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[27 Oct 2019] - Important: PoetBay's moving. We'll go offline 31 Oct

Written 2019-10-31

 

Hi everyone,

 

This is to inform you that we're moving our website to the new, upgraded server on

 

31 OCTOBER 2019

 

 

We will do a final backup copy of our website on

 

30 OCTOBER 2019
AT 18H00 EST / 22H00 GMT / 23H00 CET

 

This means any activity on the website after that date and time will not be saved and copied over to our new server. So we advise to not save anything such as texts or books or pictures or create messages or comments on the website at that point.

 

 

PoetBay will be offline (inaccessible) for at least a span of 24h-48h because our website's new location address needs time to propagate around on the world wide web.

 

We should be back online on

 

02 NOVEMBER 2019

 

If we're not, please don't panic. We will be back as soon as possible.

 

 

Please share this information with all PoetBay members you know who may not have seen our updates on the situation. Thanks!

 

Isabelle 



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[07 Sep - 19 Oct 2019] - PoetBay's at a major crossroad (Update 7)

Written 2019-10-20

 

19 October 2019

 

Hi everyone,

We don't like to have to say this, but we had unexpected and time-consuming days in our personal lives this past week (bureaucratic lunacy of the immigration process a main preoccupation, for those interested to know).  So this prevented us from carrying on with our plans for the week concerning the PB fixes/the move.  We're really disappointed and we apologize for all of this. 

This setback doesn't mean that we won't keep on... just at the moment of this current update, we don't have the promised information about the move in particular because we couldn't do all we needed to do this week to determine that. 

We've had to offset our schedule for now, but as soon as we're able to get it back on track (a few days), we'll be in the position to finally give all of the details about the move itself.  As it stands, things are still looking positive.

We'll be back with the details for the move by next weekend...

Isabelle 

 

==========================================

  

13 Oct 2019

 

Answer to your comments in the comment section below.

 

Isabelle

 

=========================================

 

12 Oct 2019

 

Hi everyone,

The good news is that this last week we acquired our new server.  So we will be doing the preparation and setting up this week to make sure that by 31 Oct, it will be ready. 

 

The not-so-great, in our fatigue, we miscalculated how much we have left to fix before being able to say that we fixed all of the core functionalities of our website.  So we have to confirm now that we will have to move to the new server with some parts of the website not fully working yet. 

That being said though, the main core functionalities of the website, such as writing & publishing texts, writing comments and sending private messages will all be functional.  We'll unfortunately have to fix the other things while we're back online on the new server.  Not what we were hoping for, but we won't have the choice.  We're very sorry about that.

This week we managed to fix Private Messages, Exhibitions, Bookmarks.  We're working on sending emails from our site and updating our website maintenance scripts, Sign up, Search, Forum, PayPal, Challenges (make more user friendly), as well as the Editors' dashboard.  We're also creating web page messages explaining that the sections not working are being worked on.  It's going well but the workload is still important.

By next update, we'll be able to provide more definitive details pertaining to the website's move.

We'll be back with more soon...

Isabelle

 

==========================================

 

05 Oct 2019

 

Hi everyone,


Ok, we won't lay out all of the work we've done this week because the list is much longer, but we've succeeded in fixing the complex Write Text section.  We have two more sections to fix to be able to say that we've done all of the core functionalities of our website.  We're working on Private messages and Exhibitions right now.

As our work continues to progress very positively, we're now feeling a lot more confident that we'll able to move our website to the new server.  So here's how we envision what'll happen next.

At the moment, we're on target for the deadline of 31 Oct.  If it's going to be sooner, we will give you notice of the move date. 

The consequence of doing this move will be that PoetBay will be offline (inaccessible) while we :

- transfer all of our website's files
- configure server settings to fit our site's needs,
- and while our website address' new location propagates on the world wide web (this takes 24h-48h).

We unfortunately can't say with certainty how long we'll be offline.  But usually, this process takes about 2-3 days to complete, providing there aren't surprises relating to configurations of the webhost's new server equipment.  So, if all goes well on that front, 2-3 days.

My husband and I are doing our best to fix everything on the site before we move it to the new server.  However, as previously mentioned, with a team of just two for the magnitude of work involved, it's a lot to cover.  So we expect that once we come back online on the new server, there may be lingering minor issues that might pop up.  We don't want that, but realistically, it's possible.

At this stage, we hope we'll be able to lean on your patience a little while longer and also that you'll be willing as users of the site to participate in reporting any technical issues, if you come across any, so that we can fix them for the whole community. 

 

So to answer your questions on how you can help, this way would be great for us.  It's a bit rinky-dink from techs to ask this, we know, but in the circumstances, we think this is how we can all achieve keeping PB going.  Please let us know your thoughts about that.

Thank you all for your support.  Our community is truly the best!  :-)

We'll be back with more soon...

Isabelle 

 

==========================================

 

28 Sep 2019

 

Hi everyone,

 

As we suspected, the section for logged in PB account users brought on quite a long list of issues. The issues mainly pertain to the programming language and the query language that PB is written in. Like the server configurations, these languages have also been updated on a large scale.

 

As mentioned previously, this means that some of the ways to do things (functions) like they are on PB don't exist anymore. So we need to find the old functions in our code, then restructure, replace, but mostly now, rethink the logic & rewrite the code to work with the new ways.  It's a lot and it's long to do...

 

But our structure on how to move forward with the needed fixes is clearer now.  So it's looking up :-) 

 

Here's what we've managed to fix on PB this week :


Sign in
- Log into account (Check email+password are valid, Display message fail)

 
My Page | My Options

- 'Save settings' button
- Update account Email address (Check email format is valid, Display message fail/success, Save)
- Check boxes for options to Log into Inbox view or My Page view, Show Diary or not, Show Bookmarks or not, Show email or not
- Upload a self-portrait in .jpg format (Upload, Check valid format, Display message fail/success, Save, Delete)
- Set Country, year of birth and gender, or none
- Links (Update, Check valid URL format, Display message fail/success, Remove, Save)

 

My Page | Extras

- 'Save settings' button
- Set own page address (Check new address doesn't already exist, Display message fail/success, Save, Remove)
- Change color of poet profile page
- Change background color of 'Extras' page
- Enable/disable HTML editor check box


My Page | My Friends | Me as a friend | My friends' texts
- List poet's friends (Display last login date, Display picture, Remove)
- List the poet as a friend (Display picture, Remove)
- List poet's friends' texts (Display picture)


My Profile (menu)
- Display poet's profile page (List poet's texts, Pages, 'Fortune cookie', Shortcut address, Send message, List Bookmarks, List Exhibitions, List Diary, List links)


My Account
- List account creation date, number of logins, support member expiration date info

 

My Account | Change password

- Update password (Check old, Display message fail/success, Replace with new password)
- 'Save the new password' button


My Account | Remove yourself
- 'Remove yourself' button, (Check password is valid, Display message fail/success, Delete all except poet's comments given to others)


My Account | Block 
- 'Block' button (Check name, Display message fail/success, Set Block to name entered, List poet's Block list, Delete)

 

Unrelated to the account options (current bugs on PB)
- Displaying of non-latin characters on the home page

 

CURRENTLY WORKING ON:


- Finishing the testing of our changes in the code

- My Page | Write Text (*Major section of the site, the issues coming up here are turning out to be the most complex.  More analyses in progress.)

My Page | My Friends (Add, Send private message) | Me as a friend (Send private message)
- My Account | Change password (Send email notification of password change)

- Sign in  (Send email for Forgot password)

 

We'll be back with more soon...

 

Isabelle

 

==========================================

  

25 Sep 2019

 

Answer to your comments in the comment section below.

 

Isabelle

 

=========================================

 

 

21 Sep 2019 

 

Hi everyone, 

 

Here’s what’s been going on since the last update. 

 

We’ve fought through the changes to the configurations on the upgraded server environments (what PB will be upgraded to online) and now our development environment all works on that front. That was the first step to accomplish and we did it! :-)

  

Following this success, we proceeded to the next step of trying to make our website files work on this upgraded server system setup. Right from the start when we tried to view (execute) our home page, none of the code worked - all that the page displayed was a blank. In 2009, we could at least see the top part of the page... It didn’t bode well, but we carried on our analyses to figure out what caused it exactly. 

 

Aaand... we were able to pinpoint and correct the issues preventing the pages from displaying! :-) (A lot of modifying and some rewriting of the code and SQL queries). At the moment, we have managed to repair the viewable pages of our site for people who are not logged in. 

 

In the last couple days now, we’ve begun working on the parts of our website that are for people who are logged into their PB account. This section might throw different issues we haven’t encountered yet ‘cause there are many actions (functions) an account user can do on the site. So it remains to be discovered... 

 

But so far, things look a little more optimistic than they did a couple weeks ago. We hope our analyses/fixes continue in that line from here.  

 

We’ll be back with more soon...

 

Isabelle

 

 ==========================================

 

 17 Sep 2019 

 

Answer to your comments in the comment section below.

 

Isabelle 

 

=========================================

  

14 Sep 2019 

  

Hi everyone,

 

Ok, where to start... First, we apologize that we sort of disappeared on you in the last few days after dropping this bad news your way.  But, as hectic as our personal lives are, we've moved along some in our figuring out our options.

 

This is a long process as there are many facets of consideration to take into account and many setup steps to undertake before the real analysis/work can begin.  So, here's what's moved along since last update to this community discussion.

 

The small good news of our situation is that we obtained an extension of time before our hosting company goes ahead with their upgrades.  

 

The not-so-great, our webhost is actually cancelling our hosting monthly plan to move their systems to newer ones.  So we will need to move our website to a new server ourselves.  Initially, our webhost offered to do that for us, but then suddenly changed their minds on that offer.  Without explanations even though we asked for them to explain.  They refuse to answer.  Sooo...

 

We've wasted quite a few days trying to get answers from them.  It's left us feeling a little disheartened to be dealt with in this manner especially since we've given them business for 10 years.  We feel we don't have much of a choice to find a new hosting company after our set deadline when the cancellation will be going ahead.  

 

Dealing with searching for a new company, then doing the move and installations to make the website work on the new server are added tasks on top of the biggest task it will be to analyze the effects of the upgrades on the functionality of our website, let alone fix them if they're fixable. 

 

We're in a bad way, won't lie to you.  That being said, it's not to mean that we won't continue to try our very best to arrive at a successful outcome. 

 

We realize our words are probably not offering much reassurance right now, but we feel we need to be completely honest with you and let you know what our position looks like right now.  My husband and I have our lives, kids and health issues to take care of, and as volunteers on limited time, we feel the situation is a monumental pickle... and we're not sure we'll make it.  We'll keep trying, but we're just not sure.


Here's what's been going on in the background.

 

SUMMARY OF STEPS:

 

1-  Get clarifications from webhost company about their plans

2-  Communications with webhost (not very helpful in the end)

3-  In the meantime of doing 1 & 2, we began building a new development environment (upgraded system) with the latest versions so we can transfer all the website files and the database where we will be able to work on the code without affecting the online website that our members use.

4-  Came up with complications during initial install because of hardware and finding replacements.  Spent 2 days on sorting that part.

5-  Successfully installed the initial install on the new hardware.  Yesterday and today we tweaked our development environment with further installations of needed application tools for the complete functioning system we need to run our website.
6-  Today we've copied and transferred all of the website files and the database onto our development environment.  This is a long process because i) there are hundreds of files and ii) the system is managed by many different types of configurations, permissions, and so on (server environment stuff).  This step and all following ones become very technical from this point on.

  

NEXT STEPS


-  analyze the new development enviroment with all the website files included
-  analyze how the upgrades affect our website's functionality
-  providing the damage isn't too extensive, we'll have to recode the sections that are affected

-  during the recoding, we'll need members to test the website as we make changes to the code

 


Again, we're really sorry about all this uncertainty.  We'll keep informing you as we move along in these processes of our attempt to rescue PB.  For my part, I will do my best to not get too technical, but this phase is all technical stuff.  I'll try to keep it simple :-) 


We'll be back with more soon...


Isabelle 

 

==========================================

  

08 Sep 2019

 

Answer to your comments in the comment section below.

 

Isabelle

 

=========================================

  

07 Sep 2019

  

Hi everyone,

It's with a heavy heart that we must inform you PoetBay has once again reached a crossroad as experienced in 2009. 

In 2009, a great amount of volunteer work (labor of love) had to be put in to meet the demands of the latest Internet standards.  With a few tweaks along the way, PoetBay has surprisingly had a good run.

 

But here we are now in 2019, finding ourselves in a position where a major amount of work has to be done once more to meet the current Internet standards. 

We're open to any thoughts from the community about this situation...

Sincerely,

Isabelle & Anna

 



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