Current forum instability: thread-based

Over the past 2 weeks, we have been plagued with an unstable database, probably related to the recent modifications made to the forums. These modifications had changed the profile system and a feature called “Similar Topics”

As much time as it takes to install these tweaks and mods, it can take even longer to undo them, especially if the problematic changes were made after succeeding rounds of modifications have already been made. Sometimes, our (my) personal schedules do not permit us to research exactly where the problem is and what is needed to undo or fix them – so even if the actual fix is ultimately a simple one to make, it takes time to find the time to figure it out and then make the change

Every now and then, someone asks me why we (I) make the changes to the forums. Let me address this again now. Since Forumosa began, back in the “dot-ORG era” circa 1998, we (I) have tinkered with the website and its design. After 4 years in “beta”, I dropped that meaningless qualifier when I decided that tweaks, hacks, and improvements were a part of maintaining a website. Sometimes the changes were brilliant (and these typically were suggested by Moderators and Forumosans who made specific requests for features) – sometimes the changes were disastrous, as some long-time Forumosans will remember 3 server meltdowns and re-boots (not all related to my hacks, mind you)

Two thoughts for those who tirelessly express their frustration about the modifications and changes that occur (and have always occurred) on Forumosa:

1. Be the change – instead of saying, “I don’t like it” point us to a better way. I’m eager to improve and evolve the website, so if you have a better idea, explain why it is better or (if you can and you care enough) find another solution

2. Be part of the process – by joining us in finding ways to fix, improve, change our website.

There are no secrets to Forumosa’s infrastructure – we use Open Source software called phpBB, OpenAds, MediaWiki, WordPress and others. Our goals are plain and obvious – we want to support the Foreign community with a lively discussion website, a great classified ads service, friendly happy hours and charity events and a kick-ass English magazine. To cover our server costs and all these community projects, we seek donations in exchange for advertising on our websites. So the more assistance and guidance the community can share with us, the better – it’s always welcome.

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