Great Western Coffee Shop

All across the Great Western territory => Introductions and chat => Topic started by: grahame on September 12, 2020, 01:29:16 am



Title: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on September 12, 2020, 01:29:16 am
Closing post, old server ... back in an hour or two


Edit on new server ... and we're back.  Members should find virtually no difference but are advised to take local copies of new material they post in case we have teething problems / issues under severe load over the next day or two.

The main (Simple Machines) software is still to be updated and that will be much more visible to members, but we are now running on a modern cloud server that will support it.

Further edit ... I will log know outstanding bugs here ... a number of issues that came up overnight already fixed and there may be others

1. If you like a post then unlike it, the "unlike" gives you a blank window back (the "unlike" works - just a display error)
Intricate to debug / not a big problem - will be left until system is much more settled due to danger of replacing one bug by a bigger one!

2. Certain quote characters in posts made before the forum moved are being displayed damaged, and cannot be used in new posts either. - edit FIXED Jan 2021
Error message when you try and post them is a bit frightening; advice therein impractical for us.

3.  [17.9] The notification for PMs still has the large white space where the text should be.   Seems to be only with replies to PMs.  An original one *does* have the text in the email.
On my bus list for next upgrade


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on September 12, 2020, 01:52:57 am
Closing post, old server ... back in an hour or two

And back up on the new server if you have found this message!

TESTING ... if you are posting anything of substance, please keep a local copy of what you say!


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: bignosemac on September 12, 2020, 02:40:57 am
One thing I've noticed is that I had to log in again - despite having selected 'forever' in the past. Also my forum 'style' of choice - chocolate and cream - isn't sticking. It's defaulting to the light blue scheme, even after I select style '3'.

No problems viewing content though.


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on September 12, 2020, 02:58:28 am
One thing I've noticed is that I had to log in again - despite having selected 'forever' in the past. Also my forum 'style' of choice - chocolate and cream - isn't sticking. It's defaulting to the light blue scheme, even after I select style '3'.

No problems viewing content though.

The software was ready to go on the new server, and I'd had to change a couple of settings for it to not interfere with the old server over the last few days.  One of those server had not been switched back, and I think that was the source of your issues.  Please retest, though - I've done a very great deal of trying things out, but may have missed some things.

I am also in the process of doing some database adjustments / tuning and early indications are that it might lead to a few "server busy" messages - may I re-iterate "please keep copies of what you write" .... copy and past to a temporary window while you post is a good idea.  Hope I can remove that "advisory" later today.


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: GBM on September 12, 2020, 06:54:00 am
I've noticed several recent posts where the ' has been corrupted to form a totally different character


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on September 12, 2020, 07:45:24 am
I've noticed several recent posts where the ' has been corrupted to form a totally different character

Ah yes - I note an example here, for example.  Could be an interesting one remembering how we had to fight with character sets in the past.  Not a general thing on all data - otherwise image such as my avatar, the new server "click for details" flags at the top right and all the other images I have posted - all of which are held in MySQL - would be corrupted.

Agreed.  Shameful.

Regarding your earlier point about experienced staff not making mistakes, similar incidents on the railway (involving the non-technical skills I mentioned earlier) indicate ‘experience’ makes little difference - indeed it can lead to complacency.  That’s why Red Squirrels post was spot on.


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: PhilWakely on September 12, 2020, 07:49:13 am
Is there a corruption of the pound character in one of BNM's latest posts (see attached) or is this long standing?


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on September 12, 2020, 08:32:17 am
There looks to be an issue with certain characters ... the old posts appear to be correct in the database (so I am not panicked) but I can't make a new post using them ... so irritating today and probably a tricky one to sort.     The error message if anyone tries to post these characters talks about versions and upgrades but the solution is far from as simple as following their instructions due to the law of mammoth unintended consequences.

Update ... utf8 v utf8mb4 ... I need to experiment in a way that will break things and need me to restore tables from backup - will require a forum outage so I will look to that overnight (and may not be tonight as I have day stuff to do and need sleep)


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on September 12, 2020, 12:56:37 pm
The server's PHP software was not configured to send out emails ... I have just noticed and fixed that but members will have missed any notifications sent in the past 10 hours.


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on September 13, 2020, 05:17:33 am
Update ... utf8 v utf8mb4 ... I need to experiment in a way that will break things and need me to restore tables from backup - will require a forum outage so I will look to that overnight (and may not be tonight as I have day stuff to do and need sleep)

"The first 90% of the work takes the first 90% of the time ... the final 10% of the work takes the second 90% of the time" ... and so it seems in sorting out character sets. 

* At present, new posts and personal messages with smart quotes and pound signs are being saved with "?" characters in their place.  Old posts render with damaged characters.  However, the underlying old data appears to be AOK.

* In looking to fix the issue, the server barfed at looking to run with the old data loaded onto it with settings changed and it looks like I need to reload not only the forum data, but other databases including the server management ones.  This effects other sites on the server and I'm not rushing into it tonight; present situation something to live with for a few days.

* Good news is that work on other sites on the new server yesterday loaded the databases and processor very heavily and it stood the loading without falling over.

* We store images in a database ... following image and attachment are "test" pieces to make sure I have not broken images in trying to accept special characters and in adding a work-around.

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/charsettest.jpg)


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: bradshaw on September 13, 2020, 08:24:23 am
Image not showing only faint outline rectangle. However when you reply the image appears in the topic summary. The Attachment is fine


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: GBM on September 13, 2020, 08:59:55 am
Both appear normal now


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: bradshaw on September 13, 2020, 09:01:30 am
Fine now


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 13, 2020, 12:06:31 pm
Taunton?


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on September 13, 2020, 12:08:02 pm
Taunton?

 ;D ;D ;D


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: PhilWakely on September 13, 2020, 12:59:11 pm
(http://www.wellho.net/pix/charsettest.jpg)

Very appropriate weather for advertising a trip to Butlins  ;D


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: Bmblbzzz on September 13, 2020, 05:16:57 pm
I'm not sure exactly what's changed but understand it is for the long-term good of the forum. Thank you!


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: TonyK on September 17, 2020, 12:04:44 pm

Update ... utf8 v utf8mb4 ... I need to experiment in a way that will break things and need me to restore tables from backup - will require a forum outage so I will look to that overnight (and may not be tonight as I have day stuff to do and need sleep)

Shouldn't that be WTF?  ;D


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on September 18, 2020, 05:49:24 am
I'm not sure exactly what's changed but understand it is for the long-term good of the forum. Thank you!

My pleasure.  And it is actually pleasurable doing this sort of thing. 

Backup scheme (in case things go very wrong) and security (to avoid things going wrong) both in place, with some automated and a great deal (over the last 48 hours) manual monitoring.  Again, you should see virtually nothing - the only thing will be the occasional pause as your load a page because the server has paused to allow a clean backup copy of integrity to be taken.  Pauses may be as the text of a page loading, or a delay in the images on a page coming up.


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: Western Pathfinder on September 24, 2020, 08:57:37 am
I notice that ,there is now a large space on the right side of the home page, arrived at the same time as introduction of the covid advise on the top banner.


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on September 24, 2020, 11:26:02 am
I notice that ,there is now a large space on the right side of the home page, arrived at the same time as introduction of the covid advise on the top banner.

Oh dear ... what browser are you using?   Can you email me / message me attach an example please?


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: stuving on September 24, 2020, 12:59:20 pm
When I fired up my browser (Firefox) this morning at about 10:00, I got one of Mozilla's heavy warnings about dangerous sites. It was suggesting the site (stored URL: http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?action=unread) didn't match the certificate (for www.sewweb.info.uk). Ignoring the warning produced one of your detailed "why you've got a 404" pages.

Using the link given in that page to http://www.passenger.chat did work, initially saying I wasn't logged on and then handing on to www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop where I still was logged on. But access was very, very, slow, and remained slow until about half an hour ago when it recovered to normal.

That stored link does now work, as does www.sewweb.info itself, though some links to that give the warning. I wonder if Firefox may be a bit miffed by none of these being https, which is something it does fret about.


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on September 24, 2020, 02:48:06 pm
When I fired up my browser (Firefox) this morning at about 10:00, I got one of Mozilla's heavy warnings about dangerous sites. It was suggesting the site (stored URL: http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?action=unread) didn't match the certificate (for www.sewweb.info.uk). Ignoring the warning produced one of your detailed "why you've got a 404" pages.

Using the link given in that page to http://www.passenger.chat did work, initially saying I wasn't logged on and then handing on to www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop where I still was logged on. But access was very, very, slow, and remained slow until about half an hour ago when it recovered to normal.

That stored link does now work, as does www.sewweb.info itself, though some links to that give the warning. I wonder if Firefox may be a bit miffed by none of these being https, which is something it does fret about.

1. We are headed for https in the future, and furthermore because we've been moving domains and IP addresses around, there are some "are you sure" things going on, and perhaps some suggestions that the machine serving you may not be the right one (suggestion of someone putting in an extra spoof machine in to capture real traffic).   Since most of what we provide / serve is public data anyway - no credit card sign ups or anything like that, many of the warnings are about things you probably don't need to be warned about.

2. From 08:48 this morning, our server was under attack from activities that look like a "denial of service" attack, with traffic levels from just one remote host an order of magnitude greater than normal traffic levels for all of our visitors combined. It's not the first time I've seen something like this, though it is the first time on this server.  I will write / update regular members at http://www.passenger.chat/24016 .


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: Reginald25 on September 24, 2020, 04:50:26 pm
Explains why I found it very slow (to the point of giving up) this am.


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: Western Pathfinder on September 24, 2020, 10:49:48 pm
I notice that ,there is now a large space on the right side of the home page, arrived at the same time as introduction of the covid advise on the top banner.

Oh dear ... what browser are you using?   Can you email me / message me attach an example please?

This is a problem when viewing the forum on my iPad empty space on the right side of the page looks like it should be an advertisement slot !
If you were to draw a line down from the letter S in Cheltenham Spa everything to the right below is empty.


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: johnneyw on September 24, 2020, 11:20:09 pm
Similar on my tablet. Much larger margin on the right hand side than the left.  The right hand margin corresponds to the width of the "New Server" railway totem on the top right hand side of the page. It's still all easy enough to read though.


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on September 25, 2020, 02:36:51 am
The right hand margin corresponds to the width of the "New Server" railway totem on the top right hand side of the page.

That may be the vital clue (or a red herring)  ;D ;D


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on September 25, 2020, 03:36:34 am
That may be the vital clue (or a red herring)  ;D ;D

OK ... I have found a device here where I can reproduce the problem ... and it's a nightmare of style sheets and tables. For the moment, I have changed the styling slightly to draw borders on tables, and I have changed the image into text to alleviate the issue while I work on it.


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on September 25, 2020, 05:24:11 am
2. From 08:48 this morning, our server was under attack from activities that look like a "denial of service" attack, with traffic levels from just one remote host an order of magnitude greater than normal traffic levels for all of our visitors combined. It's not the first time I've seen something like this, though it is the first time on this server.  I will write / update regular members at http://www.passenger.chat/24016 .

Explains why I found it very slow (to the point of giving up) this am.

The morning after ... looking at the size of the log file since we moved servers.  Yesterday's spike is all the more dramatic when you consider that the extra was over quite a short period.

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/spike20200925.jpg)

Low figure at the start of the graph is because we switched over across two nights from the older server; looking at "early doors" for today,  I am hopeful we will be back to a web server log in the 25Mb to 35Mb range


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: bradshaw on September 25, 2020, 08:16:21 am
My iPad works fine unless you have the bookmarks column open, then you get the right hand columns appearing


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: Western Pathfinder on September 25, 2020, 08:44:14 am
That much better thanks.


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: johnneyw on September 25, 2020, 02:59:17 pm
That much better thanks.

Ditto


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on September 26, 2020, 05:17:20 am
... looking at "early doors" for today,  I am hopeful we will be back to a web server log in the 25Mb to 35Mb range

Yep:

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/lfs_20200926.jpg)

And I have updated monitor scripts so that we 'hear' earlier if something 'funny' is going on.


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on October 06, 2020, 10:47:19 pm
We'll ... point of no return ... I have spent most of today grabbing final backups, exploring dusty shelves in forgotten corners and ensuring that I have copies locally and/or on the new server.   Then clearing stuff off the old system.  Down from 721 Gb on there to 57 Gb.  Heartstopping moment when I got a database failure message ... until I realised it was from the old server from which I had deleted all the databases so OF COURSE the database had failed.  The half of the 57Gb which is not the operating system has been backed up - final work tomorrow.

All the web site names were moved several weeks ago ... and I have reprogrammed the web server to forward requests to a special virtual host on the new machine, which logs the requests for me to look through and find out how and why some places haven't heard of the move. We're now down to a few (mostly rather nasty) automata that we don't want anyway - trying to break into our server through WordPress or other web site management software.

Should a disaster hit the NEW server ... yes, well placed to resort from copies held locally on my laptop, and to be copied to our "status" server too, and also a fourth place.  Little for users to see ... which is really how it should be.  This update prompted by a question elsewhere.


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on October 18, 2020, 09:39:56 pm
Well ... there's no going back ... new server has been running sweetly for a month and the old one sent off to Cashmore's. I have good backups in place for any "just in case" time.

I have put a new set of images at the top right of the page ... well bedded in, so really saying "new" server is outdated.


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: rogerw on October 19, 2020, 09:11:49 am
Thank you for all your work on this Grahame


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: TonyN on October 19, 2020, 09:25:47 pm
I thought clicking on the Image in the top right used to open a larger copy of the image. It now opens this thread?


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on October 19, 2020, 09:36:45 pm
I thought clicking on the Image in the top right used to open a larger copy of the image. It now opens this thread?

Yes ... "open image in new window" opens it somewhat larger ... but I can fix it so that clicking directly on it brings it up bigger.  As "open in new window" in will be 450 pixels wide and I may be able to do even better.


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on October 19, 2020, 09:47:12 pm
I thought clicking on the Image in the top right used to open a larger copy of the image. It now opens this thread?

Yes ... "open image in new window" opens it somewhat larger ... but I can fix it so that clicking directly on it brings it up bigger.  As "open in new window" in will be 450 pixels wide and I may be able to do even better.

OK ... try it again  ;D


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: TonyK on October 20, 2020, 08:31:52 am
Thank you for all of this Graham. I have what I hope will be a small concern, regarding fonts. The number of things that don't render correctly seems to have increased. This is especially so when typing ? or ?, but not $. There are others, some of which become obvious only when in quoted text.


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on October 20, 2020, 08:41:37 am
Thank you for all of this Graham. I have what I hope will be a small concern, regarding fonts. The number of things that don't render correctly seems to have increased. This is especially so when tying ? or ?, but not $. There are others, some of which become obvious only when in quoted text.

It's far from straightforward with database experiments and reloads needed.  Should fix at next level of software upgrade and I would rather not spend time going up an interim cul-de-sac . But with other time constraints, etc, I may need to.   Sometimes the big things take very little time (such as the image stuff, which is doubling as a learning curve on software changes) and the 'little' things or apparently trivial take a long time.


Title: Re: Moving servers ...
Post by: grahame on February 01, 2021, 03:42:41 pm
2. Certain quote characters in posts made before the forum moved are being displayed damaged, and cannot be used in new posts either.

Fixed a few days back - looks OK with no unexpected side effects. Posts prior to server move now back AOK, and newly made posts also AOK.  Posts in between that you'll have seen in error as you posted aren't fixed, I'm afraid. As time passed they'll fade (they are already!), and if you quote them corrections can be made in the quotation.



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