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Simon

Site Upgrade

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I think that the site upgrade is more or less complete at this point.

There are still a number of background tasks to complete -- some manual, some automated.  The manual tasks include updating shipping methods for the store and verifying that everything is functioning normally.  This should be done before the end of the day.  The automated background tasks are going to be running for the next few days and may result in some slowness.  A few features on the site will not be available until the background tasks complete (some searching, etc.).

Other than that, look around, have fun, play nice, and let us know if anything looks odd/out of place.

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Pretty much.

It went smoothly...but has taken a bit over six months to prepare for -- there were a number of "unique to our setup" bugs in the upgrade process which we had to work out.  

I'm sure that there's going to be a kink or two to work out, so test away.

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Continuing to test through things -- all looking suspiciously good so far.  Which means I can take a moment, crack a celebratory beer, and explain the past year or so:

We were on a shared server with Host Gator (after I got out of the hosting business -- it became _insane_ in both time commitment and price).  This was great in terms of price, but Host Gator started putting limits on our CPU utilization -- shutting down the site when it got too high.  This was a problem for several reasons:

  1. Our CPU utilization would routinely spike during "attacks".  Some of these attacks were simple DoS (some joker pounding the search function for an hour or so), some more complex DDoS (as I started to block the simple ones).  The only way to combat these was to limit the CPU load that the site would allow and disable a number of features that were either being abused or causing the CPU to spike through normal use.
  2. A new major version upgrade to the site software required a pretty significant change to the database that the site uses.  Since the database has grown to be quite large over the years, these changes caused the CPU usage to rise beyond the levels that Host Gator would tolerate from us, causing them to terminate the process.  Enter the frustration phase, as getting through those changes and upgrades would allow us to reduce the overall load that the site caused...but whatever.
  3. Normal usage of the site goes through surges.  During prime usage times, the CPU load would increase to just shy of our limit...making the attacks noted in (1) much more successful despite my best efforts.

So we opted to setup a dedicated (non-shared) server with Host Gator.  While expensive (making me very briefly reconsider getting out of the hosting business), it would allow us to do all of the maintenance that we needed and go through the upgrades....and (hopefully) to re-enable a bunch of functionality that had been turned off.  The new server was stood up in April of this year.  After going through a fair bit of configuration and setup, I ran a test transfer and upgrade on the site...which is where all hell broke loose.  Very little worked.  Lots of errors in the upgrade.  After a lot of back and forth with Invision (the makers of the software that drive the site), we finally managed to track down the major issue to a failing drive in the brand new RAID array on the server.  

So Host Gator rebuilt the whole thing.  

And I reconfigured it....and then continued to run into issues with the upgrade process.  After a LONG period of back and forth with Invision (in which I tweaked out the configuration on the server within an inch of its life in the mistaken belief that it was the cause of the problems), we finally came to the conclusion that it was a problem with the upgrade process itself.  This required MANY attempts at said upgrade (each of which would take up most of a day) and multiple escalations within Invision's support until I was talking directly with the developers.

So then we started experimenting with fixes.  It was a non-trivial issue (to say the least).  We were losing all files from the Downloads section and from the Store (which means that while order history was showing up, no file downloads were possible or visible). Many of the attempts required allowing the background processes (which are currently running) to complete -- making any given attempt take approximately 4-5 days before we figured out what worked and what didn't.

About two weeks ago, we finally got a custom build that gave us access to all files in the Downloads as well as all files in the Store (after Jason made some edits on the old site).  There was some missing information in the background (things like tax rates, payment method definitions, and shipping methods/rates), but those were things that we (meaning Jason) could fill in while I worked through all of the software configuration settings....which is where we are now.

Everything seems to be checking out, meaning I can finally breathe a sigh of relief, close out the longest support ticket in Invision's history, and monitor the background processes before applying a final update to bring us to the most recent release of the software (that'll happen in a few days' time).

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9 minutes ago, Spence said:

The mobile version looks great.  A few things have changed a bit, but that will just be retraining myself.  Otherwise the new mobile looks better than the old mobile :)

Look around and test things out -- there's a LOT of new functionality added in.  The mobile side has most of it, though some is a bit hard to spot.  Make sure you try both mobile and desktop to see what's available.

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Normally I hate changes, but this is nice. I feel like I just got a new car after the used one had to be retired. It seems to have a lot of bells and whistles but they're quite user friendly so far and I don't think the learning curve will kick my luddite ass at all :)

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5 minutes ago, zslane said:

Is there a way to configure/prevent the "Are you sure?" dialog when I click the button to mark everything (in a sub-topic) as read?

Not sure...given that I'm not seeing that when I click on a forum with unread posts, I'll assume that it's a setting somewhere in the software...will keep an eye out for it.

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34 minutes ago, zslane said:

Is there a way to configure/prevent the "Are you sure?" dialog when I click the button to mark everything (in a sub-topic) as read?

or at least have a "Do not ask me again" checkbox

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2 hours ago, Simon said:

Look around and test things out -- there's a LOT of new functionality added in.  The mobile side has most of it, though some is a bit hard to spot.  Make sure you try both mobile and desktop to see what's available.

I intend to.  I actually only use mobile if I absolutely have no other way.  The Hero forums are probably the only ones I look at regularly so it won't take me too long to check out the desktop version. 

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11 minutes ago, dmjalund said:

or at least have a "Do not ask me again" checkbox

The software that drives the site is a packaged solution from Invision -- not something that I've coded.  What you're asking is akin to asking the IT head at your office "Microsoft Word asks if I'm sure I want to overwrite a file when I select "Save As..." and specify an existing filename -- can you add a checkbox to remove that?" (assuming you don't work for Microsoft)

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I have app notifications disabled for Edge in Windows 10 ... and have had them disabled for a year ... and will not be changing this.  Using MS Edge, I now get a dialogue with the following text on the bottom of every forum page (where prior to the upgrade I did not):

Quote

http://www.herogames.com wants to send you notifications, but first you need to go to Settings and turn on Notifications.

This only manifested after the upgrade. At first I thought this might be something related to post-upgrade-Forum settings ... so I checked the Notification settings available on the Forums and disabled all non-email notifications on the Forums that I am empowered to disable (note: some are rendered untoggleable by the administrator - only those are still on), but it made no difference.

How do we do away with this dialogue permanently (i.e. return to this not being a problem or manifesting, since it didn't prior to the upgrade) without switching browsers or enabling Windows 10 notification settings pertaining to Edge?

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9 hours ago, Surrealone said:

I have app notifications disabled for Edge in Windows 10 ... and have had them disabled for a year ... and will not be changing this.  Using MS Edge, I now get a dialogue with the following text on the bottom of every forum page (where prior to the upgrade I did not):

This only manifested after the upgrade. At first I thought this might be something related to post-upgrade-Forum settings ... so I checked the Notification settings available on the Forums and disabled all non-email notifications on the Forums that I am empowered to disable (note: some are rendered untoggleable by the administrator - only those are still on), but it made no difference.

How do we do away with this dialogue permanently (i.e. return to this not being a problem or manifesting, since it didn't prior to the upgrade) without switching browsers or enabling Windows 10 notification settings pertaining to Edge?

A couple of things on this:

1. The notifications dialog that you're referring to is common to most modern social/content-driven sites. It's a way for the site to alert you outside of the context of the browser window (e.g. notification center, browser badge, etc.) when there are notifications that you've selected to receive. It is not really a setting on the site so much as simply modern browser and HTML5 functionality.
 

2. Selecting "no" should dismiss the dialog and cause it not to reappear for this site for some time.  Typically about a year.  If it comes up repeatedly, you'll need to look to your browser settings.  There should be settings regarding notification behavior (e.g. ask ever time, always yes, always no, etc.) as well as settings which would affect the persistence of your selection if that setting has not been altered.  That's unfortunately about as far down that particular rabbit hole as I can go -- the rest is on you to handle within your system.

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6 hours ago, tkdguy said:

It looks great, thanks.

One thing I noticed is that I get new post notifications in my email after I opted to turn off the notifications on my preferences.

If you opted to turn them off prior to the upgrade, you're going to want to look in your preferences again -- there are a LOT of new ones, which will have been set to defaults.

If you opted to turn off email notifications after the upgrade, check to ensure that all post notifications are correct in your preferences...and then wait a few days.  It's likely just a matter of the background tasks completing.  They're currently churning through the 2.5 million archived posts -- that process takes a couple of days on its own and needs to complete before things like "rebuilding profile fields" takes place.

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3 hours ago, Simon said:

A couple of things on this:

1. The notifications dialog that you're referring to is common to most modern social/content-driven sites. It's a way for the site to alert you outside of the context of the browser window (e.g. notification center, browser badge, etc.) when there are notifications that you've selected to receive. It is not really a setting on the site so much as simply modern browser and HTML5 functionality.
 

2. Selecting "no" should dismiss the dialog and cause it not to reappear for this site for some time.  Typically about a year.  If it comes up repeatedly, you'll need to look to your browser settings.  There should be settings regarding notification behavior (e.g. ask ever time, always yes, always no, etc.) as well as settings which would affect the persistence of your selection if that setting has not been altered.  That's unfortunately about as far down that particular rabbit hole as I can go -- the rest is on you to handle within your system.

Simon,

Post-upgrade, the dialogue continually shows up (every page load) if Notifications are completely disabled (i.e. Off) for Microsoft Edge at the Win10 OS level -- i.e. no persistence in the dismissal of the dialogue.  There is, of course, no way to manage Notifications for Edge (within Edge) if Notifications for it are completely disabled (i.e. Off) at the Win10 OS level.  There are good reasons to have Notifications for Edge completely disabled (i.e. eliminate all taskbar pop-ups from any/all sites open in Edge ... without having to manage sites individually via Edge).

This should be easy to reproduce.  The question I ultimately have is that since this was not a problem before the upgrade ... and it is a problem after the upgrade ... how can the pre-upgrade functionality be maintained without end-users having to switch browsers, browser settings, or OS settings?  Surely there's a server-side approach that can be taken ?

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Just now, Surrealone said:

Simon,

Post-upgrade, the dialogue continually shows up (every page load) if Notifications are completely disabled (i.e. Off) for Microsoft Edge at the Win10 OS level -- i.e. no persistence in the dismissal of the dialogue.  There is, of course, no way to manage Notifications for Edge (within Edge) if Notifications for it are completely disabled (i.e. Off) at the Win10 OS level.  The issue should be easy enough to reproduce...

It is not -- the "issue" is within your browser configuration.  Again, it is only peripherally related to the site at all -- the site is coded to utilize HTML5 notifications, so your browser will ask for your approval.  That's as far as the site's code/functionality goes, the rest is on your end.

I have received the notification on many sites.  On this one, I allowed it, on others I declined...and that was the end of it.  This has been the behavior across multiple platforms and multiple browsers.

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Hi Dan, is there any way to change any of the behavior of the message editor?  Under the new version, a carriage return inserts a double space, where it used to insert a single space.  If not, it's okay, I'm just wondering if there is.

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1 minute ago, Chris Goodwin said:

Hi Dan, is there any way to change any of the behavior of the message editor?  Under the new version, a carriage return inserts a double space, where it used to insert a single space.  If not, it's okay, I'm just wondering if there is.

Yup!

It had been set to insert a new paragraph on enter...I've changed that to insert a newline.

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