Westeros: Updates

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A Forum of Ice and Fire

Site Move

A misunderstanding on our part got the time of the website move wrong by about twelve hours. The wiki and forum have now been moved. However, for some people it seems that the site appears to be down or not available, while others are seeing it just fine (with some minor issues). We have mailed our server admin, but she’s probably in bed now, so it may be awhile before the issues are corrected. Please keep an eye on the updates page for further news.


Tomorrow (the 17th) the A Song of Ice and Fire forum and the Wiki of Ice and Fire will go offline so that they can be moved to a new, much more powerful server. This will probably not happen before 3-5 PM Eastern Standard Time. The down time could extend through the next day if problems ensue, but hopefully there will be no issues.

Board Down

The A Song of Ice and Fire forum was brought down earlier today by what we suspect is a flood of spam PM messages; certainly, the crash of the board seems to closely coincide with the sending out of these messages. We have contacted our server admin about it, but it may be some time before she’ll be free to get things up and running again. If the spam flood is the cause, I have to offer an apology, as I’ve delayed putting in a patch to prevent PM spam flooding out of some laziness on my part (my eternal failing). We’ll see about getting that in place when we’ve a bit of time to figure out how to do so.

Board Downtime

The board is now back up, with a major dent put into the total post count thanks to purges. I didn’t get as far as I wanted, but 12 hours of babysitting the purge was more than enough. Sparks also ran some upgrades which will hopefully further improve things.

Board Outtage

The board seems to have gone down at some point, and we suspect it is a server configuration error rather than anything inherent to the forum; all the files are still there, that we can see. However, given the time of night where our server admin is, it may be awhile before the board is back up. Thanks for your patience.

Occasional Outages

As some may have noticed, for the most part the A Song of Ice and Fire forum runs solidly with little downtime. However, downtime does happen, and at present the primary cause of downtime is floods of spam e-mails slamming the mailserver. These waves of spam take time to filter through, and on occasion it gets so bad that it throws the webserver through a loop as well, requiring manual intervention. We ask for your continued patience during these periods.

TV Series Forum

The A Song of Ice and Fire forum now has a sub-forum dedicated to discussion of the Game of Thrones HBO series, the pilot episode of which has been greenlit for production. A series of official casting threads are a major part of the forum presently, as the executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have expressed an interest in seeing serious casting suggestions from fans.

Forum New Account Registrations

The recent cracking of Google’s captcha system (along with a number of other, similar systems) has led to an absolute flood of attempts by spam bots to sign up for the forum.

What does this mean for new registrants? For the time being, registration to the forum will require not just signing up via the sign-up page, but also sending an e-mail to us with the sign-up information you provided (user account name will be sufficient for identifying purpose) using the same e-mail account as you registered with.

It’s just impossible to wade through dozens of new sign ups (we’re getting a spam attempt approximately every ten minutes) and figure out which are legitimate and which are not at this time.

Forum Outage

The server hosting the forum appears to have gone down at some point, and all services (including the forum) were down. Now some of them have started up again, suggesting there was some sort of crash, but unfortunately the Apache server that allows web access seems to be down still. We’ve notified the system administrator, and with any luck the forum will be up soon.

Search Plugins

For those using Firefox, we’ve now introduced OpenSearch plugins to all areas of Westeros.org. There are three primary ones: the main search plugin searches sites such as The Citadel, while the forum and the wiki have dedicated plugins. Just check your search bar and you should see the option of adding our search plugins to your collection. What this will allow you to do is quickly and easily search the site, forum, and wiki from anywhere on the Internet.

So Spake Martin Update

The So Spake Martin collection has been updated with two reports from Technicon 25. In it, George R. R. Martin’s progress on A Dance with Dragons and the third “Dunk & Egg” story are discussed.

Also, a spoiler-filled report concerning a chapter from Dance that GRRM read, and ensuing discussion and elaborations, can be found at the “A Song of Ice and Forum”, here.

Board Down

For no reason currently known to us, the forum is unavailable. Some other services are also down—the IRC chan and nickservs, FTP—which suggest that the server itself may be knocked offline (possibly due to an upstream router issue). More news when we have it.

Upcoming Board Outages

We upgraded the board to the latest version of the software, but this necessitates us doing a rebuild of the contents of the database to take advantage of effeciency improvements. Unfortunately, the database is so large at this point that the rebuild process simply chokes, and with it goes the whole board, and then the whole server. This is a problem not only for the members of the board, but for the other sites hosted on the same server, and we’d like to be a good neighbor.

So, what we will need to do is prune the forums of excess posts, the usual house cleaning, and then run the rebuild.

Board Fundraiser

It’s that time again, folks! The A Song of Ice and Fire board needs your support to continue going. While the hosting is generously provided by Sparks, our terrific site admin, the costs of keeping the board running are not insignificant. We’ve currently set up a Fundable group action for $750. This is more than the previous fundraisers, because we’ve decided to move from twice-yearly fundraising efforts to annual. We believe the community is certainly capable of raising this kind of funding.

Fundable.org allows users to submit donations via Paypal or major credit cards, so everyone should be able to contribute. The group action will be open for 25 days, with a minimum donation of $10 (if you can’t manage quite that much, but would still like to contribute, please contact us and we’ll see if we can help arrange your contribution).

To go to the group action, go here. And please do feel free to spread the word around to other fans and supporters of the website!

Forum Award Update

Just a quick update on the previously noted award nomination that the forum has been put up for.

We’re firmly in second place in the contest for ARWZ’s first annual award, but we’re well behind first place. I suspect we can do a lot better than that, so get the votes moving! The contest is running to the 1st of May, so that does give fans of the forum time to help us catch up.

If you’d like to vote, go here and scroll down a bit to the list of forums. We’re down towards the bottom. Information about what the award entails—including prizes—can be found at that page as well.