You are on the backup site for Chessvariants.com. Any posts, moves, or other changes you make here will not be permanent, because the pages and database from the main site will be backed up here every midnight EST. Additionally, things may not be working right, because this site is also a testbed for newer system software. So, if you are not here to test, develop, or merely read this site, you may want to change .org to .com in the navigation bar and go to the main site.



The Chess Variant Pages




[ Help | Earliest Comments | Latest Comments ]
[ List All Subjects of Discussion | Create New Subject of Discussion ]
[ List Latest Comments Only For Pages | Games | Rated Pages | Rated Games | Subjects of Discussion ]

Comments by Fergus Duniho

LatestLater Reverse Order EarlierEarliest
About Game Courier. Web-based system for playing many different variants by email or in real-time.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-10-03 UTC

I was looking for a global way to eliminate some PHP warnings, but that requirement proved to be too restrictive. So, I have removed it.

I then tried requiring minimal argument counts instead, but even that caused problems for unary, binary, and mixed unary/binary operators. But since they seemed to work with operators requiring 3 or more arguments, I left those minimal argument count requirements in.


Game Courier Settings Files. Keep track of all the settings files you have written for Game Courier.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-10-01 UTC

After thinking about it, I decided to cancel the renaming of Futashikana Shogi. Please delete both presets for Dai Shosu Shogi.

It looks like someone has taken care of this.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-30 UTC

I decided to rename Futashikana Shogi to Dai Shosu Shogi.

While it has apparently been done, or is in the process of being done, I would like to advise against renaming in general. When you release a game, it takes on a life of its own that may extend outside of this site. While I was working on the taginfo.php script today, I was testing it with the Ai Ai tag, and one line on the page was displaying as empty. When I tracked down what was causing this, it was the ItemID for Futashikana Shogi. Apparently, someone has programmed Futashikana Shogi for Ai Ai, where it remains known by that name and not by the name Dai Shosu Shogi.

Additionally, the name has been changed without updating the RelocatedPages table. This table should have a row added to it for each page whose URL and ItemID both change. It may be done by editing the table in PHPMyAdmin, which the main editors have the URL, userid and password for.

When the page gets rewritten, it should mention the original name and why the name was changed.


Yangsi. A very playable chess variant with 12 different pieces on a 10x10 board.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-30 UTC

See the Ai Ai tag at the bottom of the page.


Game Courier Settings Files. Keep track of all the settings files you have written for Game Courier.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-29 UTC

I'm open to feedback on how best to manage this sort of thing. One possibility is to create a new Item with the new name, we can move over the references in the database I've mentioned, and leave the old page with just a link forwarding to the new page (possibly even an automatic redirect, though I'm not sure if that'd work in a member submission view script).

The database has a RelocatedPages table. Just add an entry that includes its old URL and its new ItemID, and the 404 script will take care of the details.


Backups[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-27 UTC

I now have a script set up that runs from the backup server to make daily backups of both the /home/chessvariants/public_html/ directory and the chessvariants database every midnight at Eastern Standard Time. The script looks like this, but with the actual database password. It doesn't need the server password, because it is using an SSH key pair to connect.

#1/bin/bash
mv /root/chessvariants.sql /root/chessvariant-backup.sql
ssh [email protected] mysqldump --opt --user=root --password=XXXXXX chessvariants > /root/chessvariants.sql
/usr/bin/rsync -ae ssh --delete [email protected]:/home/chessvariants/public_html/ /home/chessvariants/public_html/
touch /home/chessvariants/public_html/
mysql --password=XXXXXX chessvariants < /root/chessvariants.sql

Pandemonium (Surajang修羅場). Capablanca chess + Crazyhouse.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-27 UTC

Okay, I closed the A tags, and now the text is no longer red in regular mode, and it's no longer blue in Reader mode.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-27 UTC

I fixed the problem by no longer enclosing each section in SECTION tags.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-27 UTC

It might be. It looks like Safari's Reader mode makes inappropriate decisions about what to exclude. In another page I looked at, it showed the Pieces section but skipped the Rules section. My advice would be to not use its Reader mode on this site. It should be unnecessary anyway, since mobile pages here leave out sidebar ads.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-27 UTC

On my iPad, Safari's Reader mode is skipping the whole Pieces section. Without Reader mode, things look fine in both Safari and Chrome. I also tried Firefox's Reader mode on my Likebook Mars. It did not skip the Pieces section, though it did mess up your ASCII diagram.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-26 UTC

Try using only alphanumeric and punctuation characters found in ASCII in your file names. Korean letters may not be recognized by all software.


Comemnt search doesnt work[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-26 UTC

Are there any plans to restore this functionality?

I tried to yesterday and failed. I have not been able to get MariaDB 10 to work reliably on either server, HostSlayer or RackNerd. It used to work before I tried updating the HostSlayer VPS to Rocky Linux via updating to CentOS 8 first. So, maybe there is some setting that has to be corrected. For now, chessvariants.com runs on HostSlayer with CentOS 7, PHP 7, and MariaDB 5.5, while chessvariants.org runs on RackNerd with Rocky Linux 8, PHP 8, and MariaDB 10. Until I can get things working correctly on the new RackNerd VPS, I will continue to use MariaDB 5.5, and comment searching will remain disabled.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-26 UTC

There appears to be some kind of corruption from the MariaDB 10 installation that is preventing a reinstallation of MariaDB 5.5 from working. When I check its status after reinstalling version 5.5, it says "Failed to start MariaDB 10.6.4 database server." I expect I will have to reinstall CentOS, but I don't want to get it started right now, because it is late. Unfortunately, the new VPS also seems to be having issues with MariaDB 10. It frequently loses connection with the MySQL server, and I have to refresh a page a few times before it connects.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-26 UTC

Since I haven't gotten MariaDB to work on the original server, I switched the domains of the servers. However, there are still things to fix, and I still have to deal with the original server.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-25 UTC

My attempt to update chessvariants.com to MariaDB 10 has not been successful, and I have been unable to revert to MariaDB 5.5 without errors. So, chessvariants.com is currently without a working database. At least I made a backup and copied it to chessvariants.org. If the problem on chessvariants.com continues, I might not continue with HostSlayer. As long as I have things backed up on RackNerd, I may try reinstalling the OS on HostSlayer. But for now, I have floaters in my eyes, and I need to have lunch.


Backups[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-25 UTC

The touch command was used on the new server's /home/chessvariants/public_html/ directory at 12:00:14 AM EST. So, the automated daily backup worked when it was expected to. I'll look into including a backup of the database into the same script today. But since there are some different files in the folders for the database on each server, I want to fix that by making them both use the same version of MariaDB.


Comemnt search doesnt work[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-25 UTC

It depends on a feature of MariaDB 10, but when I restored the server earlier this year, MariaDB 10 was frequently losing the connection to the database, and MariaDB 5 proved more reliable. So, I switched to MariaDB 5 and manually removed the details that required 10. On the new server, I have installed Rocky Linux 8, PHP 8, and MariaDB 10. Since it also has reverse DNS, which should make email more likely to be delivered, I have plans to make it the main server when everything is working correctly on it. For now, I have to update scripts to work with PHP 8. The new server has less storage space, but it has more than enough for the site. It has less RAM, but this server usually doesn't use even half the available RAM. Both sites have 4 cores, and the new VPS uses faster CPUs. Although the new server is on chessvariants.org, it will not support comment search until I add support for this back into the database. To start with, I will look into updating to MariaDB 10 on this server.


Backups[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-25 UTC

I have set up some cron jobs to do backups with rsync. On this server, rsync will create hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and annual backups. These are in case it's important to revert a change to a script or page. Editors with access to the server can find these in /home/chessvariants/backups/.

The new server has a cron job to make a daily backup of the public_html directory on this server. I set up an SSH key pair to allow it to do this without a password. This will copy the /public_html/ for chessvariants.com to that for chessvariants.org. This is expected to happen at midnight EST. To be sure of what time it does it, I'll check the timestamp on the /public_html/ directory tomorrow, since I also made the script use the touch command on it when it is done updating. I still have not added commands for backing up the database. It will be important to do both together to keep their backups in sync.


@ Fergus Duniho[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-24 UTC

Testing whether posting here meets same error as posting on new server.


Apothecary Chess Tournament[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-23 UTC

I made a test copy of one of these games, and I successfully moved in it. If Oisin had around two days left, that's consistent with him having less than a day now, because the site has been back online for a few days already. Tell him to move before his time runs out.


McCooey's Hexagonal Chess. Chess on a board, made out of hexes. (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-23 UTC

My opponent sent an email to me saying he cannot move in the following log:

https://www.chessvariants.com/play/pbm/play.php?game=McCooey%27s+Hexagonal+Chess&log=panther-tim_olena-2021-204-636

He's in check and has few legal moves. Also, the ASCII diagram he is using will not display legal moves or allow moving with the mouse. I was able to get as far as previewing a move after changing the rendering method. Not being him, I couldn't go any further.

UPDATE: Upon further testing, I found no problem with being able to move. I created a test log that just changed userids, and I successfully moved. Since the log had no time controls, the time the site spent offline had no effect on anything.


Apothecary Chess Tournament[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-23 UTC

I still see time on the clocks, and I already gave additional time to all interrupted timed games. I'll do some testing later if he still hasn't moved.


Server crash[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-22 UTC

I have made additional changes to the following scripts on both servers:

  • footer.php
  • index/database-funcs.php
  • index/drawemail.php
  • index/editcomment.php
  • index/listcomments.php
  • index/login-funcs.php
  • index/randgame.php
  • play/pbm/drawdiagram.php
  • play/pbm/logs.php
  • play/pbm/play.php

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-22 UTC

The new server is running PHP 8. So, I have updated some scripts over there to work with PHP 8, and I have copied the updated versions to the main server. These include the following:

  • 404.php
  • footer.php
  • ads/adlocale.php
  • index/commentsinc.php
  • index/database-funcs.php
  • index/displayusersubmission.php
  • index/fpd-indexing-funcs.php
  • login/header.php
  • play/pbm/play.php

One change is that {curly brackets} may no longer be used to specify characters within a string. [Square brackets] must be used instead, as they are already used for array elements. The other is that parentheses must now be used to specify the order of evaluation for nested ?: statements.

I will check more pages later to see if any more scripts need updating.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-09-21 UTC

I can't access my game that was interrupted. I hope that timed-out games (due to the site being down) will be playable soon.

It appears that the problem with your game affects only Chu Shogi, and it has nothing to do with the game being interrupted, as I encountered the same problem when I tried to simply move pieces in Chu Shogi. What happens is that the page stops displaying partway through the menu, and it doesn't give me any clear indication of what is wrong. It looks like this is going to be a problem for Adam DeWitt to solve, as it stems from his chu settings file.


25 comments displayed

LatestLater Reverse Order EarlierEarliest

Permalink to the exact comments currently displayed.