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Old 1st August 2014, 09:39 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Fair enough. Did you notice that plenty of folks are willing to volunteer time and materials? But JREF just isn't interested?

Sharon Hill announced she'd come on board to serve as creative consultant to the JREF to help rework the organization's online presence three days ago. Within 24 hours after that, she answered emails, including mine, that expressed concern for the forum as an important part of the online strategy. She expressly said that the forum is not currently a priority for the JREF.

Despite this, a little over 24 hours ago, she started this thread discussing the problems related to the forum and its future, and asking for help in dealing with them.

I don't know about the JREF's board, but Sharon has definitely shown an interest in helping the forum survive. I think anyone who cares about the forum should support her efforts.
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Old 1st August 2014, 10:00 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by AdMan View Post
Sharon Hill announced she'd come on board to serve as creative consultant to the JREF to help rework the organization's online presence three days ago. Within 24 hours after that, she answered emails, including mine, that expressed concern for the forum as an important part of the online strategy. She expressly said that the forum is not currently a priority for the JREF.

Despite this, a little over 24 hours ago, she started this thread discussing the problems related to the forum and its future, and asking for help in dealing with them.

I don't know about the JREF's board, but Sharon has definitely shown an interest in helping the forum survive. I think anyone who cares about the forum should support her efforts.
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Old 1st August 2014, 10:03 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by AdMan View Post
Sharon Hill announced she'd come on board to serve as creative consultant to the JREF to help rework the organization's online presence three days ago. Within 24 hours after that, she answered emails, including mine, that expressed concern for the forum as an important part of the online strategy. She expressly said that the forum is not currently a priority for the JREF.

Despite this, a little over 24 hours ago, she started this thread discussing the problems related to the forum and its future, and asking for help in dealing with them.

I don't know about the JREF's board, but Sharon has definitely shown an interest in helping the forum survive. I think anyone who cares about the forum should support her efforts.
concur
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Old 1st August 2014, 10:15 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by AdMan View Post
Sharon Hill announced she'd come on board to serve as creative consultant to the JREF to help rework the organization's online presence three days ago. Within 24 hours after that, she answered emails, including mine, that expressed concern for the forum as an important part of the online strategy. She expressly said that the forum is not currently a priority for the JREF.

Despite this, a little over 24 hours ago, she started this thread discussing the problems related to the forum and its future, and asking for help in dealing with them.

I don't know about the JREF's board, but Sharon has definitely shown an interest in helping the forum survive. I think anyone who cares about the forum should support her efforts.
+1.

Several times in the past there were forum appeals to send $$$$ and each time, plenty of $$$$ was handed over. If it's just a matter of time and $$$$, it looks like we have plenty of people offering time, and plenty of people offering $$$$.
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Old 1st August 2014, 10:19 PM   #85
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Well good luck with that...
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Old 1st August 2014, 10:38 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by AdMan View Post
Sharon Hill announced she'd come on board to serve as creative consultant to the JREF to help rework the organization's online presence three days ago. Within 24 hours after that, she answered emails, including mine, that expressed concern for the forum as an important part of the online strategy. She expressly said that the forum is not currently a priority for the JREF.

Despite this, a little over 24 hours ago, she started this thread discussing the problems related to the forum and its future, and asking for help in dealing with them.

I don't know about the JREF's board, but Sharon has definitely shown an interest in helping the forum survive. I think anyone who cares about the forum should support her efforts.
Offers of assistance up to and including hosting the forum free gratis have been tabled. I see no rush to even explore such options. This is not about the practical matter of keeping the forum going. This is political.
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Old 1st August 2014, 10:41 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Offers of assistance up to and including hosting the forum free gratis have been tabled. I see no rush to even explore such options. This is not about the practical matter of keeping the forum going. This is political.

You see this even within the 24 (ETA: +3) hours since this thread has been open?

Sharon has just been dealing with this very recently. I think it's reasonable to give her a bit more time, before declaring "this is political," whatever that means.

Last edited by AdMan; 1st August 2014 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 1st August 2014, 11:15 PM   #88
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Sharon has just recently joined JREF. She is not responsible for past policies, or the past actions (or inaction) of other JREF staff. So how about waiting to see what she actually does, rather than start off with accusations and criticisms?

To me, she sounds like someone who's just been given a huge load of stuff to do, some of which she's not really experienced in (like dealing with forum hardware and software issues). One of those issues is the forum. She came here in good faith, expressing a desire to figure out how to fix that problem. Her explanation was somewhat incomplete or confusing, because it is not her area of expertise.

Which, it seems obvious to me, is why she asked for help from people who are more experienced in this area.

I've been quite vocally critical of the JREF's participation (or non-participation) in the forums in the past, I'm no fanboy. But I personally think that we should give Sharon the chance to demonstrate her actual intent before launching into conspiracy theories and unsupported accusations. If later it turns out that the JREF does nothing, and this was all just smoke being blown up our collective butts, I'll be at the front of the pack to complain about that.

But in the meantime, rather than trying to convince Sharon that the forum is filled with misanthropic jerks who don't deserve the effort necessary to improve things, we instead try to demonstrate that we're a friendly and welcoming group who are more than happy to work with the JREF on a solution that benefits both sides?
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Old 1st August 2014, 11:27 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
That's rich. The OP asks for advice that obviously shows she's out of her league and people explain to her that she's not saying something that makes sense and they get attacked for not being NICE.

How about this instead,

If you don't know what you are talking about stop cluttering up the thread with a welcoming committee and lots of really nice comments.

If there's a real problem, which the OP clearly indicates there is, let those who DO know what they are talking about give advice.
Sorry, what have you done to assist? Are you an expert in this field? Are you not cluttering up this thread?

At least I've said I'd contribute. What will you do?
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Old 1st August 2014, 11:53 PM   #90
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I have exchanged several emails with the OP. I have had fast responses.
My suggestion to members is give her time. As in weeks or months rather than hours. It will take her time even to find the basic information to do her job. Then form relationships with the people with power.

One thing, the forum has got smaller over the last few years, as in number of new posts and number of active members. I also suggest the OP read the other threads with the tag as this one, especially for comments by Darat and Terry.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 01:37 AM   #91
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Sharon has recently joined JREF, but has been posting on the JREF forum since 2007, mostly in Bigfoot threads and other paranormal matters.I think it reasonable to expect she would be aware of the Admin & Mod structure. Her OP comment about "The moderator" may be just shorthand. Let's assume so.

I do not think it reasonable to expect her to have detailed understanding of the forum hard and software, but I'd hope she is in a position to at least find out the details of what hardware the forum uses and to post those data here.
Several opinions by people who seem to understand these things suggested that the problem might be not using a dedicated server.
Sharon says it is a dedicated server. If that is correct, then the solution may be either in software, or in beefing up that server, or adding a second database server.
Beefing it up is only possible if the initial configuration is known.


While there are knowledgable people on the forum they must have two way cooperation to achieve anything. We know the same software runs faster on similar and larger forums. We need to find out why it runs slowly on this one.

I am getting the impression that while not simple, the fix is straightforward. It is a matter of money and applied savoir faire. Both are available and have been for years and yet some obstacle keeps preventing the fix going ahead.

It may be Sharon's role to find out what that obstacle is and remove it.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 03:20 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Fair enough. Did you notice that plenty of folks are willing to volunteer time and materials? But JREF just isn't interested?
Well I got a response that they're collecting names of people offering assistance and it's being passed on to the person with responsibility for the site who will be deciding how to proceed.

Seems reasonable to me.

I'm thinking perhaps we could have a ground-up solution as well - Can others who have skills/money who are interested in improving things PM me with what they can contribute and we can co-ordinate something?
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Old 2nd August 2014, 03:47 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
That's rich. The OP asks for advice that obviously shows she's out of her league and people explain to her that she's not saying something that makes sense and they get attacked for not being NICE
.

Maybe I missed a few posts but I don't think it was the explaining that anyone found fault with.

Quote:

How about this instead,

If you don't know what you are talking about stop cluttering up the thread with a welcoming committee and lots of really nice comments.

What's wrong with being nice? More than a few people have been concerned about this issue, and aside from Darat this is the first real sign that the problem is being addressed and the first sign at all that it is being addressed by the JREF itself, and not just volunteer staff.

I can understand people expressing their relief and gratitude. I don't understand why you think it is so inappropriate.

Weird conspiracy theories? Now that is cluttering up the thread.

Quote:

If there's a real problem, which the OP clearly indicates there is, let those who DO know what they are talking about give advice.

Is there something that makes you think they aren't? Who's stopping them?
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Old 2nd August 2014, 04:01 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
Sharon has recently joined JREF, but has been posting on the JREF forum since 2007, mostly in Bigfoot threads and other paranormal matters.I think it reasonable to expect she would be aware of the Admin & Mod structure. Her OP comment about "The moderator" may be just shorthand. Let's assume so.

I'm sure willing to assume her wording was less than explicit. For that matter, longevity on the forum doesn't mean participation. She only has a few hundred posts. You don't have to read read much of the FM sub-forum to see people with a lot more involvement in the forum demonstrate a less than perfect grasp of all of its structural peculiarities.

Quote:
I do not think it reasonable to expect her to have detailed understanding of the forum hard and software, but I'd hope she is in a position to at least find out the details of what hardware the forum uses and to post those data here.
Several opinions by people who seem to understand these things suggested that the problem might be not using a dedicated server.
Sharon says it is a dedicated server. If that is correct, then the solution may be either in software, or in beefing up that server, or adding a second database server.
Beefing it up is only possible if the initial configuration is known.


While there are knowledgable people on the forum they must have two way cooperation to achieve anything. We know the same software runs faster on similar and larger forums. We need to find out why it runs slowly on this one.

I am getting the impression that while not simple, the fix is straightforward. It is a matter of money and applied savoir faire. Both are available and have been for years and yet some obstacle keeps preventing the fix going ahead.

It may be Sharon's role to find out what that obstacle is and remove it.

I hope so. I think so.

If nothing else it is reassuring (to me at any rate) to see someone from the JREF proper explicitly and officially addressing the problem.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 06:52 AM   #95
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Let me be clear - I DON'T know the technical issues and I did not know the forum structure. I used the forum for specific topic areas, I was not well versed on the politics. I really am just the go-between attempting to solve the problem.

I'm more informed now!

No excuses, but my JREF position is part-time in addition to a full-time job elsewhere. So, I'm doing the best I can. I'm not deliberately being "coy", it's just unprofessional to provide information that may not be my position to release. FWIW, I have a 22 year career in civil service, I understand politics and various agendas, wrenches in the works, etc. pretty well. Things are more complicated than they appear on the surface. ANNNNYYYWAY....

Huge thanks to icerat, we are pursuing his offer.

Also, thank you to all who have submitted thoughtful (or hostile) comments. I get it your frustration, I really do. I just want to move forward. My apologies to Darat, I have emailed him a response.

Last edited by idoubtit; 2nd August 2014 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 07:40 AM   #96
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Okay now...how can we twist that very reasonable response into proof of Sharon's complicity in a JREF plot to deceive and disenfranchise us?

Option One: Oh, yeah, Sharon? Well if the JREF really wanted to do anything, why would they appoint someone without any of the requisite technical knowledge? That proves that you're just the patsy for the PTB!

Option Two: Why didn't you tell us from the beginning that you were only part-time? You deliberately led us to believe that you had more power than you do, just more proof that the JREF can't be trusted!

Option Three: You could arrange to send emails to everyone in the forum database, but instead you just start a solitary thread in an area of the forum that most members never even look at...you're obviously not sincere in your desire to 'reach out to the forum membership for help'.

Option Four: Last year, someone else in the JREF failed entirely to respond to an important email that I sent to them, and since you work for the JREF too, you obviously bear the blame for that, and I see no reason to trust you until you rectify that problem!
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Old 2nd August 2014, 08:05 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
Okay now...how can we twist that very reasonable response into proof of Sharon's complicity in a JREF plot to deceive and disenfranchise us?

Option One: Oh, yeah, Sharon? Well if the JREF really wanted to do anything, why would they appoint someone without any of the requisite technical knowledge? That proves that you're just the patsy for the PTB!

Option Two: Why didn't you tell us from the beginning that you were only part-time? You deliberately led us to believe that you had more power than you do, just more proof that the JREF can't be trusted!

Option Three: You could arrange to send emails to everyone in the forum database, but instead you just start a solitary thread in an area of the forum that most members never even look at...you're obviously not sincere in your desire to 'reach out to the forum membership for help'.

Option Four: Last year, someone else in the JREF failed entirely to respond to an important email that I sent to them, and since you work for the JREF too, you obviously bear the blame for that, and I see no reason to trust you until you rectify that problem!
Thanks, I needed a laugh.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 08:57 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by temporalillusion View Post
On the flip side, hardware is often cheap compared to people, so is it better to spend a few hundred or thousand dollars to double the RAM, or spend tens of thousands on developers to improve RAM usage?
Agreed. I constantly see companies put $$$ into this/that/theother when a few $ on RAM would have done the trick.

The evidence points to a hosting problem, as you and others have suggested. I would not change the software, other than updating to current version. If this means losing customization, screw the customization. It's a bad idea for jref to customize in the first place, given lack of resources.

That said -- over the years, the forum has gone belly-up a number of times apparently due to database corruption. In the unlikely event that it's super-easy to switch the database from Mysql to Postgres, I would consider this change after the hosting is straightened out.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 09:04 AM   #99
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It's awesome that icerat is helping. <applause icon goes here> Just make sure that jref isn't then required to signup additional companies to receive the service.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 09:11 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by jhunter1163 View Post
I'll contribute $100 towards whatever hardware/software solutions are needed. Failing that, I'll give the $100 to abaddon to help defray his costs.
Likewise. In a previous life I was a SQL Server Admin/db designer and a C programmer for whatever help I can offer.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 09:23 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by varwoche View Post
That said -- over the years, the forum has gone belly-up a number of times apparently due to database corruption. In the unlikely event that it's super-easy to switch the database from Mysql to Postgres, I would consider this change after the hosting is straightened out.
Plus, suitable hard disks are cheap nowdays, so there is no reason to not put 4 of them in the box to make a RAId5, with three active and one spare drive.

Greetings,

Chris
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Old 2nd August 2014, 09:52 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
Sharon has recently joined JREF, but has been posting on the JREF forum since 2007, mostly in Bigfoot threads and other paranormal matters.I think it reasonable to expect she would be aware of the Admin & Mod structure. Her OP comment about "The moderator" may be just shorthand. Let's assume so.

I do not think it reasonable to expect her to have detailed understanding of the forum hard and software, but I'd hope she is in a position to at least find out the details of what hardware the forum uses and to post those data here.
Several opinions by people who seem to understand these things suggested that the problem might be not using a dedicated server.
Sharon says it is a dedicated server. If that is correct, then the solution may be either in software, or in beefing up that server, or adding a second database server.
Beefing it up is only possible if the initial configuration is known.


While there are knowledgable people on the forum they must have two way cooperation to achieve anything. We know the same software runs faster on similar and larger forums. We need to find out why it runs slowly on this one.

I am getting the impression that while not simple, the fix is straightforward. It is a matter of money and applied savoir faire. Both are available and have been for years and yet some obstacle keeps preventing the fix going ahead.

It may be Sharon's role to find out what that obstacle is and remove it.
The term "dedicated server" is supposed to mean a physical box on which resides my stuff and nobody else's.

The rise of the cloud has allowed the evil marketeers to describe things as dedicated which really are not, adding a lot of confusion. There is nothing wrong with this as such and indeed many advantages. You can go to someone like Hostgator (never used them, just a random pick) and for under $15 a month get what they call a dedicated server with unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth and all the bells and whistles. It sounds like you are getting your own physical box in the server farm, but you are not. You are simply renting a piece of their cloud.

On the projects I am involved with it is a mix: some are happy to rent that piece of cloud.

Some are paranoid and insist on an actual dedicated server. I have one in mind who springs $10k per quarter just for infrastructure. It's justifiable in their case.

Then there are the uber-paranoid who insist on colocation, where they provide their own gear. You would not believe some of the things people insist is placed in server cabinets. The worst I ever saw was a desktop whose PSU had blown. Apparently it was an odd type so the customer bodged a 500W internal power supply onto it...from the outside. Now I only saw it because their tech was in the same server room as I was. I felt sorry for them. I was working on one of our 1u rackmount servers. He was stuck with this beast that had to be occupying at least 8u, and you bet your sweet bippy they were paying for every "u".
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Old 2nd August 2014, 10:24 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Fair enough. Did you notice that plenty of folks are willing to volunteer time and materials? But JREF just isn't interested?
Originally Posted by varwoche View Post
It's awesome that icerat is helping. <applause icon goes here> Just make sure that jref isn't then required to signup additional companies to receive the service.
You will however have to introduce friends and family as members monthly if you wish to maintain a membership
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Old 2nd August 2014, 11:12 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
Okay now...how can we twist that very reasonable response into proof of Sharon's complicity in a JREF plot to deceive and disenfranchise us?

Option One: Oh, yeah, Sharon? Well if the JREF really wanted to do anything, why would they appoint someone without any of the requisite technical knowledge? That proves that you're just the patsy for the PTB!

Option Two: Why didn't you tell us from the beginning that you were only part-time? You deliberately led us to believe that you had more power than you do, just more proof that the JREF can't be trusted!

Option Three: You could arrange to send emails to everyone in the forum database, but instead you just start a solitary thread in an area of the forum that most members never even look at...you're obviously not sincere in your desire to 'reach out to the forum membership for help'.

Option Four: Last year, someone else in the JREF failed entirely to respond to an important email that I sent to them, and since you work for the JREF too, you obviously bear the blame for that, and I see no reason to trust you until you rectify that problem!

Shouldn't there be something about lizard people or the Illuminati?

Bilderbergers, at least?
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Old 2nd August 2014, 11:23 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
You will however have to introduce friends and family as members monthly if you wish to maintain a membership
And ritually sacrifice them on a stone altar.

FFS this is not difficult to do. Willing volunteers are willingly volunteering.

My inbox overfloweth with people willing to volunteer.

And I'm not even involved.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 11:55 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post

Then there are the uber-paranoid who insist on colocation, where they provide their own gear. You would not believe some of the things people insist is placed in server cabinets. The worst I ever saw was a desktop whose PSU had blown. Apparently it was an odd type so the customer bodged a 500W internal power supply onto it...from the outside. Now I only saw it because their tech was in the same server room as I was. I felt sorry for them. I was working on one of our 1u rackmount servers. He was stuck with this beast that had to be occupying at least 8u, and you bet your sweet bippy they were paying for every "u".
Some of your posts are hard to follow because of the jargon.

Thankfully, Oxford dictionaries had "bippy" - a jocular euphemism for buttocks. But then I had to look up "jocular."
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Old 2nd August 2014, 02:11 PM   #107
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Ok,

I've got some hard details on the current server and performance and as most expected it's almost certainly a mySQL bottleneck. I'm pretty confident we can get things up on running well for half the cost JREF is currently paying, and then it's just a matter of $$$ to improve performance even more (SSD vs SATA more cache etc etc).

Put your hand up if you have experience with -

* CentOS
* mySQL
* vbulletin 3.7.7

And are willing to contribute some time.

The current goal would be to move the forum as is to new hardware to stabilise performance, and then at a later date upgrade the forum software itself. Suggestions and experiences on the latter are requested. vBulletin as a project has gone downhill so it will most likely mean migrating to other commercial or opensource forum software. That will mean lots of whining from people who like things the way they are

My current favourite is Xenforo, which was developed by the original vBulletin lead developers. One thing I think is important is native support for different screen sizes (eg cell/tablet). All suggestions appreciated.

The other issue is of course funding. I suspect JREF has little interest in continuing to financially support the forum so we'll have to look at a donor/advertising/whatever model. Again, your input appreciated.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 03:05 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
I've got some hard details on the current server and performance and as most expected it's almost certainly a mySQL bottleneck.
Is it normal that forum users are the ones looking into this ?

Quote:
I suspect JREF has little interest in continuing to financially support the forum so we'll have to look at a donor/advertising/whatever model.
Seems logical. Hopefully we'll get banners for some psychic, somewhere.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 03:16 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Put your hand up if you have experience with -
My hands are down because I don't have the necessary expertise but I just wanted to say "thanks" in advance for all who contribute. I'm happy to be a naive tester if you need one.

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
That will mean lots of whining from people who like things the way they are
OK, I want to get first in line: I'm really pissed that you are thinking about maybe changing ANYTHING, even if it makes sense and improves everything.

There, just trying to help toughen your hide.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 03:21 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Christian Klippel View Post
Plus, suitable hard disks are cheap nowdays, so there is no reason to not put 4 of them in the box to make a RAId5, with three active and one spare drive.

Greetings,

Chris
Why not DC3700...

Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Ok,

I've got some hard details on the current server and performance and as most expected it's almost certainly a mySQL bottleneck. I'm pretty confident we can get things up on running well for half the cost JREF is currently paying, and then it's just a matter of $$$ to improve performance even more (SSD vs SATA more cache etc etc).
...
Looks I was right.

Sadly, areas you listed are not even close to my expertise.

However, I can do various measurement and testing from client side examining stuff as clients see them. (Could be of use for tweaking configuration or use of services)
But this would be of use after initial migration.

===

BTW: Usually forum users don't do this, but exceptions exist... Although community forums could provide examples.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 03:23 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Is it normal that forum users are the ones looking into this ?
It's normal that non-profits often have volunteer labour

My company actually offers these kind of services to non-profits and startups in a partnership arrangement, with profit-sharing being a future option if it seems viable.

In this particular case my motivation is purely selfish - I learn too much from too many very smart and knowledgeable people on this forum, so I'm not willing to let it die.

Quote:
Seems logical. Hopefully we'll get banners for some psychic, somewhere.
I wonder if they're any good at predicting their click through rate?
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Old 2nd August 2014, 03:23 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
That will mean lots of whining from people who like things the way they are
If one of the changes results in working LaTeX support, I won't whine a bit.

Also, I'd like to add my name to SezMe's as a volunteer tester if this all goes ahead.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 03:29 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by idoubtit View Post
The forum is on dedicated hardware that cannot be sustained. A move to new hardware and software is needed. ...
Originally Posted by Floyt View Post
Details, please! It should be clear by now that there are enough people here who could offer specific, constructive advice if furnished with some real information.
...
Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
...

As some informed people have said, it seems like the problems are mostly due to a lack of hardware power. I suggest your next step is to get someone to look up the contract you have with SoftLayer and post both the hardware specifications and the costs in this thread. I can't see anything standing in way of transparency here.
...
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Well I got a response that they're collecting names of people offering assistance and it's being passed on to the person with responsibility for the site who will be deciding how to proceed.
...
Originally Posted by idoubtit View Post
Let me be clear - I DON'T know the technical issues and I did not know the forum structure. ... I really am just the go-between attempting to solve the problem.

...

Huge thanks to icerat, we are pursuing his offer.

...
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Ok,

I've got some hard details on the current server and performance and as most expected it's almost certainly a mySQL bottleneck. I'm pretty confident we can get things up on running well for half the cost JREF is currently paying, and then it's just a matter of $$$ to improve performance even more (SSD vs SATA more cache etc etc).

Put your hand up if you have experience with -

* CentOS
* mySQL
* vbulletin 3.7.7

And are willing to contribute some time.

The current goal would be to move the forum as is to new hardware to stabilise performance, and then at a later date upgrade the forum software itself. Suggestions and experiences on the latter are requested. vBulletin as a project has gone downhill so it will most likely mean migrating to other commercial or opensource forum software. That will mean lots of whining from people who like things the way they are

My current favourite is Xenforo, which was developed by the original vBulletin lead developers. One thing I think is important is native support for different screen sizes (eg cell/tablet). All suggestions appreciated.

The other issue is of course funding. I suspect JREF has little interest in continuing to financially support the forum so we'll have to look at a donor/advertising/whatever model. Again, your input appreciated.
Sounds good, icerat. However, while you say you know some details about the server, you did not reveal many details about it (the server). You said "the current server", so I suppose there is just one (and not a webserver, plus another server for the database). Is this server really a dedicated server, like idoubtit (Sharon) said? Since you seem to be an expert in web hosting, you probably know what a dedicated server is. Could you give full details (including number of cores, RAM and cost) about the server the JREF uses for this forum? (if you know this info). If you don't know it, or you feel you have not been authorized to give this info here, could Sharon convince the technical person in charge of the website to post these details here after a possible authorization has been given? I think this information would be useful to the many knowledgeable people on computers and web hosting who post on this forum, and in this thread, and try to help. I am afraid there is a danger of making a transition to XenForo too soon (with perhaps some loss of data), without having the problem with the hardware fully understood beforehand.

Last edited by Michel H; 2nd August 2014 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 03:35 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Sounds good, icerat. However, while you say you know some details about the server, you did not reveal many details about it (the server). You said "the current server", so I suppose there is just one (and not a webserver, plus another server for the database). Is this server really a dedicated server, like idoubtit (Sharon) said? Since you seem to be an expert in web hosting, you probably know what a dedicated server is. Could you give full details (including number of cores, RAM and cost) about the server the JREF uses for this forum? (if you know this info). If you don't know it, or you feel you have not been authorized to give this info here, could Sharon convince the technical person in charge of the website to post these details here after a possible authorization has been given? I think this information would be useful to the many knowledgeable people on computers and web hosting who post on this forum, and in this thread, and try to help. I am afraid there is a danger of making a transition to XenForo too soon (with, perhaps some loss of data), without having the problem with the hardware fully understood beforehand.
Sharon - any objection to me sharing the hardware and performance data here? I'll redact version info which can be useful to hackers. Current costs I wouldn't publicise if I was JREF, so I won't even ask about that.
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Last edited by icerat; 2nd August 2014 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 04:12 PM   #115
marplots
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
In this particular case my motivation is purely selfish - I learn too much from too many very smart and knowledgeable people on this forum, so I'm not willing to let it die.
You're welcome.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 04:36 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Ok,

I've got some hard details on the current server and performance and as most expected it's almost certainly a mySQL bottleneck. I'm pretty confident we can get things up on running well for half the cost JREF is currently paying, and then it's just a matter of $$$ to improve performance even more (SSD vs SATA more cache etc etc).

Put your hand up if you have experience with -

* CentOS
* mySQL
* vbulletin 3.7.7

And are willing to contribute some time.

The current goal would be to move the forum as is to new hardware to stabilise performance, and then at a later date upgrade the forum software itself. Suggestions and experiences on the latter are requested. vBulletin as a project has gone downhill so it will most likely mean migrating to other commercial or opensource forum software. That will mean lots of whining from people who like things the way they are

My current favourite is Xenforo, which was developed by the original vBulletin lead developers. One thing I think is important is native support for different screen sizes (eg cell/tablet). All suggestions appreciated.

The other issue is of course funding. I suspect JREF has little interest in continuing to financially support the forum so we'll have to look at a donor/advertising/whatever model. Again, your input appreciated.
I eat SQL for breakfast. I'm in.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 05:10 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
The problems described are why I hardly post here now, good luck with sorting a solution.
I wondered why. Too bad.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 05:20 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Put your hand up if you have experience with -
My hands are down because I don't have the necessary expertise but I just wanted to say "thanks" in advance for all who contribute. I'm happy to be a naive tester if you need one.

Seconded. Plus I'm happy to donate to a funding effort. I have little doubt that a crowdfunding effort will be able to keep the forum going if it's needed.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 05:44 PM   #119
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ugh, performance has been disastrous for me the past half hour ... peak time?
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Old 2nd August 2014, 05:50 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
It's normal that non-profits often have volunteer labour

My company actually offers these kind of services to non-profits and startups in a partnership arrangement, with profit-sharing being a future option if it seems viable.
Yes but I assumed that, since the JREF has a forum, it has people that take care of it and can identify problems.
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