TTAG Site Issues: No Comment

As many of you know, TTAG has been experiencing technical issues over the last week or so. At the present, I am working on two issues that are causing the greatest pain to the armed intelligentsia:

Comment/post editing functionality
Periodic timeouts when posting or commenting

The first is a bug that we have so happily stumbled upon between WordPress and the Ajax Edit Comments plugin. I have an inquiry in with the developer, so hopefully we can nail down what it is pretty quickly. At the moment, if you are a registered user and logged into the admin portion of the site, the edit functionality appears and works as advertised. The second issue is a side effect of an implementation to combat our future growing pains . . .

I have implemented a commercial load-balancer to distribute traffic between multiple servers. On occasion, the connection between the visitor to the site and TTAG is lost, which causes the behavior that is periodically seen. I am presently working with the developer of the product to get a resolution in place, but more than likely it will be during our maintenance window Saturday night/Sunday morning before it will be implemented.

I know these issues are an annoyance and we are working as quickly as possible to resolve them, but we do not want to put a “fix” in place that causes the site more harm than good. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

comments

  1. avatar Ralph says:

    Stephen, you da man. I can only hope you fix these issue before I tear the last remaining hair out of my head. I’ve lost more hair in the last two week than in the preceding 64 years. My shower looks like a murder scene, sans blood. My cats are offering to shed on my skull. Yesterday, I took a walk in the sunlight and blinded a pilot at 25,000 feet.

    Frustration will do that, y’know.

    1. avatar Stephen Malenshek says:

      Thanks for the support Ralph… I assure you I am all over it like a cheap suit.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        I have a few cheap suits in my closet that don’t fit me anymore in case you need extras.

  2. avatar Chas says:

    All I can say is – love me some Ann-Margret.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Damn right. She didn’t even start to cool down until she was eligible for Social Security.

  3. avatar TTACer says:

    Oy vey. I haven’t posted in several hours but wordpress tells me I am posting too fast. I can’t post any slower!

    1. avatar Stephen Malenshek says:

      That is the main problem that we are having with the load balancer… The servers see each visitor with the exact same address, so when 2 visitors make a post within the same period of time, what you see is what you get.

      Damn frustrating, but I shall overcome!

  4. avatar Justin says:

    Do you guys really need a load balancer? What caching are you using? (Please tell me you’re caching.)

    1. avatar Stephen Malenshek says:

      I have asked that same question, but since we have moved to multiple servers to handle the major traffic that we are starting to see, the internal architecture has become rather complex and is requiring a load balancer to one distribute the traffic and two direct SSL traffic for the admin panel to a single server.

      Regarding caching, we are caching everything that can be safely done. Can’t really go into it here because of proprietary information being publicly released, but I can assure you it is an excellent setup.

  5. avatar Justin says:

    After a closer look, I see in your HTML that you’re using W3 Total Cache. Is that not cutting it on its own? Most sites survive extreme loads for extended periods (when being Fireballed from John Gruber’s Daring Fireball site for example) with caching/optimization alone from my professional experience.

  6. avatar 101abn says:

    Thank you, glad I read that.

  7. avatar Bob says:

    Here is a work-around that may prevent a little of the user frustration:

    Before clicking the Post Comment button:
    a. Highlight everything you have typed in the comment box.
    b. Click Control-C to copy all that highlighted text into a “temporary scratchpad”. Click Control-C again just to be SURE it worked.

    Then click on the Post Comment button.

    If you do not get an error message, then the two extra steps above wasted ten seconds of your time. However, if you DO get an error message, the two steps above have saved you all the time of having to recreate all the typing you did before.

    If you get an error message, go back to the same place on the TTAG site to leave a reply again. Then follow these steps:

    1. Move the cursor inside the comment window and click inside the window.
    2. Click Control-V to paste the “temporary scratchpad” into the comment window. All the text that you thought was lost when the error message happened will be back in the comment box again.
    3. Take a look at the text to verify it looks OK. Edit any typo errors you may find, of course.
    4. Repeat steps a & b above to copy everything into the scratchpad again, just to be extra safe. Then Click on the Post Comment button. It’s quite likely that you will not get an error message this time (and your comment will be posted OK this time). If another error happens, just repeat this ‘pasting sequence’ again.

    I hope this relieves some of the frustration around here, until Steve can get the problems fixed…

  8. avatar cz82mak says:

    Fix the contact us link yet? 😉

  9. avatar AZRon says:

    Ann-Margret. My first crush. A bonerific bombshell if there ever was one. Homina, homina, homina……..

    Wait, what are we talking about?

    1. avatar Not Too Eloquent says:

      No worries!

  10. avatar John Fritzatollah says:

    Thank you Stephen for not saying to me “Did you restart it?” 🙂

  11. avatar James says:

    “At the moment, if you are a registered user and logged into the admin portion of the site, the edit functionality appears and works as advertised.”

    So just give everyone admin access. Problem solved.

  12. avatar Dan says:

    An affirmative “Post Accepted, will Post once moderated” would be nice in the event that a comment get’s sucked into the spam/moderation/whatever filter.

  13. avatar bontai Joe says:

    Glad to hear that you are having such growing pains. That kinda increase in traffic must mean you are doing something right! Carry on!

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