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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Upgraded from 2.4 to 2.5 and now broken (Read 18,649 times)
Bill Myers
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Re: Upgraded from 2.4 to 2.5 and now broken
Reply #82 - Jul 1st, 2012 at 12:54am
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Sorry, but the quote function seems to be down for me at this time, so ...

Last Edit: Today at 1:05pm by sausagenet:
Quote:
All I suggested was a very simple way of making troubleshooting much easier to give Yabb a chance of being installed by a larger set of people who might not understand PERL, IIS, NTFS permissions, etc, or many days devoted to learning it!

Agreed!

I've advocated for this all along; developing a user friendly installation package for YaBB.

Some people have stated that this can't be done, but of course it can be done because other forum software have already done it.

The developers whom I respect, and admire the most are those who work to figure out whatever it takes to get something done versus those who give us explanations as to why something can't be done.

So instead of saying "It's can't be done," the truly smart developers will say, "Let's see how it CAN be done!"

Bottom line: Time and time again I've seen relatively intelligent people having difficulty installing YaBB, or upgrading it. This shouldn't be happening.

Edited:
Oh, about stopping spam-bots cold in your forum, way to go!  Smiley

Now if we can only get the powers that be to stop being so stubborn about it, they too will learn how easily it is to solve an otherwise very irritating problem.

We've taken the "horse" to water, but ...  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: Jul 1st, 2012 at 12:58am by Bill Myers »  

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Re: Upgraded from 2.4 to 2.5 and now broken
Reply #81 - Jun 30th, 2012 at 7:58pm
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Hi
Thanks for replying - and particularly to all the guys previously who helped me resolve everything.

95% of my problems were just down to NFTS permissions.  Most of  the error messages and strange behavior went away just by correcting the NTFS permissions - nothing else.  This was my fault not triple-checking in the first place.  BUT The problem was, that I was trying to respond to spurious error messages, which in no way helped with the troubleshooting, when a simple "tried to read/write to this file but failed" would have resolved instantly.

Quote:
the first part of this is already done if you installed Perl on your system. There should be a test file in your cgi-bin file called 'printenv.pl'. Sending 'printenv.pl' through a web browser will print out everything there is to know about Perl on that system.


No - not at all - that is a check for Perl being installed correctly, which was nothing to do with my problem, since my Perl Env was woking just fine and had been for years.  What I was suggesting was the equivilent of this but specifically for Yabb permissions/environment.

Quote:
But since YaBB can go onto many systems, and not just Microsoft's, it needs a little more work than just slapping into place and see if it runs on the very first try.


No-one is denying that.  All I suggested was a very simple way of making troubleshooting much easier to give Yabb a chance of being installed by a larger set of people who might not understand PERL, IIS, NTFS permissions, etc, or many days devoted to learning it!  Anyway, in this particlar instance:

-I have ran *every* version of Yabb for the last 10 years so would like to think I have a weenie bit of experience with it (along with over 20 years experience of installing global IT systems).  Yet I struggled???
-This "upgrade over the top" broke a system that had ran ncely for all these years.  I wasn't trying to "slap something in" and the 6 pages of Q&A above show many many more attempts to resolve after "the first try"

Sorry for the long post, but I am very grateful to Yabb Team for both the free software I have been given, and the support I have been given every time, so I don't want this thread to tail off with a "here's why it can't be any easier post, when...

1) It can be.  Easily.  A little file to check perms just for MS is not beyond the wit of the incredibly clever people who produce Yabb.
2) It HAS to be.  Look around the forums and see the same questions over and over again.  Imagine a simple script, incuded in the distro, called MScheck.pl that would all but resolve all the issues anyone on MS had?

Anyway - not here to argue - my forum works again - just like it did before I attempted the upgrade.

Cheers!
--ian

PS.  I never needed to upgrade.  I upgraded because I though the new 2.5 *must* have better  anti-spam systems than 2.4.  But - it doesn't.  The spam (literally 100s of bogus registrations every day that totally bypassed the Captcha) has been resolved - 100% - by the anti-spam mod mentioned somewhere above.  I now get *no* bogus registrations.  This is awesome.!
« Last Edit: Jun 30th, 2012 at 8:05pm by sausagenet »  
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Re: Upgraded from 2.4 to 2.5 and now broken
Reply #80 - Jun 30th, 2012 at 6:38pm
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sausagenet wrote on Jun 18th, 2012 at 10:44pm:
I have been teachning myself  PHP for a while, which isn't so different to Perl, so I'm going to try and write a .pl script to test and report on file / dir permissions which may or may not be useful to other people.  I could be totally wrong here, but the weakness of Yabb seems to be the error trapping ... instead of saying "I tried to write to the <whatever> file, but this was not writable", it simply tries without error trapping, and then drops to an untrapped error, resulting in a fail with no reason.

Now, why simply expanding the 2.5 uprade over the top of the working dirs containing a perfectly working 2.4 system then caused all of the carnage I saw , is a question for another day Smiley

the first part of this is already done if you installed Perl on your system. There should be a test file in your cgi-bin file called 'printenv.pl'. Sending 'printenv.pl' through a web browser will print out everything there is to know about Perl on that system. If there isn't, you can find the file online, and change the shebang line to meet your system.

The second part I have to say. PHP came from Perl. It was created as a modular system and not a language to create web objects like chat rooms and forums using Perl Modules. It was rather easy, but the users of PHP wanted more and did not want Perl on their system. Thus the language evolved onto its own construct. This is why there is a similarity between the two even though PHP Secular Purists will always deny that PHP is its own language and not a off-shoot of Perl. As a Perl Programmer myself, I can easily go to PHP because of the similarities is has with Perl.

I dont know enough to say about your problem other than check your file permissions. This has always been a problem with installing generic web software for a webserver because it is not able to do these checks for you. Now, if YaBB was a Microsoft Product, it would do the permissions checking and changing as needed to install itself. But since YaBB can go onto many systems, and not just Microsoft's, it needs a little more work than just slapping into place and see if it runs on the very first try.
  
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Re: Upgraded from 2.4 to 2.5 and now broken
Reply #79 - Jun 18th, 2012 at 10:44pm
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Guys, I will try and document what I did over time, but to reduce all of the above to something simple:

NTFS RIGHTS:  If they are wrong they will break everything.
REFERRER SECURITY: If this applies to ANY page that an end user has to interract with (whlst not logged in), then that page will not work for them.

Pretty much all I have done to fix everything is give max NTFS rights to any script, and turn off Referrer Security on ANY page that a user who is NOT logged in might need to interract with. 

I have been teachning myself  PHP for a while, which isn't so different to Perl, so I'm going to try and write a .pl script to test and report on file / dir permissions which may or may not be useful to other people.  I could be totally wrong here, but the weakness of Yabb seems to be the error trapping ... instead of saying "I tried to write to the <whatever> file, but this was not writable", it simply tries without error trapping, and then drops to an untrapped error, resulting in a fail with no reason.

Now, why simply expanding the 2.5 uprade over the top of the working dirs containing a perfectly working 2.4 system then caused all of the carnage I saw , is a question for another day Smiley
« Last Edit: Jun 18th, 2012 at 11:09pm by sausagenet »  
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Dandello
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Re: Upgraded from 2.4 to 2.5 and now broken
Reply #78 - Jun 17th, 2012 at 4:21am
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Bill Myers wrote on Jun 16th, 2012 at 10:34pm:
But this topic is about a Windows server; not UNIX, and it's about Ian's installation problems, which pretty much now seem to be behind him. What a relief!


And I'm hoping that JonB and/or Ian have documented the steps that needed to be taken to get permissions set properly in an IIS install as I'm sure someone out there is going to need it in the future.
  

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Bill Myers
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Re: Upgraded from 2.4 to 2.5 and now broken
Reply #77 - Jun 16th, 2012 at 10:34pm
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Partial quotation:
Dandello wrote on Jun 16th, 2012 at 9:54pm:
For the vast majority of people on Linux/Apache, the hardest part of installing a fresh version of YaBB is remembering to set the permissions on the files that need to be 755. (And NOT using which ever version your host has for download since it's invariably an old version.)

All of Danello's points are of course excellent, but the one point I quoted her above particularly stands out for me. I can confirm that what she points out is exactly what happened to me.

For whatever reason our server evidently automatically assigns permissions of 644 to those folders and files that should be set to 755. This shouldn't be a big deal to anyone who is paying attention to it, because permissions can obviously be changed, but that kind of thing can happen.

I am quite certain that the 500 error I got when I last attempted a fresh install of YaBB 2.5 was because permissions were incorrectly set, i.e., ultimately my mistake.

I'll try a fresh install of 2.5 again at some point just for the practice of it, and I'll be sure to pay extra special attention to the assignment of permissions.

When I needed to move my company's sites off of a server in Los Angeles to a new server in Dallas (versus a physical move that would have included too many hours of downtime) I was anxious about the YaBB 2.4 forum I operated for one of our sites.

Thankfully, I addressed this with one of the techs who made sure that everything on the server we were moving from would be copied EXACTLY as it was over to the new server, and I do mean EXACTLY.

Gratefully, there were hardly any glitches at all, and there were no apparent glitches with our YaBB forum. After the transfer, everything seemed to work well.

I had been so worried about this that I kept both servers operating before approving the propagation over to the new server.

But this topic is about a Windows server; not UNIX, and it's about Ian's installation problems, which pretty much now seem to be behind him. What a relief!

  

Morning, noon, or night, have a great one!

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Re: Upgraded from 2.4 to 2.5 and now broken
Reply #76 - Jun 16th, 2012 at 9:54pm
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The thing with forgotten.passes (and most other data files as well) is if it doesn't exist and it needs to exist, YaBB is supposed to create it. But what was happening (apparently) with that file is it DID exist but had bad data.

For the vast majority of people on Linux/Apache, the hardest part of installing a fresh version of YaBB is remembering to set the permissions on the files that need to be 755. (And NOT using which ever version your host has for download since it's invariably an old version.)

Also, as we now well know, IIS has a profoundly different way of doing permissions than Apache/Linux, which can mess things up.

The other place where things seem to get bollixed up is moving from any older version of YaBB to 2.5. For some reason, even with a virgin install of 2.5 and moving the member and message files over and running the proper utilities, sometimes there are some files that just don't translate properly or disappear.

These are things that need to be looked at for the next version of YaBB.
  

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Bill Myers
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Re: Upgraded from 2.4 to 2.5 and now broken
Reply #75 - Jun 16th, 2012 at 9:01pm
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sausagenet wrote on Jun 16th, 2012 at 8:19pm:
Heh - well, with 5 minutes of research ...there is even a builtin command in perl:-)

...

Read more at http://www.devshed.com/c/a/Perl/File-Tests-in-Perl/#X8tweK8HtO9DViJ8.99

This is beyond my pay scale.  Shocked

Pretty cool stuff, though, to know that a more user friendly installation process can be written for YaBB.

I think those developing YaBB are already thinking of an easier way to install its software.  Cool

Interestingly, as I've read elsewhere, the possibility that one or more people were at the point of forking YaBB to a new and better software is at least partly responsible for YaBB's current push to move forward.

This may have been, and could have been the result of just one person. This is one of the cool things about open source software, and as it should be for the masses.

The timing of one or more people possibly moving forward with YaBB also appeared to have been the catalyst to moving this forum to a fast and reliable host when it had previously been languishing with a host that continued to have unresolved issues.

I guess the behind-the-scenes details don't matter as much as the apparent fact that YaBB is indeed moving forward with its next generation of forum software.

This is great news.  Smiley

I should add, in my humble opinion, that moving forward with YaBB's next generation of forum software doesn't have to be done quickly. In fact, I think it should be done more purposely, i.e., more slowly so that bugs can be worked out, and a substantial YaBB core can be a reliable foundation for all newer versions of YaBB.

But then, what do I know? I'm just a simple user with dreams of grandeur for YaBB.  Wink

Keeping us updated with a bit of news about YaBB's progress from time to time would be cool, but more importantly, it's probably best to have people stick to the more reliable 2.4 version of YaBB and use it for the great forum software that it is.

So maybe this forum can be put back on 2.4 with the installation of at least one anti-spam mod, at which point support for this reliable and stable version of YaBB can be given in confidence until the next generation is ready for the masses.

Edited:
Edited to correct a typo.
« Last Edit: Jun 16th, 2012 at 9:04pm by Bill Myers »  

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Re: Upgraded from 2.4 to 2.5 and now broken
Reply #74 - Jun 16th, 2012 at 8:19pm
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Heh - well, with 5 minutes of research ...there is even a builtin command in perl:-)

die "Filename called '$filename' exists.\n"
    if -e $filename;

It should be fairly trivial to make a list of files/dirs and their required permissions, parse it, then test them using the -params listed below to make sure all files/dirs exist and their perms are correct.


-r File or directory is readable by this (effective) user or group

-w File or directory is writable by this (effective) user or group -

-x File or directory is executable by this (effective) user or group

-R File or directory is readable by this real user or group

-W File or directory is writable by this real user or group

-X File or directory is executable by this real user or group

-O File or directory is owned by this real user

-e File or directory name exists

-z File exists and has zero size (always false for directories)

-s File or directory exists and has nonzero size (the value is the size in bytes)

-d Entry is a directory

Read more at http://www.devshed.com/c/a/Perl/File-Tests-in-Perl/#X8tweK8HtO9DViJ8.99
  
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Bill Myers
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Re: Upgraded from 2.4 to 2.5 and now broken
Reply #73 - Jun 16th, 2012 at 7:23pm
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Ian, you seem to be doing very well, and your forum looks great!

I'm very happy to know that the anti-spam questions mod stopped those pesky spam-bots. It's a wonderfully effective mod.

For those who don't already use it to know, this mod can be easily edited directly within the Admin Center to whatever questions you want to ask, which includes the number of questions you want to have rotated during registration (refreshing the registration page will list another question if you have more than one to ask).

Keep in mind that spam-bots don't have human brains attached, so you can actually provide answers to your questions if you want to make it easy for regular people to register.

As an example, what a person might see in our forum could be:
Code
Select All
To help us stop spam-bots, please answer the following question. What is 1 + 2? The answer is obviously 3. 



I like your idea to create "a little path/rights-check script" for future installs. I know of at least one other forum software that pretty much does this when an installation is failing. It's a pretty cool feature because it will literally list what's going on, and what to do so that the installation process can succeed.

Some developers will tell you that this can't be done, but it obviously can because it has been done. Even if all YaBB does is to include a comprehensive what-to-do guide for anything that might go wrong during the installation process, that in itself could make YaBB much more user friendly for those of us who aren't as smart as the rest of you when it comes to tech stuff.
You know, make it user friendly for the masses.  Smiley

As for that user you mentioned, rather than use your notepad program, I would suggest as Dandello has already suggested that you try changing their password through their User CP.

If you can't do this, then that particular file is obviously corrupted, in which case I would recreate a new account for them (using their same info). Then make sure to change the date of their registration to whatever their original date is, and I would think they'd be good to go.

If that doesn't work, then you can simply reload a copy of their corrupted membership files back onto the server until another solution can be figured out.

Not too long ago, one of our members jumped ahead of me by deleting his account, and then creating a new account before I could try different things to fix it, but his previous posts weren't a particular concern of his, so it worked out for him just fine.

Good luck, and have fun with your London to Brighton cycle ride tomorrow. I'm impressed. The only thing my wife and I are riding tomorrow will be our Jeep when we ride over to have brunch with friends of ours at their place.
You'll be burning calories. We'll be taking them in instead.  Smiley
  

Morning, noon, or night, have a great one!

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Re: Upgraded from 2.4 to 2.5 and now broken
Reply #72 - Jun 16th, 2012 at 6:06pm
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Still making progress - slow! - but progress anyay!

The antispam questions seem to have immediately stopped the bogus registrations.  I cleared the pre, wait, approval files, and all looks ok there too.  I just went through a new user registration from scratch, and it worked - all the right notifications and a new user who can logon.

I noticed that the user I have been trying to help was missing from the memberlist and member info, so I reran the rebuild memberlist and he got added back in. (not sure how he got deleted from there, but never mind)  However, I still cannot logon as him, using notepad on the system to set the pw in his member file to something known still doesn't work.  (yet this was how I got back into my own admin account)

I've come around to the fact that most (if not all) of my problems so far have been down to NTFS rights, so I'm giving IISUSR full control until it all works, then will remove what isn't necessary.

What would be very very useful for future installs is a little path/rights-check script.  I'm only just starting to learn PHP so don't know how to do it, but I know I could do this in ASP so I guess it would be possible.  Just attempt to read/write to each of the neccessary dirs/files, and trap the FS errors, to return something like....

VARS directory Error : READ=OK, WRITE=FAIL
Members directory OK : READ=OK, WRITE=OK

... somehing like that.  Just an idea.

I'm doing London to Brighton Cycle ride tomorrow, so won't be back again till Monday.  Thanks again for everyones efforts with this.

cheers!
Ian
  
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Bill Myers
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Re: Upgraded from 2.4 to 2.5 and now broken
Reply #71 - Jun 16th, 2012 at 4:24pm
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Edited:
Big Fail For Me!

I'm leaving what I wrote below just in case this might still apply since I suppose there could be a difference between a Windows machine and UNIX.

With UNIX, however, I tested my theory about what might be going on, and found that I could successfully modify a membership account even when it was listed as being older than the forum. Not just as an admin, but as the user of this same account.

Whatever is going on with Ian's new install, I'd love to know.

Ironically, mainly because I'm rusty on YaBB installations myself, I haven't upgraded to the "Latest STABLE version" of YaBB in favor of keeping 2.4 as I operate it now. I've read that it's kind of buggy. But then, plenty of people seem to be using it without any significant problems, or using it with no problems at all, so I guess it must be stable enough.

Until Ian comes back with a more detailed explanation of what's going on, I'll presume that most of his members have accounts that are working just fine ... hopefully.


The forum start date thingy is just a guess of mine, but it's worth a try to adjust it accordingly. It wouldn't hurt to adjust it; going back in time that is, versus having a start date of a few days ago.

Our forum's start date is listed as "Feb 11 2002 at 21 37" and I seem to recall that someone had told me to make sure that same start date shows so that the "fresh install" a couple of years ago would sync up okay (although the word "sync" hadn't been used).

The reason this came to mind is that Ian is able to modify his admin account, which would show up as new, but existing member accounts would by default show up as being older than the start date of his new YaBB installation.

He could test this with an existing account, such as an extra one he has, and see what happens when he tries to modify a membership file that is older than the forum's date (all but his admin account I'm guessing except for new membership accounts of course).

But why bother? I'd simply change the forum's start date accordingly to whatever would be the oldest date of anything else in the forum.
« Last Edit: Jun 16th, 2012 at 4:47pm by Bill Myers »  

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Re: Upgraded from 2.4 to 2.5 and now broken
Reply #70 - Jun 16th, 2012 at 1:24am
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Bill Myers wrote on Jun 16th, 2012 at 12:38am:
I'm wondering if many of Ian's problems are because the date of his new install and his old data aren't synced up? I kind of remember a discussion about this very subject ... don't know if it would apply here. Just thinking aloud.


That's a definite possibility and one to explore.
  

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Re: Upgraded from 2.4 to 2.5 and now broken
Reply #69 - Jun 16th, 2012 at 12:38am
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Dandello wrote on Jun 16th, 2012 at 12:20am:
...

For the the members with bad passwords - can you as Admin open their profiles using Admin edit? If so, you may be able to reset the password that way and YaBB will hopefully rewrite their vars file properly. If not, you should either get an error message on what's fubar or see how the file is wrong.

...

This is a "best practice" to try, and it's most often the way that I quickly fix access to a member who's lost it.

At times I've actually recreated a member's file by deleting it first, and adding them as a new member again, especially if they have no history of having made any posts (but there's probably a fix for that as well to keep their posts associated with their own profile).

Note: If you do end up recreating a member's file, you'll want to input the original date they joined, and anything/everything else that was included in their profile. I've always worked directly with members whenever I've done this so that they can be part of the process of helping me to fix their own profiles.

**************************************

I'm wondering if many of Ian's problems are because the date of his new install and his old data aren't synced up? I kind of remember a discussion about this very subject ... don't know if it would apply here. Just thinking aloud.

  

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Re: Upgraded from 2.4 to 2.5 and now broken
Reply #68 - Jun 16th, 2012 at 12:20am
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Glad Bill got you squared away on the ghost members. As I indicated, I don't have any 'members waiting for approval' right now so I didn't remember those other files.

For the the members with bad passwords - can you as Admin open their profiles using Admin edit? If so, you may be able to reset the password that way and YaBB will hopefully rewrite their vars file properly. If not, you should either get an error message on what's fubar or see how the file is wrong.

It maybe something as simple as a missing semi-colon or line break in the vars file.
  

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