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Old 2009-04-10, 19:47   #1
Xyzzy
 
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Exclamation Private message problems

We are currently experiencing an explosive growth of disk usage with the private message system.

We are not sure who or what is causing the problem, and we are too lazy to spend too much time on it.

So, in a week, we plan to set everybody back to a maximum of 100 private messages. That is plenty of time for you all to download your messages so they are not lost. Private messages will also be limited to 10,000 characters, like they used to be.

The private message issue and the excessive use of code tags instead of attaching long files has caused our disk usage to nearly double over the last few months.

Thank you for your understanding and support.

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Old 2009-04-10, 20:36   #2
mdettweiler
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I know that I and the rest of the NPLB mod squad exchange a LOT of PMs about various stuff related to administration of the project, and as such Gary and I usually have our PM boxes stuffed close to the 1000-message maximum. As you know we recently added another mod, so now most of those PMs are going three ways (thus significantly more total messages would be piling up in the DB).

That may be one of the main causes of this issue, though of course I have no idea just how much space the NPLB mods' PM boxes take up in proportion to the entire DB. I'll see about getting my box cut down to size before the deadline (I presume that any PMs over the limit will be simply deleted?), and I'll give Gary and Ian a heads-up about it, too, since I'm pretty sure that neither of them read the Lounge regularly.
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Old 2009-04-10, 20:41   #3
Flatlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdettweiler View Post
I know that I and the rest of the NPLB mod squad exchange a LOT of PMs about various stuff related to administration of the project, and as such Gary and I usually have our PM boxes stuffed close to the 1000-message maximum. As you know we recently added another mod, so now most of those PMs are going three ways (thus significantly more total messages would be piling up in the DB).

That may be one of the main causes of this issue, though of course I have no idea just how much space the NPLB mods' PM boxes take up in proportion to the entire DB. I'll see about getting my box cut down to size before the deadline (I presume that any PMs over the limit will be simply deleted?), and I'll give Gary and Ian a heads-up about it, too, since I'm pretty sure that neither of them read the Lounge regularly.
Didn't you(?) set up another forum somewhere? Like you(?) said, maybe you could do your comms. there.
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Old 2009-04-10, 21:18   #4
mdettweiler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatlander View Post
Didn't you(?) set up another forum somewhere? Like you(?) said, maybe you could do your comms. there.
Hmm...yes, we did set up something a while back before we decided to use mersenneforum.org for the (as it turns out, little-used) Raiders of the Lost Primes team forum. Exchanging PMs there would definitely work. However, that does negate the advantage of having the messages conveniently close to the NPLB forum itself...we may as well just use email.

No big deal, though--it's not like most of these PMs need to be kept around for very long. I'm sure that as long as we continue to clean them out often, we should still be able to communicate OK this way.
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Old 2009-04-11, 00:20   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xyzzy View Post
The private message issue and the excessive use of code tags instead of attaching long files has caused our disk usage to nearly double over the last few months.

Thank you for your understanding and support.
What level of disk usage are we using? Is it something that throwing a couple of 1 TB drives at would solve? They are about $100 each now, and I'm sure a number of us wouldn't mind sending a little $$ (or ££ or €€ or ¥¥) to a PayPal (or similar) account.
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Old 2009-04-11, 03:32   #6
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Even the entire English Wikipedia was "only" 4GB (the last time I looked anyway). I would not have thought this forum was anywhere near the size of Wikipedia. How much disk space does mersenneforum.org have available? Disk space is soooo cheap, why has the hosting service not upgraded? Perhaps it is time to get a new host?
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Old 2009-04-11, 03:46   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xyzzy View Post
So, in a week, we plan to set everybody back to a maximum of 100 private messages. That is plenty of time for you all to download your messages so they are not lost. Private messages will also be limited to 10,000 characters, like they used to be.
I don't mean to be stating the obvious or to be inappropriate, but I just have to say that this private message restrictment will be annoying. But, I respect that. Do you what you have to do

Last fiddled with by flouran on 2009-04-11 at 03:58 Reason: Used a bad word :(
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Old 2009-04-11, 06:17   #8
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The situation is not an emergency. It is just a disturbing trend.

We have about 500MB of free disk space. However, that is space that is used for files and the forum software. When you save an attachment or an avatar, it goes to the filesystem instead of the database.

We have, so far, about 200MB on the database server, counting indexes. This is not very much, but the hosting plan we are on is a fairly inexpensive plan and there are limits on many things.

We are very happy with our current host and know the system inside and out, so we really do not want to move.

Our goal from the beginning has been to never have to prune a forum post. We have all of the posts going back to the very beginning right now and we think that is kind of cool.

Each PM or excessively long code block equals, probably, a number of public posts that can benefit everybody instead of a few individuals.

Personally, we have no messages in our PM box. We read them, act on them and delete them. We can't possibly see a need to store thousands of messages, but even if we did we would want to export them to a system that lets you search them.

There is no sinister motive here. We just want the form to run smooth and to be a useful resource. You may notice that the forum has a very good uptime and is fast the vast majority of the time. That is because we value the exchange of information above all else. You will not find epilepsy-inducing animated ads, gigantic images on every page or crazy signature blocks.

The forum as it is today is not our vision or what a forum should be. It is what the users have asked for. Very rarely do we deny a feature or tweak that a user asks for.

We hope that makes a little sense.

BTW, we do make an exception for large and silly smilies, like the one below. It is wasteful and makes little sense, but we are a bit hopped up on pain killers right now so it made the cut.

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Old 2009-04-11, 06:23   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xyzzy View Post
(cute O RLY? YA RLY cat ping-pong)
Nice backhandpaws.
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Old 2009-04-11, 06:31   #10
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To all,

As many of you probably know, I am a big culprit in the problem. I frequently will go back 2-4 weeks in my PM's to dig something out that I've forgotten about. At times, I've even gone back 2 months. Being the moderator for 1 large project (that is continuing to grow rapidly) and a medium-sized project that has the potential for being big (but I haven't had time to focus on it), that happens from time to time.

I'll more-or-less quote a PM that I responded back to Jacob a few hours ago:

As a few of you could probably easily find out, I have ~930 PM's in my box. More-or-less half of them are in the sent box and half of them in the recieve box. With the new restriction, I'd still like to keep the most recent ones for the reason stated above. Therefore I have a question: When the maximum drops to 100, will your system just delete the oldest ones from my box automatically down to the 100 newest ones?

If not, I have another question: I'd like to keep the 70-80 newest ones. Is there an easy way to do that without having to manually delete the 850-860 oldest of them? I'm not particularly looking forward to that but will if I have to.

Mike, can you check the total size of my posts in my PM box? Perhaps if I just delete 860 of them, that will get rid of a lot of your problem. (lol)

I think the site here is so popular because it's so easy to use and has a wide variety of fun misc. topics in addition to the pure math stuff. It's really a well-oiled operation and is why I chose it over so many others.

Edit: I'd be fine with throwing out $25-50 for extra disk space so that I could keep up to 2500 messages. Mike, just send me an address or P.O. Box and I'll send a cashiers check. It sounds crazy but I have found stuff from months back that I've acted on. Frequently it's some instructions from someone that I could no longer contact or some verification effort that I've forgotten about that needs to be done for one of the projects.


Thanks,
Gary

Last fiddled with by gd_barnes on 2009-04-11 at 06:37 Reason: edit
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Old 2009-04-11, 08:14   #11
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Isn't e-mail much easier if you want to keep so many messages?
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