Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #101  
Old 02-26-2020, 11:47 AM
Annie-Xmas is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 59,680
Again, very bad right now
  #102  
Old 02-26-2020, 12:01 PM
krondys's Avatar
krondys is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Gillette, Wyoming
Posts: 1,248
Yep, also hitting more errors now.
  #103  
Old 02-26-2020, 12:44 PM
TubaDiva's Avatar
TubaDiva is offline
Capo di tutti capi
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: In the land of OO-bla-dee
Posts: 11,433
Lemme see if I can get the techs to look at this.

Sorry for your inconvenience. ::: sigh :::

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator
  #104  
Old 02-26-2020, 01:55 PM
Razncain is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: TX & CO
Posts: 1,786
Got another 504 at 1:29 CST today. Got a few more a couple of days ago. Even when not getting the timeout messages, usually after the first 2-4 pages load up fairly quick after each click, the rest run much slower often, perhaps 3-10 seconds a page, before sometimes locking up. It's sporadic, but somewhat has been going like this for a few days. Still a vast improvement over last week. I'm fine with it, just letting you know if it helps.
  #105  
Old 02-26-2020, 02:31 PM
filmore is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,899
I wonder if it gets better when people give up and go somewhere else for a while. One long-term issue with this problem is it's likely to reduce board membership. The hardcore will likely stick around, but the more casual will naturally drift to other forums rather than wait for the pages to load or retry when they get the timeout. Even if someone thinks they'll come back later, they may eventually spend more and more time hanging out in whatever corner of the internet they end up in during the outage.

From the description about locking in the large database, it sounds like a very tough category of problem to fix with a band-aid. Once the system starts hitting the limits of the ability to scale for performance, typically significant changes are need. Faster disks may help the system process the locks faster, but there's an obvious cost to that and it would just be kicking the problem down the road a bit.
  #106  
Old 02-26-2020, 02:45 PM
Razncain is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: TX & CO
Posts: 1,786
Quote:
Originally Posted by filmore View Post
I wonder if it gets better when people give up and go somewhere else for a while.
Nope, not in my case. For the last 90 minutes, got two more time outs and a 502. Things to a crawl on most pages loading. It's the same ole same ole, running fine for a little while, then bat crazy the rest.
  #107  
Old 02-26-2020, 03:06 PM
blondebear is online now
Shouting Grasshopper
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Meridian/280
Posts: 14,617
Just got a couple of 502 errors in the past 5 minutes.
  #108  
Old 02-26-2020, 03:07 PM
Senegoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 15,772
Me three. Feb. 26 13:02 Martian Standard Time. (PST.)
  #109  
Old 02-26-2020, 03:22 PM
ftg's Avatar
ftg is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 21,643
About 10 minutes ago things got ridiculously bad for at least 5 minutes.

Back in my day, we fixed things with baling wire. You got baling wire?
  #110  
Old 02-26-2020, 05:45 PM
TreacherousCretin's Avatar
TreacherousCretin is offline
Horrified Onlooker
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Posts: 5,801
Quote:
Originally Posted by TubaDiva View Post
Lemme see if I can get the techs to look at this.

Sorry for your inconvenience. ::: sigh :::

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator
I for one am holding you personally responsible.






  #111  
Old 02-26-2020, 06:05 PM
Snowboarder Bo's Avatar
Snowboarder Bo is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 28,897
I've had multiple 50x errors and lots of loading pages just hanging there, sometimes for 30 seconds, sometimes for a couple of minutes. Started this morning, still happening right now.

ETA: I posted this by hitting "Post Quick Reply" and then had things hang for over 90 seconds before I got a 502 error.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 02-26-2020 at 06:06 PM.
  #112  
Old 02-26-2020, 06:11 PM
Jeep's Phoenix's Avatar
Jeep's Phoenix is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 5,805
The main page seems to be down now, too.
  #113  
Old 02-26-2020, 06:17 PM
Musicat is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
Posts: 21,786
Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
About 10 minutes ago things got ridiculously bad for at least 5 minutes.

Back in my day, we fixed things with baling wire. You got baling wire?
I always heard the phrase "fixed with chewing gum and bailing wire." Maybe they are out of chewing gum this time.
  #114  
Old 02-26-2020, 07:32 PM
Cartooniverse is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Betwixt My Ears
Posts: 12,670
........Not with a bang but with a whimper...........

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
__________________
If you want to kiss the sky you'd better learn how to kneel.
  #115  
Old 02-26-2020, 07:53 PM
Razncain is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: TX & CO
Posts: 1,786
I've got duct tape and c-clamps. ftg has baling wire. TubaDiva, holler if you want us to take a look at it.
  #116  
Old 02-26-2020, 09:25 PM
Snowboarder Bo's Avatar
Snowboarder Bo is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 28,897
Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman; he's got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it.
  #117  
Old 02-26-2020, 09:56 PM
TubaDiva's Avatar
TubaDiva is offline
Capo di tutti capi
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: In the land of OO-bla-dee
Posts: 11,433
Anybody got a hairpin?

Maybe the system has the flu. Like everybody else.

Talking to TPTB. It will take a red hot minute or two so please hold on.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator
  #118  
Old 02-26-2020, 11:51 PM
Die Capacitrix's Avatar
Die Capacitrix is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 427
Generally seems to be okay (not oaky) at 6:30 am CET, with a small hiccup or two. But I don't post much.
  #119  
Old 02-27-2020, 04:00 AM
BigT's Avatar
BigT is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: "Hicksville", Ark.
Posts: 37,266
Another possible solution to dealing with a database being locked for too long is to reduce the size of the database. In other words, take the oldest threads and archive them, then remove them from the database and compact it.

By "oldest," I mean the ones that haven't been accessed in any way for the longest time. If a thread is actively updated, or even just gets a lot of views, don't archive that one. That should minimize the impact.

Then just throw up a link to the archives on the front page of the board, maybe calling it the "post graveyard" with a description about how we finally had to permanently put down our beloved zombies.

(I'm assuming the size of the database is part of the problem, since I don't think we've hit the highest activity ever. But we inherently must have hit the largest size the database has ever been. There are, of course, always more posts in the archive than there were yesterday.)

Last edited by BigT; 02-27-2020 at 04:03 AM.
  #120  
Old 02-27-2020, 06:55 AM
JKellyMap's Avatar
JKellyMap is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 10,332
It was fine early this morning (Chicago time), but once many Americans were up and awake (6:45 AM here), it slowed to a crawl, with some timeout errors.

ETA: Ten minutes later, it’s okay again (maybe loads a page slightly slowly).

Last edited by JKellyMap; 02-27-2020 at 06:57 AM.
  #121  
Old 02-27-2020, 07:02 AM
Razncain is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: TX & CO
Posts: 1,786
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman; he's got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it.
I actually came close to posting that very bit. Found some short clips on You Tube, makes me want to watch the whole movie again.
  #122  
Old 02-27-2020, 08:53 AM
JKellyMap's Avatar
JKellyMap is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 10,332
Timing out again, for maybe ten minutes in each half-hour period, give or take. 8:45 AM CST.
  #123  
Old 02-27-2020, 11:00 AM
Annie-Xmas is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 59,680
Again with the 504 Timeouts.
  #124  
Old 02-27-2020, 11:08 AM
filmore is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,899
I would actually be surprised if this was a database locking problem. Lock contention in a database generally looks like sluggish performance as the locks queue up and take longer and longer to get resolved. It's like the line at Starbucks that just gets longer and longer when it gets busy.

But the pattern here seems to be long timeouts and then everything works perfectly. That looks more like some kind of issue which has a long timeout. One possibility is a network issue where a connection gets hung until the timeout and then something is reset and clears up. Or perhaps a failing disk where a write to a certain spot is taking too long.

Hopefully the people at DesertNews are looking into system issues that may also be causing this. They shouldn't assume it's the large database. The large database certainly isn't helping, but it may just be exposing some kind of system problem.
  #125  
Old 02-27-2020, 12:00 PM
Saint Cad is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: N of Denver & S of Sanity
Posts: 13,938
Completely unusable and frustrating.
If I were a paying customer I'd be so pissed.
  #126  
Old 02-27-2020, 12:07 PM
elmwood's Avatar
elmwood is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 9,400
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Another possible solution to dealing with a database being locked for too long is to reduce the size of the database. In other words, take the oldest threads and archive them, then remove them from the database and compact it.
That would make the Winter of Missed Content seem like some light flurries in comparison. With less content, there would be fewer SERPs with links to the SDMB, so fewer people would learn about the place. Archive millions of posts (where?), and Winter is Here.

The SDMB is not the biggest message board on the Internet. Modern message board scripts, along with newer versions of MySQL and PHP, can handle boards with hundreds of millions of posts with ease. There's no need to get rid of any content.

The Large XenForo Forums List - this list is from 2014, but there's some updates in later posts.

The SDMB has 21,982,928 posts. Urban75 is a peer board of sorts, with 16,382,700 posts. It uses XenForo, and it flies. Minecraft Forums uses IPB, and now has 23,356,034 posts; a couple million more than the SDMB. Christian Forums uses XF, and it has 62,025,940 posts. NeoGaf also uses XF, and it has 129,790,252 posts.
  #127  
Old 02-27-2020, 01:23 PM
Bijou Drains is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 11,138
I think it might be that something is getting too full, maybe disk space or memory or both. Whatever was done to make it work better for a short while will point to what the problem is. For example if some disk space setting was changed then that is probably what is full again.
  #128  
Old 02-27-2020, 01:34 PM
Elendil's Heir is offline
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: 221B Baker St.
Posts: 88,992
Grrrr. I'm getting 504 errors every third post or so. Help!
  #129  
Old 02-27-2020, 01:47 PM
jerez is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 830
Needs to be fixed. I hope the owner(s) will consider downsizing to a simpler (cheaper and problem-free) format before pulling the plug. It couldn't cost that much to maintain something that will get the job done. This place is all about content, anyway.

Last edited by jerez; 02-27-2020 at 01:48 PM.
  #130  
Old 02-27-2020, 01:51 PM
wolfpup's Avatar
wolfpup is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 11,510
I have already brought tidings of great sadness, and now I have to confirm that it's definitely getting worse and starting to move from "frustrating" to "unusable". I think whatever database magic was done before, temporary as it was, is about due again. At least it lasts a few days while the planning continues.

ETA: Oh, FFS, got "Server Error" just trying to post this!
  #131  
Old 02-27-2020, 01:52 PM
Shodan is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Milky Way Galaxy
Posts: 40,750
This is ridiculous. Seven clicks, five timeouts.

Regards,
Shodan
  #132  
Old 02-27-2020, 01:55 PM
jerez is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 830
Just needs a whack now and then. Seems to be fine now...
  #133  
Old 02-27-2020, 02:09 PM
TubaDiva's Avatar
TubaDiva is offline
Capo di tutti capi
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: In the land of OO-bla-dee
Posts: 11,433
It's going to be hit and miss here until we move on to what's next.

Which is not going to be an overnight thing; upgrading/migrating to another platform is not a think about it today and do it tomorrow kind of thing; there's process and preparation that must come before you can be presented with what's next.

This will also include testing of the new before it's open to the rest of the world.

So ... it's going to be stinky for a while.

Some times it will be easier than others. Sometimes it will be unbearable. Management is dealing with this as swiftly as possible, which I and they admit is not as fast as you would prefer it.

It is going to change for the better. But it's going to take a few red hot minutes before we get there.

I wish I had a better message for you. But that's the reality of where we are now.

Help IS on the way. But it ain't here yet.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator
  #134  
Old 02-27-2020, 02:15 PM
Tierce is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by filmore View Post
I would actually be surprised if this was a database locking problem. Lock contention in a database generally looks like sluggish performance as the locks queue up and take longer and longer to get resolved. It's like the line at Starbucks that just gets longer and longer when it gets busy.

But the pattern here seems to be long timeouts and then everything works perfectly. That looks more like some kind of issue which has a long timeout. One possibility is a network issue where a connection gets hung until the timeout and then something is reset and clears up. Or perhaps a failing disk where a write to a certain spot is taking too long.

Hopefully the people at DesertNews are looking into system issues that may also be causing this. They shouldn't assume it's the large database. The large database certainly isn't helping, but it may just be exposing some kind of system problem.
Could be. But TubaDiva's post indicated that it was a lock on an entire table, not just a row. The behavior does seem to support that. Next time you hit timeouts, try opening another tab and loading another page 10-15 seconds later. As soon as either one gets a 502 or 504, refresh it as soon as possible, so the tabs are always 10-15 seconds apart. I just tried this a few minutes ago, and when the tabs finally succeeded, they succeeded within a second of each other. That indicates contention for some resource that was finally released, not just individual operations taking a long time.

There's probably some relatively rare condition that triggers this lock - say two users posting to the same thread at the same time - which subsequently locks an important table for a long time, for everyone, for all operations (read and write). Who knows what that condition is, or what happened in the last couple of months to make it occur a lot more frequently.

Ultimately, it sounds like a design flaw in vBulletin, so although it's unclear what finally triggered it, it's always going to be lurking there. I think just about any web host provider would reply to this complaint with "update your scripts", and they'd have a point.

Count me as another vote for upgrading to modern software. If it can be configured to maintain the Spartan look, the forum structure, and the moderation structure, so much the better, but better some changes than the whole thing collapsing under its own obsolescence...
  #135  
Old 02-27-2020, 02:16 PM
jerez is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 830
Thanks to TubaDiva and the others. What are we looking at, days, weeks?

Last edited by jerez; 02-27-2020 at 02:17 PM.
  #136  
Old 02-27-2020, 02:22 PM
needscoffee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 7,553
Thanks, TubaDiva, for putting up with all our complaining. It's tough to be the one in the middle!
  #137  
Old 02-27-2020, 02:39 PM
Spoons is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Posts: 21,028
I've had numerous problems today, but I do appreciate the update, Tuba. Many thanks!
  #138  
Old 02-27-2020, 02:48 PM
Snowboarder Bo's Avatar
Snowboarder Bo is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 28,897
Quote:
Originally Posted by Razncain View Post
I actually came close to posting that very bit. Found some short clips on You Tube, makes me want to watch the whole movie again.
You have excellent taste in comedy movies!
  #139  
Old 02-27-2020, 02:49 PM
Ann Hedonia's Avatar
Ann Hedonia is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,904
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tierce View Post
Could be. But TubaDiva's post indicated that it was a lock on an entire table, not just a row. The behavior does seem to support that. Next time you hit timeouts, try opening another tab and loading another page 10-15 seconds later. As soon as either one gets a 502 or 504, refresh it as soon as possible, so the tabs are always 10-15 seconds apart. I just tried this a few minutes ago, and when the tabs finally succeeded, they succeeded within a second of each other. That indicates contention for some resource that was finally released, not just individual operations taking a long time.

There's probably some relatively rare condition that triggers this lock - say two users posting to the same thread at the same time..
Thatís been my experience as well. I would like to add the observation that when I go back to make an edit to something I just posted ( which I do with almost every post, my eyes are bad and I miss lots of typos) it ALWAYS locks up.

Iím used to it now, and even though I get an error, when I finally refresh the page the changes I made are there. Itís kind of the new normal.
  #140  
Old 02-27-2020, 03:00 PM
TubaDiva's Avatar
TubaDiva is offline
Capo di tutti capi
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: In the land of OO-bla-dee
Posts: 11,433
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerez View Post
Thanks to TubaDiva and the others. What are we looking at, days, weeks?
Not sure. I have not currently been given a timetable.

When I have solid news for you of course I will pass it on.

Until then, it's "hope for the best/expect the worst."

Quote:
Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
Thanks, TubaDiva, for putting up with all our complaining. It's tough to be the one in the middle!
I don't want you to see me whine. Okay, maybe just a little. But yes, it's not as enjoyable as it could be sometimes. Tant pis.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
  #141  
Old 02-27-2020, 03:44 PM
Ellis Dee is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: New England
Posts: 14,729
I haven't bothered to try and adblock my tablet, and I'm forever fat-fingering the close button on those stupid ads at the bottom of the page that block the site navigation dropdown. (I'm convinced that the actual close hit box isn't where the ads show the X to cheat you into unintended ad clicks.)

I mention this because while it was hanging for minutes on end for me around 10 minutes ago, I fat-fingered another ad, and as you'd expect, it opened a new tab with the ad. Or, rather, it tried to. The ad's new tab -- which really shouldn't have anything to do with the SDMB servers or database -- ALSO hung with a 502 (or maybe 504) timeout error.

If even opening an ad into a new browser tab suffers the same issues as the messageboard, it may be a worthwhile test to turn off all ads for everyone for just a day or two to see if it's ad related.
  #142  
Old 02-27-2020, 03:46 PM
Bijou Drains is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 11,138
I still wonder why not tell us anything about the problem? Not everyone will know what "we changed X setting from 10 to 20" means but some of us will. Is there any valid reason for not giving out more information? Do you think we are going to go out and start a competing site?
  #143  
Old 02-27-2020, 04:44 PM
TubaDiva's Avatar
TubaDiva is offline
Capo di tutti capi
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: In the land of OO-bla-dee
Posts: 11,433
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
I still wonder why not tell us anything about the problem? Not everyone will know what "we changed X setting from 10 to 20" means but some of us will. Is there any valid reason for not giving out more information? Do you think we are going to go out and start a competing site?
I don't understand this.

I have given all the information I have.

It's quite straightforward.

What is unclear to you?

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator

PS I will be away from the board for a while this evening. Real life intrudes.
  #144  
Old 02-27-2020, 05:13 PM
Bijou Drains is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 11,138
OK I missed the post about table locking rather than row locking. That seems like it would have caused problems long ago but I'n not a DB expert.
  #145  
Old 02-27-2020, 08:34 PM
elmwood's Avatar
elmwood is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 9,400
Bought a membership (once again), to put my money where my mouth is. $17.50 isn't much, but it's 10% of the cost of IPB or XenForo.

Last edited by elmwood; 02-27-2020 at 08:34 PM.
  #146  
Old 02-27-2020, 08:44 PM
Johanna's Avatar
Johanna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Altered States of America
Posts: 13,763
I keep my head cool and serene, not letting this problem upset me. If it times out, I can just get it again next try, no big. When it looks like it's going to time out, I select and copy my post before it gets lost, as a precaution. Even though when I do reconnect I see my posts have gone through despite the timeout.
  #147  
Old 02-27-2020, 10:49 PM
TubaDiva's Avatar
TubaDiva is offline
Capo di tutti capi
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: In the land of OO-bla-dee
Posts: 11,433
As I said earlier, it will be stinky until we move. And there's not much I can do about that except ask for your forbearance. I hate it and wish with all my heart that I had something better to offer you right damn now.

It's like the Queen: "Jam yesterday and jam tomorrow, but never jam today." Dammit.

Whoever said it is darkest before the dawn said a mouthful.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator
  #148  
Old 02-27-2020, 10:51 PM
TubaDiva's Avatar
TubaDiva is offline
Capo di tutti capi
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: In the land of OO-bla-dee
Posts: 11,433
As I said earlier, it will be stinky until we move. And there's not much I can do about that except ask for your forbearance. I hate it and wish with all my heart that I had something better to offer you right damn now.

It's like the Queen: "Jam yesterday and jam tomorrow, but never jam today." Dammit.

Whoever said it is darkest before the dawn said a mouthful.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator
  #149  
Old 02-27-2020, 10:56 PM
TubaDiva's Avatar
TubaDiva is offline
Capo di tutti capi
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: In the land of OO-bla-dee
Posts: 11,433
As I said earlier, it will be stinky until we move. And there's not much I can do about that except ask for your forbearance. I hate it and wish with all my heart that I had something better to offer you right damn now.

It's like the Queen: "Jam yesterday and jam tomorrow, but never jam today." Dammit.

Whoever said it is darkest before the dawn said a mouthful.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator
  #150  
Old 02-27-2020, 11:07 PM
Elendil's Heir is offline
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: 221B Baker St.
Posts: 88,992
You can say that again... and did!

Thanks, TubaDiva, for all your hard work on our behalf. We appreciate it.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:06 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017