Weekly Update – February 21, 2019

Greetings OPers, and thanks for taking the time to stop by and check out this update. We’ve got some fairly big things in the works, so you’ll definitely want to give this one a thorough read.

Infrastructure Overhaul

So, up first the “Big One”. Recent days have seen an increase in the number of server related errors for users. Errors such as HTTP 500, 503 Service Unavailable, 504 Bad Gateway, blank screen, and so on. There have also been periods of slow/sluggish performance related to these errors, and finally last night, issues with authentication as a by-product. The obvious and natural question from users: “What’s going on?”

Put simply, we have learned that we are reaching the end of the life cycle for certain infrastructure elements that OP relies on. These elements have been getting older, and steadily becoming less and less reliable with time (while causing progressively more errors). In response, we have been working on an overhaul of said infrastructure. This has been going on in the background since last weekend, and has been being done in parallel to the existing infrastructure. We have the next (and hopefully final) round of testing coming Saturday, and assuming things go well – will be moving the site over to that new infrastructure.

We have shored things up to the best extent possible on the existing infrastructure while work continues. Performance is up, and errors are down, but this will only hold out for so long. We must get onto the new infrastructure. In the meantime, we ask for your patience as work progresses. We know errors and performance problems are frustrating, and we both understand and appreciate the experience that users are having.  I’ll be bringing more information on this as it becomes available, and if you have questions please contact us at [email protected]

Login Stuff

There are also some login page changes that will be rolling out as well. Firstly, the Google+ authentication is going away. This should not come as a surprise if you’ve been keeping up on all of that talk. It will be replaced by Google authentication, which should hopefully make for a relatively seamless transition for users. The second item on this list is the via-Facebook login option. Essentially we had to make some ‘under the hood’ changes to stay current on Facebook authentication protocols. This is an update more than a change, and users should notice nothing new (except an updated graphic on the button).

Campaign of the Year Voting

Voting for the Campaigns of the Year (’17 and ’18) is just about over. If you haven’t yet cast a vote, time is nearly gone, so you better get your rush on. Visit our SurveyMonkey Poll and be heard! If you need a refresh on the contenders, take a peak at our CotY Announcement post. As always, keep those CotM nominations for our featured campaign program coming so that this user-led initiative can thrive.

Numbers Map Marker Set

Following a minor hiccup in the release process, our “Numbers” set of map markers is ready to go and can now be considered officially released. As before we’re interested in hearing your feedback on what set you would like to see next, so let us know in our forum topic. Based on previous responses, we’re going to be shooting to do a space/sci-fi themed set next, and if we can stick to our (roughly) once a month release schedule, users can expect to start seeing this set come together somewhere around mid-March.

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That’s going to do it for now. More to come on these points as we go forward. So until next time, stay tuned.

Award Winning!

Gold ENnie for Best Website 09'-11'

Silver ENnie for Best Website, Best Podcast 2012-2013
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