Friday, October 27, 2006

Dmoz's Catastrophic Server/Hardware Failure

Ah, well, I think Dmoz has a history of having server problems. But, about a week ago, around October 20th, Dmoz had a major hardware failure and the whole website went down, except the internal forums. Unfortunately about that is that most editors don't know that the internal forums are up and running or how to get there. Fortunately, for the last 36 hours they've been able to display a custom error message telling people that Dmoz is experiencing server problems. Those problems happen to be catastrophic failure and the Dmoz won't be up and running for about another week while AOL tech's work to restore the data. That means that only the internal forums will be available for the time being, but editors won't be able to log into the dashboard or make any edits. In fact, the pages that are displaying now at the site are cached pages containing old data. How old? I don't know. I know that when I go to my editor profile page I see the two categories I recently gained privileges in aren't showing up. One of those two categories I had for about 1-2 weeks before the hardware failure.

Ah, well, I wasn't in the mood for editing anyway. So, had the hardware failure not occurred I still wouldn't have had the urge to edit much, so I'm not too bothered by the outage, although some editors are, and are already complaining and condemning the AOL tech's who are working diligently to fix the problems. What's worse than being a back-seat tech (think back-seat driver)? Being a back-seat tech with no experience or background in computer hardware or networking. Shame on those editors who criticize the AOL tech's for not working hard or fast enough to fix the problems. Obviously those editors don't have a background in IT or they'll see that it's not as easy and quick to fix as they'd like to think. They seem to think that since AOL is a multi-million dollar conglomerate that they (AOL) can make miracles happen. Um, no. Just like the medium-sized business owner or the home user who experiences hardware failure they first have to detect what went wrong and how to fix it, and AOL tech's are no different in that manner. FYI, Dmoz probably won't be up and running for about another week, around early November


I did get accepted into two new categories before the hardware failure. Editing is boring sometimes, so that's probably why I haven't had the urge to edit much lately - not that I could. Well, I'm 2 weeks behind on my plan to take over, err, move up in Dmoz. I've studied a lot of profiles of other Dmoz editors who are editall+ and they all have some similarities: They gained editall+ permissions with about 12,000 total edits and around 5,000 adds. The amount of time they were an editor before gaining editall+ fluctuates. Mostly, I've seen where they've gained the privileges about a year after they first became an editor, several years after becoming an editor, but rarely less than a year after becoming an editor. It depends on how active they are at editing. Plus, the categories they've edited in are diverse; about 4-5 sections of the directory they've edited across.

Well, I probably won't be logging into the Dmoz internal forums much, I'm tired of seeing some (very few) editors complain about things not moving fast enough, as if they were in charge then things would have been fixed already: WHATEVER! And, I'd hate to see what they're saying on outside forums about the people who are working hard to fix this problem.