• 28 August 2014 22:29:29

    August holidays, Fileserver to CDN switchover and WYSIWYG editor for descriptions

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    Hello, and let me start by apologising for the lack of updates recently. August is typically our holiday month where most of us take at least a week or two off (or 4, in my case) to have our holidays, rest and recuperate away from the sites. I'll doubly apologise to those people who've sent in support tickets via the contact form. As I am the sole point of contact for support tickets if I'm not around they go unanswered, and a lot have gone unanswered this month (though I've tried to at least cover the Premium Members who are having issues with their payments). So, sorry about that. Service should resume as normal come September.

    I'll also do a shout out to a few of you who spotted me at i52 last weekend at the Ricoh Arena. Always slightly odd when randomers shout out "Dark0ne" across a hall, across some tables during board games or drinking with friends at one of the bars but it was great to meet some of you and share some modding stories. Never be afraid to come up and say hello. I'm not a celebrity, just a regular Joe.

    Having said that, it's not like we've done nothing this month.

    File servers and CDN switchover

    During the Steam Summer Sale, and for several weeks afterwards, we experienced issues with our download servers due to the sheer number of people who were coming to the site to get their fill of mods, a problem we didn't originally have due to the fact the sites would crash before the download servers would. We've been working since then on a switch-over to a CDN service used by the likes of Steam and Eve Online so that this will never be an issue again.

    Earlier on in the week we released a new version of NMM that makes use of this CDN service and also switched our manual download mechanism over to the CDN service as well. You no longer choose the file server you want to download from, the CDN should automatically select the nearest server they have to your location and serve your file from there. Even if we wanted to there's no mechanism to manually choose what CDN server you download from; our provider has thousands of servers across the globe.

    A few people have come on to the forums to say that their download speeds have decreased and a few people have come on to the forums to say their download speeds have increased. We want to give the CDN a chance to balance itself out -- it does have a self-learning process that adapts to the way in which we use the CDN (e.g. the demographics and usage during the time of the day) and it can only learn this information with prolonged use. It needs to learn how we use their resources so it can allocate them accordingly. The hope is within a couple of weeks it will have enough information to sort itself out for everybody.

    This update will require another forced update for NMM users which we'll enforce some time next week. This is because we will be decommissioning our complete set of current file servers as they will no longer be used (and frankly, we cannot afford to keep both the old file servers and CDN service running. We'd be paying double for little reason). What we will do, however, is keep the Premium servers. While it's our hope that the CDN will completely fulfill your download needs I've noticed a few Premium Members stating they're getting slower speeds on the CDN (while others are claiming they can now download at 13MB+ a second...) so, out of respect, these will be kept and we'll add the option for Premium Members to use these again at some point soon.

    I'd love to hear your feedback on this but please note if you're getting slower download speeds than before then please be patient and give it some time. If it's still just as bad in 2 weeks time then please come back and let us know. One of the programmers was getting terrible speeds to begin with and now it's maxing out his connection consistently.

    What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor in uploads

    Something that's been requested a lot over the years is a decent way to manipulate the BBCode usable in file and image descriptions to make file and image pages look prettier. Lots of mod authors have learnt the code themselves while lots of others have struggled.

    We introduced a WYSIWYG to the description fields to help with this. The editor should provide tools to help manipulate your description and show you exactly what it looks like on the page.

    It's not been without its bugs, and we know there are still a couple left to squash. If you're really struggling with it/hate it then if you click the "BBCode" button then it'll switch to code-mode, which is basically resetting the form field to how it used to be. No WYSIWYG stuff.

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