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About the downtime

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Gryzor:
Hello guys!


I apologise for the downtime. Getting the system up and running again took longer than expected, so let me give you the story.


The problem
On Saturday our site certificate expired. This should normally not be a problem because Letsencrypt/certbot was set up to auto-renew. Alarm bells went off when this didn't happen and some of you landed on the site to be greeted with stern browser messages about hackers and Elbonians stealing your data.


So, ok, let's renew manually, that's easy, right? Well yes, if you have Letsenrypt installed. In our case, it was gone. Turns out, the OS update we did a while back did not agree with Letsencrypt and it was removed.


So, ok, let's update the server, right? Right. And that's what was done, down to the kernel. Except the new OS version came with PHP7, and our forum version did not support PHP7 (in fact that was one of the reasons we had stayed back a few versions).


So, ok, let's update the forum software! Have done this dozens of times over the years, this should be a breeze (actually started doing it on my mobile during a grocery run). But no! It shouldn't be that easy, fate decided, and a key file was corrupted. Tracking down that issue alone (which was giving an Error 500 when visiting) took me a whole day. Once understood, it was an easy fix, so last night I finished the installation and put the forum in working mode this morning.


The status
We are now on the latest stable forum software version. Because that was a large update, most of the mods have been removed. Only those that rely on hooks survived, those that depended on changing code, or the manual code changes I had done, are gone. That was inevitable because the installation replaced all modified files with the official ones. More on this later in this post.


A major pain point at the moment: if you look at your browser's address bar you'll see a not-so-friendly URL. Pretty URLs was a mod we had running that provides human-readable URLs, and it'll have to be reinstalled. Not a huge issue by itself, but it means that all URLs that are out there (bookmarks, links from other sites, Google results) give a 404. So that'a  priority.


As a bonus, though, we can now update the wiki software, too. That side is also stale because newer mediawiki versions required more up-to-date platforms. It will take some time because I'll have to be very careful and set up basic functionality like email, but we'll get there.


The Future
Since the discussion we had some time ago about changing platforms did not bear any fruits, we're staying with SMF.


To minimize disruption from OS updates in the future we're looking into making a docker container out of the platform. This comes with its own set of problems but has very specific benefits in managing the forum.


Also: the 2.0 branch of SMF is, by all measures, pretty old-fashioned. There's a 2.1 in the horizon which is much more modern (and has a proper mobile version), which is now at RC4 and is nearing release. Now, we could jump onto it because it looks like it's pretty useable, *but* going from a RC to the stable release later on would cause the loss of any mods, again. So I'm trying to decide what to do...


Current issues/mods
As I said, most mods are missing. Because we have amassed quite a few modifications over the years I'm not sure I remember all of them. Please let me know of any functionality you're missing and I'll put it in the list below along with a status.


Thanks for listening,
T


Mods list (done ones with green)

* Pretty URLs
* Likes - won't do as it affects performance in a big way. Will wait for the next release of SMF which includes such functionality as core.
* Mobile theme
* Mentions
* Flags
* Media embedding
* Unread posts (https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/unread/?all;start=0)
* Donations
* Inline attachments

pelrun:
*goes to like the post* Oh wait...  :laugh: :picard2:

Gryzor:

--- Quote from: pelrun on 11:03, 28 September 21 ---*goes to like the post* Oh wait...  :laugh: :picard2:

--- End quote ---

Oh right.

luckpro:
Don't worry, these things happen. Thank you very much Gryzor.

thomas:
Welcome to the Upgrade Hell ... thank you Gryzor!

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