Many of you who have been members of Ricochet long enough have experienced the dreaded "login problem." Sometimes (about once a month?) the site will simply log you out and keep you out for a day or two at a time, no matter how many times you log in again. We have not been able to reproduce it in-house long enough to debug it, and it comes and goes; it's been a bit of a ghost problem. We love our content management software platform overall, but we were not sure if it was to blame, or if it was the interaction between other layers in the server software stack.
A month ago, a new release of the software came out. We decided to upgrade, as we were now two versions behind. We were hoping this would resolve this problem and others. Thanksgiving week seemed to be a good time to do it, as traffic is a bit lighter.
After testing the upgrade on a development server all weekend, this morning I rolled out the upgrade on our production servers. No matter how you test, however, you can never reproduce the exact conditions of a running site with a significant amount of live traffic. We immediately found that the login problem actually became universal: no one could stay logged in, or it seemed sporadically to log you in and out.
So, first of all, apologies to all of you who had to suffer through that. I rolled the servers back to our original version, but to really test and debug the problem, I had to switch over to the upgraded version several times throughout the day. I finally realized I needed to upgrade another component of the server software stack, after which the problem seems to have gone away.
Our server is now running on the latest version of the content management software, and the login problem seems to be resolved. We hope it is resolved for good, but do please let us know if you run across it again.
There are many things for which each of us can be thankful if we care to think about it. My job as architect, sysadmin and lead developer of this site is hard at times, but I mostly love my work and am very thankful for this opportunity. I hope each of you is somehow enriched by Ricochet.
Thanks for being readers and members! You are the reason we are here, and the reason I get to work on such a great site every day.