Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Forum problem randomly takes site down – no fix imminent

Confused Guy

It’s been an irritating week (or two, to be more accurate).

First, I found that my browser was ignoring clicks made anywhere near the left side of the screen.

Then, hampered by that limited access to navigating around the screen environment, I noticed that something was taking my web hosting down.

It took a week to find and resolve the cause of the browser problem, and that meant the best part of two weeks passed before any headway was made with our apparent hosting problem, and while we haven’t been able to fix it, we can at least keep the site up, and maintain the Wiki, which is really our main resource.

The Forum has run substantially without problems since 2008, although it started some years before that, I mention that date since that was the last time its code was updated, and development came to an end. Problems usually arise from changes and bugs introduced with them, so with no changes… we don’t expect problems to appear.

A couple of weeks ago, our whole domain went down, checks showed the cause appeared to be a fault with the Forum, which was starting processes that should have terminated moments later… but didn’t, meaning they consumed all our processing resources and brought everything to a halt until they were cleared.

Our host as helped as far as they can (with a problem that is not of their making) and while it was previously necessary for us to wait until they cleared this problem, they provided us with the tools to do this ourselves. This means we can put the Forum back online, and risk having it kill our processes (and take our whole domain down), since we can clear the problem ourselves, instead of waiting to have the host do it in response to a service request.

Shameless plug for these guys (they really are patient and helpful): Dream Hosting

(Incidentally, this is a UK host, NOT to be confused with US hosts having similar names. I feel I have to make the distinction since the American hosts seem to get poor reviews in the support area for my forum code.)

Forum Status

It’s not possible to determine the future of the Forum at this point.

If no reason for the stuck processes can be found and corrected, then the Forum cannot remain in use, since its failure takes down the whole SeSco domain and any sites hosted in the same web space.

However, with no queries from the membership regarding its disappearance along with the rest of the domain, there seems to be insufficient interest or concern to make it worth the effort of its maintenance, given the time spent not on its content, but of keeping it clear of spambots.

I will be working on the Forum, since it links to matching articles in the Wiki, and we have a fairly comprehensive section on Rudolf Hess’s flight to Scotland in May 1941, which has even been noticed by authors writing on the subject.

But I won’t be in any particular rush, as this problem has already put me the best part of two weeks behind with more important tasks, so they have to be tended to as well.

As always, comments can be left below.

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May 16, 2014 - Posted by | Site News | ,

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