Search has been disabled

Due to recurring board crashes most likely stemming from use of the search function, we’ve disabled search for now. We apologize for the inconvenience but figured no search was preferable to no board at all. Lest you think this is another sign of corporate neglect, etc., I will tell you that we had a long meeting today about plans for the online Straight Dope, a key element of which is upgrading the server with a view to eliminating this problem, which I agree has reached ridiculous proportions. We’re meeting again tomorrow; I hope to have more to tell you by tomorrow night.

Thanks Ed, we always appreciate your input into the workings of what is for a lot of us the focal point of our days. I don’t speak for everyone, but I’m with you. Keep keeping on.

Thanks for the update - even if the situation sorta sucks, it’s nice to be kept informed about it.

Thanks for letting us know.

I notice the New Posts is disabled, too.

Well, it is a search.

I find it highly unlikely that Search is the problem. You always think Search is the problem, do something to try and restrict searching, and it doesn’t fix anything. It’s almost certainly something else entirely, something that’s possibly fixable if you upgrade this woefully outdated software.

It does seem a bit odd that merely searching a database would corrupt it. Slow it down, sure. But I’m not a database expert… and hey, if there’s new equipment on the way, I won’t complain.

Please Ed, also mention that the VBulletin software should also be updated? It can’t hurt to get the newer version, and certainly it may be part of the fix that is needed. I think it probably is part of the fix that is needed, actually.

People are not happy with this. Here is a topic in the Pit where they are discussing this issue. I’m not happy about it myself, I just re-upped my subscription. :mad: :frowning:

Thank you, Ed.

Actually, that is probably the major part of the problem, I would bet more than the hardware. The server is not that old.

Thank you for the update Ed. I hope you come back with some good news soon.


Actually,while you do have a strong point, Ed and Jerry Davis have been quite upfront about using a fairly conservative approach to upgrades: basically, the policy is “let someone else install a new version and deal with the headaches; we’ll wait and upgrade to the debugged version of it in a few months.” Which makes sense.

I don’t keep track of when upgrades are done, much less when Jelsoft comes out with new bugs err features. I suspect we’re due and it got postponed during the Reader Inc. > Creative Loafing transfer, and will be a part of what Ed’s meetings address.

Well, the SDMB’s current version of the VBulletin software is: vBulletin Version 3.0.7 while another message board I visit is using: Version 3.6.5 so you tell me. And, upon pulling up VBulletin’s site, it seems they are up to 3.6.8 now. ETA: And reading the Wikipedia article about VBulletin, it looks like they are more than TWO YEARS behind in updates. Gee, you think that might be a problem?

It’s been about four years since the version the SDMB uses was “the latest”. And many of the fixes since then have been security fixes, interface improvements, and I’m sure many database access developments.

You could not have been more wrong with this post. They are way behind on upgrades. If everything was working, sure leave it alone, but when there are this many problems on a newer server, you need to upgrade to a more recent version.

There is a lot to be said for not beta testing software, but this version of Vb is way out of date and some of the search issues that it suffers from have been resolved. There is little excuse not to upgrade to whatever version is about 6 months old. This is usually a good rule of thumb that someone else has tested out most of the bugs in the upgrade.

In fairness to Jerry, some people are hardware people, and some people are software people, and some people are database administrators. Very rare is the individual who is all these things. A crack SQL administrator could find the problem with the database in a matter of minutes probably. A few hours at most. Whether Ed or Jerry would entertain allowing a Doper to help out, I don’t know. But for what it’s worth — less than nothing most likely — that’s a suggestion.

I remember SingleDad I think that was his name anyway, posting his résumé to show his DB experience(it was considerable) and saying that he would happily sign any NDA needed and work on the DB for free. This was back in approx 2000/1. He was told “no way” in a nice way. Nothing has changed from my understanding.

Turning the search off may help a struggling DB but it really shouldn’t be struggling IMO as they’ve had plenty of time to deal with the hardware end and the software version should be way higher than it already is.

This has been going on for nearly as long as I’ve been here. There have been significant improvements but they were temporary and possibly due to posters leaving and the stress on the server being relieved.

I’m up for renewal at the end of April. Will this be fixed by then? I think not, from previous experience :mad:

Some problems don’t get fixed by the updates. I suspect that SDMB users beat rather harder on the search functions than do the members at most boards. If the vB people don’t get a lot of complaints, they’ll not waste time writing a fix.

If you could search, you could find a thread from last year with links to where the search function has been improved in later versions and some additional options for very large databases as the SDMB apparently has.

The solutions are out there, management has not yet considered them a priority.