@Sean, @megalithicrock and I wanted to give you all a little update on progress since our largely successful migration to our own server. Apologies if some of this seems dull, but transparency is one of the things we all try and hold dear in our community, and most of these updates will affect everyone
We’re now responsible for upgrades to the server software.
Previously Discourse have updated our forum daily, which has led to unexpected changes (and sometimes bugs) on a regular basis, sometimes causing confusion or distress for some of our community when things no longer behave the way we’re used to.
We’ve had a chat amongst ourselves and we’re planning to reduce the impact of this by running updates less frequently - as and when security fixes are available or a new minor release has been made available by Discourse. This is typically around once a month.
This will hopefully make the boards functionality feel a little more stable and allow us to give a little notice before changes do happen. By roughly scheduling upgrades, this will also help both you and those who volunteered as “server admins” to know that any downtime is likely because the upgrade is running and not because something unexpectedly broke.
Which leads me onto:
There is a new version of Discourse available today, which includes 4 security patches. We’re planning to upgrade on Friday evening, which will include some brief downtime as various components are updated and then should be back as usual, albeit with a couple of new features. If anything seems wrong afterwards, do let us know in the technical issues section.
For the technically minded, or nosey, Discourse’s release notes have the details on what you might see.
To give you all a heads up, the migration wasn’t actually 100% successful. As you’ll have seen, we did manage to migrate with the loss of only half a days posts and minimal downtime. However, for some fairly complicated reasons we’ve not actually managed to bring the images from the old boards across to our new hosting yet. We do have a backup of the images, but have been unable to restore them in the way that Discourse usually recommend, therefore images posted since our migration are hosted on our new infrastructure, but old images are still hosted by Discourse.
@megalithicrock has been in conversation with their support teams and we’re gradually working through steps that they believe should get the images onto our hosting, so if all is well then you should all see no change.
However, it is possible that we’re unable to successfully migrate them and posts before early July will display without images once Discourse switch off our old hosting plan. We’re letting you know as a heads up in case things don’t go well because we know it may cause confusion or worry if old images unexpectedly disappear.
We hope that doesn’t happen, but wanted to give warning that it’s possible.
To support the migration and troubleshooting issues on Discourse, both @megalithicrock and myself have been promoted to discourse admin status alongside @sean, @wewerewerewolvesonce and @whiterussian.
We are not participating in any moderation discussions or actions - these remain between your previously trusted moderation team, but we wanted to ensure the boards are aware we now have additional access.
We are also in the process of creating a group of server admins who will be able to perform some actions on the server itself in the case of (for example) unexpected downtime or configuration that can’t be done via the website. We don’t currently expect that it will be necessary to make them admins on the boards, so they won’t have access to any moderation tools or most settings. More on this group once it’s fully in place.
We’ll try to batch together semi-regular updates on anything we think you should be aware of, so do let us know if this kind of thing is useful and if you have any suggestions on how we can improve the format or any questions about anything above.