Every now and then the disk on the server fills up and we lose some functionality (like the new-comment count, for example). To make it slightly easier to spot the problem before it becomes a problem, we’ve just done a quick-and-dirty status page: http://status.monkeyfilter.com/
It shows memory (RAM) consumption, disk usage, server load (how much you guys are hammering the site), plus some boring crap. If you’re sleepy, it may be the equivalent of warm milk and a white-noise CD.
Not the site, just me. My laptop died about two weeks ago and took all my passwords with it. I’m temporarily set up with a borrowed laptop (thanks to #2’s boss) until my new beast arrives (that’s a saga in itself), so I apologise for my extended, unexpected absence. Bet you didn’t even notice!
Most humble apologies for the slow response to today’s weirdness, here and on the server. The server disk was filled with access logs, heh. Now cleared and it’s all roomy in there again.
Now I’ve discovered just how big and spam-laden the wiki is (yes, we have a wiki) - it’s 1GB in size right now. I want to clean it up and add a captcha or similar for new accounts. Sometime. Phew.
This year may see some of those changes I keep mentioning, then delaying.
I’m looking into ExpressionEngine, which I’ve mentioned before, and will be testing it out locally soon to determine whether we can export the existing MoFi databases into a new engine, and how will it will work with what I and you need to get out of MoFi (for example neverending poetry threads…and I would kind of like some kind of preview button).
I’ve mentioned bringing in other mods, located in strategically-placed bases around the world, to help keep things ticking along. I’m working on this at present, or will be once I unpack from my holiday. This may make me less crotchety and more posty, personally.
I’d still like a new look, but that may depend on how well EE works - I’d like to open it up to anyone who’s keen to design and write the code for a new face for MoFi. I admit I haven’t been using the lavender for ages and have switched between two of Gyan’s (remember him? he is clever and generous) colour schemes.
The problems I have are these: time (both #2 and I are occupied full-time with work or college, #2 is working evenings as well and I am taking a night course) and skill (with #2 so busy, I’ll have to upskill quickly while playing around with EE). So if anyone wants to help me mess around with EE and with MoFi’s backend, let me know. I’m working on being more available on Google Chat and/or IRC, too. Your reward for contributions to MoFi will be recognition and occasionally having someone say, “Oh yeah, I remember that monkey who wrote that code, which is super cool and awesome!”
The family and I are headed out today for two weeks’ holiday in the Sounds. We get back around January 3. I’ll be checking in daily on MoFi and my email if you need to contact me, otherwise I’ll pretty much still be around aside from a few days where I will have literally gone fishing.
Be good, be nice. Have a great Christmas or other holiday of your choice, and a happy new year!
Even during the recent debate here, I still enjoy running MoFi; the conversations are great and I am always learning something new, or at the very least being entertained by youtube links, heh. I hope to see you all in the new year after a well-deserved period of relaxation.
We are leaving in about 20 minutes for a holiday in the north island, be back next Friday. Be good!
As good as is possible.
And if you can’t, then…I don’t know. Email me futilely, or something.
Thanks for the heads-up about the above. #2 has sorted the RSS feed problem (it was a very weird one) so it should be working spiffily again. Keeping an eye on the 500 server errors in the meantime.
Some MoFi people have by now heard that one of our most beloved and oldest (by which I mean longstanding) members has been out of action, and other may have noticed her absence: our dear path has had a mild stroke and is currently recovering at home. Her daughter, another awesome Monkey — Christophine — is helping her with her recovery.
I hear she’s back on her computer to some extent already, so I imagine emails to either or both wouldn’t go amiss.
Love and best wishes to both of them.
Okay. #2 has spent some time on the code tonight just making it a little more secure. Here’s some amusing (or not so amusing) things he changed:
1. Ages ago we turned off scripts for default users (I think in response to some user screwing with the site), but didn’t turn them off for pending users, the ones waiting for authentication. That’s how tehdead used XSS to poke around. Obviously that’s off now for everyone except the Superadmin, which, unfortunately, is me.
2. Your passwords should all be safe as a result, but mine is still relatively exposed. As a quick fix, he’s tied my password to my IP so it will only work if it comes from my house.
3. Some other stuff that I don’t know much about.
You will most likely have had to log back in after the changes were uploaded. Sorry about the inconvenience. If you’ve forgotten your password let me know.
Remember how, ages ago, we had that rewrite project? Because Metaphilter sucks? And so does PHP? And then life got busy, and #2 started doing other things, like a second job, and I went back to college, and we put the rewrite aside? Well.
It looks like at least some damage control is in the works. We’ve had a look at what our new friend has done, and there are indeed some gaping security holes in the PHP (I loathe PHP). The holes are throughout, so it’ll take some time to patch them all. We’ve saved a copy of the site locally to work on first so you won’t see any changes for a bit; we simply don’t have the time to sort it all out in one go.
So what with starting a new semester today, recovering from holidays, sorting the kids out and now this, it’s sure shaping up to be an awesome week! (Also woo, my birthday in a few days, so this is like a magical sparkly present, all wrapped up in awesome. Excuse my grumpiness.)
I just said to #2 how impressed I am that we’ve gone five years without someone doing this. Almost five years, that is. I am overdue for a general site tidy-up.