Forum updates

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Xan
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Forum updates

Post by Xan » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:44 pm

Hi folks,

There are some under-the-hood updates going on, which shouldn't affect anything about how things look or act, unless something breaks.

A few weeks ago the forum's server was upgraded from Debian Stretch to Debian Buster. It turns out that Debian Buster no longer has the cURL library for PHP5, which silently broke the "Stop Forum Spam" extension on the forum. This was only discovered today, and it explains why so much spam has been getting through lately.

phpBB 3.2, which we've been running for a while, can run on PHP7. So today the issue with the missing cURL library was fixed by switching to PHP7.

That resulted in some topics (most notably the Gold Scream Room, but also many others) displaying blank white pages. That's because some pages require particular PHP modules which have the PHP5 version installed on the server but not the PHP7 version.

If you notice anything broken in the next while, that kind of thing is likely to be the reason. Just let me know if you find something like that, and probably a quick module installation is the answer.
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Re: Forum updates

Post by boglerdude » Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:33 am

Howbout a dark skin. And whats your avatar?
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Re: Forum updates

Post by dualstow » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:20 am

Thank you
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Re: Forum updates

Post by Xan » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:25 am

I found a set of dark styles ("Digi") and installed them, then discovered that the board was set to not allow users to select their own styles. I've changed that setting, so now you can go to your User Control Panel, Board Preferences, and select a Board Style. Any of the Digi ones are dark.

Personally I use the Firefox "Dark Mode" extension which works well on the default theme. I hadn't considered using a dark theme; that might be better.

The avatar is the Bonnie Blue Flag, the flag of the short-lived Republic of West Florida, which seceded from Spain after the Louisiana Purchase. Whether West Florida was Spanish or French was disputed, but it didn't make a whole lot of difference to the residents, until the US purchased any territory that was French, and then there was a big difference! They were successful in getting President Madison to declare that West Florida had been part of the Purchase, and so the territory was part of the USA. Their flag has been the inspiration for other flags, especially the current Lone Star flag of Texas. I often drive on Interstate 12, which bypasses I-10 north of Lake Pontchartrain, and it is designated the "West Florida Republic Parkway" and has signs with this flag. It has the connotation of "a little Republic of our very own".
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Re: Forum updates

Post by dualstow » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:34 am

Digi works 👍

Interesting about the flag. I’d always assumed it was a TX flag of the past.
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Re: Forum updates

Post by Xan » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:56 am

The Burnet Flag, clearly a direct descendant of the Bonnie Blue, was the first official Texas flag until 1839. But I like the white better than yellow.
Image

The Lorenzo de Zavala flag is a cool version:
Image

One other interesting note, and I'm not sure how intentional this was, but the logo of the Dallas Cowboys is basically the Bonnie Blue with the colors inverted.
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Re: Forum updates

Post by Ad Orientem » Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:31 pm

Appreciate the update. Of course I didn't understand a word beyond the occasional "the." But thanks for keeping the lights on.

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Re: Forum updates

Post by dualstow » Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:47 pm

I assume if I get PM notifications but then there are no new PMs that a spammer has been squashed. Is that right?
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Re: Forum updates

Post by Xan » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:39 pm

dualstow wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:47 pm
I assume if I get PM notifications but then there are no new PMs that a spammer has been squashed. Is that right?
Yes, sorry. Apparently one of those accounts was PM'ing like there's no tomorrow. I've been getting bounce messages for long-idle members whose emails are no longer good, and just this afternoon figured out those were PM notices.

I believe I've removed any more such emails from the mail queue, and the PMs themselves were removed when the spammers were banned.
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Re: Forum updates

Post by drumminj » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:47 pm

Thank you for the effort you put into keeping this place running, Xan!
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Re: Forum updates

Post by Tyler » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:55 pm

Xan wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:39 pm
dualstow wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:47 pm
I assume if I get PM notifications but then there are no new PMs that a spammer has been squashed. Is that right?
Yes, sorry. Apparently one of those accounts was PM'ing like there's no tomorrow.
Ah -- that explains the deleted PM I also received from someone with zero posts.

Thanks for running a tight ship.
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Re: Forum updates

Post by Mountaineer » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:42 am

My thanks as well, Xan. Your housekeeping and responsiveness is top notch! :)
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