Software update coming

Discuss recent changes, make suggestions, etc.

Re: Software update coming

Postby Milfmog » Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:21 pm

crfriend wrote:
Big and Bashful wrote:Well done! Respeck is due!

Thank you, kind sir.

Result! It's not often a plan works out that smoothly, I'm impressed.

crfriend wrote:...Which, of course, means that there may be gremlins lurking in the shadows someplace.

It's being so cheerful keeps you going isn't it Carl :D :D :D

Have fun,


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Re: Software update coming

Postby ethelthefrog » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:16 pm

Nicely done, sir.

EtF.
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Re: Software update coming

Postby skirted_in_SF » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:10 am

The last software update I had to manage took a day and a half. And this was just a service pack/bug fix for my employer's accounting system. (I'm the system administrator) Part of the problem is we had 70 databases to update.

In any case, good job Carl and I hope it makes your life easier.
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Re: Software update coming

Postby crfriend » Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:28 pm

Milfmog wrote:
crfriend wrote:...Which, of course, means that there may be gremlins lurking in the shadows someplace.

It's being so cheerful keeps you going isn't it Carl :D :D :D

It's from spending too many years in this field. ;)

In fact, there were and are some of the little blighters around. I slew a few yesterday, but others persist despite a good fumigation of the place.
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Re: Software update coming

Postby Mugs-n-such » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:41 pm

I guess I'll jump on the bandwagon with my 2 cents worth (how's that for mixed metaphors?) and say "thank you". Seriously I am impressed, being (as afore noted) somewhat computer challenged myself. :)
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Gremlins!

Postby crfriend » Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:14 pm

So far, I've had two complaints that the "View active topics" search link isn't working, so I guess that something did go "thud" somewhere. Specifically, it seems to return nothing.

It'll at least be the weekend before I can devote any significant amount of time to this (likely on Sunday, as I am getting together with old pals on Saturday), so please be patient. Further muddying the waters is that's an access technique I don't use, so I don't know what it looks like when it is working. What I do know is that the code that drives it is a convoluted bit of PHP that makes the brain hurt:

Code: Select all
        if (empty($keywords) && sizeof($author_id_ary))
        {
                $ex_fid_ary = array_keys($auth->acl_getf('!f_read', true));
        }
        else
        {
                $ex_fid_ary = array_unique(array_merge(array_keys($auth->acl_getf('!f_read', true)), array_keys($auth->acl_getf('!f_search', true))));
        }

        $not_in_fid = (sizeof($ex_fid_ary)) ? 'WHERE ' . $db->sql_in_set('f.forum_id', $ex_fid_ary, true) . " OR (f.forum_password <> '' AND fa.user_id <> " . (int) $user->data['user_id'] . ')' : "";

        $sql = 'SELECT f.forum_id, f.forum_name, f.parent_id, f.forum_type, f.right_id, f.forum_password, f.forum_flags, fa.user_id
                FROM ' . FORUMS_TABLE . ' f
                LEFT JOIN ' . FORUMS_ACCESS_TABLE . " fa ON (fa.forum_id = f.forum_id
                        AND fa.session_id = '" . $db->sql_escape($user->session_id) . "')
                $not_in_fid
                ORDER BY f.left_id";
        $result = $db->sql_query($sql);


This ought to be fun.

In the interim, the general interface is working where threads and forums that have active posts get coloured icons next to them, and this can be used as a mnemonic. I'll get to this as soon as I can.
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Re: Software update coming

Postby Since1982 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:02 am

I thought it might be my computer. Even tho the other site's "view active posts" is accessible to all. Good to know it wasn't my fault. I'm getting used to bypassing it and just hitting new posts instead.
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What we know so far

Postby crfriend » Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:00 pm

Indeed, the "View active topics" link to search.php?search_id=activetopics is broken in phpBB3 3.0.8, and it was busted in 3.0.7-PL1 (verified on another site I was volunteered to admin by Sapphire, and to which I accepted).

Instead of trying to learn yet another programming language (Why on God's green Earth didn't they use FORTRAN or, better yet, ALGOL?) I'm going to download the obsolete versions and call them into execution serially to see where the fault first appears, then try fixing it here, and if it works here (in my home lab, that is) then I'll push the "fix" to the public forum. I anticipate that this work will be done in the morrow (2010-12-12) so long as I can maintain concentration long enough to finish the task; if I cannot maintain focus, it'll take an indeterminate amount of time. In the interim, I apologise for the breakage and will remind folks that the main interface seems to be working well with the assorted hints available in the icon column.

I also missed a major computing holiday. Happy DEC-10 to everybody!
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Re: What we know so far

Postby crfriend » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:36 pm

crfriend wrote:Indeed, the "View active topics" link to search.php?search_id=activetopics is broken in phpBB3 3.0.8, and it was busted in 3.0.7-PL1 (verified on another site I was volunteered to admin by Sapphire, and to which I accepted).

FIXED :!:

At issue wasn't the code but a semantic change back at version 3.0.6 that subtly changed the meaning of the FORUM_FLAG_ACTIVE_TOPICS bit in the forum_flags column of the database. I set that bit in all the forums that should have it set, and things now look OK.
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Re: Software update coming

Postby Since1982 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:47 pm

I wondered what was wrong with it...I didn't say anything tho, I figgered you'd get around to it...and you DID..Hooray :thewave:
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Re: Software update coming

Postby crfriend » Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:30 am

Since1982 wrote:I wondered what was wrong with it...

Interestingly, I never would have noticed it because the "View active topics" link is not something I use to interact with the forum. I read fast enough and can recognise icons quickly enough that it's actually faster for me to hit the index page once I log in and scroll down than to invoke the search and incur another page-refresh. So, to those who hesitate to gripe^W comment on features and whatnot that are not working properly, please do complain! Else, if I don't "feel the pain" it'll never get fixed!

I didn't say anything tho, I figgered you'd get around to it...and you DID..Hooray :thewave:

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I'd pencilled this in for Sunday (2010-12-12) morning because I was going to be "out with the boys" on Saturday -- and I stayed good to my word on that.

Unlike the stereotypical computer geek/sysadmin, I actually do have a life. In fact, it's a rather good, fulfilling, and rewarding life; hence, I tend to take it rather seriously, and if that means occasionally walking away from on-line existence, then so be it.

In the problem for the "active topics" search, the thing was documented (to the credit of the phpBB developers!), but it was about 25 pages down in the change log so escaped immediate notice; it was easier to grab earlier copies, test each (in binary-search mode), and see where things stopped working. From there, it was an easy stretch to JFCL [0] some of the code to verify thoughts and then look up the results in the doco.

__________________

[0] JFCL is the PDP-10 [1] instruction to "Jump on Flags and CLear them"; it was most often used with a zero flags-field to perform a no-op (no operation) when patching a binary in memory was required. (Hint: Don't try this at home.)

[1] The PDP-10 is a seminal computer built by what was Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) between the years of 1965 and 1983 (Hence the "Holiday" of DEC-10). It is widely held as one of the very last machines built in which the assembler interface was as humanly-accessible as possible, although it did have lots of "gotchas" [2] in the instruction set.

[2] The instruction "JUMP" never did; one had to specify "Always" to it so if you wanted to change the program-counter one had to specify "JUMPA". In practise, JRST (Jump and ReSTore flags) with a zero flags-field was a few clock-cycles faster than JUMPA and so was preferred by PDP-10 programmers. [3]

[3] This is descending into serious geekdom -- which, interestingly, is how I met Sapphire. It's a long story. Ask at your peril. (Trust me.)

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Re: Software update coming

Postby ethelthefrog » Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:28 pm

crfriend wrote:[3] This is descending into serious geekdom -- which, interestingly, is how I met Sapphire. It's a long story. Ask at your peril. (Trust me.)


Look, let me go back in there and face the peril.


I'm asking. People fascinate me (another contra-geek trait).
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Re: Software update coming

Postby crfriend » Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:12 pm

ethelthefrog wrote:[Look, let me go back in there and face the peril.

I'm asking. People fascinate me (another contra-geek trait).

OK, so I've been "called out". ;)

A good many years ago, the exact number of which is not important, before I became worldly and eloquent (yeah, right!) I was what might have been described as the ultimate technician; I lived and breathed computers and computing. I'd worked on more different types of hardware and software than better 99% of the population had, and I knew the most intimate details of more than a few computers (which, at the time were not PCs; some had board-complements running into the several hundreds instead of one). Of course it showed: I was absolutely, completely, and totally incompetent in virtually all things social.

And so it came to pass that the to-be-wife of one of my co-workers decided that I "needed some culture", and one evening I was rather unceremoniously loaded into the back of a car and taken to a wine tasting. Being a geek, I drank beer. Fosters, at the time, in the "oil-can" size. I looked right at home towering over a pile of yuppies and a smattering of my cow-orkers.

Wine tastings, it turns out, can drag. Interminably, sometimes it seems, and so it was. I'd been ready to go home after my first Fosters (My tastes have matured a bit since then; I prefer Bass and Guinness now. [0]), but was trapped by virtue of not having my car in the parking-lot. Whilst I was ready to flee the scene, there was somebody else there who wasn't and who thought I looked interesting and who decided to chat me up.

"What's your favourite computer?"

"What?"

"What's your favourite computer?"

"The PDP-10."; Sapphire indicates that with this response I drew myself to full height and looked down my nose. I'm not sure if I did or not, but in retrospect it sort of makes sense.

"Mine, too!"

"What model?" (There were four that made it into production and one that was more or less stillborn.) She indicates that I sneered on that one.

"I'm not sure. I'm a programmer."

At this point I was one iota from abject panic; Sapphire is a very attractive gal, and was more so "back in the day" (I'll get cudgelled for that remark), and here she was trying quite hard to actually have a conversation with somebody who was not particularly good at having such things that were off his chosen subject matter.

As what tried to pass for a conversation actually got going, it became very apparent that there was more in common than there was different; both of us had a large overlap in systems that we knew, her from programming and me from hardware, and had a mutual appreciation of how those systems were designed and put together -- enough so that we were able to converse about how various machines influenced designers and what those influences meant and how they carried back and forth not just within individual companies, but across many. Ultimately, the conversation wound up revolving around the history and evolution of computer instruction-sets.

We had a great time, and my co-workers were dumbfounded.

Telephone numbers were exchanged, and I can still recall the visceral fear of having my finger hovering over the last digit of her telephone number when I was to call two days later. (It took three tries to actually get all the digits off before the CO decided I was serious.)

It turns out that it worked out for the better. I'm a bit more grounded in social ways now (the less charitable will say that "I've grown up a bit"), care a bit more about my interactions with the humans around me, and at least have better sense in clothes. So, all in all, it's been a whopping big win -- for the both of us.

[0] Speaking of which, I need to make a beer run!
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Re: Software update coming

Postby Kirbstone » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:58 am

I'm fascinated by your unfinished story, CR. Tell us, Did you marry the girl ?

I personally have no computing background, and the use of them has been forced on me by progress, but I remain pretty illiterate in that field and admire those who understand them.

My wife of now 42 years duration (and counting) wouldn't have a telephone if they were invented tomorrow. Although I have a laptop at home she resolutely communicates via the handwritten letter. Wild horses wouldn't drag her to a keyboard !

So you can easily see we needed to find something else interesting to talk about other than computers. We must have done, as there are no fewer than ten good people out there who are our direct descendants ! What a blessing.

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Re: Software update coming

Postby crfriend » Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:32 pm

Kirbstone wrote:I'm fascinated by your unfinished story, CR. Tell us, Did you marry the girl ?

That portion of the story is finished, but the entire tale has not drawn to a close, and with luck won't for many more years. We're not the spring chickens we once were, but that's OK; what we've "lost" in one regard has been made up in others -- life, in other words, is pretty good.

My wife of now 42 years duration (and counting) wouldn't have a telephone if they were invented tomorrow. Although I have a laptop at home she resolutely communicates via the handwritten letter. Wild horses wouldn't drag her to a keyboard !

42 years! Congratulations!

Sometimes I regret getting into technology; if I'd known then what I know now about where the profession and technology would be I would have done something different. Had I actually studied in school I could have followed in my grandfather's footsteps, which would have made my family happy, but which would have put me on a completely different trajectory than the one I went on, and which, to be honest, over the years, has been pretty good to me.

Communication by handwritten letter certainly has its charms, and there are times when I wish my handwriting was legible! You and your wife have my admiration.
Last edited by crfriend on Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: slight wordsmithing to get rid of a grammatical blunder or two
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