Meta Blog for ETH Weblog Service

German, English and a little bit faster

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We managed to speed up our weblog service slightly, although the performance problem is not solved yet. Besides that, we implemented a long awaited feature: the German language pack. Choose between English or German as your weblog language in the “Settings” section of you blog.

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WordPress MU 2.6.5 update finished successfully

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Today, we have successfully updated our weblog infrastructure to WordPress MU 2.6.5. Within the next days, we have to to some more small adjustments which should not interfere with your work on this service. Unfortunately, we observed a performance problem with the new WordPress version on our infrastructure which slows down the response time of our service. We try to solve this issue as soon as possible.

What’s new in WPMU 2.6.5. ?

Quite a bit! I quote the feature list from the posting “WordPress 2.6” in the official blog of www.wordpress.org:

  • A new standard layout
  • Version numbers of WordPress standard edition and WordPress MU are now the same
  • Post Revisions: Wiki-like tracking of edits
  • Press This!: Post from wherever you are on the web
  • Blgging with your iPhone
  • Shift Gears: Turbo-speed your blogging–> See the link “Turbo” on the header of your dashboard
  • Theme Previews: See it before your audience does
  • Word count! Never guess how many words are in your post anymore.
  • Image captions, so you can add sweet captions like Political Ticker does under your images.
  • Bulk management of plugins.
  • A completely revamped image control to allow for easier inserting, floating, and resizing. It’s now fully integrated with the WYSIWYG.
  • Drag-and-drop reordering of Galleries.
  • Plugin update notification bubble.
  • Customizable default avatars.
  • You can now upload media when in full-screen mode.
  • Remote publishing via XML-RPC and APP is now secure (off) by default, but you can turn it on easily through the options screen.
  • Full SSL support in the core, and the ability to force SSL for security.
  • You can now have many thousands of pages or categories with no interface issues.
  • Ability to move your wp-config file and wp-content directories to a custom location, for “clean” SVN checkouts.
  • Select a range of checkboxes with “shift-click.”
  • You can toggle between the Flash uploader and the classic one.
  • A number of proactive security enhancements, including cookies and database interactions.
  • Stronger better faster versions of TinyMCE, jQuery, and jQuery UI.
  • Several bug fixes…

We are looking forward on your comments!

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Upgrade Blog Infrastructure on 18th December 2008

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Tomorrow, December 18th, we will upgrade our Weblog infrastructure to WordPress MU 2.6.5.
The Weblog-Service will be offline tomorrow, December 18th from 07.00 until 17.00.

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Announcing WordPress MU 2.6.x update

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Currently we are testing the new version 2.6.x of our WordPress MU blog system. If the tests are successful, we plan to upgrade on December 18.

In this case, the weblog service would be offline the whole day. We will publish the definitive upgrade schedule within the next days.

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System Maintainance – Weblog Service down from 24.11.08 at 18.45 until 25.11.08 at 08.00

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Due to system maintenance the weblog service (blogs.ethz.ch… and blogs.uz.ch/…) is not available from Monday 24.11.08 at 18.45 until Tuesday 25.11.08 at 08.00.

We apologise for any inconveniences which may result from this scheduled downtime of the service.

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Weblog Service updated to WordPress MU 1.3.3

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Today our Weblog Service has been updated from WordPress MU Version 1.0 –> 1.3.3. Now the Weblog Service shares the code base with the most recent WordPress Version 2.3.3. The new WordPress MU offers a revised tagging system, UTF-8, more possibilities in the blog admin view,…, and a new widgetized ETH WebCD theme. The complete feature lists are available at the WordPress MU-Forum. Enjoy the new WordPress features!

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Data loss! What now?

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Is there any chance of recovering lost ETH Weblog data posted between December 19 2007 and February 01 2008?

Below some suggestions which might be helpful for partial data recovery:

Internet data search:

  • Via Google Cache
    Google partially caches pages belonging to Google indexed blogs. Example: enter “site: blogs.ethz.ch/oas” in the Google search form and the search will be restricted to blogs.ethz.ch/oas. Continue in “advanced search” and restrict the date to a 1-2 month period. The result may be the missing blog entries. Instead of clicking on the link click on “cached”, there you should now be able to view your data. In particular, archive pages are cached.
  • Web Archive
    The “Internet Archive” can be found at http://web.archive.org. Enter a URL to see all its’ existing versions. However, the web archive is more effective when going back 1 / 2 year and more. In our case, it is unfortunately not very useful but I decided to mention it anyhow.

Copy data from an RSS reader:

If you or any other person have an RSS feed subscription for your blog, you may be able to use information from the RSS reader to restore the missing data (Benjamin’s tip). You can even post a delivery request for your missing blog entries on your blog.

Data search on your own browser:

Since it is possible that you have viewed your own blog posts on your browser you might still find them in the cache if the browser cache has not been emptied since. Maybe you know someone who has viewed your page, and your site might still be in their cache. Depending on your settings, it’s possible that only images and CSS files are cached, in which case you will unfortunately not find anything.

  • Firefox
    To find cache data in Firefox enter “about: cache” in the URL box. Then click on List Disk Cache to view a list of all cache entries. Click on any entry to see the cache file’s name and location. We recommend using Strg + F (or Apple + F) to search for your blog. Enter URL incl. year e.g. blogs.ethz.ch/myblog/2008. Listed below are two cache readers as examples (there might be other better ones)
  • http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/mozilla_cache_viewer.html IE Win, Mozilla Win
  • http://echoone.com/filejuicer/ Safari Mac (particularly for Mac OS X

Sooner or later every cache gets emptied or updated. If you want to try and save your data, you must do it now.

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Blog Service is fully operational

Posted on in Blog Response, Leave a Comment

During last night and this morning we received several legitimate emails regarding the “true” operating status of our weblog service. Here a summary of the frequently asked questions and their answers:

  • Are really all data and changes between 19 December 2007 and 01 February 2008 definitely lost and could not be recovered?
    Up to our present knowledge, they are lost and not recoverable. We are really sorry about this.
  • Although rather unlikely, if there would be a chance in the near future to salvage some of the lost data, what would happen to our blogs?
    In this case, we would contact the blog owners individually and ask if and how they would like to get the data back into their blogs. Anyhow, this would be an individual action per blog and would not alter the weblog service as a whole.
  • Is it now safe to post new entries, comments, start new blogs, etc?
    Yes, the weblog service is again fully operational since midnight. The faulty backup procedure has been corrected and works fine.

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