weblogs.asp.net, www.asp.net, and forums.asp.net update

3 minute read

Well, we made some rather large site updates today. Some went well, some not so well. We’ve had a lot of feedback to digest.

I want to personally apologize for the roughness of today’s updates. It obviously didn’t go anywhere near as smoothly as we planned. We made the update around 2AM EST last night, unfortunately due to some technology reasons (shared membership so all sites can share usernames and passwords) we had to make a lot of updates simultaneously. At the same time we rolled out a new design which was created by a design agency in Seattle (so don’t hang us out to dry on the design!).

We started seeing some performance problems with the main www.asp.net application early this morning and of course those problems grew worse over the course of the next several hours. We believe the problem is a memory leak in a component we are using for search, but that isn’t confirmed yet. Nevertheless, the performance problems also impacted forums.asp.net (they are on the same server cluster). Around noon today we rolled www.asp.net back to previous version of the application — but as you can see from the new design forums.asp.net remained on the updated design.

The update also affected weblogs.asp.net: we moved weblogs.asp.net to its own set of dedicated servers, but also had some regressions/problems with JavaScript and themes not carrying over. Typically for security reasons we disable JavaScript and JavaScript is going to be re-enabled on the blogs. I’ve had several people point out that there were not notified of the update — previously we’ve sent mail to people to let them know about any changes. We did send mail this time, but for whatever reason only 119 emails got sent out… and of course some of our most vocal critics didn’t receive notices. Go figure!

We’re moving www.asp.net and forums.asp.net to some new hardware in the next couple of weeks as well. This should also do a lot to improve the performance — right now www.asp.net, forums.asp.net, and about 25+ other applications run on 2 web servers and a single database server (and serve a TON of traffic). Yes, we’re very much past due on making hardware updates.

So again, my apologies for the rough day – the frustration with the updates and breaking features is totally valid. We’ve also had some people point out complaints about performance. It’s easy to sit back and point out everything that is wrong — but there are many people both on my team and at Microsoft working to *improve* these sites and make them better.

If you want to throw any rotten tomatoes you can do so here or to me directly at rhoward@telligent.com — what we really appreciate though is real feedback. I don’t care if you call us out for something dumb that we’ve done, but at least also have a suggestion for what should be improved. 

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