Fix the website already!!!

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Roots
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Fix the website already!!!

Post by Roots » Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:53 pm

I just went to try and create a new page (not story) on the website and it was a nightmare. First, then admin lock-out issue is still there and I had to re-login no less than 10 times. Second, when I created the page it posted it instead posted it as a story (stories are the news articles you see appear on the front page). Then it took me like 5 minutes to fight the stupid system so it would let me delete it. This has to stop. I'm not asking for anything major. I just want an updated website back end that works. We shouldn't need to have to hire a new website developer or manager just for that.


You know how we've agreed that there's too many things on my plate? Well this is one of them. Therefore I am asking someone to step up and take responsibility for this issue. By that I mean either figuring out how to fix the site yourself, or finding us a new web developer who is willing to do that for us. Once its fixed up, your job is done.


If no one steps up, I'm going to pick someone to do it. This is a pretty urgent thing to get done, because at this point I don't think we'll be able to begin recruitment until the site works enough so that I can make the changes necessary to the site content.
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by Roots » Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:00 pm

Same thing goes for the wiki. I can't be the one who is always fixing things that are broken around here. I spent some time trying to get the wiki editable again tonight but didn't make much progress. Whoever wants to give it a shot speak up. Otherwise if I hear nothing by tomorrow night, I'm picking someone to take the job.
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by Roots » Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:24 am

Alright then.

gorzuate will be responsible for fixing the wiki.

First you should figure out if the wiki problem is even related to the sourceforge database issue, because I'm not entirely convinced that it is. Take a look through the mediawiki site for related issues. You'll probably have to end up editing some file in the wiki setup like LocalSettings.php, so make sure that your shell access works. Look on sourceforge for help about shell access.

(Also check out #mediawiki @ irc.freenode.net)
<Roots> Morning all. Has anyone ever had an issue where when you go to edit a page and then submit your edit, you're brought to a blank webpage and no changes are made to the page you were editing? (And no error or warning message is given either)
<Alexfusco5> Roots: bump php's memory limit
ElonNarai will be responsible for fixing the website.

Drupal is the CMS that we use so the help on their website is where you should start. The first problem to fix here is with the site randomly logging you out a couple minutes after you login. The second issue to look at is why did it post a new page I created as a story instead. I think I'll have to grant you access to the admin panel and you'll have to register an account on the website in order for you to do all this. Send me an e-mail or PM and we'll figure this out.

(Also check out #drupal @ irc.freenode.net)
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by ElonNarai » Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:05 pm

Ok, I can login now and I see what you mean.

Few things I noticed as I quickly went over it.
1. no offense but the admin side looks crap, this is often not a good sign (don't roll your eyes for me stating the obvious ;) ), the most likely reason is that the filepath have changed or setup incorrect. This might also cause the admins to be logged out because of an inappropiate action. However if the admin site has always looked like that then there is nothing wrong
2. The cron job was runned on 2008-05-27 however looking at the details of the log (http://www.allacrost.org/admin/logs/event/142505) I don't think this was a valid cron job (look at the link). If you can confirm that problems started from this moment on forward then we might have found the cause of the problem.
3. The drupal installation is 4.7.0 (see: http://www.allacrost.org/CHANGELOG.txt) which is heavily outdated. They are now preparing the end of life for 5.10 and preparing the 7.x branch. My installation is 6.4.

If you can confirm my thoughts about my second point then we might have found the cruel pit however we still need to find a solustion.

My personal vision is that we migrate everything to a new up to date drupal installation. We will keep the current content (story, pages, comments, stylesheets, etc) but the durpal installation will be updated to the latest version. To make certain this will go correct we first do a test of it on another website and check for requirements (database, htaccess, php version, etc). If test goes correct then we will do the same on front page.

PS: I know I'm linking to some internal information of the website (changelog and a log-event), please remove them (I believe every moderator can change other moderators posts, so I can permession to do so with this)
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by ElonNarai » Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:12 pm

Also I would like to know an answer before The weekend starts so I can prepare things.
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by Roots » Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:16 pm

1. Yeah. Its always looked like crap. I thought it was because the theme we created for this site was such a hack job that no one ever bothered fixing the back end, but I don't know.

2. Looks like an invalid cron job to me. We've had quite a few problems with spam on the site, but I didn't know that the bots had penetrated deep enough to run cron jobs on our system. :uhoh:

And the problems with the site definitely started before that cron job was run. They've been around for at least a year I think.

3. I figured it was outdated. Didn't think it was quite so far back though.



I agree with you that we should update Drupal to the latest stable release. My primary concern with that is whether our website theme is going to work with the new drupal version. Here's what I suggest we do:

1) Do a clean install of the latest Drupal at another location on our site (it doesn't have to be at another site, but if that's more convenient for you to do EN then that's fine)

2) Try migrating our data/content/theme to the new Drupal and see how that goes

3) Investigate if the web admin problems still exist in the new Drupal


We'll decide what to do depending on how that goes. The best case scenario is that all the data transfers just fine and all our problems go away with the new version of Drupal. That's what I hope we'll see, but I'm not confident in that outcome.
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by gorzuate » Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:58 pm

Roots wrote: 2. Looks like an invalid cron job to me. We've had quite a few problems with spam on the site, but I didn't know that the bots had penetrated deep enough to run cron jobs on our system. :uhoh:
Um, what?! :twitch: You're kidding right? :ohnoes: Damn bots :axe:
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by ElonNarai » Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:00 pm

It is recommended that you copy your existing site to a test site and upgrade that one first. Even though you have made backups and can restore your site, you don't want your live site (the one people are actively visiting) to crash and burn if something bad happens during the upgrade.
-- http://drupal.org/upgrade/creating-a-test-site.

At the moment I'm severly puzzled on how I should do the upgrade. I could do it iterative (from 4.10 to 4.11 to 5.x to 6.x) or I could do it all at once (just install 6.x and create a SQL query to migrate everything).
The two major problems are:
1. Migrating data (from 4.7 format to 6.x format)
2. Migrating the style sheets

I think we should do it on the allacrost server, because according to the drupal documentation we can then easily replace the live site with the test site.

However I will need access to the following:
  • ftp
  • mysql-database (preferbly two: one with the original data (a copy of live) and a second one used for the test site)
  • maybe serveradmin (cpanel or something) to setup cron jobs, although that shouldn't be to hard and isn't mandatory for the upgrade.
If you can provide me with the first two then I will try to have the entire website done before monday.
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by Roots » Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:09 pm

I'll just send you a PM with the cpanel access info because you can get everything you need from there. Just be careful with it. With great power comes great responsibility. :angel:
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by ElonNarai » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:22 pm

*click* whoops... was that delete!? :devil:

Enfin, I have just dumped the allacrost drupal database and compared it to my own installation and both database are quite similair (quickly checked users, comments and revisions (this is where posts are stored) ).

However there was one new problem:
I need to reconfigure everything correctly to recreate the look.

However that is part two of the problem. I think that I will create a new site tomorrow new.allacrost.org where I will make a complete fresh install of drupal (with a new databases, etc) and make sure that works correct. Then I will try write a simple SQL script that copies the primary data (which means no logs, cache or configuration data). If all that works, I will recreate the old style.

So...
Step 1: Create new site (should be done before saterday)
Step 2: Copy all primary data to the new site (at least the stories)
Step 3: Recreate the look
Step 4: Copy the entire website from new.allacrost.org back to allacrost.org
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by Roots » Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:10 pm

Sounds good :approve:
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by ElonNarai » Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:06 am

Ok, the site is up and running

I still need to check if cron is working correctly (I have redirected all cron jobs to my personal account, I wish we could disable it the need to send out the output :p ). I have also put the site in maintenance mode to prevent people from logging in.

For now you can look at a nice page at http://new.allacrost.org
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by ElonNarai » Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:50 am

Ok, there is a problem with the mail (I think) as I should have recieved a mail by now about a new user I created.
Further the cron jobs is working

I will ignore the mail issue for now.

Later today I will work on stylesheets. I don't think anyone have a problem that they will be a bit different than before.

So...
PHASE 1 is complete!!
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by Roots » Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:18 am

Site off-line
Allacrost.org is currently under maintenance. We should be back shortly. Thank you for your patience. You can view the progress at: http://www.allacrost.org/forum/viewtopi ... =25&t=2050
That's what I see now. Don't know if that's intended or not, but just wanted to let you know.


By the way EN, if you're working on the theme and you're able to figure out how to remove the sub-tabs of the Download page, that would be awesome. We don't really use those sub-tabs and they've just been a pain to have around because no one knows how to get rid of them.


I've been thinking, maybe now would be a good time to upgrade all of our online services? We just finished up a release and there's a bit of a slow period now while we wait for some organizational things to happen before we really start moving forward on the next demo. If we can get all these online problems squared away before we begin working on the demo full-time, that would be great because we could concentrate on the game and not have to worry about the other stuff so much. The wiki has problems so maybe an upgrade will fix that. Forums only need a minor upgrade I believe. I took a look at upgrading the bug tracker and there are a lot of new things integrated into the tracker (a blog, twitter, a wiki, a roadmap). I'm not sure if we'll have the option to disable these new features or not. What do you guys think? Should we go all out and upgrade our online software?
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by ElonNarai » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:25 pm

Please, stop calling me EN, it's dutch for "and" and I automatically switch back from english to dutch. Elon will do or just "E." or Master Narai if you're bored ;) (ps: I'm not pissed or so, it just means I need more time to read through it)

About the tabs on the download page, I can make them gone like *poof* magic gone.

As for upgrading the services, I would like to see trac (wiki+svn+bug tracker+roadmap). I'm not a fan of twitter, though I'm having this idea about creating a general blog for the entire staff (aka everyone can post in that blog and read the ins and outs).

However all of those should take place after the new drupal installation is in place.

PS: I can't work on the site today anymore (fun familly matters :angel: ) so I will work on it tomorrow morning.
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by Roots » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:50 pm

I'm against using trac. Not because I think its bad, but because I think we already have everything we need here. There's no reason to dump our existing framework in exchange for a new one that will do the same thing. It doesn't bring us anything except more work in doing the conversion of our services and having everyone on the team have to re-learn how to file bugs, edit a wiki, etc. I think the issue of using trac (or replacing any of our software for that matter) is completely off the table.


I have kind of wanted us to have a team blog for a while though. I was hoping we could integrate that into the site somehow and then everyone on the team could blog freely about their work on Allacrost. But no one (our web developers nor managers nor leaders) have really indicated that they were for or against it, nor done anything about it. And I already have a lot of things to do so there's no way I can setup a blog on our site on top of all that. I bet there's a Drupal module that gives us that kind of functionality though. :angel:
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by ElonNarai » Sat Sep 27, 2008 2:43 am

I agree with you. Having everyone switch from one system to another is a bad idea. We need to repair the online services first and if there is a huge need for switching (which is not the case) then we might think of going to trac. Also setting up trac is a capital pain in the ass. Bottom line: Trac is off the table (just confirming)

Drupal is a community website and so far we haven't been using it as such. I think we really should think about the team blog as it generates exposure, and exposure harvests the attention of others and we all know what we can do with attention (take a look at politics. More exposure means more opportunities). Of course there need to be certain rules about it to prevent harm to either individual members, the team or the product.

Oh I forgot to say the site is in maitance mode. Later today I will post how to gain access to it.
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by ElonNarai » Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:34 am

Site is now back online http://new.allacrost.org/ and I will be working on the stylesheet now (the part I hate) :S
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by ElonNarai » Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:26 am

Ok, bad news.

I can't seem to get the theme working properly (I might be an expert on HTML and PHP but I never got the hang of CSS) and I'm also worried about changing to the theme too much as this might break features (the administration has explicitly been set to the default theme, just to make certain)

Roots, I think we should not try and to recreate the exact look, it's hard and I'm not the guy for it, so I'm going to approach it and make it look like the original site. Once you have checked (I will ask for that later today) and agreed then I suggest moving on to step 4. Assuming I remain administrator I will try and maintain and improve the site.

PROGRESS SO FAR:
  • Finished migrating the data
  • UNFINISHED: Played around with the styles trying to regenerate the look, this failed
PROBLEMS SO FAR:
  • Email is not working, though I need to double check this
  • Exact look can't be recreated, suggested approaching the look
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Re: Fix the website already!!!

Post by ElonNarai » Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:06 am

Ok, finished.

If you have any comments then I would like to hear them, otherwise I think we should transfer the site.
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