 11:24 AM
> Well, 16 hours without posting....
>
> Looks like the issue lives on :-(

Yeah pity. For the first time ever I wasn't able to login, this morning.

Winston001
20-05-2004, 12:47 PM
Ho yes, back on board. Locked out for the past day and I was a very cross bear. Bit of a worry that lack of membership for a computer forum should bother me. I'm not really a geek - honest. :D

Chilling_Silence
20-05-2004, 12:53 PM
> I'm not really a geek - honest. :D

Denial!!

Time to check you into Geeks Anonymous ;-)

R2x1
20-05-2004, 03:20 PM
I'm not an addict either, but now it's back my temperature and pulse are normal again.

R2

nz_liam
20-05-2004, 07:54 PM
> > Perhaps what we should do is set up a real
> > open-source forum and get some of the F1'ers to
> help
> > build and mod it
>
> I'd be happy to set up a board if it was based on
> phpbb... and spend a number of hours each week
> mananging it. All I'd need is ftp access to your
> server space

I've got heaps (about 1gb) of spare server space and more mysql databases than you can poke a stick at on my server, not to mention 37gb of bandwidth per mth, so If anyone wants a bit of space to have a tinker with php/mysql based Forums just let me know.

nz_liam :)