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Damage
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Cutting over to new web servers tonight

Sat Oct 21, 2006 10:46 pm

If all goes as planned, we'll be running on new servers by Sunday morning. We're making last-minute preparations right now, and then we'll attempt to cut to the new boxes. If there's a problem, we'll fall back to the old ones.

There might be a period of time when some folks will see one server and others will see another while the DNS change propagates. During that time, some forum and comments posts may get lost in the shuffle (i.e., posted into the old web/DB servers after the new web/DB servers are live.) If that happens, well, sorry. We've taken measures to minimize that time window, though.

If you see anything really weird happening with the site in the next couple of days, post a comment below or shoot us some email, so we can look into it. With luck, we'll be running faster than ever soon. Thanks.
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Jon
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Sat Oct 21, 2006 11:12 pm

I thought everything was pretty quick as it is, but, all the more power to ya! :)
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radix
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Sat Oct 21, 2006 11:25 pm

Is a server review in the plans? :D
 
Damage
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 1:13 am

Jon wrote:
I thought everything was pretty quick as it is, but, all the more power to ya! :)


Use the new boxes for a while before you decide that the old ones were quick. ;) 98% of folks should be seeing the new boxes now.
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Fighterpilot
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:08 am

Pretty noticable here.The pages seem to snap open much quicker than before as does hitting the "Main" button to get back to the TR front page..
Congrats!
Now only if they were Intel.... :wink:
 
JustAnEngineer
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:02 am

Made it!

And yes, the site seems noticably snappier.

The pound symbols in this thread have become diamonds with question marks for me:
viewtopic.php?t=44913&highlight=
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Hoser
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:26 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:
The pound symbols in this thread have become diamonds with question marks for me:
viewtopic.php?t=44913&highlight=


Me too.
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tsoulier
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:30 am

noticably snappier , very nice ........... :lol:
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Hoser
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:37 am

I just noticed the degree symbol in 90° to Reality's name is a diamond also.
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LicketySplit
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:38 am

Good to go and a tad quicker here as well :wink:
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Damage
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:38 am

Hoser wrote:
JustAnEngineer wrote:
The pound symbols in this thread have become diamonds with question marks for me:
viewtopic.php?t=44913&highlight=


Me too.


What browsers are you using? OS?
Scott Wasson - "Damage"

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redmouse
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:42 am

Vista RC1 5600, Firefox 2.0 RC3, and much faster in loading as well :lol:
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Hoser
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:43 am

Damage wrote:
What browsers are you using? OS?


Firefox, XP Pro. Both fully updated and patched.
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monts
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:52 am

Damage wrote:
What browsers are you using? OS?


Me too, OS: Ubuntu 6.10 Browser: Epiphany
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morphine
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:06 am

I've come across this before with a webserver, it's the same case, the solution might not be the same as mine, but...

php.ini: Set the default content encoding to ISO-8859-1, via:

default_charset = "iso-8859-1"


ninja edit: yeah I've checked and the HTTP headers in the forums are indicating a UTF-8 charset, which is a bad idea unless everything's converted to UTF-8 also before sending, which I *think* phpBB is not doing.
 
etilena
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:12 am

Really does feel very snappy now.

Any plans for benchmarks comparing the old and the new?
*yawn*
 
lordT
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:39 am

Seems snappier
 
sroylance
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:10 am

morphine wrote:
I've come across this before with a webserver, it's the same case, the solution might not be the same as mine, but...

php.ini: Set the default content encoding to ISO-8859-1, via:

default_charset = "iso-8859-1"


ninja edit: yeah I've checked and the HTTP headers in the forums are indicating a UTF-8 charset, which is a bad idea unless everything's converted to UTF-8 also before sending, which I *think* phpBB is not doing.


Thanks for your help.

The default for apache in RHEL4 is UTF-8. I set apache to use iso-8859-1, so hopefully that clears this issue up for people. It seems like it would be better not to force a default character encoding, but as long as this works for most of our users I'll leave it.
 
morphine
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:17 am

Actually, to standardize stuff you _want_ to have a default charset, but it's not enforced at all. It's an indication to the browser of what's the charset in the data that's going to be sent, for the browser to show the appropriate graphical characters.

The problem popped up because UTF-8 aka Unicode was indicated, but the data sent was not in UTF-8, it seems. Of course, since nobody's typing in any squiggly language in these forums, having it set to ISO-8859-1 aka Latin-1 should be a problem. Just about all of the western world uses this.

Experience helps... having dealth with lots of problem characters in the computer world has taught me a few things. These are particularly problematic, for instance: ãñõçÇäëïöü
 
UberGerbil
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 12:28 pm

Obligatory Joel on Software post regarding character encodings (it gets around to web pages and HTTP headers towards the end) for anyone interested in some background on this issue.

I happened to check TR just when the changeover was occuring, and all I got was the rough skeleton of the site with lots of database errors. I was going to check back and send an email if it continued, because it looked like a crashed / unavailable server to me, but obviously it was a planned outage (it would be nice if you put something in the main page layout temporarily that indicated what was going on -- this thread was obviously not available)
 
sroylance
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:24 pm

UberGerbil wrote:
Obligatory Joel on Software post regarding character encodings (it gets around to web pages and HTTP headers towards the end) for anyone interested in some background on this issue.

That is an incredibly useful article, thanks! I don't think this problem has any easy solution for a discussion board, though. Any given page could have 20 different contributors and 20 different encodings. I suppose the solution would be to only accept a limited subset of encodings and transform them all to a uniform encoding for storage. I'll have to investiagte how phpBB deals with it.

UberGerbil wrote:
I happened to check TR just when the changeover was occuring, and all I got was the rough skeleton of the site with lots of database errors. I was going to check back and send an email if it continued, because it looked like a crashed / unavailable server to me, but obviously it was a planned outage (it would be nice if you put something in the main page layout temporarily that indicated what was going on -- this thread was obviously not available)


That wasn't part of the planned outage, it was the result of a mess-up on my part. The database backend wasn't allowing enough concurrent connections, so once it reached the limit viewers started seeing that.
 
morphine
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:27 pm

sroylance wrote:
That is an incredibly useful article, thanks! I don't think this problem has any easy solution for a discussion board, though. Any given page could have 20 different contributors and 20 different encodings. I suppose the solution would be to only accept a limited subset of encodings and transform them all to a uniform encoding for storage. I'll have to investiagte how phpBB deals with it.


It's not how phpBB deals with it, but how phpBB and MySQL deal with it. In the latest versions of MySQL, you can specificy a charset for both your tables and your connections. However, I have no idea if phpBB makes any use of those at all. Like I said before, it's probably just set to Latin1 as usual.
 
toxent
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:58 pm

I have noticed the snappiness! Nice and very responsive.
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tesmar
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 3:48 pm

Was it really that slow before? It was snappy for me, at least. Where are these servers located, and what are the specs of the old & new. I'm wondering if it was worth the upgrade. Was OS are they running?
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StarkMjolk
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 5:02 pm

Yeah, give us hardware junkies some specs. ;)

I always try to get people to use unicode, specifically UTF-8. It has many pros to latin1, the only drawback being it isn't as ancient and as such, not as commonly accepted yet. I must admit the problem is much bigger than just the choice of charset when dealing with a forum though.

I hope your new servers work out well, Good Luck!
 
Fighterpilot
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 5:52 pm

I think the servers are running on a couple of those blazing hot Opterons. :wink:
 
sroylance
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 6:35 pm

tesmar wrote:
Was it really that slow before? It was snappy for me, at least. Where are these servers located, and what are the specs of the old & new. I'm wondering if it was worth the upgrade. Was OS are they running?


snappy on a Sunday afternoon and snappy on the Monday of a new hardware launch when we get linked from /. and digg are two different things :)

The site was definitely slow at times like that, but we hope not anymore!

EDIT:
testing edit in FF 1.5
Last edited by sroylance on Mon Oct 23, 2006 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
morphine
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Sun Oct 22, 2006 6:40 pm

Well against a Slashdotting, if it doesn't go up in smoke and flames and at least lets us read the article a page a minute, I think it's more than enough :)

Good job guys, keep improving!
 
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Mon Oct 23, 2006 12:12 pm

Just tried to edit my own comments. As someone has mentioned on Damage's blog entry, it showed up as a blue background and nothing else. :(

Of course, that did not stop someone from playing the disappearing text trick again. :lol:
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Damage
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Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:39 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
Just tried to edit my own comments. As someone has mentioned on Damage's blog entry, it showed up as a blue background and nothing else. :(


Yeah, looks like post edits are broken. We are looking into it, but it may not be a quick fix, depending on what's happening.
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