Westeros: Updates

Westeros is the premiere fansite for George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. Discuss the series on the forums, browse our resource collections, read about the TV series from HBO and play the MUSH, to name just a few of the things we offer.

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Westeros on Swedish National Radio

This morning, Linda was on Swedish national radio station P3, on the PP3 program, to discuss Game of Thrones. For Swedes—and Scandinavians and others who can understand Swedish—you can listen in to the program here. Linda’s appearance starts 18 minutes into the program.

On Recent Downtime

Just to bring everyone up to speed on this and past downtime issues:

In the last couple of months, the A Song of Ice and Fire forum has boomed, becoming the #1 spot on the web to discuss the series, and we thought that was the major part of the issues. We’ve worked hard to address many issues, and have succeeded to some degree. But ... we just discovered another part: the Wiki of Ice and Fire. We never realized just how used the wiki is (as an aside—hats off to our various wiki editors who’ve made it such a fantastic resource! Anyone who’s a member of the forum can join in editing it, BTW), until we put in Google Analytics a couple of days ago….

It turns out the wiki draws even more traffic than the forum does! No wonder the forum was suddenly unable to keep up with the crush: it was fighting for MySQL connection space with the wiki. This led us to experiment with a major increase in maximum MySQL connections allowed, but that was badly advised on my part—we should have waited for a quieter period to try it. It ended up completely choking the server, so much so that our wonderful host (Sparks) could only reboot it in hopes of getting in after it restarted to fix things…. but the crush of traffic to the wiki and forum meant that it was no go. Ultimately, the server had to be taken down and a tech at the data center shut off Apache before putting it back on the web for Sparks to settle it down. The reboots and extreme hard disk and memory usage led to corruption that also had to repaired.

End result? Boy, howdy, Westeros.org is an extremely popular site—thank you very much, to our visitors, the members of the forum, the wiki editors, Sparks, and everyone else who’s contributed to its existence!—but we need to do more tinkering. This may well include a move to a mightier server, and some other back-end changes to help alleviate the problems as far as possible. The serve move, if it happens, may happen as soon as next week.

More info when we have it .. and please, keep an eye out for our annual summer fundraiser, a way to pay back Sparks for the work she’s done and to make sure the forum and wiki can keep on going!

Forum and Wiki Downtime

The colocation facility where Westeros.org is hosted was compromised by some crackers installing rootkits. Sparks has taken some of the server functions down, and that seems to cover HTTP or the server where the forum and wiki are right now. Westeros.org sites such as the Citadel, All Sorts of Weird Stuff, Game of Thrones, and so on are currently working, as is the Blood of Dragons MUSH, however.

Will update when we’ve more information.

Site for the HBO Series Added

A new site, Game of Thrones, has been added to Westeros. It will be dedicated to the (hopefully) forthcoming HBO series based on A Song of Ice and fire, and the plan is that if the series is picked up it will offer news, some yet-to-be-decided features, character pages, episode guides and a gallery. We have already started posting to the News blog, but until we know whether the series goes ahead or not, the other sections will see fairly minimal usage. The site is also not fully finished in terms of layout, since we are developing a new look which we then hope to migrate to the other sites on Westeros.

If you have any questions, comments and suggestions about the new site, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).