To Audstar, a reply to your comment :-)

Interesting, I can see the need for being able to have conversations in comments (and have everyone notified that a new reply has been added!) now. Actually I could before, but I'd really liked to have used such a feature for this response… Oh well, consider it the next job on the list for me :-)

Anyway, to answer the comment Audstar posted regarding Kabarty no longer being in operation. That is indeed true, Kabarty is winding down AS A HOSTING COMPANY. Ultimately, Kabarty will cease to exist, and there's some work to be done with the accountant to work out how DearDiary can be transferred to Rose and myself privately with minimum tax implications. But DearDiary will continue to be operated by Rose and I even after Kabarty is officially no more.

So don't panic :-)

I don't want to get into religious discussion particularly on this diary, but suffice to say that over the last 11 years I have had enough comment and insight shown to me to indicate that DearDiary will never make me rich (this side of heaven) but the service to God that is enabled through this site makes it compelling (and given my Christian beliefs, just about obligatory) to continue regardless. The recent and very sad passing of Pragmatist serving to show me just how important this website is to the people who use it. And thus, as I am no longer in the IT industry but now serve God through caring for the sick, I am in an even better position to understand just how important a site like this can be.

You can rest assured, until the Lord takes me too (and probably even after that!), DearDiary will be here for you. (Incidentally, I rather hope the Lord has no plans to take me for at least another 40 years – and possibly longer).

Aha, Thank You DancingStar

Wow, I hadn't even thought of DNS issues because I was first made aware of the strange errors at the same time I had made changes to the DD code. The DNS server would have changed about 5 or so days prior to that. So of course, I went off down the path of something I had changed in the code had broken it all and didn't consider the obvious.

The obvious being, as I'd explained to a friend the other day, if it works for some and not for others – and even then sometimes it works for everyone – suspect the DNS!

I've updated the DNS server (it was wrong, thanks DancingStar's IT dude) and things should return to normal over the next few days. DancingStar – you'll need (in a few days) to ask your IT dude to remove the entry from the hosts file again so that when we do manage to move the server later in the move/early next month, you're not left wondering where we went again :-)

Thanks for your patience everyone!

Don't forget to look for the DearDiary.Net fanpage on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates when the server is having troubles.

Strange spurious errors

I've received reports that DD is not responding properly on a number of occasions, with people seeing 404 errors, Internal Server Errors and occasionally a white screen that says simply 'test'.

I've been unable to reproduce these things here – that's not to say they don't exist, just that the conditions are not right for me to see it. If you experience such an error, please forward to me the exact address you've seen this at (copy and paste it from your address bar) so I can see if there's some kind of pattern going on, or try to make it happen myself.

I can only assume it's something to do with the modifications I made the other day, but I can't see why as yet.

Please bear with me while I try to look at what's going on, and please provide me as much information you can in an error report.


Message files now stored in database

Hi all,
    I've been busy today and managed (I think) to switch the system from using files for storing the various messages into using the database to do the job. Ultimately this will remove over 280,000 files from the filesystem – but that won't happen until I'm happy that the new system is working properly :-)

So please let me know if you make an update to any of your messages and it doesn't stick.

Bear in mind though, that entry header and entry footer may not show up immediately because of the caching in your web browser. So before submitting a fault report, make sure you've pressed CTRL-Reload (CMD-Shift-Reload on OSX Chrome) to ensure you really are asking for the latest version from the server.

Server Move Update

The astute amongst you may have noticed that DearDiary still hasn't moved to its new home. There's a good technical reason for this lack of motion. The server we're moving to has some resource restrictions (notably the number of files it can contain) and there's some legacy parts of the system which use a number of files ( for example, the notification email template ) instead of database rows. This amounts to something close to half a million files on the system that shouldn't be files but should be database rows.

The new server allows only a million files – so over half would be taken up with just DearDiary message files (add Hamipiks images, and customized buttons and other DD images) and that doesn't leave much for anything else.

What does this mean? Well, I'm glad you asked :-)

It means I have to firstly import all those messages into the DD database system (which means only 3 files are used to store all those messages), which is where all the entries, comments and configuration data is kept. I then need to rewrite the parts of the system that look for information from those files to instead look in the database. So it's a little bit of work. But the pay off should be good, it'll scale better (though with only 25 diaries a day being updated it's hardly a load on the server any more).

So that's where we're at. If anyone has any ideas on how we can improve the number of people using the site each day let me know :-) It'd be nice to get back to the days where 200 or more diaries were being updated each day!

Would people prefer a WordPress type of system which allows plugins and themes, or is DearDiary the way you like it?