• A blessed Nativity / Theophany season to all! For users new and old: the forum rules were streamlined when we transitioned to the new software. Please ensure that you are familiar with them. Continued use of the forum means that you (a) know the rules, and (b) pledge that you'll abide by them. For more information, check out the OrthodoxChristianity.Net Rules section. (There are only 2 threads there - Rules, and Administrative Structure.)

Major Upgrades This Week, and New Security Features (SSL)

Alpha60

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For the next week, we will be doing some heavy lifting to improve security, prepare the forum for a software upgrade later in the year, and possibly, God willing, improve the graphics art.  We have a frontend developer and artist we are in talks with now about volunteering, but if anyone else would like to step up and join the team, you are also welcome.  Mr. Hudson and I would be thrilled if we had an entire User Experience and Artwork Department, with multiple volunteers, so that we can make these forums absolutely beautiful.

If you enjoy graphics design and know CSS and html (and perhaps Javascript), we are looking for a frontend  graphics artist and interface designer.  Please send a PM to the Tech Support account, or Alpha60 if you are interested.


Most of the planned work will be primarily non-disruptive; if there are service interruptions, they might last 15-20 minutes or so.  We will be doing some longer maintenance, but as always, most of it will happen on late Saturday night and Sunday morning, when traffic is at its weekly low thanks to the piety of OCNet members.  I will make every effort to provide at least a two hour warning before any work where we may need to go offline for more than 20 minutes.

We intend to change the URL of the forum, but it will still be at the domain name OrthodoxChristianity.net, and when we do this change, all links will be corrected, forwarding will be in place, and the most users might need to do is update bookmarks they might have to specific threads, although we will try to negate that.  This URL change will allow us to deploy SSL, so that connections to the forum are secure and encrypted.  As you may know, the URLs of SSL websites start with “https”, whereas ordinary websites start with “http”.  The “https://“ preface tells your browser to connect to our server on port 443 rather than port 80, and to set up an encrypted connection.

We might, if any users request it, keep an unencrypted HTTP access to the site online, in the event any users have proxied Internet connections that block https.  If this is you, please let us know.
 

WPM

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Saying Prayers about OC.net.
 

Alpha60

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All users should be advised of impending downtime tonight in excess of 20 minutes, starting probably at midnight Eastern.
 

Alpha60

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There may well be disruptions tonight in excess of 20 minutes.  Also due to a delay, the maintenance period is being extended to tomorrow.
 

Tech Support

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Just a reminder, all users should be aware of possible downtime tonight.  I suggest you copy and paste to a note file any long or complex posts you write, in the event we go down before you are able to post them.
 

FinnJames

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I look forward to the day when that overly lengthy "In preparation for major software upgrades [blah, blah, blah]..." notice at the top of the page disappears and it once again becomes possible to read what one is looking for without having to scroll down the page.
 

Alpha60

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FinnJames said:
I look forward to the day when that overly lengthy "In preparation for major software upgrades [blah, blah, blah]..." notice at the top of the page disappears and it once again becomes possible to read what one is looking for without having to scroll down the page.
This can happen immediately; you can easily make the forum upgrade status notification disappear, by clicking on the arrow next to where it says Simple Machines Forum, and the notice will be collapsed; if you wish to see your avatar and the forum news again, simply press the same button now.

Regarding the notice itself, the day it will be removed is coming very soon.  I am required to inform members about possible outages as we conduct our upgrades, but this process is nearing completion.  We are about to upgrade the forum software, and Anastasios and I will be working out the implementation of that tomorrow. 

I want to apologize for any inconvenience caused by the notifications I am required to make, and if you need any help with using the collapse feature, that will hide the news, let me know.
 

Alpha60

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By the way, I am obliged to inform members there may be a bump tonight; in the past few nights I have been able to avoid any downtime, but tonight I expect there will be some.
 
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