A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to the forum

06 May 2007

In my blog post last week about our new forums, I was both remarkably up-beat and singularly uninformative. Well, heck, I wrote the post at the beginning of the week when we were just about to switch to the new forums, but, because of one reason or another, we didn't. So, early on Friday morning, when we did switch over I just posted it with a huge sigh of relief without changing it.

Why should I change it? Well, a couple of reasons I suppose. 

The first was that on Friday morning the new forums were horribly unresponsive. Customers were reporting 10, 20, 30 second delays in opening up posts, in doing anything with the system at all. We were affected by this ourselves (nope, we don't have a hidden 100Gbit connection into the back of the server: it's hosted somewhere completely different from our offices): we use the newsgroups for internal communications between developers on a team. So all of a sudden the support team and I were looking at a meltdown, both between our developers and our customers. Yes, I know -- hindsight is wonderful -- we should have done more load testing, but we didn't and we were wrong.

We immediately got in touch with our hosting company to get more bandwidth and to throw more hardware at the problem. Slowly throughout Friday the responsiveness of the system got better. At the moment, it's pretty snappy, but then again, it's Sunday evening and only people with no real life, like me, are online ;-). We shall see what tomorrow brings.

The second reason for changing the original post is that I didn't know (or more likely Max told me but I promptly forgot) that the forum software (Community Server) supports NNTP. There was I holding a torch for the new forums and (sob) bye-bye newsgroups, when in reality you can have your cake and eat it too. You can use NNTP quite easily just as before in your newsgroup reader. This page shows you how.

Now, due warning: I'm told that Forte Agent 4.2 has problems with this NNTP server, but I'm going off now to try it myself (yes, it's what I use -- I'm old-fashioned).

So, my apologies for all the kerfuffle at the end of last week, but please give us a chance again with our new peer support system.

6 comment(s)
Bill Mullen

Well, Forte 3.3 has problems as well!  Something happened to the posters names and it prevent those that were mangled from being downloaded and would lock the thread for that newsgroup.  Deleting those headers fixed my problems with that, BUT.....

maybe whatever problem Agent is having is also keeping me from being able to use NNTP to post a message????

6 May, 2007
Julian Bucknall (DevExpress)

Bill (and others): I've tried Forte Agent 4.2 and, after a little problem with posting, all works fine for me with it. Check out my couple of posts in the Dicsussion newsgroup, especially this one: http://community.devexpress.com/forums/permalink/182906/182992/ShowThread.aspx#182992

Cheers, Julian

7 May, 2007
Kirby Turner

I'm more old fashion.  I use Agent 2.x  I love the simple interface.  Unfortunately it doesn't like the new newsgroup server.  I was able to download the message headers on my first attempt but downloading new messages report the error "431, No such header supported."  Guess it's time to look at a newer version of Agent or another news reader.

7 May, 2007
Bill Mullen


Due to the HTML content, I just upgraded to 4.2 but I am not seeing the messages rendered in HTML and so I have to scroll right (for miles on some messages).  Are you seeing the newer messages posted via the web based forums as HTML or plain text?

7 May, 2007
Julian Bucknall (DevExpress)

Kirby: When I purchased my new laptop with Windows Vista, I decided to upgrade to Agent 4.2 at the same time. I'll admit I haven't tried my older Agent (1.95) with the new news server.

Bill: I see them as HTML. I don't remember making a change to do so, so I assume it's a default somewhere. For instance I see the auto-added URL hyperlink at the bottom of every post.

Cheers, Julian

8 May, 2007

Despite our early issues with implementing the new forum software (the switchover was -- and I'm

8 July, 2007

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