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HAIF Notes April 2019

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Hi everyone,

 

I've been tinkering still behind the scenes.  Here's a summary of what I can remember off the top of my head:

 

  • Fixed an issue with outbound mail notifications.  If you get notifications by mail they should arrive more reliably now.  Though nothing is 100% with e-mail anymore.
  • Made some changes that reduced average CPU use from 32% to 5%.  Thirty-two percent wasn't bad, but there are times when things spike, so the more headroom there is, the better.
  • Made some changes that reduced average memory use from 21% to 5%.  Again, 21% isn't bad, but we need to be ready for spikes.  HAIF has always been prone to traffic spikes.
  • Fixed a crashed portion of the database.
  • Made some changes to prevent disk write spikes. These were up to 23GB/s at one point (We're on an array of SSD's).  We're now around 1-2MB/s.  Why was it so high?  Traffic spikes + RAM swapping to disk + HAIF has eighty brazillion messages going back 16 years.  
  • Cleared out some cruft to reduce disk use from 89% to 42%.  
  • I set up some automatic monitoring alerts so that if HAIF is headed to a bad place I will get an e-mail alert.  Hopefully I'll be in a place where I can get to a computer and see what's happening before it all goes sideways.

 

The new server seems to be working out well.  I hope that the new server combined with the recent tweaks will prevent that little problem we had with posts being posted, but feedback not being given to the user letting them know it happened for six minutes. We shall see.

 

Keep letting me know about problems you see.  If I haven't gotten to the ones you posted in last month's thread, don't worry — they're not forgotten.  They're on the list.  But I'm only able to work on HAIF a set number of hours per week, so I try to get to the most critical ones first, and occasionally the low-hanging fruit.  It's the middle ones that get backlogged.  But I intend to get to everyone's ideas.

 

Thanks!

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13 hours ago, editor said:

Hi everyone,

 

I've been tinkering still behind the scenes.  Here's a summary of what I can remember off the top of my head:

 

  • Fixed an issue with outbound mail notifications.  If you get notifications by mail they should arrive more reliably now.  Though nothing is 100% with e-mail anymore.
  • Made some changes that reduced average CPU use from 32% to 5%.  Thirty-two percent wasn't bad, but there are times when things spike, so the more headroom there is, the better.
  • Made some changes that reduced average memory use from 21% to 5%.  Again, 21% isn't bad, but we need to be ready for spikes.  HAIF has always been prone to traffic spikes.
  • Fixed a crashed portion of the database.
  • Made some changes to prevent disk write spikes. These were up to 23GB/s at one point (We're on an array of SSD's).  We're now around 1-2MB/s.  Why was it so high?  Traffic spikes + RAM swapping to disk + HAIF has eighty brazillion messages going back 16 years.  
  • Cleared out some cruft to reduce disk use from 89% to 42%.  
  • I set up some automatic monitoring alerts so that if HAIF is headed to a bad place I will get an e-mail alert.  Hopefully I'll be in a place where I can get to a computer and see what's happening before it all goes sideways.

 

The new server seems to be working out well.  I hope that the new server combined with the recent tweaks will prevent that little problem we had with posts being posted, but feedback not being given to the user letting them know it happened for six minutes. We shall see.

 

Keep letting me know about problems you see.  If I haven't gotten to the ones you posted in last month's thread, don't worry — they're not forgotten.  They're on the list.  But I'm only able to work on HAIF a set number of hours per week, so I try to get to the most critical ones first, and occasionally the low-hanging fruit.  It's the middle ones that get backlogged.  But I intend to get to everyone's ideas.

 

Thanks!

 

Thank you for all the hard work!

 

One thing I see that happened a few weeks back is it says 'next unread topic' or 'go to topic listing' when it used to say the actual project title or the topic title. were those removed on purpose or an unexpected consequence of some changes?

 

If those could return, I always found them helpful.

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On 4/1/2019 at 8:05 AM, Avossos said:

 

 

One thing I see that happened a few weeks back is it says 'next unread topic' or 'go to topic listing' when it used to say the actual project title or the topic title. were those removed on purpose or an unexpected consequence of some changes?

 

If those could return, I always found them helpful.

 

They were actually removed by the people who make the forum software.  Apparently doing all that forward-looking is a major drag on the database.  I'm afraid I don't know enough about it to tell them they're wrong.

 

 

Hi everyone.  I'm still ticking through the complaints list.  (Complaints in a good way, not in the "I'd like to speak to your supervisor" way.)

 

One of the ones that came in was this:

  • What's going on with the image compressions? Many of the images, no matter how small or big or how old or new, are fuzzy or plain crappy looking on the forum since the server switch. I've begun to include a direct link below the images I repost as a workaround. Images take up bandwidth for sure, but can this be fixed?

 

I'm sorry I don't remember who wrote it - I've just been copying items from the forum into a to-do list.  Can anyone link to an example of where this is a problem?  That would help me start investigating what's causing it.

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Another note - There were some complaints about search not working properly.  I'm in the process of rebuilding the entire search index.  It should take a few hours.  Or maybe many hours.  Well, a while, because there's eighty-three brazillion messages on HAIF.  Hopefully this will help.

 

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Screen Shot 2019-04-09 at 8.39.18 PM.png

 

Eep!

 

Other things...

  • I tweaked some search settings.  So now when you search for Marvin Zindler, you only get results with both Marvin and Zindler, instead of every post with Marvin in it.
  • I made two new neighborhood sections: Third Ward and University of Houston and I added East Houston to the East End section.  Now comes the task of moving a bunch of posts into there to seed it.  Since I'm not all that familiar with the neighborhood, anyone who wants to nominate posts to move, please let me know.
  • I have enabled lazy loading of images.  Broadly speaking, I'm against that sort of thing, but it should help speed up page loading, and that's a good thing.  Unfortunately, it won't work for most of the threads already posted — only mostly for new threads.   Also, if you see a page jumping around during load, that's because someone posted an image in the thread that's from an outside web site, and there's no way to know what size the picture is until it arrives.  
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@editor What would be the easiest way to let you know where the post goes?  I have some spare time over the next few days and could probably go through most of the "Other" forum.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the update @editor. One other request:
 

On 3/31/2019 at 8:32 PM, editor said:

Fixed an issue with outbound mail notifications.  If you get notifications by mail they should arrive more reliably now.  Though nothing is 100% with e-mail anymore.

 


When people try requesting their forgotten passwords, an email is never sent to their registered email account. Without an email link to create a new password because they forgot their old one, they can't log on to the site.

So you're saying this is fiaxble, for the most part?

Edited by CrockpotandGravel

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, editor said:

I made two new neighborhood sections: Third Ward and University of Houston and I added East Houston to the East End section.  Now comes the task of moving a bunch of posts into there to seed it.  Since I'm not all that familiar with the neighborhood, anyone who wants to nominate posts to move, please let me know.



Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You're the man!

you got this d&d GIF by Hyper RPG



 

1 hour ago, BeerNut said:

@editor What would be the easiest way to let you know where the post goes?  I have some spare time over the next few days and could probably go through most of the "Other" forum.



I'll help move topics from the other neighborhood threads to the new neighborhood forums that apply too. 

Edited by CrockpotandGravel

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One more request:

Is it possible to make, if there is space, a sub-forum in "Going Up" for dead projects? That way it's cleared from the Going Up forum and is sort of archived. And if the project is revived, it can be moved back?

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@editor The recent tweeks, fixes, and additions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
With the demise of Swamplot, many people have mentioned how much they miss the Daily Demolition Report. While I don't know if we can replicate what they did (volunteers, anyone?), a forum dedicated to recent and upcoming demolitions would certainly be popular. Perhaps a link to the COH Permits website could be included in the heading to encourage people to research and share any activities they think are interesting.
For example, I recently saw that a demo permit had been issued for 1846 Richmond Ave (the former home of Sound Exchange record shop, a legendary Montrose-area business). I think many people would find this information interesting and would like to share their memories and opinions. 
I understand that HAIF already has a wide variety of forums, but I believe that this addition would prove to be popular.
Thanks for your attention, and keep up the good work!

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One thing I've noticed with the search is it ignores numbers.  So, for example, if I search for 609 Main, it returns all results for Main, ignoring the 609.  However, if I put the whole address in quotes as "609 Main" then it will work.  Any way to fix this, or should we just know to quote the number together with another word when searching for numbers?

 

Thanks for taking the time to maintain the site. It's working so much smoother than it did half a year ago.

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10 hours ago, BeerNut said:

@editor What would be the easiest way to let you know where the post goes?  I have some spare time over the next few days and could probably go through most of the "Other" forum.

 

 

I think just send me a list of links for each section.  I should be able to move things around from there.  

8 hours ago, CrockpotandGravel said:

Thanks for the update @editor. One other request:
 

 


When people try requesting their forgotten passwords, an email is never sent to their registered email account. Without an email link to create a new password because they forgot their old one, they can't log on to the site.

So you're saying this is fiaxble, for the most part?

 

Possibly.  E-mail is a tricky thing these days.  The spam companies have become so aggressive that it's hard to legitimate e-mail from a place like HAIF to get around.  I'll poke around and see if there's anything else I can do.

8 hours ago, CrockpotandGravel said:

Is it possible to make, if there is space, a sub-forum in "Going Up" for dead projects? That way it's cleared from the Going Up forum and is sort of archived. And if the project is revived, it can be moved back?

 

That seems easy and logical. I'll add it to the "easy" list.  It should be there soon...ish.

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7 hours ago, dbigtex56 said:

The recent tweeks, fixes, and additions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
With the demise of Swamplot, many people have mentioned how much they miss the Daily Demolition Report. While I don't know if we can replicate what they did (volunteers, anyone?), a forum dedicated to recent and upcoming demolitions would certainly be popular. Perhaps a link to the COH Permits website could be included in the heading to encourage people to research and share any activities they think are interesting.

 

I'm OK with this.  I'll put it on the list.

6 hours ago, rechlin said:

One thing I've noticed with the search is it ignores numbers.  So, for example, if I search for 609 Main, it returns all results for Main, ignoring the 609.  However, if I put the whole address in quotes as "609 Main" then it will work.  Any way to fix this, or should we just know to quote the number together with another word when searching for numbers?

 

I think using quotes is a good idea anyway when searching for phrases.  It should always provide better, faster results.  Interesting that you noticed the system ignores numbers.  From a technical standpoint, I can think of a couple of reasons why this might be done.  But again, quotation marks is the way to go anyway.

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22 hours ago, editor said:

 

 

I think just send me a list of links for each section.  I should be able to move things around from there.  

 

Possibly.  E-mail is a tricky thing these days.  The spam companies have become so aggressive that it's hard to legitimate e-mail from a place like HAIF to get around.  I'll poke around and see if there's anything else I can do.

 

That seems easy and logical. I'll add it to the "easy" list.  It should be there soon...ish.


Thanks @editor!

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On 4/10/2019 at 8:17 AM, CrockpotandGravel said:

One more request:

Is it possible to make, if there is space, a sub-forum in "Going Up" for dead projects? That way it's cleared from the Going Up forum and is sort of archived. And if the project is revived, it can be moved back?

 

I thought the procedure was to transfer the completed Going Up projects to their respective Neighborhood forums?

 

I see that happening at least. 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/9/2019 at 9:52 PM, editor said:

 

They were actually removed by the people who make the forum software.  Apparently doing all that forward-looking is a major drag on the database.  I'm afraid I don't know enough about it to tell them they're wrong.

 

 

Hi everyone.  I'm still ticking through the complaints list.  (Complaints in a good way, not in the "I'd like to speak to your supervisor" way.)

 

One of the ones that came in was this:

  • What's going on with the image compressions? Many of the images, no matter how small or big or how old or new, are fuzzy or plain crappy looking on the forum since the server switch. I've begun to include a direct link below the images I repost as a workaround. Images take up bandwidth for sure, but can this be fixed?

 

I'm sorry I don't remember who wrote it - I've just been copying items from the forum into a to-do list.  Can anyone link to an example of where this is a problem?  That would help me start investigating what's causing it.


That was me. I wrote a complaint about this, @editor.

It would be appreciated if you could see what's causing this problem.

Edited by CrockpotandGravel

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On 3/31/2019 at 8:32 PM, editor said:

Fixed an issue with outbound mail notifications.  If you get notifications by mail they should arrive more reliably now.  Though nothing is 100% with e-mail anymore.



The email notification remains broken. I have a friend forget their password to this site. They have tried for months to change their password using the password process on the site, but they never receive an email notice from the forum. Without the email directing them to the link to change their password, they're unable to sign in.

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On 4/10/2019 at 6:07 AM, CrockpotandGravel said:


When people try requesting their forgotten passwords, an email is never sent to their registered email account. Without an email link to create a new password because they forgot their old one, they can't log on to the site.

So you're saying this is fiaxble, for the most part?

 

 

This should be fixed now.  Finger's crossed!

On 4/30/2019 at 6:39 AM, CrockpotandGravel said:



The email notification remains broken. I have a friend forget their password to this site. They have tried for months to change their password using the password process on the site, but they never receive an email notice from the forum. Without the email directing them to the link to change their password, they're unable to sign in.

 

Should be fixed now.  HAIF e-mail is now bunged through an outside company that can handle Google's shenanigans. 

 

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