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-   -   diyAudio will be down this Sunday/Monday for upgrades (

Jason 7th July 2017 08:52 AM

diyAudio will be down this Sunday/Monday for upgrades
Short version: will be unavailable for several hours at a time from 10PM GMT this Sunday 10th July 2017. Best to make Sunday evening / Monday (depending on your timezone) a "build day" :)

Long version:

Our server has experienced several periods of downtime over the last year, sometimes a few minutes, sometimes a few hours.

Usually this has just been a hiccup and our ageing server just needed a little pat on the back to get things moving again. However last week we did experience our first database corruption and had to restore from backups (which thankfully worked perfectly according to plan).

We have been running the same software (vBulletin 3) for the last 10+ years, and the very final version of vB3 was just released. There will be no further patches from the developer.

Our particular setup relies on a number of other pieces of software, a great many of which are now also at EOL (End of Life) or long since dead and buried. In order to avoid the database hangs and crashes we've recently been experiencing, it's imperitive to maintain all the system OS software and servers (Apache/PHP/Nginx/MySQL/Etc). Over the last week I've done a lot of preparation work for the upgrades, maintaining older code that's now EOL or incompatible with the latest version of PHP, to make it compatible. As a bonus, the latest version of PHP is twice as fast and uses half the memory, so we should see a modest performance boost as well.

I had hoped that our current setup would get us through though until we moved to an entirely fresh new platform (XenForo) later this year, and could start with a clean slate. However, it looks like that won't be completed for another 3-6 months or so and we can't wait any longer to perform various necessary upgrades to the servers and software. These upgrade will start at around 10PM GMT this Sunday 10th July 2017 and continue for I'm estimating 24 hours. It could be as little as 6 hours. Apologies in advance, but I am making this post to give advance notice.

Regular patrons of diyAudio will have noticed that not much has changed in terms of the software in a long time. Most could consider that a good thing! For me, it's been a case of "if it aint broke don't fix it". However, it's now "broke" and it's time to fix it. We (like many vBulletin forums) will be soon migrating to a new platform called XenForo (XF). It's written by a small dedicated team, the original authors of vBulletin. They don't release buggy software, they release it when it's ready and not when the marketing team says they need a new version to sell to make more money. It "feels" a lot like vBulletin because it's the spiritual successor, written by the same authors. It has a lot of excellent new features (such as drag and drop image uploads into posts) and is very fast. I'm sure it will provide a great platform on which to build a stable, fast, and feature rich home for diyAudio that will last the next 10 years and more. There is some question as to whether we will move to XF1.5 or XF2 (which has been in development for 3 years now), but that question will be answered at a later time.

There's a lot of work to be done in the future to migrate us to the new platform, and I'll be starting to post more regular updates about that progress soon. I will publish a clear roadmap and try my best to keep everyone informed. We'll be trying to achieve a "less is more" approach where we try to create as much of a familiar feel and as small a learning curve as possible. Choosing XF will help with that - it has the same spirit as vB and shouldn't feel entirely foreign, though with any total platform change, some new things will have to be learned. I believe we have a solid plan to mitigate these issues however.

I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of the last 17 years. Firstly a special thanks to everyone who has donated their time and effort selflessly helping others learn about DIY. Secondly to those who have dug deep to contribute with a membership, or indeed any other form of support. We spend around $10,000 a year on hosting and every little bit has helped. I've been asked recently if we'd like donations to help with the development and migration - I would ask anyone to hold off for now. When we start to get more heavily involved in the development of the new platform, we'll do a fundraiser raffle/auction/giveaways and there should be some great prizes and swag, and that would be a great time if you should feel so motivated.

I'm really excited about the next year, and have BIG plans for new additions to the community and website that have been difficult to do with the ageing platform we're currently running. I've personally had a lot of other commitments over the past few years as well, such as running The diyAudio Store which supplies hard to find bits and pieces to the community. Now that the forum itself "is broke" though, it's absolutely the right time to refocus on and take it to the next level - free from the vestiges of the past, with a fresh platform, technologies and opportunities.

Once we move to our new platform, the sky is the limit. I look forward to existing members such as yourself enjoying the new and improved features, as well as seeing a new generation of audiophiles getting the do-it-yourself audio bug and enjoying the hobby.

Thanks, and see you Tuesday hopefully with a more stable, and more responsive website :)

Salas 7th July 2017 09:09 AM

Jason thanks for your dedicated platform servicing work and for the detailed info on upgrade transition plans. :up:

Zen Mod 7th July 2017 09:11 AM


KVP 7th July 2017 09:49 AM

A system without maintenance just doesn't exist, so quite normal. Thank you for your effort to keep it running smoothly.

Zero D 7th July 2017 11:19 AM

@ Jason

Hi, vB is what used for years. Three years ago they moved over to XF. At first a lot of people didn't like it, including me. But, the Admin LWM was able to make several options available to members, including a number of styles to choose from. One looks similar to how it did in vB.

LWM is an expert on XF, as he now mainly works on it for others too. Why not PM him & see if you can get any useful tips etc from him ;)



BYRTT 7th July 2017 07:21 PM

Thanks info and good luck on upgrade job :)

About responsive website last couple of days had been good enough where before that we had about half a day it was very slow at least up here in the north.

vdi_nenna 8th July 2017 12:07 AM

Thanks Jason. :up: :xfingers:

Ear Wax 8th July 2017 03:52 AM

Best wishes for success on this endeavor.

HeyBill 8th July 2017 04:26 AM

Thank you Jason. Best to you. HeyBill

Dennis Hui 8th July 2017 07:10 AM

Jason, thanks for your hard work, and good luck with the upgrade.


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