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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A Forum of Ice and Fire

Chat Functioning Again

Thanks to Sparks introducing a MySQL backend to chat, which made sure that channel and user data would be retained indefinitely, the Westeros.org chat has become much more functional. However, as many may have noticed, the login page was not working correctly for quite awhile, with all users being assigned a random name regardless of what nickname they put in.

Well, that problem has now been fixed as well! Feel free to drop by the new, improved Westeros.org Chat and say hi.

Board Effeciency Improved

An issue that has troubled us for awhile has involved the fact that when the server hosting Westeros.org-proper is down, this can lead to the server hosting the forums to act this is very slowly. This is due to the fact that some of the sidebar content—the latest news and the recommendations—is pulled from Westeros.org, and the attempt to complete the loading stops up the rest of the board until the connection finally times out. Previously, when this happened, we had to manually turn off the calls for the news and recommendations so that the rest of the board would act normally. Of course, this depended on our being aware of the problem and available.

After learning some elementary but new to us PHP, we believe we’ve worked out a way to prevent this from happening from now on. It may cause very minor delays in those cases where Westeros.org is out, but we’re talking a couple of seconds rather than minutes, so it’s a definite improvement.

Board Downtime

We’ve upgraded from IPB 2.1.x to 2.2.1. This is a relatively major upgrade, including a host of changes both up front and behind the scenes. Unfortunately, these means that the skins the board uses are quite broken in some areas, to the point where the board is unusable until these skins are updated. The board will be down while these updates are being carried out. We have no estimate on how long this will take, but we’re working as quickly as possible.

Forum Award Nomination

We’ve just been informed that the A Song of Ice and Fire Board has been nominated in ARWZ’s first annual award, designed to promote forums that have helped provide a place for fans of “alternate reality” literature (SF/F, horror, etc.) to talk about it. We’re very pleased with this, and would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the board (past and present) who has helped to make it the great place it is. :)

If you’d like to vote, go here and scroll down a bit to the list of forums. We’re down towards the bottom.

Board Fundraiser

Every six months or so, we like to raise funds to help cover some of the costs incurred in running the A Song of Ice and Fire Board. Because of most excellent site admin (who also provides hosting for Westeros.org in general), the cost of the board is much lower than it would be at a commercial hosting package, but there’s still some cost. If you use the board to any degree and enjoy your time here, please do donate! To donate, you can go here where a group action for $500 is being hosted.

It should be noted that Fundable does take a percentage of the money raised (7%) but the convenience of it is that those without Paypal accounts can just use their credit cards without having to sign up for anything. Furthermore, Fundable actually requires fundraisers to be $500 or more; if a fundraiser fails to reach its minimum, the funds are basically sent back to the donors. $500 is more than we need this time around (in general, we look to raise roughly $750-$800 per year to help with the hosting costs). We contacted Fundable and they have assured us, however, that if we don’t reach the $500 mark, they’ll still pass on the money. This is one reason why we’ve made it a 2 week fundraiser rather than a month-long event, since we’re not concerned about reaching $500. That said, we do hope to raise at least $350.

Again, if you wish to donate, please go here. Thanks for your continuing support!

World of Ice and Fire Forum Added

A new subforum has been added for the purpose of discussing what fans would like to see in The World of Ice and Fire.

Board Offline

Board offline for at least a couple of hours more, due to security issues.

Fundraising Update

Just to update on the previously reported fundraiser for the board, we’ve now shifted from taking Paypal donations to Fundable.org, which accepts direct credit card payments as well as Paypal….

... and we’re done! Thanks to everyone who helped us raise $372 for the continuing operation of the board!

Board Fundraiser

It’s that time again: fundraising time.

Last year, shortly after we moved to this site, we quickly raised $355 to cover 6 months of hosting on our fabulous server. Now the server is even more fabulous (with a bit of a security upgrade, thanks to the NSA wink.gif and we figure another $350 or so for the next six months would be a great way to support the site and help our very cool host cover some of her costs in providing this service (thanks, Sparks!).

Board Down

Due to unforseen circumstances, the board and IRC chat will be down for an indefinite period while it’s given a clean reinstall. We hope the downtime will be brief, although the timing with this weekend (busy for the both of us) is not ideal. We’ll do our best to get the board up swiftly, with the help of our siteadmin.

Until then, our apologies for the downtime. If you feel like socializing with fellow boarders in the meantime, consider visiting the Chat Board.

Forum Back Up

The A Song of Ice and Fire forum is now back up again. There was a problem with an update which seems to have resulted in the webserver going down.

Forum Downtime

At the moment, the A Song of Ice and Fire forum is down, and we do not currently know what has gone wrong or when it will be back up. A brief downtime was scheduled for today, as the ISP was upgrading their routers, but as other services on the server in question have now started functioning again, it seems something has gone wrong with the forum. Possibly the webserver went down and hasn’t been restarted yet.

Board Fundraiser

Now that the board has successfully migrated and proved to work very well indeed, it’s time to raise funds for it. If you’d like to read more, or contribute, please go to this thread.

UPDATE: We successfully completed this fundraiser in a little over 12 hours, so it is not closed. Thanks to everyone who contributed!

New Forum

After much time and effort spent by Linda, our new A Song of Ice and Fire board is just about ready to go live. Feel free to visit, peruse, and (better) yet participate! At present, the series-discussion threads are closed while we prepare some code for spoiler protection, but everything else is presently active. The current board will probably be closed down entirely on Monday; if you’re a past or present user of that forum, do check the Post Count topic in the Help of the new board.