Down for a Week and Counting…

No one in the blogosphere seems to have commented, that I’ve been able to find, about the mysterious shutdown of, which hosts the support forums for the popular open source software phpBB, a bulletin board server program (or forum software, as some call it).

Their website says the following:

Ouch! RAID array failure…

We’re sad to announce that during the switch of a failed harddisk to the hot-spare and the planned 2 hours required for the array to re-sync, we’ve been hit by an extremely unexpected double-disk failure which leaves us with a dead array.

As the server needs to be rebuilt with a new set of harddisks and reconfigured, there will be a number of days of downtime whilst this holding page is up on a vserver and that the server failure can be recovered from with the existing website and data from our private CVS repositories restored.

I don’t know. I’ve been waiting a week so far that to check some forum articles to get some support. I run at least three websites using phpBB and have been a huge fan of it for years. But this is what gives open source a bad name. Surely, surely (I tell myself) they had a backup of the existing forums that at the very least (I tell myself) they could post on a static domain and 302 redirect all their existing links over to until they can rebuild their array. That might take one guy about, oh, a half-day (if he is slow).

But its been a week (at least). Of course, I can’t really tell how long it has been down since the announcement isn’t dated. Talk about companies needing to have a corporate blog. I’m not surprised when companies like Jet Blue screw up and fail to communicate properly with their clients, using a blog only as a means of corporate babble-speak, regurgitating their press releases three days after every news outlet in the world has already reported on it. I really don’t expect much from big corporations. But an open-source tech company? Come on, guys! Spend time putting a date on your announcements and less time taking cute pictures of guys dressed in chickens.

This one blogger says he is swearing off phpBB for some problems I haven’t heard much about. I normally wouldn’t jump ship - I’m pretty loyal. But if I can’t get support, what choice do I have?

Update: March 20, 2007

As of today, phpBB is back up and running with a new site design. It looks nice. They said in their news post that after the site failed, they decided to go ahead and work extra to redo the entire site design. Sounds like we aren’t getting the full story. No website developer would take a site down to redesign it, and any site worth two cents wouldn’t be kept down longer than absolutely necessary. You don’t let a website crash and then decide that’s a good time to also redesign it. Very strange. The new site looks very nice, but it has lots of broken links throughout. I found 4 in the first few minutes on the site. Not good, phpBB.

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So I was off work and surfing and found this place and thought I would join up. I don’t have much more to say right now except I need to start reading some of the older posts to get up to speed before I can start posting.


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