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#3426 2024-04-10 17:38:57

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut ... the report in post #3425 came after the installer said it finished, and I opened MySQL to find out if it did anything.

Now I'll try index.php to see if anything comes up ...

The first action item that showed up was a request to remove the install directory. I did that, and now the forum is running!

NewMarsOnphpBB3.com

This is a demo for NewMars

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Last visit was: Wed Apr 10, 2024 11:24 pm

It is currently Wed Apr 10, 2024 11:43 pm
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I had to remove the rest of the page because AISE objected to something.

I ** think ** I might be able to replicate this success on the Azure system.  We still have 5 days to play with it.  I'll try to have it set up tomorrow.

(th)

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#3427 2024-04-10 18:02:43

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut .... I opened the Admin page and will try to show you what it looks like:

OK ... Apache objects to something in the text...

Administration Control Panel

Admin index • Board index

    General
    Forums
    Posting
    Users and Groups
    Permissions
    Customise
    Maintenance
    System

    Manage users
    Manage groups
    Manage forums
    Moderator log
    Spiders/Robots
    PHP information

Board configuration

AISE objected...

Client communication

    Authentication
    Email settings
    Jabber settings

Server configuration

    Cookie settings
    Server settings
    Security settings
    Load settings
    Help support phpBB
    Search settings

<snip>

(th)

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#3428 2024-04-10 18:23:36

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut re testing of phpBB3....

I added SpaceNut as a user and sent email from SpaceNut and to SpaceNut.  I'll find out tomorrow if those emails went out.

Now that we have at least ** one ** system running, I am hopeful that it will be possible to eventually slog through the debugging of FluxBB to find out what it is balking at, and fix that. My guess is the problem is probably very minor, because the software kbd512 updated is identical to what we have running on the NewMars site except that kdb512 made the changes necessary for FluxBB to run with modern PHP. 

I think I'll attempt to set up phpBB3 on Azure so you can play with it for a day or two.

Conversion of the FluxBB system to run on phpBB3 will be a non-trivial exercise.

ChatGPT4 thinks there may already exist some procedures to perform the upgrade/conversion. If you want to look for anything along those lines, I'd be happy to test them on my development system.  I don't think there is time enough to try anything on the Azure site.

(th)

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#3429 2024-04-10 18:34:29

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut re phpBB3

I just found the first snag ... the default is to require a moderator to approve a post.

That is a setup option (I'm sure). 

I just logged in as Admin and approved the post by SpaceNut.

Boy! That is a chore we don't need at NewMars.

(th)

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#3430 2024-04-10 19:15:09

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut .... the permissions structure is hard for me to figure out...

I'm still getting this:

Re: Welcome to phpBB3

Post by SpaceNut » Wed Apr 10, 2024 9:11 pm

This post is not visible to other users until it has been approved by a moderator.
This is another test post from SpaceNut

I wonder if (by any chance) the system has you in the "newly registered users" group?  I checked registered users and they do not have to deal with moderator approval.

I checked and you are listed as a member of Registered Users.

*** The private message subsystem seems to be working:

tahanson43206
    Site Admin   
    Posts: 3
    Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2024 7:24 pm

20240410 Test email from phpBB3

Sent: Wed Apr 10, 2024 8:12 pm
From: tahanson43206
Recipient: SpaceNut
This is a test email from tahanson43206 on phpBB3 to SpaceNut on the same.

(th)

Apparently it is not "email" in the sense of outside transmission ... It is an internal message service. That makes sense.

Update ... you ** are ** in the Newly registered users group.

So! Apparently you are in ** both ** Registered and Newly Registered groups.

That was the answer. As soon as I removed you from the Newly Registered User group, the Registered User group took effect, and now you are able to post and even create new topics!  Nice! I definitely think this will be of interest to you in the Azure test environment. I'll try to get it set up tomorrow.

(th)

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#3431 2024-04-11 06:36:02

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut re possible new forums ...

I'd like to suggest a new forum that would go into the group: Acheron Labs

The new Forum would be Practical Engineering

A prime example would be a topic for kbd512 and Calliban to develop...

The title would reflect their intense interest in and work on Trough Style Solar Power collection and conversion to electricity or useful thermal power.

We have significant talent available in the current membership, and it might be possible to enlist one or more of our members to assist.

In particular, Void has demonstrated skill in creating visual images to illustrate concepts.

In the case of a Solar Trough Style system, images of the system as a whole, and of individual components, would help greatly to communicate the ideas developed by our creative members.

Above all, the objective of the new Forum, and of that Topic in particular, is to move from endless discussion with no achievement, to a combination of discussion, practical construction, testing and reporting on results, discussion and repeat, until we have a working system or have learned it is impossible to implement whatever the idea might be.

I'd like to see Large Ship move from theory to practice, but that is so much larger the Trough Solar Power system would be a good warmup exercise.

(th)

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#3432 2024-04-11 08:03:47

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut ...

Dr. Dartnell's phpBB 3 site has been successfully hacked.... there are now more than 24000 "members".

What is worse, the number of "registered" users who are online is now significant. I have written to Dr. Dartnell, but if he is not looking at the email from this forum he will not know of the problem.

However, we have the opportunity to work with phpBB 3.3.11 (if I get it set up today) .... I think your policy of blocking self-registration is a good idea, so I think we should see if we can implement it.  Here is a set of suggestions from ChatGPT4:

Enhancing Forum Security and Managing Spam on phpBB

Hello NewMars Forum Members,

In light of recent challenges with spammers and unauthorized user registrations, I've compiled a set of recommendations aimed at bolstering our forum's defenses. These strategies are crucial for maintaining the integrity and usability of our community space.

1. Enable CAPTCHA for Registration
To deter automated spam registrations, it's vital to implement a strong CAPTCHA system during the registration process. phpBB supports various CAPTCHA plugins, including Google's reCAPTCHA, known for its effectiveness.

2. Use Email Verification
Activating email verification adds an additional layer of security by requiring new registrants to verify their email address. This step can help filter out spammers at the outset.

3. Employ Anti-Spam Extensions
Numerous anti-spam extensions are available for phpBB that significantly reduce spam registrations. These tools are instrumental in identifying and blocking potential spammers.

4. Restrict Email Domains
If certain domains are recurrently used for spam, consider blacklisting those email domains from registering on the forum.

5. Set Newly Registered Users to Limited Permissions
Placing new users in a "Newly Registered Users" group with limited permissions can be effective. Their posts could require moderator approval, serving as a preliminary filter until they've reached a certain number of approved posts.

6. Monitor and Regularly Update
Ensuring the forum software and any extensions are up to date is critical. Updates often include security patches for newly discovered vulnerabilities.

7. Regularly Review and Clean Up User Accounts
Periodically removing spam accounts and reviewing user registrations can keep the forum cleaner and more secure.

Conclusion:
Maintaining a secure and welcoming forum environment is a continual effort that requires vigilance and active management. By implementing these strategies, we can significantly enhance our forum's security posture and ensure a better experience for all legitimate users.

Should you have any questions or wish to contribute further to this discussion, please don't hesitate to respond. Together, we can maintain the vibrant and secure community that NewMars Forum strives to be.

Your fellow forum enthusiast,

[ChatGPT4]

(th)

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#3433 2024-04-11 08:06:49

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

SpaceNut ... we are still running http://

I like that because my older PC is able to work with the system.

However, it might be worth upgrading to https:// ... there is a fee involved in obtaining a certificate.

Mars Society is paying the bills for this web site.  The additional cost of a security certificate might be a concern.

(th)

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#3434 2024-04-11 10:21:34

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,078

Re: Housekeeping

Adding catchcha to a site does not stop non-human from getting by this as it is just advanced programing that now is free from AI.

Part of the new member requires an initial email link to be able to activate the username for an automated system and by shutting down this we stopped hacking garbage from piling up. AS computers can also defeat this path to username creation these days.

This site did have anti spamming and other but even these got defeated in the past on this forum as it resulted in 2005 and in 2008 to crash the site. Other sites also did this to stop hacking as well ending with sites hacked and losing control or having them crash as well. Mardrive and Red colony no longer exit due to this happening, and I am wondering if the same has happened to James old site Mars News that has a link at the top of the page.

The email domain blacklisting will not change much as they will just go and get one that is not from Gmail or Russia or other so as to bypass this blocking method.

Not requiring a username to view seems to be working so setting up a different ability to post really does not change for the means to block once granting any means to post means a verify for the untrusted user to have a board read a post before allowing it. This was tried for a period of time, but it became too time consuming to make it enjoyable as a user for that person as they were not paid to perform this level of screening.

item 6 and 7 seem to be about the best we can do with volunteers running the site.

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#3435 2024-04-11 10:48:09

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut re #3434

Thanks for taking a look at the security suggestions.

I'll try to have the phpBB3 forum running later today.

(th)

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#3436 2024-04-12 20:59:28

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut ...

The phpBB3 system seems to be working on the Azure account.

Please log in as soon as possible and change the password.

(th)

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#3437 2024-04-13 06:12:17

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For  SpaceNut... we have over two pages in our Active list.

This amazing performance is due primarily to contributions by Mars_B4_Moon, with substantial contributions by other Members!

Bravo to everyone for giving this forum an opportunity to reach what I  hope is a larger Internet audience.

I had a chance to perform a Google search recently, and this forum is generating a ** lot ** of citations there, and I expect the same is true of other search engines.

(th)

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#3438 2024-04-13 06:51:05

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut re Internet congestion ....

Internet congestion happens here frequently... it usually affects each computer equally.

Today an unusual situation showed up ... a Chromebook bogged down and was unable to maintain connections to sites (such as newmars.com/forums). Meanwhile, an Ubuntu 10.04 system using the exact same router was unaffected by the situation.

A difference (I just thought of) is that the Ubuntu system is direct wired to the router, and the Chromebook uses a wireless connection.

Ping on the Ubuntu system shows the connection to the Internet by the router is clear. There were no packet drops, and response time was normal.

TaTa!  The problem may have to do with wireless.

To be continued...

(th)

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#3439 2024-04-13 09:58:16

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut re hacker attack at newmars.com...

The web site seems to be back... https://newmars.com/ worked and it looks normal.

Congratulations and thanks to whoever worked on that problem.

(th)

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#3440 2024-04-14 07:54:38

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut ...

It is the weekend ... I'm hoping you can spare a few minutes to change the password in your test account in the Azure system.

The password I entered was intended to be a ** temporary ** password. I cannot upgrade your account to Admin until you change that password.

Remember to Refresh the web page if you get the database timeout error.  I'm assuming the issue has to do with the environment being a Virtual Machine that has to be reloaded when you make a request.

***
I recognize you may still be recovering from the severe weather that hit you and your neighbors, so you may not have time this week. I've decided to take the risk of keeping the Azure site going past the drop-dead date. It will be available at least until the next monthly billing, in May.

(th)

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#3441 2024-04-15 08:23:44

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut re #3440

Thanks again for changing the password!

*** This post is about how to shut off registrations... You were able to accomplish that in the FluxBB forum, and I would like to know how to do that in the test forum.  Right now I think it makes sense to allow registrations for as many forum members as would like to learn about the new software.  However, when we go live (assuming we can figure out how to convert the database) we would want to shut off the unrestricted registrations and continue email requests for admission. 

Dr. Dartnell's forum now has over 26000 spammer accounts, and the number is growing rapidly. If I ever hear back from Dr. Dartnell, I'd like to be able to tell him how to turn off the Registration feature, as you have done for NewMars.

PS ... I'd like to learn how to change the message in the Registration page ... right now it just says registrations are closed. I'd like that text to be updated to explain how to apply for membership using the email pathway.

My guess is that the FluxBB Admin feature would allow you to change the text, but it might require Webmaster changes to the underlying php code. Fortunately, kbd512 is making excellent progress is learning about PHP and the FluxBB software.  He has already visited (and changed) most (if not all) of the PHP modules of FluxBB.

(th)

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#3442 2024-04-15 14:04:02

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut ....

This post is about debugging the FluxBB code prepared by kbd512.

The updated software has been balking at a point where it is interacting with the database.  An error message appeared, stating that maintenance was underway, but the system had stopped running.

I asked ChatGPT4 for help (once again) and together we configured Visual Studio Code to perform step-by-step debugging of the php script d b_u p d a te .php.

To my surprise, a l o c k file had been placed, and the error message did not explain it had found the l o c k file.

The update is now running, and the system is very busy. The CPU's are all busy, with one running at 90%.  The hard drive light is blinking steadily.

kbd512 had this running a couple of weeks ago, and I let it run overnight, but apparently it did not finish, because it left the l o c k file in place.

I'll let it run again, and **this** time I know to look for the l o c k file.

It sure would be nice to get the existing FluxBB system running, if we can.

It's going to be a **lot** of work to try to prepare a conversion procedure to go from FluxbB to phpBB3.

For all ... the AISE error occurred  when I used the word "l o c k" without spaces.

*** Update a few minutes later!

Your forum database was successfully updated. You may now go to the forum index.

Oh well! We have another mystery to solve ... the index.php file now generates a blank page.

More debugging ahead, apparently.

(th)

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#3443 2024-04-15 21:08:38

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut ... unbelievably, the updated FluxBB software is working on my development PC, with the restored Database.

Happy Days are Here Again (from Depression)...

Total number of registered users: 19,630
Total number of topics: 8.290 << Production is now up to 8,435
Total number of posts: 211,613 << Production is now up to 217,652

Newest registered user: GStanley2023

I would not expect to be able to log in... I'll try anyway...

Unbelievable!  I'm logged in!  The passwords survived the restore from backup.  Amazing!

It appears we might be able to upgrade the existing FluxBB after all.

There is definitely more work to be done. Visual Studio Code flagged 213 errors that it found. They are not fatal but they cause warning messages.  Plus, I'm seeing the Query's which is not something we see in the production version.

I just tested users, active and search! All OK!

(th)

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#3444 2024-04-16 11:28:20

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut ....

Here is a link to the updated FluxBB system as prepared by kbd512 and run successfully with the restored database.

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/nar0frk4 … 4fmoa&dl=0

I am on my way to installing the package at Azure, to see if it works there without the query output.

The query output may be showing up because I configured PHP to work with Xdebug and other tools in order to debug the package using Visual Studio Code.

Update: FluxBB (as updated by kbd512) is installed at Azure. It is not accepting logins. It is possible (in fact likely) that I entered the wrong password into the file that allows access to the MySQL database. However, I decided to run db_update.php on the database anyway, because that seemed to be necessary on the development PC.  The run will take a while so I'll come back to check on it later.

(th)

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#3445 2024-04-16 14:22:46

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut re phpBB3 Categories...

A member of the phpBB forum who goes by "Myaj" explained that:

Hi SpaceNut ...

The answer to get new Categories to display is to copy the permissions from Meta New Mars category.

Submit the change, and the category will display.

(th)

Another member added that you need at least one topic in the new Category for it to show up.

(th)

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#3446 2024-04-17 13:27:08

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut ....

FluxBB 1.5.11 is only partially running on my development PC and at Azure.

A few minutes ago I started a work sequence intended to clear all the faults that remain in FluxBB ...

There are several hundred faults, but I'm not sure of the exact number. Each one will require some time, so at this point I have no idea how long this is going to take. Meanwhile, we ** do ** have the option of moving to phpBB3.

Please continue learning about the Admin functions of phpBB3.

I have created some of the new Categories and Forums that we talked about recently.

I'm hoping we might get some feedback from our members about the proposed new Categories and Forums.

(th)

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#3447 2024-04-17 13:28:39

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut ...

While creating the new Categories and Forums today, it crossed my mind that Large Ship might deserve a Category of it's own.

That project is stalled at the moment, but it is important enough that we might consider restarting it in a new and considerably larger work space.

(th)

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#3448 2024-04-17 20:35:33

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut re current phase of FluxBB software updates ...

As reported earlier, the FluxBB package (as updated by kbd512 to allow the package to run with modern PHP) still has issues.

kbd512 did a terrific job of getting the software to run at all, but it is limping.  Visual Studio Code says there are several hundred faults in the code, which dates to 2012 and this is 2024.  A lot has happened to PHP since 2012. 

In my work session this evening, there were about 100 lines of bright red warning messages at the bottom of the Visual Studio Code display for index.php, which is just ** one ** of the 69 or so modules in FluxBB. At the end of the work session, all those warnings were gone, but FluxBB is still misbehaving as before.  The queries are still showing up when they should not, and the results from the queries are missing fields.  In addition, any attempt to post an update causes a blank browser, which is a sign that a fault has occurred but there is no display provided for the browser.

Meanwhile, the phpBB3 system is fully populated with Categories and Forums, so I hope you will find a few minutes to visit the site and start looking at the Admin features.  I hope you like the new Categories I created as a follow up to the discussion a few weeks ago about how we might add new Categories to the existing Fluxbb package we are running.

(th)

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#3449 2024-04-18 08:21:26

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,595

Re: Housekeeping

For SpaceNut re phpBB3 Demo forum....

Please take a look at the new Categories created in the demo forum...

These can be (and hopefully will be) a model for you to consider for the existing NewMars forum.

I recommend that if you like one or more of these ideas, you consider asking for consensus of the four Admins before you implement them.

There are some quirks to the process of creating a new Category, which I would be happy to share with you if you are interested.

I have no way of knowing how the quirks of phpBB3 might compare to FluxBB, but if FluxBB differs in details, I'll bet the overall process is similar.

(th)

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#3450 2024-04-18 08:44:08

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 7,490

Re: Housekeeping

Run the phpBB3 software through your Visual Studio tool to see how many probable coding errors that software contains.  If the tool finds fewer major faults with the code in phpBB3 vs fluxBB, then let's roll with phpBB3.  We can apply our own CSS to maintain most of the "look-and-feel" of the old forum software.  phpBB3 software is maintained, at least for now, and it runs on the latest version of PHP, MySQL, and Apache.  The goal here is not to develop our own custom forum software, it's to ensure that we have a supported / maintained forum software code base that runs on the latest versions of PHP / MySQL / Apache, so that we have to contend with fewer hacker annoyances and might be able to get a "fix" for a code error.  The fluxBB forum software is defunct.  The world has moved on since it was created, so we must move on with it.

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