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Tim Stephenson (Archant IS)

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Everything posted by Tim Stephenson (Archant IS)

  1. Search should now be working correctly - http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/949698/ShowPost.aspx
  2. [quote user="Clair"]The explanation: http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/949632/ShowPost.aspx [/quote] And similarly for the recent search problems: http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/949698/ShowPost.aspx
  3. Everyone The forum search was suffering from a corrupted index, and as a result was failing to produce any search results - regardless of what you tried to search for. We've now successfully rebuilt the forum's search index and searches should now be work properly. Please let us know if it misbehaves again...
  4. Everyone As you've hopefully already been able to see, the site's performance is now back to normal speeds. Apologies for any inconvenience caused by the slowness over the last few days. For the more technically minded, we've been migrating our websites from running under .NET 1.1 across to .NET 2.0 to pave the way for some major server farm upgrades planned over the next few weeks / months. This redistributed the load across our server farm and unfortunately it's just become apparent that we had not reallocated server resources for our application pools to match the new expected load. As a result the webserver machines were trying to run with more concurrent web server processes than was really practical on quad-processor servers, and they were spending around 80% of available processing time switching between processes rather than actually serving web pages. This issue has now been corrected and the updated configuration rolled out across the server farm. Regards
  5. The main problem with IE7 and this forum is that Microsoft have a slightly different view of many of the major Internet standards (CSS being the primary issue) to everyone else. Basic standards-compliant design / layout code that works in exactly the same way on any platform's version of Firefox or Mozilla (for example) and IE6 on Windows is handled slightly differently when it comes to IE7. For this reason, we had held off making any changes to our systems to work around Microsoft's broken CSS implementation until the browser has been officially released - mainly to wait and see if they would manage to fix any of the problems before releasing the browser. As it was, the same CSS problems that were reported against the early beta releases of the browser are still present in the final release. Assessing the impact of the workarounds and implementing fixes is on our to-do list, but unfortunately isn't a top-priority at the moment. Regards
  6. For a currently unknown reason, our loadbalancers started to send all traffic to a single server rather than distributing it between 4 machines. As a result, the one machine rapidly reached capacity and started to respond with "server too busy" rather than returning pages. We've corrected the issue, and traffic is now being split between all servers as normal.
  7. ... it's probably safer if I don't comment! Regardless of quality, posting should be quicker now though...
  8. Apologies for this. We've been implementing a rolling series of upgrades across the server farm today to migrate us onto a new SQL 2005 database cluster and unfortunately a key piece of the database envirnoment wasn't moved onto the cluster (the MSDTC service). This has now been corrected and the forums seem to be operational again. We've got some more work to do over the course of tomorrow (and possibly next week), so unfortunately some more downtime may be unavoidable. However, once complete you should start to see some further performance improvements across both this site, and all other Archant websites. Kind regards
  9. Ian, Thanks for the comments. Some members of our development team are currently trialing IE7, but we haven't seen these issues on the forums. I'm running IE7 myself, and the message box seems to be ok? Could you possibly post a screenshot of the problem? While we'll be testing against IE7 during its development, until it's out of beta and officially released by Microsoft we won't be making any major changes as there's no guarantee that the released version will behave the same as the betas. Thanks, Tim
  10. Ian - Search results are now returned in chronological order, newest first.
  11. Thanks for your feedback so far. I've added a second poll in this forum to cover reliability and errors etc. Can I ask you to also vote on that one to help us get a feel for the forum's reliability these days? Thanks once again
  12. ´╗┐The new form is much better now than it's been in the past. It never crashes and I never see any errors.I'm getting the occasional error message that stops me from being able to post messages.I always get error messages and am unable to use the site without encountering problems.It's no different now to how it used to be 6 months ago.
  13. ´╗┐About the same as it's always doneSlightly quicker than it used toMuch faster nowWorse than it's ever been
  14. I'm afraid so... The delay's a part of the forum system's high performance design and isn't something we could easily remove without severely impacting overall performance of the system. Hope this helps, Tim
  15. The delay between posts being made and being included on the front page is by design. Due to the level of traffic the system has to support across all sites running the software, the front page is only updated with new posts every 5-10 minutes. From a performance point of view this means we can cache the rendered pages rather than recreating the lists of posts/threads every time someone views the forums. This is probably the cause of the different behaviour as most other sites do not run a single forum system across 150 separate websites. If for example you compare the behaviour of these forums to other large scale systems with 100's of thousands of posts in each forum (such as the XBOX.com community forums) you'll see similar behaviour. Regards
  16. Work is underway to restore the missing avatars. They were unfortunately removed by accident with the old forum software.
  17. We've found and adjusted a rogue configuration setting on one of the webservers that may have been causing this. Can you let me know if they reoccur with the same frequency? Thanks
  18. [quote user="Autismuk"]I can't see how the accessing the forum could cause you to contract a virus. It would be difficult to do it if Archant actually *wanted* it to happen. Java would not allow you to execute any Virus code (you can run programs but not actually hurt your system). About the only way of getting it in is via ActiveX ; and there doesn't actually appear to be any ActiveX downloads on the forum.  I'm running under Linux and it hasn't objected at all, or queried such.[/quote] Some trojans have been known to attach themselves to HTML pages, and try to force browsers to download a file from a 3rd party website which then references either a known security problem within the user's browser or calls rogue ActiveX controls. These days it's fairly difficult to go via the ActiveX route as recent versions of Internet Explorer won't by default run any unsigned controls without explicitly asking the user for permission. Exploitation of a flaw is always an option, but one that can normally be prevented by application of current security patches. As ever I can only suggest that all users ensure their systems have all current security patches installed (if unsure and running Windows please visit www.windowsupdate.com or turn on Auto Updates), and secure their systems with a good quality firewall solution.
  19. Jo, Can you clear your web browser's cache, delete any temporary files (if unsure use the Windows disk clean up wizard), run a full anti virus scan, and then try browsing the site again? If you are running Windows XP, please ensure you have updated to Service Pack 2 and that you are either running the integrated firewall or have a good 3rd party firewall installed (or are accessing the web from a properly-configured dedicated firewall system). Antivirus scanners alone are not sufficient to block some pieces of malware. Not ever having used EZ a/v I can't comment on its detection rates or quality. However I would suggest scanning your system using a different virus scanner as if something has slipped through the net then EZ may not be detecting it. You can download a free version of AVG from http://free.grisoft.com, or alternatively it would be extremely worthwhile to download and run Mcafee's Stinger tool (http://vil.nai.com/vil/averttools.asp) - which can be run from a write-protected disk and will scan for and remove any of the latest known threats. In terms of our own systems I've initiated a server-farm wide antivirus scan, but incidentally we don't actually use a Java based adserver system, nor do we use javascript to insert adverts in pages. Without disclosing too much information we use one of the leading enterprise antivirus products to scan all files being uploaded to (and served from) our web hosting platform. Each of the webservers in the farm runs a local realtime antivirus scanner, and content is scanned for a second time when it is copied to a central file server. Has anyone else experienced a problem while using this site? I hate to state the obvious but if one of our banners or pages has been infected then more than one person will have experienced a problem. Regards
  20. Unfortunately that one was a genuine error; someone has uploaded a badly written bit of code to one of our other websites containing what is probably a fairly substantial memory leak. I'm not 100% how it slipped through testing, but we're currently monitoring the server farm to establish which site is causing the problems. Glad to hear things are better these days! Happy Christmas to all,
  21. [quote user="Ianhaycox"]I assume that the Active, Unanswered, Not Read, ... at the top of the Forum Index should be links. For me they are not clickable. Yes I am one of the awkard Firefox users.[/quote] How strange! I see what you mean though - they're clickable in IE, but not Firefox. It must be a problem with the site's CSS or skin as they work fine on other instances of the forum system (in Firefox). I'll ask the developer to sort in the morning. Thanks for pointing it out!
  22. All, As you browse around the forums and get used to the new system, please can you post here with any feedback concerning performance and stablilty? Any comments would be greatly appreciated by the development team. Many thanks
  23. In terms of Firefox compatibility, the new forum system is a vast improvement over the current solution. As discussed elsewhere, we're currently aiming to upgrade this site early next week.
  24. [quote]Hello Tim, just found your post regarding the forum upgrade. I took a look at the Eastern Daily Press site and it is much much better than what you have here. It really looks good! Looking forward ...[/quote] No comment The new forums are a complete step change in architecture, and although they've been a long time in the making, will give us a scalable platform to take forums forward. We'll try to make the upgrade as painless as possible, but please keep an eye open for pinned posts / announcements concerning the changes.
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