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-   -   Web Site Maintenance Update (http://www.udpride.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37585)

Chris R 06-05-2024 02:13 AM

Web Site Maintenance Update
 
I wanted to advise everyone that UDPride will be be going down for much-needed maintenance on or around June 25th 2024 and be down for several weeks as I take some long-overdue steps to caulk the hulls and repair some technologies.

I cannot provide a definitive down-time window for how long this process will take, but I’m estimating 3-4 weeks. It will ultimately take a long as it takes however and I’m fully anticipating surprises so that’s why I scheduled it for this summer window when the traffic is low, the news is slow, and there ain’t much to read or talk about.

Other than random bumps, the web site still functions as intended on the front end, but what you see when visiting is a false sense of security. Internet technologies, protocols, software languages, handshakes, security, server-side resources, and many other “invisible hand” requirements to run a web site have greatly matured over the years. The backbone technologies we’re still married to have reached end-of-life staging and will no longer be supported. This includes items like the PHP version we’re running on, non-functioning certificates, cron jobs, databases, caching, security minimums, and hardware minimums. It’s a race against the clock to repair and/or replace these so the web site will continue to run without issue.

I have done about as much as I can to address some of these concerns on the back end over the last year or two to keep things up and running while the web site is still online, but I cannot address all of them – nevermind test, debug, retest, and deploy the changes – while the web site is being trafficked, the databases are being accessed, and the web site is being updated with new articles, pages, topics, posts, etc. It must be frozen so I can work on things in a snapshot state without the interference of others making changes to it.

When we come back online, I expect some teething issues and you should exhibit some patience and latitude upon return. While User accounts will remain, some of your passwords might no longer work and may need to be reset through the Lost Password tool or reset manually by me if it comes to that.

Neil Sullivan likes to say “building the airplane as we fly it”. That’s sort of what this is. Fixing and upgrading technologies is scary stuff and half the time it feels like more things break when you try to resolve the problem than the original problem itself.

The good news is that if we somehow pull this off without losing data or the web site cracking, we should be tech-proofed for at least another 10 years.

IN PARTICULAR:
- The web forums will first go into maintenance mode to prevent any of you from monkeying around.

- Eventually I will need to take the whole site down. I will then publish a countdown timer on the Home Page (www.udpride.com) with an estimated return online. I can and will adjust this countdown timer to add or remove time as needed, so don’t get too excited too soon.

- A list of 50+ items need addressed. A major portion surrounds the server we’re hosted on (I need to migrate), fixing login and privilege (access) issues that are requiring a re-write, and developing better localized and cloud security. I can’t do any of these things when the web site is live.

- Another offline project Ive been working on over the last two years is attempting to recover several hundred articles from offline storage, hard drives, USB keys, backups, Word files, and other resources to flash back into the database. Ive had to basically re-format each article by hand so it will import into the databases properly. Some of the oldest articles go back to 1999. With any luck you’ll see them back among the living.

My mental approach is that we absolutely cannot lose any data (users, forums, topics, pages, posts, articles). This is really 95% of the web site and goes back well over 15 years – and much further if I can import all those missing articles. As long as we don’t lose the data, we can deal with bugs and login or site privilege issues (Pride+) on a more relaxed schedule that isn’t threatening the integrity of the data. We have the rest of the summer if we need it to work through problems (and there WILL be problems – ALWAYS).

This is your data. It’s your 700,000 posts. Its our time capsule of nearly 1,200 published articles. It’s a living and breathing diary of the long journey – a journey we’ve been on for longer than nearly every other college sports-related web site in existence. We’ve outlived nearly everyone and have been the little engine that could.

Hopefully we’ll be the bigger and better engine that still can and will.

I would suggest following the UDPride Facebook page after things get locked and go dark. I will post some updates here as needed to keep you aware of anything pertinent:

https://www.facebook.com/udpridecom

I may or may not also post updates on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/UDPride

When the smoke clears and we come out on the other side of this, I will exact my pound of flesh.

Alberto Strasse 06-05-2024 10:22 AM

Thank you for your hard work Chris.

Canonball 06-10-2024 09:05 AM

Thanks for all you do Chris! Cat herding is tough business!


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