[Announcement] Technical Updates Discussion

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Comments

  • jeremy_langill
    jeremy_langill
    Posts: 23
    Can anyone remind me who is on the Inner Council? Or perhaps any of those members might update the rest of us on what is going on?
  • Bortas
    Bortas
    Posts: 645
    *sigh*

    Ascendant cancelled.

    -bort
    "Morwindl":https://morwindl.obsidianportal.com
    "EIDL":https://eidl.obsidianportal.com
  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,920
    It's not often that Mr Twiggyleaf, part GM, part player but ALL Scot, expresses himself with the phrase "Yuckipoos!" but I hear that is exactly what he says everytime he reflects on the current OP Forum page aesthetic. There are some who say he uses even stronger phrases, but I cannot bring myself to believe this......

    GET FIXING DUDES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • SkidAce
    SkidAce
    Posts: 830
    If my Ascendant wasn't paid through June 2016, I would downgrade to monthly.

    I will be watching developments closely prior to its renewal.
  • MdBLimited
    MdBLimited
    Posts: 20
    1) I'm excited to see what their next excuse will be for lack of any real improvement. If they can't respond on the forum due to technical issues, they could at least provide some type of response on the blog page, as that seems to be working.

    2) Before you guys ditch and run, if you paid into the Kickstarter, you should look into getting your money back. That simply isn't right that you paid for something and, after 2+ years, have not received the service you were promised. In some circles, that is known as fraud...
  • SkidAce
    SkidAce
    Posts: 830
    Updates?

    Weekly bulletin?

    Something?
  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,968
    The silence is deafening

    Just trying to help out.

  • Maesenko
    Maesenko
    Posts: 325
    I know this is not Alex's fault, and neither he nor the Community Ambassadors are at fault for this. But, should we send a message directly to Kaleidoscope in the hopes of something happening? I personally wouldn't get my hopes up, and I don't want anything to happen to our people, but waiting isn't getting anything done anymore.

    ~Mae

    CotM Selection Committee

  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,968
    You are right Mae, the waiting is over.
    I feel saddest for those that paid to get lifetime memberships for a site which obviously does not care.
    I have said a lot, and reached out to people, and have gotten nowhere.
    Hopefully someone else can have better luck.

    Just trying to help out.

  • Praesi
    Praesi
    Posts: 31
    As on facebook:

    Heeellloooo! Me again :-)
    Would anyone of the OP/Kaleidoscope guys PLEASE show just a tiny bit of RESPECT for their paying customers and crawl out of their hobbit hole in the ground? CEO anywhere? Community manager somewhere in sight? Seem to be busy searching for someone to blame. I'd even listen to the cleaning lady - I guess her IT-abilties can't be worse... .
    Sorry for being so provocative - but YOU started the hole offense to the community by knowingly making false promises and keeping your lips shut when everybody is waiting for some crumbs.
    Get your a***s up and talk to us!
  • SkidAce
    SkidAce
    Posts: 830
    "Fools," said I, "You do not know.
    Silence like a cancer grows.
    Hear my words that I might teach you.
    Take my arms that I might reach you."
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence
  • Unknown
    So, I need to get a blog post up about this yet, but I wanted to get in here now that I can actually use the forum again and touch on some things. Will be needing to pop over to the Help section as well to touch on some items over there that have some progress which I will also detail here for those not on the tickets. Much of this will be repeated in the blog post, so for you forum goers you will only need to read the post here if your prefer:

    First up - the forums. I want to thank bluesguy for getting a post up about this for me on here while I was detained with other things today as the fix came out. As he explained some, we determined (as I had suspected based on the errors) that the hosting company had updated PHP on out servers (a good thing from a security perspective). This caused some of the code used by the forums to become invalid which threw errors and jacked up the function of it. This left us with some decisions to make based on the full investigation.

    What we had discovered was that to have the forums working and integrated as they are with the core of Obsidian Portal when this was all setup had required custom modifications to be made to the Vanilla software. This in turn resulted in the Vanilla software not being directly updated over the years, until it eventually fell out far enough that a simple upgrade process was no longer available for it anymore. This required more customization over time to keep the forums up to standards on PHP as well. So, this left us needing to maintain the course at least for now if we wanted any kind of quick resolution, so we pulled on a PHP developer to tackle the issue quick and they were able to make the required modifications to pull it back up to practical standards. This allowed for a quick fix without a lot of delay, but we are looking into and discussing some other longer term options to help resolve this type of thing moving forward. A longer term solution will of course take longer, but it still needs to be considered.

    Second up - Email Notifications issue. This has been ongoing still for a number of people (impacting different things for different folks, sometimes intermittently and sometimes consistently). Well, I have some more details that I wanted to kick out on this. After compiling details from the various reports on this we started doing testing on the issues to try and recreate them to hammer out the source. The team was unable to get the issues to replicate in testing, including with the notoriously impacted Yahoo addresses. So, we needed to go deeper. We setup some monitoring scripts to keep an eye on the email system, and using details from the reports we started keeping an eye on particular accounts. After a bit of time here, this has pulled in some further information and the team was able to apply some new fixes that were clearly impacting mail delivery on the services.

    This means, and why I need to drop into the tickets on the Support Page, we need anyone and everyone who has been having issues to perform a new round of tests and kick us the results. To help facilitate with this, here are some basic guidelines of the most pertinent information to provide on your reporting:

    Issue Resolved: (Yes/No - this is from a full perspective on your individual end as it related to the whole of the mail issue, if any problems linger for you say No)
    Campaign Tested On: (URL to the campaign you have been testing on - if you have multiple please file them then list your primary campaign URL here)
    Secondary Campaigns Tested: (Any additional campaigns you have tested on since I know some folks have private pages setup for testing on this)
    Addresses Failing/Notifications Failed:
    * (List all email addresses failing to get the Notifications, and the specific Notifications that fail for them still if - if all just list All)

    I am looking to get as many details on this compiled over the weekend here as we can so that I can provide the information to the tech team when they get back in on Monday. This issue has been ridiculous to say the absolute least and we want to get this drilled out an finalized.

    ----
    (Continued Below)
  • Unknown
    With the forums squared up for now, and with Email hopefully being fully patched up here in short order I also want to address moving forward on issues. We have been looking into the details from the Support page here to try and get a sense of reach and impact of assorted issues that have been reported. With the slew of issues in there this will allow us to get some semblance of a priority system in place to get issues knocked out that impact the most members and detriment ability to effectively use the services so we can roll out fixes that cover the biggest items in this regard first and continue pushing forward consistently on issues as we move forward. The intent is to wrap up all the reported issues into a nice workflow for the tech team so that they have a consistent roadmap that leads us to stability across the system. This has been a bit more work than I initially anticipated as there is a lot of data to parse. I am still looking into a way to best get more visibility on the full view of this as well, but that may have to wait for the bugs to be fixed as it would take up precious development time that can be used to get the site working properly again. That is step one in my long term plan for the Portal here to get it fully back on track.

    Once we have stability back, we will shift focus back to fulfillment of the Kickstarter Stretch goals. As we discussed previously, our original tech team (that was replaced as was discussed in the notice from Keith) had advised us that multiple stretch goals were just on the cusp of being ready to release. What we found when I got access to a testing environment for these was that they were severely underdeveloped and not remotely ready for release to the site. So, looking at the long term mixed with the current situation here we decided to set these back for the time being as new features are great, but they are cheapened if the core system is not stable to begin with. When we come to this point, my intent will be to bring the KS page back from the dead again to let people know that the development course is back on for those items. I'll be looking into getting things setup so that everyone who donated at levels granting them Beta Testing rights on these items will have a chance to do just that when the features come to that phase. This will allow those people to have that direct chain of feedback on the systems before they get released to the site itself.

    ----

    That covers bugs (and the present) as well as the KS items (near future), but I also want to talk about where we go from there. Well, we have a few ideas already being tossed around and starting to get fleshed out. We have identified various weak points in the system that, while not bugs, are things we would like to see improved to make things better for everyone. Some of these have been mentioned briefly in the past such as the lackluster options we have with the Support page presently, or the fact that much of the code is not done to standards. We have a lot of great feedback on these items already from our Inner Council. We also have that wonderful Suggestions section over on the Support page, and from what little time I have had to peek in on items in there as opposed to Problems, I am seeing a lot of really fantastic ideas presented. Beyond that, digging through this forum one can find a slew of posts that make various suggestions and recommendations that could benefit the system This all, of course, is a long ways out still as there is seeming light years of work we need to get done to get to this point. And most of that is still all just from a development perspective, but we have ideas that go beyond just the website as well.

    ----

    The last item I want to touch on today has been the slower updates from me as of late. This has been a multifaceted situation that you all deserve some details on since I have historically been consistent with rolling out information. The first facet of this is personal things (that I will not go into too much here). As everyone can likely well relate to, I have a life outside of my work life (of which I hold more than one job presently) that will sometimes bleed over and impact things. Suffice to say that has played some role on my ability to get in and chat with all of you on my free time which has cut me off a great bit.

    (Continued below)
  • Unknown
    The second factor, as I have previously discussed, is my enhanced role on the back end here at Obsidian Portal leaving me with some obligations that eat up available time in my work day here that I used to have to jump in and interact with everyone on here. When I originally brought this up I noted that it would have this impact but that I had hoped I would get to a point where I would see more time open up. This has not come yet as we are still in triage mode around here and will be for some time since there is a lot of stuff that needs worked through.

    The final facet has been a lack of substantial information to provide, which is a common thing for software development since it can take some time to assess the problem from reports, conduct testing to gather additional needed information, apply actual changes to the code base, and then test this to see if you now have the desired results (which is complicated more by having a complex system that you are working with like Obsidian Portal). Many of my past reports were starting to sound like broken record syndrome, and many in the community were beginning to become negative due to that which is obviously never the intent of letting people know there is progress even if it is difficult to directly quantify at a given time. Of course it is a situation where you are "damned if you do and damned if you don't" when there are so many problems on the board and that have been on the board for a long time. So I dialed back some as well, feeling that if the updates provided can give some more substantial details that can be quantified, or to be informative to let people know when fixes or updates have been applied.

    ----

    So, in closing, sorry for the delays. We have some updates and fixes in place, and we could use your help in confirming details on the mail issues with the new fix in. We are getting a plan in place now that will keep us moving through the short, mid, and long term as we continue forward.

    Until next time, keep on gaming!
    -Alex
  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,920
    Thanks for the update, Alex

    I am going to send you a Private Message about the Email Fix issue, which I hope you can answer.

    All in all, it looks promising to me and my faith is restored somewhat. Please, I urge you, if you are ever in a period of not being able to input to this Forum again, think of the possibility of deputising an Inner Council Member or even Kaleidoscope member to keep at least some contact and avoid the long periods of silence which have tainted OP's past and get everyone very jittery (and deservedly so).

    With all said and done, you have my full support moving into the future.

    twigs

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • SkidAce
    SkidAce
    Posts: 830
    Dialing back on communication in this situation is probably not the best idea. Although posting with no new info can be frustrating I am sure.

    I realize time is a resource, but my advice would be focus on interacting here as opposed to "official bulletins". Of course those will need weekly(?) updating, but interaction is more key to communicating than announcements.

    Hard task, understood, just my two cents.

    Thank you.
  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,968
    Alex, you are not the problem.

    Just trying to help out.

  • Keryth987
    Keryth987
    Posts: 1,000
    Thanks for the update Alex

    And nice to see the forums working again, FINALLY.

    Sorry, but OP is becoming more of a frustration than a joy now. And I don;t like that that is happening

    Keelah Se'lai,
    Keryth
    "Shadows Over New York":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/shadows-over-new-york
    "2013 Campaign of The Year":http://blog.obsidianportal.com/2013-coty-shadows-over-new-york/
    "Campaign of the Month July 2013":http://blog.obsidianportal.com/shadows-over-new-york-julys-campaign-of-the-month/

  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,968
    Still hoping that the so called "priority list" is shared someday, and that perhaps one of those "priorities" could get fixed.
    Some of the "priorities" are over 2 years old.
    Even if they became a "priority" they have not been fixed in the over 9 months that Kaleidoscope has owned the site.
    killervp
    "A God...Rebuilt":https://a-god-rebuilt.obsidianportal.com

    Just trying to help out.

  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,968
    I just counted my open and assigned tickets- I have 59 issues that are still waiting on resolution!
    The highest # on assigned tickets that I saw was 89. Is there any hope that this site will ever get fixed?

    Just trying to help out.

  • MdBLimited
    MdBLimited
    Posts: 20
    I think it is an apt reflection regarding the care and commitment of the new owners when the "About" link has remained unchanged after nine months:

    http://blog.obsidianportal.com/about/

    For clarity, I am a non-paying member. I have considered getting a membership, but after the Reforge and subsequent shenanigans, plus what appears to be continual empty promises and corporate speak of better days ahead that never come to fruition, I don't think I will be investing in a losing enterprise. It would be like looking at an old used car that runs but the radio doesn't work and the windshield wipers turn on and off intermittently, but the salesman promises that after buying the car he will fix it. Then you call him six months after you buy the car, believing his promises, and he says they are still working on the fix...sure, the car gets you to work, but you would sure like to listen to some music and not have those windshield wipers driving you crazy.
  • twiggyleaf
    twiggyleaf
    Posts: 1,920
    Nice analogy, MdBLimited!

    twigs

    "I met a traveller from an antique land....."

    CotM May 2016: Mysteria: set in Wolfgang Baur’s MIDGARD.

    Previous CotM Aug 2012: Shimring: High Level Multiplanar Campaign

    Inner Council Member

  • GamingMegaverse
    GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,968
    Still nothing.

    Just trying to help out.

  • kwiebe227
    kwiebe227
    Posts: 5 edited January 2016
    Hmmm
    Post edited by kwiebe227 on
  • SkidAce
    SkidAce
    Posts: 830
    Actually things just started getting better. They are having discussions in the forums and rolling out bug fixes and minor tweaks. I am optimistic.
  • kwiebe227
    kwiebe227
    Posts: 5
    Glad to hear it. As I said, I want this site to succeed as much as anyone. Hope it actually happens.
  • andreww38
    andreww38
    Posts: 239
    FYI, unstickying this thread because we have too many stickies.

    As always, I'm here to help resolve issues that may come up on the site or specific to your campaigns.

    File a "customer support ticket":http://help.obsidianportal.com or mail me direct at [email protected]
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September 2022
Merovia

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