Basically, if this continues to happen with this kind of frequency, I would be less and less likely to turn to this forum for answers and that inevitably means increasing frustration with the software…
which inevitably leads to an eye on the market for alternatives.
Love DT and want to make it part of everything I do on my machine but this forum needs to be consistently accessible for that to happen.
Busy people need quick answers and definitely don’t have time to keep coming back just to see if an answer is possible.
Of course we are extremely aware of these issues and will try to find out a solution. The bad thing is that it seems to be a common problem with the latest version of the forum software. The good thing is that it doesn’t seem to be isolated to our site. Other sites that use phpBB3 experience the same issues. No solution has been found yet however.
Now, we always have our email addresses for feedback as well so you can always use those if the forum is not working for you. As you are well aware we are quite proactive with our user community so please bear with us while we try to find a solution.
As Annard pointed out: We are using a standard forum package called phpBB. And with version 3.0 it introduced this problem that also affects quite a few other sites but the phpBB team is still unable to fix it. Or unwilling. We are going through the problem logs ourselves but we are not the maker of that software and so it’s hard for us to fix it.
And, yes, this is a heavy-duty forum compared to most others. People are searching a lot, we have tens of thousands of postings, and the forum is, due to its popularity, also under heavy fire from spammers. This all puts a load on the database and from time to time it simply breaks.
The forum is consistently problemmatic. What you’re telling us, in essence, is there will be no solution since you are committed (apparently) to using phpBB.
However, forums don’t need to be this way. The RapidWeaver forums (which seem to get much heavier traffic) were changed about 2 years ago. Overall it works flawlessly, and even at its worst I’ve never had as many problems as the DT forum at its best!
The “cost” of the RealMac folks getting to a good forum was they needed to abandon their old software solution and go with a new one. This was a somewhat difficult transition, but with time has proven to be a very smart one.
If the phpBB people don’t seem like they’ll fix their software, then perhaps moving to a solution like the forum software Realmac uses would be the best solution. Old posts would be lost, and I realize that’s a shame. But I’m just “lucky” I can post now. DT is a very good and interesting product. But the forums are necessary since there’s so much that isn’t in the documentation. That’s all okay, but a forum that is reliable is really important. And, put bluntly, this current forum software structure doesn’t work.
Well, it looks like they’re between the classic rock and hard place as the DT team realizes the importance of a strong (and reliable) forum during the beta phase, and they want to put the finishing touches on DT2. What a quandary! How would any of us solve this? Put the DTPO development on the back burner for a week or two <gasp!> or live with the crappy phpBB setup?
And how do you decide when would be the best time to do this?
That actually might be a good thing. That would create the incentive of creating a DTPO database out of the current posts and making it available as a download. This is something that several of us have been advocating for some time. This would be the perfect chance to do just that.
One last thing: That would also give the DT team a chance to change our designations - I for one dislike being labeled “God” as it implies supreme knowledge, something I would be the first to deny.
Yes, this is a difficult thing—deciding when to change forums. I’m lucky I just got to log on right now. Don’t know if my message will go through!
There’s no great time to change, but perhaps one sensible time is to change shortly after the release of the official 2.0 version. I understand not wanting to change while in beta. But the bottom line is a change seems to be needed at some time over the next 12 months. So if 2.0 final comes out in March, perhaps a new forum in April? Who knows, maybe there are even better “whens.” What seems clear (assuming phpBB won’t upgrade their software) is that doing nothing is probably the worst choice of all—we already know it doesn’t work!
I’ll third changing designations like “god.” They are cute and funny the first time you see them, but they quickly loose their charm.
BTW: I ended up having to try 3 different browsers to get this posted.
I don’t understand why your switching browsers would make any difference.
Every post I’ve made on the phpBB3 incarnation of this forum, and even earlier, has been with Safari (since it’s existed). Sometimes (and increasingly often, unfortunately) it’s simply a matter of waiting long enough for the server to acknowledge Submit (and Preview) commands. Occasionally an irrecoverable MySQL DB error occurs so I’m in the habit of Command-C copying composed text before Preview/Submit. Every problem I’ve had has been with the server, not the browser.
SJK: You are a lucky man (or woman)! It may be server-only issues, but it certainly impacts my browser. I also mainly use Safari. In addition to what you describe, I all too often end up in an endless loop where I login, write post, submit, am taken back to the login page, back to submitting post, back to resubmitting, and then on to another round of logging in! It is truly madness.
However, I have reduced the madness by doing the same thing as you: I always copy my post before submitting! Although it’s often inconvenient, the “best” browser for submitting to DT is to use the browser within DT. That’s what I’m doing right now. But I’ve faced the endless loop of logins (many times, but not all) using Safari, Firefox, Chrome. I don’t know whether this is a server problem, or a browser problem, but somehow the forum seems to feel more “warm and fuzzy” towards some browsers more than others.
I have Log me on automatically each visit enabled when logging in, rarely do a manual logout, and am never prompted to login again during posting or have other looping issues – on this and ever other phpBB3 forum. Safari’s “Accept cookies: Only from sites I visit” Preferences > Security option is set. I don’t fuss around with cookies, except for occasionally deleting one that triggers Request Entity Too Large errors visiting apple.com pages. Having PithHelmet and SafariStand installed doesn’t seem to matter. I’m currently using Safari 4.0.4 on 10.5.8.
Honestly, I’m puzzled why you and other people have certain issues with this forum while myself and others don’t. Seems the server insists on misbehaving with some combinations of system/browser configurations while being cooperative with others. And that doesn’t imply it’s exclusively a client- or server-side problem.
I’m puzzled too. Safari never works for me for this forum. Tried it on four different machines. Nada. The DT browser usually does work, but this past week even with that browser I had server timeouts for 48 hours on two machines. Who knows? Sunspots maybe.
Please please please make this change - “god” is doltish and must be annoying to everyone.
I would be happy to volunteer (I have, privately to DTech) to help make the gems in that history into a wiki. I have agita with accurately finding things in the forum and must rely on sjk for that since he has the longest memory of the “gods”.
Ya, cantcha tell by my weird misspellings? “withe” indeed.
However, the idea was not mine originally when i first picked up on it ages ago. I just jumped on the bandwagon in hopes that our collective voices might encourage DT to put together something like this.