Page 1 of 1

Forum reliability

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:24 pm
by sebastia
Is it just me or is the forum quite unreliable lately?
-> requests which time-out or take forever to finish

Re: Forum reliability

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:29 pm
by normis
It could be related to our email server, which is having issues. The forum is trying to send notification emails to people who subscribed to a certain topic, so some delays happen.

Re: Forum reliability

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:35 pm
by sebastia
thx for info

Re: Forum reliability

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:13 pm
by mtkvvv
There kinda is no reason forum should behave like that. Perhaps for my-first-cats-homepage it would be ok excuse, surely not for any business. Even comment-spam seems hard to solve problem for you, which you fight by manually deleting messages that point that out to you. Using such whitewashing methods, any old crappy behavior can be made to look very nice and performant. Makes one think is that how you handle bugs and other issues in routeros also. Just a thought. Maybe little less such whitewashing/hiding/quietly ignoring -routines and more recognising mistakes and dealing with them is needed.

Re: Forum reliability

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:19 pm
by mtkvvv
Tried to submit previous message, while waited managed to lose patience and clicked again... 2 Messages appeared... Went on to delete last of these, saw that dialoog:

Are you sure you want to delete this post?
Delete permanently:
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/language/language.php on line 372: vsprintf(): Too few arguments
Reason for deletion:
The specified reason for deletion will be visible to moderators.

I mean seriously, are you that weak? This kind of webapp/forum/server management is weak even for cats homepage. Learn some critical thinking for you own work, will you?

Re: Forum reliability

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:31 pm
by anav
Have some coffee mtk, it helps me from taking MT forums too seriously LOL.
You are correct Sebastia, over the past month I have noticed the forums being inaccessible numerous times. I thought it may be due to MT using their "NEW" powerline adapters in the server room and every time someone walks in and turns on the fluorescent lighting............ ;-)

Re: Forum reliability

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:01 pm
by mtkvvv
I just used too many mikrotik devices in few places, that I seriously hate to reconsider this decision based on how they handle their bugs. And what is customer to do, if there is no visibility into their actual bug fixing processes? Customer looks at what it can actually see - forum that behaves like nasty turd thrown onto wall by them and slowly slipping downwards... People who make fun of that, get their message deleted. But turd remains, keeps sliding down slowly. And then these kind of excuses like we had here.

Had too many way harder performance issues in my development time and had to manage too many badly behaving web apps in my sysadmin time to have any damn tolerance for actual company who does such a crappy job on their client-facing forum. And no, not just does shitty job, actually presents that as an excuse if client asks, why this is so slow lately... Seriously - fire this crappy-excuse-producing thing who sits on your sysadmin desk. In my own business I would additionallyt have one stern talking session with others who allow excuses like this to be presented to customers. Just leaves whole company looking incompetent, to say the least.

Re: Forum reliability

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:14 pm
by mtkvvv
...actually did press submit on previous message, went to have a smoke and came back - this thing was still waiting for response from server. Ended with 504 gateway timeout... Wonders never cease. Just be at least that much knowledgable that you need no users telling you how slow yous stuff is, do some damn trivial monitoring. Log your serving-times for example. Its not that hard. And no need to guess or assume anything. This isnt guessing matter. Its go and find out on first sign of such issues and go fix it -type of issue.

Re: Forum reliability

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:51 pm
by anav
Suggest medication or get some exercise for whatever is troubling you.

Re: Forum reliability

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:53 am
by pe1chl
It could be related to our email server, which is having issues. The forum is trying to send notification emails to people who subscribed to a certain topic, so some delays happen.
It has been like this for at least two days now. When you cannot get the email server to work, please disable the emails until you can. The forum is almost unusable now!

Re: Forum reliability

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:35 pm
by normis
Our email system is back online and the forum should also be working faster now.

Re: Forum reliability

Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:43 am
by sid5632
It could be related to our email server, which is having issues. The forum is trying to send notification emails to people who subscribed to a certain topic, so some delays happen.
But emails should be queued and sent asynchronously. Trying to do it synchronously just ends up jamming up the forum when the email service has a problem. As you found out.
It's stupid design.

Re: Forum reliability

Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:35 am
by pe1chl
Usually the e-mail from PHP is sent to a local e-mail server which immediately accepts it and then asynchronously delivers it to the destination.
So in that way it is asynchronous. However, when that e-mail server fails the PHP code will try for like half a minute to deliver the mail before continuing in the forum code.
That looks like what the forum was doing last week. Under such circumstances, unimportant mail should simply be temporarily disabled until the mail server is repaired.
(it can also be a good idea to have a second e-mail server that does only queuing for the primary one, and that can be used as a fallback while the primary server, which often has more functionality and thus is more complex, is being repaired)

Re: Forum reliability

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:02 pm
by normis
We can't teach PHPBB new tricks. It waits until all emails are sent, only then proceeds to load the page (after posting).

Re: Forum reliability

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:05 pm
by pe1chl
Yes that is why it is a good idea to have a queueing-only server that does not break down so easily.
E.g. when your forum is a separate machine from your e-mail, install a local SMTP server with smarthost set to the e-mail server and let the forum use 127.0.0.1 as the outgoing mail server.
Then the forum can "immediately" deliver its mail even when the e-mail server has problems, and that local SMTP server can deliver it later.
(just use the default mail server software for the distribution you use, usually something like exim, postfix, sendmail etc for which usually a simple config frontend is available on the distribution to set things like "only listen on 127.0.0.1" and "smarthost")

Re: Forum reliability

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:10 pm
by normis
Forum tries to connect to SMTP in any case. When the SMTP server was slow to respond, the slow posting took place.

Re: Forum reliability

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:50 pm
by pe1chl
Yes, but the point is that when you have a queuing-only server on localhost, it won't be slow to respond.

Re: Forum reliability

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:09 pm
by normis
right, somehow missed that idea. yes, you are right, this could help against such issues in the future.

Re: Forum reliability

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:10 pm
by Cha0s
I agree with pe1chl.

phpBB can also send mails using the native mail() function of PHP, which by default will send mails using sendmail executable to localhost.
This can be blazing fast since it doesn't even care if the local MTA is loaded or not or even running at all. It writes directly to the filesystem, which the MTA then picks up.

Then the local MTA can be configured as a smarthost and then push those phpBB mails to your actual outgoing mailserver with no impact whatsoever on the forum speed.