Forum Maintenance Planned - Fri 7-Mon 10 Dec

Discussion related to board management, suggestions for improvement, and formal announcements.
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Giant Space Hamster
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Forum Maintenance Planned - Fri 7-Mon 10 Dec

Post by Giant Space Hamster » Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:41 am

We had a problem repored recently with people not being able to post. (See Difficulty logging in and posting for details).

We were advised that our cookie settings were wrong and carried out some corrective work, but that has left many users with older (broken) cookies on their browser that still have the log-in problem.

The "Delete all board cookies" link at the bottom of the forum is NOT deleting these broken cookies.

We have a couple of workarounds, but are going to take the forum offline for maintenance:

WORKAROUNDS
  • You can use instructions for your specific browser to find and delete the specific Piazza cookies and delete them all (this will cause your browser to pull down a new cookie) or
  • You can use Private Browsing mode to stop your browser seeing the cookie stored on your computer.
EDIT: We are closing the forum this weekend (Fri 7-Mon 10 December 2018).

It's going to close on Friday evening. We hope to have it open again by Monday morning.

During Saturday and Sunday, we will be working on the forum and testing it. You might see it come back, while we are testing it, but unless we announce that the work is finished earlier than expected there is a chance that we might restore a backup (and zap any posts made before the backup is restored).

I'll start a separate topic about clearing out individual cookies for The Piazza, in case we still need some people to do that.
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Re: Forum Maintenance Planned - Fri 7-Mon 10 Dec

Post by Robin » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:44 pm

Maybe also take this oppurtunity to add the Table function anew into Piazza? As now no table ever created here is functional and a real pain in the... , I think most readers would enjoy this to be reinstated.
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Re: Forum Maintenance Planned - Fri 7-Mon 10 Dec

Post by Angel Tarragon » Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:13 am

Robin wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:44 pm
Maybe also take this oppurtunity to add the Table function anew into Piazza? As now no table ever created here is functional and a real pain in the... , I think most readers would enjoy this to be reinstated.
Definitely. I've put a lot of hard work into tables, and I'd love to see them functional again.

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Re: Forum Maintenance Planned - Fri 7-Mon 10 Dec

Post by Giant Space Hamster » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:33 am

Robin wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:44 pm
Maybe also take this oppurtunity to add the Table function anew into Piazza? As now no table ever created here is functional and a real pain in the... , I think most readers would enjoy this to be reinstated.
That's not an option, I'm afraid.

We are still waiting on the fix for that. (The issue is down to a change in the phpBB parser blocking Ashtagon's code. We need to have the code rewritten another way.)
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Re: Forum Maintenance Planned - Fri 7-Mon 10 Dec

Post by Giant Space Hamster » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:35 am

Angel Tarragon wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:13 am
Robin wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:44 pm
Maybe also take this oppurtunity to add the Table function anew into Piazza? As now no table ever created here is functional and a real pain in the... , I think most readers would enjoy this to be reinstated.
Definitely. I've put a lot of hard work into tables, and I'd love to see them functional again.
There is probably nobody that has done more tables than me.

This downtime is to try to work on the cookie problem. It's not for anything else.
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Re: Forum Maintenance Planned - Fri 7-Mon 10 Dec

Post by Hugin » Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:38 pm

Giant Space Hamster wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:35 am
Angel Tarragon wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:13 am
Definitely. I've put a lot of hard work into tables, and I'd love to see them functional again.
There is probably nobody that has done more tables than me.

This downtime is to try to work on the cookie problem. It's not for anything else.
I don't know guys, I think I could compete with the table use! :D

But thanks to all those putting in the hard work to improve the forums!

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Re: Forum Maintenance Planned - Fri 7-Mon 10 Dec

Post by Giant Space Hamster » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:33 am

OK.

We are closing the forum this weekend.

It's going to close on Friday evening. We hope to have it open again by Monday morning.

During Saturday and Sunday, we will be working on the forum and testing it. You might see it come back, while we are testing it, but unless we announce that the work is finished earlier than expected there is a chance that we might restore a backup (and zap any posts made before the backup is restored).

I'll start a separate topic about clearing out individual cookies for The Piazza, in case we still need some people to do that.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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Re: Forum Maintenance Planned - Fri 7-Mon 10 Dec

Post by Robin » Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:43 pm

Ok cool
Lets see if all things work

First flaw (or irritation point) I notice is that while writing down something to post you are kicked out very soon, and have to retype (or as I do copy before submitting, and then paste on the next try )
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Re: Forum Maintenance Planned - Fri 7-Mon 10 Dec

Post by Chimpman » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:18 pm

Robin wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:43 pm
Ok cool
Lets see if all things work

First flaw (or irritation point) I notice is that while writing down something to post you are kicked out very soon, and have to retype (or as I do copy before submitting, and then paste on the next try )
Let us know if this is still happening. Session timeouts should be back to their normal length.
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Re: Forum Maintenance Planned - Fri 7-Mon 10 Dec

Post by Robin » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:22 pm

I will keep an Eye open and inform y'all here
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Re: Forum Maintenance Planned - Fri 7-Mon 10 Dec

Post by Big Mac » Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:06 am

Robin wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:43 pm
First flaw (or irritation point) I notice is that while writing down something to post you are kicked out very soon, and have to retype (or as I do copy before submitting, and then paste on the next try )
Sorry about that.

That was when we were spending time trying to reproduce the problem logging in and posting while the forum was closed. (We made the sessions time out faster, so that we could test for bugs faster.)
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Re: Forum Maintenance Planned - Fri 7-Mon 10 Dec

Post by Morfie » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:51 am

What changes have been made?

i have just noticed that quotes now have a timestamp (GMT).

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Re: Forum Maintenance Planned - Fri 7-Mon 10 Dec

Post by Morfie » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:51 am

Also, welcome back! :)

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Re: Forum Maintenance Planned - Fri 7-Mon 10 Dec

Post by Big Mac » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:36 am

Morfie wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:51 am
What changes have been made?

i have just noticed that quotes now have a timestamp (GMT).
It was mostly the rollout of a security update, but we did it as part of the attempt to clear the cookie/session login loop issue.

(We had some people report some issues, tried a fix with the cookie settings, that seemed to make things worse, so we used the downtime to backup the entire forum, make a software update, change the version of php that the forum runs on and do some experiments with different cookie combinations. If you check the other topic you will see lots of people talking about having to clear cookies to get back on. Well we had administrators changing the settings on the server and then forum staff deleting their cookies and coming back to the forums multiple times. It would have confused the heck out of a lot of people if the forums were open. It was annoying enough for the people who were trying to test the forums*. :lol: )

* = One of the "fun" things was that Chimpman did most of the hard work with the administration, but I had to go fix the cookie settings, when the cookies were stopping him from getting back in, but letting me in. Then there were other times when I was locked out and he had to help me get back in. Eventually Chimpman found the cookie combination that didn't stop any of us from logging in.

We are hoping to do other maintenance shut downs in the future, where we can actually make improvements (rather than have the shut downs be "engineering works" to fix things). But that's probably not going to be until next year.

But we do still have some stuff that needs to be repaired via taking the forum offline. (The search index issue is one of the things that is going to require downtime.)
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Re: Forum Maintenance Planned - Fri 7-Mon 10 Dec

Post by Tim Baker » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:21 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:36 am
But we do still have some stuff that needs to be repaired via taking the forum offline. (The search index issue is one of the things that is going to require downtime.)
Thanks for all your hard work! I look forward to the improved search index -- a comprehensive search is a feature that I miss
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Re: Forum Maintenance Planned - Fri 7-Mon 10 Dec

Post by Angel Tarragon » Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:06 am

Big Mac wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:36 am
But we do still have some stuff that needs to be repaired via taking the forum offline. (The search index issue is one of the things that is going to require downtime.)
I do miss the Search function. I'm looking forward to that being fixed.

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Re: Forum Maintenance Planned - Fri 7-Mon 10 Dec

Post by Big Mac » Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:31 pm

I'm going to lock this topic now, as the forum downtime is over.

If anyone has problems with logging in and posting, please bump the Difficulty logging in and posting topic with details (or contact us on the social media, if you can't log in at all).

There is a separate topic, called Internal Search does not work anymore about the problem that requires the search index to be rebuilt.
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