Retro Software website down

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lurkio
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Retro Software website down

Post by lurkio » Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:22 pm

The archived website for Retro Software seems to be down.

“[6946d79a] 2018-12-25 23:15:06: Fatal exception of type MWException”:
:!:


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sydney
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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by sydney » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:48 am

We know about it but at present no one is maintaining retrosoftware so it may be a while before we get it back up. If anyone wants to volunteer help then please get in touch.

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by richardtoohey » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:53 pm

Google tells me that might be a Media Wiki error (MW).

Looks like a PHP-driven site so I might be able to get it back going.

Is it related to the STH issues (that looks like it might be a PHP upgrade issue)?

Looks like they are both on the same IP: 82.148.229.200

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Arcadian
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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by Arcadian » Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:31 am

Hi Richard, have emailed you login info for the Retro Software site! Let us know how you get on! Thanks! :)
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by richardtoohey » Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:50 am

Thanks; looks like my assumptions correct; older version of Media Wiki that doesn't like PHP 7 that is now on the server. So will have to figure out how to upgrade the version of Media Wiki on the server ... :-k

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by richardtoohey » Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:22 am

Right, done that, so that's the good news ... :D

http://www.retrosoftware.co.uk/wiki/index.php

Upgraded to the PHP 7-friendly Media Wiki 1.31.1

BUT what I didn't realise before putting my hand up was that there are actually THREE PHP sites here ...

wiki/ mediawiki
forum/ a phpBB forum
mantis/ a bug tracker

I've only looked at the wiki/ sub-directory.

I didn't really use retrosoftware.co.uk much, so not sure how much is missing, how much used, etc?

Looks like the phpBB part is used for authentication, so logging-in probably won't work.

Anything with forum/ in the URL won't work. The discussions tabs seem to want to do something with phpBB (maybe check you are logged-in?) so they don't work.

A good start ... I don't really want to have to tackle an open-ended project - so any of you know what CORE functionality is missing and really needs to be looked at to make the site(s) worthwhile?

I'll see about the phpBB forum ... *. itself was upgraded so it might need something similar ...

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by danielj » Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:49 am

The forum is basically defunct and no longer used. It should probably be removed?

d.

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by richardtoohey » Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:54 am

Thanks; I've fudged the forum code enough so that it goes so you can at least see the content that was in there.

Unfortunately because the /wiki/ stuff depends on the phpBB stuff (well at least the logins?) I don't think that easy to ditch completely.

To make the forum code go - I just changed

config.php - changed mysql to mysqli

$dbms = 'mysqli';

includes/bbcode.php

(Nasty fudge ahead, just to hide a warning!)

112 $message = @preg_replace(
... and ...
483 $tpl = @preg_replace(

Put the leading @ in there to make the warnings go away ...
Last edited by richardtoohey on Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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sydney
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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by sydney » Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:38 am

Thanks for the great work Richard.
danielj wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:49 am
The forum is basically defunct and no longer used. It should probably be removed?

d.
I'd tend to agree but would like to keep it as there is probably some useful information there. Would it be possible to take it offline until we can find someone to take over maintenance of the site. I'm not saying I would want to bring the RS forums back into use just keep them as a reference source.

Would it also be possible to change the forum link on the main page to point to the retrosoftware section of stardot?

Code: Select all

https://stardot.org.uk/forums/viewforum.php?f=52
Thanks again Richard.

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by lurkio » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:44 am

danielj wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:49 am
The forum is basically defunct and no longer used. It should probably be removed?
Hang on! There’s loads of really interesting and useful info on those RS forums, and I’m not sure it’s replicated elsewhere. I don’t think they should be removed. Just keep them online but as read-only webpages.

:?:

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by sydney » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:50 am

The problem is even leaving it as is will need maintenance of some kind over time. If no one is willing to do the job it'll have to go one way or another.

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by lurkio » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:04 am

sydney wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:50 am
The problem is even leaving it as is will need maintenance of some kind over time. If no one is willing to do the job it'll have to go one way or another.
As a sort of immediate stopgap solution, can the forum’s robots.txt file be altered to allow archive.org to do a crawl of the forums in their final state?

(I know that some or all of the forums were saved by archive.org in 2015, but it would be good if one final pass over the whole forum could be done now, just to be on the safe side, for the sake of preserving all the knowledge that’s on there.)

:?:

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by 1024MAK » Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:46 pm

There are forums about on the Internet that have been discontinued as active forums, but have been retained online as reference only sites, or incorporated as reference sections in larger sites. In all such cases, there is no longer any log-in access at all, so maintenance should be minimal as long as the server software updates don’t mess things up.

Is the Wiki still being updated by users?

Mark

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by Andrew_Waite » Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:48 pm

Thank you for restoring this site.

I have been using the material here ( http://www.retrosoftware.co.uk/wiki/ind ... are_access ) to convert some of the BASIC in the game loop of Planet Nubium to Assembler.

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by richardtoohey » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:12 pm

The issue is older versions of PHP software will have security issues.

So the longer you leave a site unmaintained (i.e. don't keep upgrading it) the more likely it is that one day you'll be unlucky.

Even if you turn off logins, uploads, registration etc. etc. if there's a security issue in "some_page.php" ... you might be exposed.

I've fixed the mantis page so it at least shows the login page rather than a blank page.

I'm happy to tweak what's there to make it go, but don't want to try and upgrade and keep-up-to-date Media Wiki and phpBB and Mantis. (I don't want to volunteer to do more than that in case I have another crazy year and go quiet for a bit - don't want to over-promise and under-deliver!)

Don't think there's any rush here, though - http://php.net/supported-versions.php - PHP 7.2 has 2 years of support (and hopefully 7.3 doesn't have any major issues that will cause more grief, they are meant to leave BC-breaking changes to major releases.)

So - if anyone is using the site and finds an important page not working - let me know and I'll do my best to fix it.

Think "we" can leave it band-aided for a while and let it be archived etc.

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by ctr » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:19 pm

Thank you for fixing this. I started scraping the site with a view to making a static copy of the forum but unfortunately there are quite a lot of posts in the forum threads that appear blank. For example, in here, here, here and here.

From the context it appears to be any post with a code block (or maybe any bbcode?). Hopefully a single fix would sort them all out.

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by richardtoohey » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:27 pm

OK, I'll have a look at that - rather important that the code shows!

From my earlier message it will be this:

includes/bbcode.php

(Nasty fudge ahead, just to hide a warning!)

112 $message = @preg_replace(
... and ...
483 $tpl = @preg_replace(

Put the leading @ in there to make the warnings go away ...


I found a specific posting about the issue but there didn't seem to be any nice quick & clean solutions and I wasn't sure how I could see if my changes were working or not (but now I have some specific cases to look at, I can see if any changes are improving things or not).

https://www.ryadel.com/en/php-fix-warni ... rror-php7/

I'll try the step 2

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by richardtoohey » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:14 pm

Ugh ... the code from "the internet" doesn't quite work as advertised.

The phpBB code is written to build & then execute PHP, and that PHP can be stored in the database (so it needs to work again.)

Each fudge I do works for one thing (e.g. code block) but then not another (quote or url).

Retrosoftware site has phpBB 3.0, long EOL, there's a PHP 3.1 (also EOL) and the current is 3.2 ... quite a lot to upgrade to get from old to new but that might be the "best" path but going to take a while ...
Last edited by richardtoohey on Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by richardtoohey » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:13 am

The upgrade is pretty smooth so that will (a) fix the security issues of staying a (very!) older version and (b) fix all the BBCode issues without needing crude hacks and (c) make future upgrades a bit easier.

BUT

It means any extensions/modifications/styles etc. have reverted to the phpBB defaults, so it looks like *. forums. I think that is OK - it's the content that really matters? (I can try and get rid of the phpbb icon but that's about as far as my skills go!)

So screenshot below is a local copy after all the upgrades (3.0.x to latest, then to 3.1, then to 3.2.5 - latest & greatest).
rsphpbb.jpg
So will give it a day or two for feedback and objections, and if I don't hear, I'll go ahead. I think it's a improvement ...

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by BigEd » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:12 am

Sounds good to me. I always like to see things preserved, but the format isn't a big deal.

Thanks for digging in!

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by ctr » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:11 pm

That is good news. An upgrade from such an old version could have been a royal pain in the bum. Losing the theme is a shame but I'd rather have the content. Thanks again.

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by sydney » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:14 pm

The theme is absolutely expendable, it's the content that is valuable.

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by richardtoohey » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:35 pm

OK, that's done (which is great from a security point-of-view as well).

So Media Wiki (wiki directory) is latest version, phpBB (forum directory) is latest version, and Mantis bug-tracker (mantis directory) is just hacked to display the login page (needs more work or upgrading).

Theming looks like a bit of work (and web design/CSS not my cup of tea) - so it's going but if anyone wants a different colour scheme etc. they'll have to clone the prosilver theme files and edit the clone.

Doing the actual upgrades didn't take too long (lots of files to FTP upload though) - most time on R&D.

I wasn't sure if a 3.0.x to 3.2.x upgrade in one "jump" would work so did it slowly ...

3.0.11 -> 3.0.14
3.0.14 -> 3.1.12
3.1.12 -> 3.2.5

For each step - download the "all files zip" - phpBB-3.0.14.zip phpBB-3.1.12.zip phpBB-3.2.5.zip.

Extract the zip files, remove config.php, files/ and images/ then upload to forum/ directory on server using FTP.

Visit (in web browser) the forum/install/xxx.php update page and follow any instructions.

Using FTP rename or remove the install/ sub-directory (the site won't function normally if an install directory exists).

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by 1024MAK » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:51 am

Thank you Richard for all your work. Much appreciated =D> =D> =D>

Mark

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by BigEd » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:33 am

1024MAK wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:51 am
Thank you Richard for all your work. Much appreciated =D> =D> =D>

Mark
Seconded! This kind of thing is simple in principle but tedious and stressful in practice. But very worthwhile to preserve some history.

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by MartinB » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:26 pm

Nice one Richard.... =D>

I used to post a lot on RS and there’s a mine of great programming tips so if nothing else, it’s a great reference source when tinkering.

So just thanks! 8)

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by davidb » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:50 pm

Thanks for getting it working again, Richard! :D

I have a few posts in the forums on there and spent a lot of time writing wiki pages, so it's good to see it get some attention.

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by richardtoohey » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:48 am

Thank you for all the "thank yous", they are appreciated. :D

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Re: Retro Software website down

Post by ctr » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:48 pm

Thank you! It is a useful reference.

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