Site Migration Status / Known Issues

If you’re reading this message, then you’ve connected to our new, Windows Azure-hosted server instance.

Through December 1st, we’ll still be experimenting with performance-enhancement options. If you run into anything odd, and it persists for more than an hour, please leave a comment here. Or, if you’re unable to do so, send an email to [email protected] (you should know the domain name to use since you’re on this site).

One thing to keep a close eye on: we’ve enabled some DNS-based security via CloudFlare. With our old server, this periodically went awry and would display a “site not available” error from CloudFlare. We’re trying it again, but we’re prepared to turn it off if it’s wacky. Often, reloading the page clears the error, but we’d like to know if it’s happening.

As it stands, we’ve gotten page load times for a typical forums discussion page (pretty much our worst-case scenario) down to under one second, with Page Speed and YSlow scores of over 90%. Based on load testing, we should be able to maintain good response times even under more than double our typical user load.

Known issues:

  • The process of taking the site data from a database, into text files, and back into a database invariably results in some off characters cropping up here and there, especially where the original content contained special characters like “em dashes,” curly quotes, and so on. We’re making an effort to fix these in articles and permanent pages, but will not be doing so in the forums.
  • If you posted new content (such as a forums question or response) late Wednesday night (November 27th), that content may have been lost in the migration. There was a bit of a problem with the backup and cutover process, and we apologize for any inconvenience.

Potential issues to be on the lookout for:

  • We’re employing a number of performance enhancements, including reverse proxying, deferred Javascript loading, a Content Delivery Network (CDN), and so on. These can all present problems, so if you notice anything unusual, “missing,” or non-functional, please point it out – and include your browser version. If you have the ability to try from another network (e.g., home vs. work), please do so – it makes a difference and helps troubleshooting.


2 thoughts on “Site Migration Status / Known Issues

  1. Dave Wyatt

    The forums were pretty quick on the old site, so I don’t really notice a difference. The Comments and other admin pages are much faster now, though! They used to time out quite a bit, and now they’re loading in just a couple seconds.

    There does seem to have been some quirky corruption in the data migration, though. Check out ; there are a lot of characters in the text that weren’t there before ( , ’ , etc). Not sure if it’s worth the effort to fix, though it might be a straightforward find and replace kind of script run against the Azure site’s database.

  2. Don Jones

    The weirdness probably came from the data being dumped to UTF8 and then loaded back again. Those were probably Word em dashes and smart quotes. Sadly, a search and replace in MySQL is far from trivial. I’ll put it on the list, though.

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