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System Downtime, Maintenance

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the brace-yourself-for-fun-and-excitement dept.

Slashdot.org 370

We're taking the system down tonight for a some system updates. We expect to go down around 9 (eastern) and hope to be back up by midnight. This is a pretty substantial upgrade, but the changes are almost entirely 'Under the Hood' type fixes: architecture stuff that shouldn't really impact much end user functionality. When the dust settles we expect there to be a few bugs cropping up, so please click that 'Bugs' link on the left hand menu and submit reports so we can squash them quickly. And sorry about the inconvenience. We know it will be hard to live without us for a few hours, but I figure some quality time with your friends and family might just be long overdue! (Also, for the curious, a brief summary of what the change is actually all about follows)Ok, so when I wrote the original code for Slashdot, I had these "Sections" and these "Topics". You're familiar with both I'm sure... the "Sections" are like "Apple" and "BSD". They have unique color schemes, and their own homepages. The "Topics" are specific areas of subject matter... you know them because they each have a colorful little icon associated with them... like for example the rockin 'Slashdot' logo that is attached to this story.

When I originally "designed" (I use the term loosely since evolved is more accurate) the system, "Sections" were meant to be for "Data Types"... for example "Book Reviews". A book review is fundamentally different than a Slashdot "Article" because it has extra fields like the ISBN code. At the same time I essentially coded "Skins" because each "Data Type" needed custom look & feel type stuff so that the story could actually display the unique data fields.

So when we created YRO and the BSD section and later on the Apple section, I just reused the skinning part of "Sections".. it was the easiest way to do it, but it created problems later: under the old design a story could only have one "Section"... some sections defined "Data Type" and others defined "Subject Matter" (like Apple or BSD)... thats why bsd.slashdot.org can never include a book review, and apple.slashdot.org can't include an 'Ask Slashdot'. This confounded users of our search page to no ends, to say nothing of frustrating editors who couldn't include topical stories within their appropriate section.

Undoubtedly we'll see some bugs to pop up... so please be patient and submit bug reports. We'll be wacking bugs for a few days... there's always a few of them that don't pop up until you put them in front of the half a million users on the real hardware. Thanks for understanding!

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9 eastern? (4, Insightful)

lecithin (745575) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723175)

Thanks for the advanced notice!!!!!

Re:9 eastern? (5, Funny)

oudzeeman (684485) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723189)

slashdot isn't that crucial to your Friday night, is it?

Re:9 eastern? (1)

spirality (188417) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723205)

We should hope not!

Re:9 eastern? (5, Funny)

maxbang (598632) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723250)

Are you kidding? This is worse than having all six suns setting for the first time in thousands of years. I have no choice but to watch Stargate: Atlantis and finish the other half of this pizza feast. Fatter, yes. Completely insane, also yes. Plans for Friday night, of course not.

Re:9 eastern? (3, Funny)

ahknight (128958) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723324)

Even if, we still have Stargate Atlantis and Fark [fark.com] , so we'll live.

Now, take my Fark and we'll have words.

Re:9 eastern? (-1, Flamebait)

racermd (314140) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723225)

I agree. Anytime *I* have to take anything out of production for our 1500-odd users at the company I work at, they require *AT LEAST* 12 hours notice, if not more. Usually, we give 24.

What gives, /. admins?

Re:9 eastern? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723296)

I agree. Anytime *I* have to take anything out of production for our 1500-odd users at the company I work at, they require *AT LEAST* 12 hours notice, if not more. Usually, we give 24.

What gives, /. admins?

Don't worry, I'm sure /. will credit your subscription somehow.

What's that?

You're NOT paying for it at all?

Well, shut the fuck up, then!

Re:9 eastern? (1)

xiang shui (762964) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723304)

You're not serious, are you?

Re:9 eastern? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723317)

You're not serious about him not being serious, are you?

Re:9 eastern? (1)

holysin (549880) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723306)

and the difference between a production server at a COMPANY where you WORK and a FREE service where you play is nonexistant 'eh? Go outside and greet the real world, you might learn something new.

Re:9 eastern? (1)

Brightest Light (552357) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723320)

I don't see a subscriber * next to your name, so why should they have to answer to you?

I understand its a common courtesy and all, but I for one am glad I got *some* kind of notice. I'm used to sites being down for a few hours, and THEN coming back up with a "hey we went down for maintenance, etc etc" message.

Re:9 eastern? (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723257)

If they post a lot of stories after Midnight tonight to bump this off the home page, and all goes well... I'm guessing a majority of the /. userbase won't even notice the site went down to begin with.

Re:9 eastern? (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723276)

You mean advance notice, and 10 minutes should be plenty, just hurry up and cache a bunch of stuff before it all comes crumbling down.

Re:9 eastern? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723292)

mmm, google cache will let me surrive this slashdot outage

LP? (5, Funny)

zoloto (586738) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723300)

Last Post?!?

Re:9 eastern? (5, Funny)

Squareball (523165) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723307)

I wonder if the subscribers get the downtime before the rest of us?

Re:9 eastern? (5, Funny)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723330)

Oh, I almost forgot, while slashdot is down, you should check out this homestarrunner [homestarrunner.com] "system is down" message.

Trust me.

not much time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723335)

Thank god I had enough time to get a comment in before slashdot went dow

CARRIER LOST

oh no... (3, Funny)

the arbiter (696473) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723181)

I'm a geek! What am I to do until Slashdot returns?

Well, I guess I'll just have to go outside, or talk to a girl, or something...

Re:oh no... (5, Funny)

FyRE666 (263011) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723311)

I'm a geek! What am I to do until Slashdot returns?

Set up a mirror? ;-)

Re:oh no... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723323)

"or talk to a girl"

A what?

At least... (5, Funny)

example42 (760044) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723183)

At least it's night time (here) so I can go outside to play. The evil burning brightness is gone for 8 hours.

Thanks! (2, Funny)

MrP- (45616) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723184)

Thanks for ruining my Friday night.

Good thing tonight is the premiere of Stargage: Atlantis.. but if it ends up sucking, it's your fault! =P

Re:Thanks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723204)

*Stargate

Maybe I should use the preview buttom someday... maybe..

There's still hope! SouthPark Marathon! (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723299)

starts at 9pm EST! Yay!

Uh oh.... (4, Funny)

Kymermosst (33885) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723186)

20,000 nerds are going to have to find something else to do for three hours...

Re:Uh oh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723211)

I fell your pain. Damn, Shark Week isn't on for at least a month.

Re:Uh oh.... (4, Funny)

Kpt Kill (649374) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723217)

Just jam on refresh until the page comes back

NO! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723190)

uh oh, no /. for 3 hours! I might have to actually interact with people in meatspace! say it ain't so!!!

What? (-1, Offtopic)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723194)

Slashdot? Why is it going down, there is no article... where do I RTFA???? Maybe it was microsoft's fault... we'll just call up russia and get a beowulf cluster of something to make some profit, and then slashdot can stay up? Or do I need to forward some of my spam to slashdot, they keep telling me that they can keep me up for hours at a time...

Edit? (1, Insightful)

Psychotext (262644) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723195)

Don't suppose you're going to add editing posts as an option are you? Ah, no - Didn't think so, it's only 2004 after all!

Re:Edit? (4, Insightful)

Star_Gazer (25473) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723253)

Editing posts is evil! It may seem like a good idea for fixing that stupid typo or the wrong link, but it usually ends in deleted/edited posts where people just don't stand up to their words and nobody can follow what the reason for the discussion/flamewar was.

I see it all the time on other discussion forums, it's no fun!

Downtime... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723196)

You forgot to add, "Do not attempt sexual relations, as years of computer monitor radiation have left
your genitals withered and useless."

Question.... (4, Insightful)

Lurch Kimded (582588) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723198)

9pm eastern... Whats that in GMT? ;)

Good luck with the upgrade, I hope Sod and his law stay far... FAR away.

Re:Question.... (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723221)

that's like 2am dude ... or 3am .. who knows what those weird people over that large ocean use.

By that time you should be only a couple of hours away from thinking about going to bed. Enough time to spend browsing userfriendly archives or coding your own content management system to rival slashdot.

Re:Question.... (1)

mackstann (586043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723235)

eastern is GMT-5 I believe.

Re:Question.... (2, Insightful)

Siva (6132) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723248)

well, yes, but where in Daylight Savings right now...so GMT-4

Re:Question.... (1)

Siva (6132) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723272)

argh...
s/where/we're

that's what i get for not using Preview.

Re:Question.... (1)

mackstann (586043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723295)

Ah, I actually never paid attention to how daylight savings effected gmt offsets (and was somewhat confused about it, but not enough to go look it up), so thanks for telling me. I'm in central so I'm gmt-6, and gmt-5 during daylight savings. /me commits to memory

Re:Question.... (1)

scum-e-bag (211846) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723244)

1am Saturday morning... I think... so this means you have about 10 mins. I could be wrong, daylight savings always gets me.

Re:Question.... (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723258)

It's 1.55am in the UK already, dude!

Err, dude! Damn 20 second posting limit. What am I meant to do? Like, type random crap to take up the time?

Re:Question.... (2, Informative)

epsalon (518482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723305)

Because the UK is in daylight savings time...
UK TIME != GMT.

Re:Question.... (1)

SagSaw (219314) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723287)

0100

Oh God.... (1, Redundant)

XeRXeS-TCN (788834) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723200)

No Slashdot for a few hours? Oh God, nooooooooooooooo! *starts refreshing once a minute until it comes back* ;)

Nah seriously though, it's cool that you're updating the software, a few new bugs is a good trade off to get the software cleaned up and all the new stuff added

See you when the site comes back up ;P

Be sure to do a backup (5, Funny)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723201)

Just kidding.

Bad timing (5, Funny)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723202)

We expect to go down around 9 (eastern) and hope to be back up by midnight.

Oh that's just great. Now what the hell am I supposed to do with myself on a Friday night? Go downtown and watch all the cool people on their dates?

Couldn't you guys have scheduled this downtime for sometime during my work hours so I could actually get something done at the office for a change?

GMD

never thought i'd get to say it... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723206)

last comment

Real Life Test (5, Funny)

Duct Tape Pro (318982) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723207)

This is really a test to see if real life's servers can handle all the slashdot users trying to interact with it at once.

So, what are the changes? (5, Insightful)

Star_Gazer (25473) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723210)

Taco, all you do is describe what the current design (step of evolution) is, but what are the changes?. Obviously, you will have removed those restrictions, but you don't say so. :)

Re:So, what are the changes? (4, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723290)

I think it means we are the beta testers, and the goal is to make it LOOK and feel the same, just different mechanically.

Believe me, anytime something isn't working right, you can just grep through the comments and find all the complains and debugging information you can stand.

"wacking bugs"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723219)

Is that what you call it, eh?

Tsk.

How about upgrading to valid html? (5, Insightful)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723223)

And re-doing the layout in proper css?

Re:How about upgrading to valid html? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723298)

It's already been done [alistapart.com] , but no one wants to actually update Slashcode.

What Will I Do?!?! (1)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723226)

You monsters, you're forcing me to find something else to waste my time doing!!!

Add a frickin linkchecker (0, Troll)

norculf (146473) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723227)

Duplicates are getting out of hand.

Add a spellchecker too.

Isn't tonight Stargate Atlantis? (2, Informative)

antdude (79039) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723230)

Watch that during the downtime if you can. Of course for me, I don't have cable/satellite TV. So feh! :(

Re:Isn't tonight Stargate Atlantis? (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723301)

For those with digital cable or satellite tonight... MLB Extra Innings is running free preview games to promote the chance to subscribe now to the rest of the season at a reduced rate. So, there's a few channels most of you don't normally get to see on tonight. :)

Re:Isn't tonight Stargate Atlantis? (1)

Fiz Ocelot (642698) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723313)

Yes it starts at 9pm here, can't wait :)

Bugs? (1)

ghost1911 (146095) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723238)

>>Undoubtedly we'll see some bugs to pop up...

I think you meant unintentional features, some popular operating systems support this (alas the current slashdot system does not). We'll be sure to fondly appreciate and notice these as they appear.

Couldn't you have waited until Doom3 came out??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723239)

No one would have noticed the outage.

"Thank you...." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723240)

.... for "keeping" us "informed". I'm sure "some" of us will "have some trouble" finding "something to do" with our "spare time".

XHTML Compliance? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723245)

I know this has been done to death, but when will Slashdot ever move away from HTML 3.2 and join the real world with us cool XHTML and CSS people? A List Apart [alistapart.com] had some good ideas a long time ago, why haven't any of these been implemented?

Oh crap. Oh crap. (1)

i love pineapples (742841) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723246)

I didn't get the chance to get my slashdot fix at work and now you're telling me the server will be down tonight? I can feel the shakes coming on already... maybe I can scour my cache files to keep my withdrawal symptoms down.

So... cold...

Aw come on :( (4, Funny)

happyhippy (526970) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723247)

I was about to launch my DOS attack on /. at that time!

Kill a few more birds with that stone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723252)

hmm.. stargate? (1)

LWolenczak (10527) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723255)

Atleast we will have stargate to keep us from crying without slashdot. mmm slashdotty goodness....

Amnesty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723256)

Will there be a general $rtbl amnesty?

yea but (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723259)

What about the people who don't log on until 9:05? Is this story going to help them ? ;)

Double Posting (1)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723260)

I wonder if this story will be double posted.

More interestingly, I wonder if ie is posted again, will they take the servers down for another upgrade.....

wbs.

Forums? (1)

gumpish (682245) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723261)

How about adding some plain old forums, eh?

Re:Forums? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723314)

No forward slash? Forward slash is reserved for those moments when you say "slash" and the idiot at the keyboard types a backslash. Anyway, stroke and backstroke is easier to say and lends a continental flair.

Good Timing (1)

dgagley (468178) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723264)

Hey, this is good timing. New Star Gate SG1 and Atlantis is on tonight.

WoooHooo!

Quck question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723265)

Just when will /. be down... in Japan? I forget what timezone it's in.

Last Post... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723266)

Subject says it all... :(

Going down, (0, Redundant)

hexag (777292) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723267)

Ah, oral talents aren't mentioned in favoured girlfriend characteristics poll, is this because /. goes down for us instead? The big slut.

I'll get my coat...

Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723268)

Just enough downtime to enjoy a good wank.

So timely! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723270)

Thanks for the whopping 15 minutes advanced notice, asshole.

Evolved... (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723271)

When I originally "designed" (I use the term loosely since evolved is more accurate)

Heh. I've just been outside reading ``Emergence'' by Steven Johnson, and there is a part about Slashdot.org, and how it ``evolved''. Kind of an interesting time coincidence :-)

7 minutes to go *sob* (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723274)

*sniff*

I guess I better go and get some beer. I'm going to miss you /.

I love you, please come back soon :(

Re:7 minutes to go *sob* (2, Funny)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723286)

Are you talking about Jennicam or /. ?

wbs.

Crossing my fingers (4, Funny)

MooseByte (751829) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723275)


"We're taking the system down tonight for a some system updates. We expect to go down around 9 (eastern) and hope to be back up by midnight.".

If I had stock options for every time I'd tried that and ended up having to scurry in a panic through the weekend... Oh wait, I'd still be broke. Nevermind.

Best of luck guys!

Not the longest /. downtime this year... (0, Redundant)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723281)

Slashdot went out of service for roughly 24 hours centered around April 1 in the GMT zone... they still posted stories and allowed comments, but the normal Slashdot service wasn't there. Check the archives if you can if the site is just static tonight.

So, Slashdot will be down. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723284)

I think I may just head over to the JBoss forums to spend my weekend. JBoss offers proven open source solutions that are a step above anything available today. Face it, the competition is crap and JBoss is the only Company to offer a viable solution. I do not work for JBoss.

sync; sync; re-bored. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723285)

:o)

I'm sure (1)

mikeg22 (601691) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723288)

I'm sure you will have no problems. Upgrades always run smoothly.... ;)

Good luck, don't pull out too much hair!

Re:I'm sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723302)

arghhh last comment yet?
its all gonna be quiet.

someone get on some irc channels and say something!
i need something to stop me actually thinking about the wonders of this world (or absence thereof)

How many page views / unique IDs per hour? (1)

dgmartin98 (576409) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723291)

Hey CmdrTaco,

How many page views & unique users does Slashdot get in a typical day or hour, anyways? I've always wondered that but never knew.

Dave

Woo hoo!! (0, Redundant)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723293)

Lsat Psot!!!

Slashdot Business Plan (1)

GreenHairedDave (544276) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723297)

1. Create incredible community and commonwealth of information and news for nerds.
2. Shut down server to fix botched code.
3. ???
4. Profit!!!111One

The Cries (1)

phreak03 (621876) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723308)

And suddenly it was as though the screams of millions of Nerds went sillent....

Last Post! (1)

Staos (700036) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723309)

Last Post!

Re:Last Post! (1)

Staos (700036) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723331)

aww... Now I'm gonna get the -1, Redundant. I am soooo unoriginal...

Freedom (1)

CHaN_316 (696929) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723315)

At last! We can break the tyranny of CowboyNeal! We can finally unplug from slashdot and be fr.... what's that? It's back up? Okay nevermind... back to the powerplant people, nothing to see here!

Last! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723316)

nt

Re:Last! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723328)

more last!
lastest!

Yay! (1)

eruanno (598239) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723321)

Wow, last post :-) John 3:3 - [Jesus Christ] must increase; I must decrease.

List psot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723322)

list post.

Oh yeah, and read the article morons. Or something.

Oh, and Taco and Hemos are gay lovers.

GNAA rocks

What am I missing to make this a standard last post?

While you're at it... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9723332)

... you might as well fix the bug where comments become are skipped in paged mode when a thread has more than the maximum number of visible comments per page. The next page then repeats the supersized thread, instead of showing the following threads. The page after that continues with threads further down, not the thread directly following the supersized thread.

What to do for 3 hours without slashdot? (1, Funny)

britneys 9th husband (741556) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723333)

Some ideas...

- Watch one of the LOTR movies.
- Watch a Harry Potter movie.
- Drive across the Bay Bridge (god I hate traffic)
- Fly from Austin to Boston
- Send a message to your friend (5400*3e5) km away and wait for the response.
- Spell/grammar check your copy&paste trolls (GNAA members only)
- Sleep

Better post this before 6 :-)

Google cache... (2, Funny)

DarkBlackFox (643814) | more than 10 years ago | (#9723340)

Wow, never thought I'd have to use a Google cache [216.239.39.104] for Slashdot!!
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