Current Status of SDMB Upgrade

This will be a single thread to keep track of the current status of fixes/improvements to the SDMB as well as a place to report any problems you are having. This first post will be edited each time I have an update in status. It will be broken down into 4 sections. The sections will be Currently Working On, Next Priorities, Deferred, and Fixed Or Improved. You’re welcome to discuss amongst yourselves the Next Priorities I’m establishing but please don’t expect to debate them with me. I’m not going to do that.

Currently Working On

[li]vBulletin search engine performance issues[/li][/ul]

Next Priorities

[li]Allow non-Google search engine spidering of content[/li][li]Review whether to rebuild the internal vBulletin search engine index so that the 1.3 million restored posts will be keyword searchable. This may be skipped if it seems server intensive. Installation of a new third party search engine will eventually resolve this issue.[/li]

Fixed Or Improved

[li]Increased vBulletin search engine resources by 400%[/li][li]Google search engine indexing[/li][li]Update user titles restoring Charter Member for those who lost it[/li][li]Set Charter Member paid subscription rate to $7.48[/li][li]Restore forum display functionality (the ability to navigate more than the 200 most recent threads) after the change to a MySQL Master/Slave database configuration[/li][li]vBulletin MySQL Master/Slave database configuration[/li][li]Restore Quick Reply[/li][li]Restore search form returning a message informing how many seconds before next search can be performed[/li][li]Restore navigation menu drop downs[/li][li]Additional banner ad slots added for non-subscribers[/li][li]Remove Google AdSense text ads for subscribers[/li][li]Extend paid subscriptions 6 days for all subscribers[/li][li]Subscriptions via PayPal restored[/li][li]Server performance stabilized[/li][li]1.3 million posts and 74 thousand threads deleted during 2005 and 2006 restored[/li][li]vBulletin software upgraded to version 3.7.3[/li][li]Migration to new cluster server completed[/li][/ul]

For those Charter Members whose subscription ended while the migration was taking place, will the subscription extension be longer since, although we can post, we can’t renew until you’ve set the other things in place? Basically, just wanted to make sure we don’t lose the Charter Member status…it’s all I’ve got!!!

Thank you for the update and continued work. The Dope has been running great for days now and that is a most welcomed thing. I also love the small flood of new members and returning members.

Are decisions about Groups yours or Ed’s?

For what it is worth, you might want to bump up the Charter Member step to prevent some extra work of Charter Members renewing without have seen your notes about holding off.

Many of us have tried to provide some detail in the various problems threads, please count on us to do more testing for you.


I’m a paid member. When do my ads go away?

When I decide to turn them off.

Could we bribe you to make it go faster?:smiley:

I’ll look at your subscription tomorrow, Flander. Some out of the ordinary event must have happened in the past if your Charter Membership is expiring in September. Don’t worry, we’ll get things resolved so hold off on resubscribing until I get back to you.

Thanks so much. It’s nice to know that the customer dis-service concept is still intact.

I’ll tell you one thing, dogbutler. Your approach is a much smarter way to get the removal of Google Adsense ads moved up on my to do list than danceswithcats’ approach. :wink:

Oh heavens! Dare I complain at the doors of Administration? Ed has been blowing smoke up my ass for a while. I’ve been promised a lot, and provided little. If you can’t handle some customer bitching, then hide in the IT room, and let the other insolent folks dispense their usual tripe.

The quick reply box is sorely missed.

And will be added in.

My current list is far from complete. It was off the top of my head at the time I was composing the initial post and addressed those things that immediately came to mind. I know it left off a number of things. The initial post is a work in progress and will be more comprehensive as time goes on.

That said I will sit down and compile a much more complete list and quick reply will be on it.

There used to be an option to be on the Board invisibly; it was set on your User CP. When you were on, the little status dot by your name was always gray, rather than green, at least to other posters - it was red to yourself.
I don’t see that option now. Will it be turned on or added?
Also, I’m in the group of those who have lost their Charter member title.

Oh, come on.
Your reply to danceswithcats was needlessly rude. It was a simple question, which wasn’t addressed in your OP.
We were told paying members would not see ads, and we’re still seeing them. It would have been easy to just say you were working on it, or that the ads would be gone in a few days or a week or whatever.

You know, how fucking many times do the people working on this thing have to say: WAIT A LITTLE AND WE’LL GET THINGS SET UP FOR YOU???

Some people around here are worse than the worst students I’ve got in school. It’s all about you isnt’ it?:smack:

Or maybe some people just like to bitch.:rolleyes:


Decisions on what needs to be fixed and how to proceed are mine. If Ed has some preferences he knows he can request I change priorities.

As for Charter Members needing to renew in August/September that should not occur too much. Of course Flander has already shown in this thread that what I’m about to say doesn’t always hold…but I’ll say it anyway.

Almost by definition a Charter Member’s subscription should not be coming up for renewal until May 2009. Charter Members need to keep their subscription current and renewals always add 1 year to a subscription. Since Charter Members all had their first year’s subscription expiration set to the same date in April 2005 and we’ve added what? 4 weeks extension to subscriptions over the intervening years? Most Charter Member’s subscriptions should be expiring in May 2009 unless something unusual has happened.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be a few Charter Members that will have to have their situations handled differently…and I’ll do just that.

The matter of Google ads being removed for paying members was not addressed in the OP of this thread. A poster asked a simple question about them, and got a rude reply. I think most people understand that this is a work in progress, and that getting things set up is taking time, but there’s no need for snarkiness.

I realize the problems are being fixed and I appreciate the efforts being made. But is it odd for an upgrade to have this many problems? I’m not much of a computer geek, so this could be par for the course for all I know, but it seems like the upgrade should have been a one-time deal with very little fine-tuning necessary.

Could we come to some arrangement whereby when someone complains about some aspect of the boards you are just automatically assumed to have complained that they have complained? You never fail to respond and the gist of your response never varies, so can’t we just take it as read?

When I upgrade my vBulletin installation, I usually don’t have any problems. I usually upgrade soon after an update or patch is released. I may have to tweak a few templates if there’s a major update, for instance from 3.6.8 to 3.7, but otherwise it’s painless. In comparison, the SDMB was more than about 20 release versions behind. With a long-delayed upgrade, jump ingfrom 3.0.whatever to 3.7.2, it would be unusual if something didn’t go wrong.

A few items on the to-do list aren’t that hard to fix.

** Fix broken drop downs on navigation bars*

A simple template update can fix it, without breaking the SDMB’s theme.

Admin menu > Styles & Templates > Style Manager > (select “Edit templates” from drop down menu next to template name) > (select template) > (press “Revert” button)

** Update user titles restoring Charter Member for those who lost it*

Might involve more than the usual Admin menu > Maintenance > Update Counters > Update User Titles and Ranks. Charter members have the same privileges as regular paid members, only they started paying before a certain date, which complicates things a bit.

** Extend paid subscriptions 6 days for all subscribers*

Probably requires an SQL query. There’s no way I know of to extend everybody’s subscriptions by a uniform time from Admin Menu > Paid Subscriptions > Paid subscriptions options. It’s been done before when the board goes down for a few days, so it shouldn’t be a problem now.

** Review whether to rebuild the internal vBulletin search engine index so that the 1.3 million restored posts will be keyword searchable. This may be skipped if it seems server intensive. Installation of a new third party search engine will eventually resolve this issue.*

vBulletin has two different internal search options; vBulletin and Fulltext. Fulltext is much faster and less processor-intensive. However, changing the type of search engine requires removing and rebuilding the indexes (Admin menu > Maintenance > Update Counters > Rebuild Search Index). When I’ve done it on my site, with some 400,000 posts, it takes about 10 to 30 minutes, depending on how busy the board it at the time. The SDMB has 10,070,228 posts at the time I posted this. The board can still function while the search engine is being reindexed, but it is server-intensive; users will see a performance hit. It’s something that’s best done during off-peak hours…

** Enhance functionality for current Guest user group*

Admin Menu > Usergroups > Usergroup Manager > (select “Edit usergroup” dropdown in front of the “Guest” group > … uhhh … well, a lot of options.

** Allow search engine spidering of content*

Edit robots.txt. Maybe a minute or two.

** Set Charter Member paid subscription rate to $7.48*

Admin menu > Paid subscriptions > Subscription Manager > (select “Edit” next to subscription group title) > (Edit “Cost”)