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#126 2006-10-16 09:06:42

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: New Message Board Software

Probably greener with pay software, but I'm not forking out the cash (and I don't see why we should get the Mars Society to fork out the licensing for new forum software). A good 30% of this forums functionality is a hack, I had to hand paste the code (since the addons it has are not exactly pretty and the autoinstallers didn't work with the addons we do have). Fortunately phpBB is well known so theoretically a switch would be relatively painless due to support for phpBB posts, etc. One of these days I'll work on a New Mars theme or something so things look nicer, but otherwise I think phpBB is the best free software we got. If you can think of anything else, though, feel free to mention it.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#127 2006-10-16 12:23:07

noosfractal
Member
From: Biosphere 1
Registered: 2005-10-04
Posts: 824
Website

Re: New Message Board Software

Actually, I was asking for someone else.  They're thinking about starting a web BB, and phpBB looks good to me, but I wanted to see if you'd say "... if I was able to start again from scratch, I'd choose ..."

Sounds like you're pretty happy with phpBB though.


Fan of Red Oasis

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#128 2006-10-23 11:13:12

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: New Message Board Software

Holy crap! Just looked at usage statistics. We got over 73k hits a day for September! 3185 unique visits, with an average of 23 loads per visitor. 2.2 million freaking hits! Insane!

We haven't had that much traffic since MER landed. Frankly I think September was a whole new record in and of itself. No wonder the site has been having SQL errors every now and again. You guys have been busy!


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#129 2006-11-04 14:54:33

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: New Message Board Software

Holy crap! Just looked at usage statistics. We got over 73k hits a day for September! 3185 unique visits, with an average of 23 loads per visitor. 2.2 million freaking hits! Insane!

Does 3185 unique visits mean that number of different IPs and probably a similar number of different people reading the forum in September?

Statistics are wonderful things ... more please!  October?


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#130 2006-11-05 10:31:12

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: New Message Board Software

Yeah, unique visits signifies unique IPs. And we get about 3k a day on average (though Sept. had a record unique visits of 4600).

Looks like October was the same as Sept, maybe 50 less unique visits and a few thousand less hits, but overall the same.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#131 2006-11-07 12:55:10

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: New Message Board Software

Yeah, unique visits signifies unique IPs. And we get about 3k a day on average (though Sept. had a record unique visits of 4600).

Looks like October was the same as Sept, maybe 50 less unique visits and a few thousand less hits, but overall the same.

Thanks for the numbers Josh ...  so about 4500 per day, that's a lot of people! How many unique IPs/visits per month?


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#132 2006-11-08 10:42:23

maxie
Banned
From: Europe
Registered: 2005-02-15
Posts: 84

Re: New Message Board Software

How many of those are actually spam bots ?  roll

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#133 2006-11-08 13:45:28

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: New Message Board Software

We got 96k unique visits in Oct.

Hmm, seems Google is responsible for over a million hits last month. I'm going to have to look at changing the bots.txt file to something more managable (but it's noce that all of New Mars is cached on Google). It seems the more active the forums are the more active Google is at caching.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#134 2006-11-13 06:47:20

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: New Message Board Software

We got 96k unique visits in Oct.

That is farking incredible! From what I can see there's only a few hundred that post here each month, that's a reader/writer ratio of over 1000:1 - it just goes to show how much influence this forum has; so everyone should watch what they say smile

Hmm, seems Google is responsible for over a million hits last month. I'm going to have to look at changing the bots.txt file to something more managable (but it's noce that all of New Mars is cached on Google). It seems the more active the forums are the more active Google is at caching.

It's good that Google index everything, it will help people find the forum when they search for anything Mars related.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#135 2006-11-16 14:56:53

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: New Message Board Software

Adrian notified me of the calendar mod being disabled by our webhost for overusing resources. Either a bot hit it trying to scrape for links or someone was abusing it. I never noticed. In any case, the calendar function is disabled probably indefinitely, since I never saw anyone use it. It shouldn't adversely affect the rest of the forum, but let me know if it does. I'll be physically removing it later on so it won't even be noticed.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#136 2007-01-11 15:34:53

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: New Message Board Software

Could the description of the Pictures of Mars forum be deleted or replaced with something like "Paintings, images, photos, videos, animations, movies"

Currently it says:

"The second World Space Week event by New Mars (October 4th-10th)"

Thanks.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#137 2007-04-04 22:48:09

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: New Message Board Software

Web traffic died in Feb and March. I mean. Died. Half our 60k hits a day. Could it have been a drop in spammers hitting the forums? Or was it actual activity. In any case, hope my absence isn't hurting the forums too much. I know this sort of thing wanes and flows, but yeah.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#138 2007-04-04 22:51:20

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: New Message Board Software

I moved "Pictures of Mars" to a more suitable spot.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#139 2007-04-04 23:54:31

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: New Message Board Software

Hi Josh, good to see you back!

There seems to have been less posting in the past month or so in the Acheron Labs forums, maybe it's a seasonal thing. Spammers can't read, so it's doubtful that blocking them would cause much change. If search engines are blocked then hits would be affected as new readers wouldn't find NewMars. BTW type "Mars" into google and see how far down NewMars is in the index. How would new readers find the forum? Another point, the forum went down at least once in the last few months, IIRC it was unavailable for almost a day. Was it down more often than usual?

Thanks for moving Pictures of Mars into the lab area.

see you in #space smile


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#140 2007-04-05 01:17:21

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: New Message Board Software

NewMars is the first hit on Google for "Mars forum." Top of the third page on Google for "Mars wiki." (It used to be the first, we need to change that, think I'll change some keywords.) Definitely not blocking the search engines. Today we had 21 'guests.' It was a web search engine from somewhere, forgot where, livesearch or some esoteric search site. Google tends to be pretty conservative and doesn't hammer the site.

When I was here more regularly it was going down about once every few months. Pair.com does maintainance and stuff like that, and of course the SQL server is prone to go down or be inaccessable during heavy periods (it's all shared hosting). This will likely be the case when Phoenix lands sometime this August. (Can't wait!) MSL should also be pretty fun, but that's a few years off still. Every year it seems in the future we'll be landing on Mars. Exciting times ahead.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#141 2007-04-06 18:53:06

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: New Message Board Software

I'm going to be doing INTENSIVE modifications to the forums tonight, it should be late at night, but if you cannot access the forums don't worry about it. I found a mod that should stop the spammers in their tracks (except for the manual ones which *will* be able to get through) and allow people to register and post as soon as they confirm their email.

So just a heads up, LOTS of modifications going on tonight.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#142 2007-04-07 02:59:19

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: New Message Board Software

I've made quite a few updates to the forum software, most notably removing some unused features. I think a clean/fresh install is better than what we had before, just for efficiencies sake.

I'm going to add a few bits of functionality back of course (such as "keep unread posts," and a link to "recent posts" again, so don't worry. I just had to do this to update us to something better.

Keep watching, you should see some... interesting developments in the... "look" of New Mars.

Take care all.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#143 2007-04-07 11:21:49

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: New Message Board Software

Instead of sleeping like a normal person would, I stayed up and did a bunch of modifications to the boards.

Functionality should be about where it was before. The "advanced profiles" are gone, though. I don't think they're worth the hassle (they make upgrading the system infinitely difficult). Being up to date with anti-spam software is more important.

Speaking of anti-spam software, it's really funny to see these spammers try to log in. The catchpa system we have is actually hard for a human to get past, much less a bot. It's the most convoluted catchpa system I've ever seen.

Also, all new users will have to put in their 'location' when they register. I thought that would be a nice extra barrier for spammers. Plus it's nice to know where our users are from.

I have one more thing in store for the boards. Then things should be back to normal. I hope the interruptions last night weren't too bothersome (there were quite a many, given all the issues I was having).


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#144 2007-04-07 17:28:05

John Creighton
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: New Message Board Software

I heard of a really great mod that other boards have to stop spam. If a new user makes a post containing a link it is automatically moved to the trash folder for approval.

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#145 2007-04-07 20:06:11

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,353

Re: New Message Board Software

I know that Bad Astronomy and Universe Today Forum does something simular until you have posted enough to justify it being changed.

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#146 2007-04-07 23:56:05

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: New Message Board Software

I'll look for mods in that vein, but this new catchpa system is seriously the most insane thing I have ever seen. Just try registering, you'll see what I mean. It's beautiful.

I might even need to add a little message in there saying "No it's not broken, you just haven't figured it out yet!"

And yeah I did test it out and all that. Registering works, just takes some time to get through the catchpa.

So I'm going to be adding a theme soon (in the next week), and I will probably set it as a secondary theme; however, I may make it the primary theme if enough of you guys like it. smile


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#147 2007-04-08 02:36:19

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: New Message Board Software

Wow Josh you have been busy - great job keeping the forum working in the middle of so many changes!


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#148 2007-09-23 12:00:12

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: New Message Board Software

Josh, there's an increasing demand to move topics to the "Intelligent Alien Life" forum, but it's not in the move list ....  OMG have aliens got into the board software?


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#149 2007-09-24 05:06:43

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: New Message Board Software

it is in the move list, I moved topics there recently.

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#150 2007-09-24 09:05:23

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: New Message Board Software

Thanks, it works now ... maybe it was a browser bug.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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