Archive for the ‘Bugs’ Category

Small but important fix to the biographies

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

As some of you have noticed there were parts of the site that startedbehaving a bit strange when we moved to the new server. I’ve hunted down and fixed a lot of issues as I’ve come across them and I have now fixed an issue with the Premier Profiles where some entries sent into the Biography section don’t get saved in the database. If you’ve come across that problem, try it again and I’m hopefull it will work now. :)

I might have temporarily solved the issue

Friday, August 26th, 2011

The issue of the crashing server wasn’t an as easy fix as I thought. The crashing database table wasn’t the culprit at all. The CPU kept hanging at irregular intervals anyway. I was running on two CPU cores and decided, just because I ran out of options, to downgrade it to run on just one CPU core. Speed wise we’re not missing out on all that much currently – it’s still very snappy and the system load is at 0.42 when the old system was going between 10 and 20 the last weeks. Much to my surprise the system has now been up for 17 hours without an issue. Not really ruling out that it might go down at any moment, but it does seem to be behaving now.

If it stays up during the weekend I’ll send over the error messages from the kernel when we ran two CPU cores to the hosting company and see if they have come across it before. It’s an issue that needs to be fixed as I’m currently running the biggest package for 1 CPU they’ve got so if I want to crank it up I have to go for at least two CPU cores.

I will now try to get all the member functions going so that we can start reporting all the results. It’s a busy motorsports weekend as always! :)

The November surprise

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

November 1st had a big surprise on offer. I was working through some of the data entry cue, minding my own business, when the surprise came along. All of a sudden I got logged out. A bit weird I thought and tried to log in again. But I couldn’t. Something had happened. Extremely odd. My first thought was that something in the database had been corrupt, perhaps a table had imploded or something. I logged in to the MySQL database only to find nothing out of the ordinary. Perhaps a file was corrupt? It would be strange, but it was a strange error, so it was worth a shot. I re-uploaded some files and the problem was still there.

I then went into the log in code to start so debugging, which I thought was really not necessary as I hadn’t done any changes to that piece of code in over a year. Why should it suddenly stop working after all this time? I tracked down the error and when I saw where it kicked in I came to a conclusion. And, I was right.

On November 1st my hosting company decided to upgrade PHP to the latest version, without asking me or even letting me know. I wasn’t happy. Sure, it’s good to have the latest version and it’s been in my plans to upgrade – but I would much rather do it in my own time and make the deciscion myself. The code is pretty much compatible but I’ve done a lot of changes and tweaks to the PHP settings over the years, which were all wiped with this new install.

I got the log in functions working again quickly but it was then I realised that there were probably more things broken than there were things working… during the six years of Driver Database the source code for the website has been growing huge so it’s not been fun to go through most of it looking for things not functioning properly and also trying to think of what changes I had done to the PHP settings five or so years ago.

So that’s what I’ve been doing until today. The final piece of the puzzle was the blog feeds on the front page which totally gave up on November 1st. For this I used a third-party script which was obviously not very compatible with PHP5. So I ended up doing my own solution for it.

I think it’s all working the way it did in October now…

So now I can continue with all the work I really had planned to do.

Problems with the driver blogs on the front page

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

As some of the bloggers probably have seen there are some issues with the latest blog posts published on the front page. Some blog posts are disappearing, returning, disappearing and then returning again. I’m using Yahoo Pipes to merge all the different driver blog feeds into one to publish them on the front page at Driver Database and for some reason it decides not to fetch all posts every once in a while. The most probable thing is that that particular feed is not responding quickly enough when Yahoo Pipes updates its feed and it therefor decides to skip them. As the Yahoo Pipes feed is using cached data and only updates when the moon is in the right position and all the stars align it might take a while for new posts to appear and for previously disappeared posts to reappear.

If anyone can point me to a better alternative than Yahoo Pipes I’d be very grateful! :)

A few updates

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

I’ve made a few updates today. The most important one is that the level 2 members can now merge duplicate driver profiles. It’s probably a bit buggy as some parts of it is more or less untested. I did however manage to merge profiles twice without any problems. Oh well, time will tell. ;)

I fixed the bug where driver’s homepages were removed when updating their profile data. It was probably the most stupid bug I’ve ever had the pleasure of both adding and removing.

Now the driver’s nicknames/pseudonyms are visible in the search results.

Over and out.

Speeding things up

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

The members of Driver Database with a little bit of extra trust (earned by extremely hard work and dedication) can now approve some more submissions sent in by the “regular” users. They have been able to approve fan messages, new drivers and changes to driver profiles (names, birth dates and such) for a few months now, but from today they can also approve changes that have been made to championships and non-championship races. This should hopefully mean that the queue for these entries should be considerably smaller than if I’m the only one who can approve/decline these.

The hard working members who now can approve/decline these submissions are; Bertil, Urs, Dirk, Erick, Erik, Jari, Otto, Federico and Ross. These guys all play an extremely vital role in what goes on at Driver Database and without them the database would probably be only a fraction of the size it is today.

On another note I removed the bug which prevented the cached results on the driver’s overview page to not be updated when an entry had been deleted.

Free play

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Some of you noticed that the pageview count yesterday wasn’t counting unique pageviews but all of them. This led to the good old “hit refresh, goddamnit!” syndrome. Those of you who spent all yesterday and today on the F5-button, I’m sorry but it won’t work anymore and the multiple reloads have been deducted from the pageview total. Things are more or less back to normal. ;)

A small bug fix

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Members with direct write permissions have probable noticed and been rather annoyed about that it hasn’t been possible to completely remove a driver’s website. It’s been possible to remove the current URL, but the little house icon has still been present – although pointing at nothing. Today I took care of it so if you now delete the website, the house icon gets removed as well.

Otherwise this day has been spent adding results. Both current results for the NZ based championships but also a couple of oldies; most notably the 2003 season of the British Formula Ford championship.

It’s been a few days

Friday, January 8th, 2010

It’s been a few days since the last post in this update blog. That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any updates though.

The work with the Premier Profiles is making progress. At the moment I’m working on getting the tools ready on the “Submit info” page. Once those are working like they should – and easy to work with – I’ll have a go at the Payment options. First off I’m going to offer payment with PayPal as it’s in my opinion is the easiest and most well spread way of online payment available for small businesses. That it works with credit card payments without the need for a PayPal account in many countries is of course a plus as well. So, the priority is in getting to know the PayPal API so it’s easy to upgrade a regular driver profile into a shiny new Premier Profile. I’ll have a look at different payment options later on as I know PayPal isn’t the preferred choice for everyone.

I’ve now only a few driver blogs left to migrate to the new system, so most bloggers can now use their new blogs. Matt Cherrington blogged yesterday about his 2010 plans and I helped out Rory Butcher with adding his header image to his blog.

I stumbled across a few more character encoding issues and fixed them. Hopefully there’s not too many left now…

I also like to congratulate Raed Raffii and the Meezer Group team for their great results in the latest round of the Chevrolet Supercars Middle East championship. The Driver Database stickers are helping, of course! ;)

NZ and another driver blog migrated

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

As it’s the off season there’s not too many results that have to be reported every day I decided to extend the NZ coverage a bit by adding the New Zealand MINI Challenge to the list of series to do coverage for (NZV8′s, Posche GT3, Formula Ford and Toyota Racing Series are the other ones). It’s one of those descisions that I know will come back and haunt me this spring when 2,000 other championships start and tries to grab my attention. Fortunately for me (but unfortunately for the sport) they seem to have a pretty weak field this year with less than ten cars, so it shouldn’t be that much more work to keep up with.

While adding the MINI Challenge I also stumbled across another effect of the changing of character sets on the website. Since I’m Swedish I tend to use a lot of Swedish words as variable names in the code, and since PHP really doesn’t mind foreign characters in variable names I’ve sometimes used a couple of å’s, ä’s and ö’s, eventhough it’s probably bad practice and frowned upon. The problem with the change of character set is that when one of these variables are passed through a web form (for example adding a driver) the variable called $exämple suddenly becomes $ex�mple and the script that processes the form then has no idea what’s going on and $exämple ends up being completely blank. It’s simple enough to fix by just renaming the variable, but perhaps there are more of these places in the code. Time will tell. ;)

I also migrated another driver blog from my own system to the new WordPress MU setup. This time it was our Mexican friend Rodrigo Marbán who now has a “new” blog. It’s been a while since his last update though. Come back Rodrigo, we miss you! :)