Urgent Forum Maintenance

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Firebird
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Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by Firebird »

Gents,

You are aware that there have been some discussions about the future of the Website.

Well although connected to this there is a separate development.
What I believe to be the case is that the PHP build of the server is out of date. Also out of date is the phpBB software that runs the forum.

What Greg has reported is that both the server PHP and the forum phpBB has become infected. How and with what I am unaware of, nor do I know the exact implications.
So Greg has said that this weekend there will some work to carry out upgrades to PHP and phpBB to cleanse them and make them more resilient.

There is an impediment to this work. The website itself is built using Joomla and this to is out of date. Greg says that It is not something that can be fixed easily. The website has to be updated to allow the other upgrades to take place.

Bit of a problem.

So what I believe is going to happen is that a temporary website front end will be created and this will allow the other work to be carried out.

So what effect will this have? Well the website will look different, exactly how I don't know. It can be altered when a more permanent solution is found. The forum will still be accessed from the website once the work is finished.
What will be unavailable, in the short term, is the FTP server from the website. We want to get it back online as soon as possible for you all but this is not the priority for the weekend.

So for this weekends work you do not have to do anything other than be patient.

However, if there is anybody out there who has knowledge of Joomla or indeed accessing an FTP server from another web front-end medium such as WordPress etc. could they drop a pm to either Martin or myself.
It will enable us to get back fully operational in the shortest amount of time.

The emphasis here is on knowledge and not ideas of what we can use.
Steve
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TimC340
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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by TimC340 »

Thanks Steve. I'm trying to learn some of the stuff that you're looking for answers to (though I have no intention of touching Joomla ever again - I've been burned by that before!). I'll let you know if I garner any knowledge useful to what you're trying to achieve.
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gsnde
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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by gsnde »

As you may have noticed, the forum looks very different at the moment. However, it has been updated to the latest version of the forum software and is no longer a security risk.

We are looking closely at the best way forward and have some promising ideas. We will not be discussing these in detail at this time as we are still in the planning stages.

In any case, the continued existence of the forum is assured, and we will inform you of the next steps in a timely manner.
Cheers,
Martin
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TimC340
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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by TimC340 »

Excellent news, Martin. Well done, and thank you for all your work.
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John Young
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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by John Young »

Well done and thank you to all involved. The heart of MAIW continues to beat.

John
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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by f4nutter »

great news, thank you to everyone behind the scenes
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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by gapeters »

Thanks for the update. Great news indeed!

Greg
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Jobza Guddun
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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by Jobza Guddun »

Thanks for the update Martin, everyone's efforts much appreciated.
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gavinc
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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by gavinc »

Thanks to all of you who figured out how to keep MAIW alive.

Gavin
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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by jimrodger »

Many thanks to all for keeping MAIW going.. didn't know what I was going to do if it went away.

Jim

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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by Robbiest »

Major thank you to everyone behind the scenes...
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Firebird
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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by Firebird »

It has to said that the work was done by Greg, with Martin watching in the wings and providing ideas and insight.

I was a cross between a voyeur and a nosey neighbour.
Steve
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Greg
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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by Greg »

Hi everyone,

I'm glad to report that the hardest part is over. The site and forums are running on all engines again.

So far it looks like I managed to entirely preserve the download hangar. It's not in a functional state at this moment so I had to disable the public access, but I hope to get it back online as soon as possible.

The front page also needs rebuilding, but it has a lower piority.

It is possible that you'll get (PHP) errors or warnings when trying to access certain pages or functionality. Let me know if you do and please copy the message or make a screenshot so I know where to look. Thanks.
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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by Jim »

Right behind you Greg. Not of much use (just pleased with myself for navigating back in here :P ), but right behind you!
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Manschy
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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by Manschy »

Thanks to all involved for all effort and work keeping this great site at this high quality!
Regards, Manfred.
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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by TimC340 »

Excellent work, Greg. Thank you for your efforts.
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John Young
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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by John Young »

Is it possible that the MAIW Global Object Libraries could be made available from the forum please? Without those links, people designing new scenery using those libraries are a bit stuck because users needing them will not be able to download them. Alternatively, could the libraries can be hosted elsewhere and links provided from there? I don't know how we stand licence-wise if we were to do that.

John
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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by Firebird »

Understand your issue, John.

I make these comments without speaking to Greg or Martin. From what I understand it is not immediately possible. The Forum is what it is and there is a limit on the size of file that can be attached in a post.

I think that if we could get the FTP access from the website then all files would be available, not just what you name.

I think you hit the nail on the head about hosting somewhere else due to permissions. It seems to me that it could possible to have a copy temporarily stored on, for example, Tim's site but I would need to confirm with the other two. The other issue is what this hit would do to Tim's site and whether it would incur extra cost to him. We couldn't put him in that position.

The issue was that the website was written in Joomla and it is the website that had the links to the FTP server. To upgrade the badly out of date software we needed to break the links for the website. As you were aware after the immediate upgrade to bring phpBB (the forum) up to date.
PHP which is the base for the entire website to run has also been updated.

The hardest part, I gleaned from Greg, was the update to Joomla. This was badly out of date. The good news is that the previous work enabled Greg to update Joomla to the latest version.

The issue with the Joomla upgrade was always the little modification niceties that were added over years. These had to be backed up and removed. The plan now is to carefully plan adding more functionality back to the website, i.e. FTP access.
I am sure that people have noticed that the MAIW banner is back on the website and forum but stuff like the icon for the website is not.

I believe the idea is start with the simple upgradeable stuff and prioritize pure functionality. The FTP access comes under that.

The two main goals here are to add the critical functionality back in an uncomplicated way and ensure that future upgrade-ability is as easy as possible. If it was difficult for Greg it was going to be impossible for others to work out.
The other thing is to not let things get so behind in future, as this is what causes the biggest upgrade problems.

We are trying to apply the KISS principle along with the upgrade project.
Steve
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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by TimC340 »

I'd taken my website off air for the moment as all the Brazil contributors can continue to access the FTP site, and I wanted to keep a single point of distribution while the development work continues. Greg made some salient points about bandwidth when we discussed the situation a couple of weeks back, and I can't find any specific limit on my host's T&Cs though I'm sure it's there.

If it was felt that an alternative host for some core MAIW content was needed in the short term, I'd be happy to have a look at how I could help.
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Re: Urgent Forum Maintenance

Post by Big777jet »

Haven't seen site put it up yet? Any problem server? Ask technical to fix it to run up again.


Stuart
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