1. 4

Hey folks,

Sorry for the outage that ran from 2017-04-30 to 15 minutes ago. We’re back up and I don’t anticipate future outages. The search engine is currently broken and will stay that way for at least a few days.

Exactly three months ago I migrated the site from Heroku to NirdHost to reduce hosting costs (Sphinx + SSL). In return, NirdHost received a thanks on the ‘About’ page. Since then, NirdHost has had some internal changes that are not my sausage-making story to tell. The end result is that Barnacles' SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt expired without being replaced. The site is configured with security headers (Strict-Transport-Security via Rails’s force_ssl setting) saying it should never be accessed insecurely. So instead of visitors seeing the site insecurely, browsers (correctly!) refused to proceed and we were effectively down.

I’ve migrated us back to Heroku. The price of SSL support is lower (from $20/month to $7/month) now, which is lucky. The other expense is the search engine. The lobsters codebase that we’re based on was originally built on MySQL. MySQL doesn’t have great features for text search, so the site relied on Sphinx for searching, which unfortunately costs $55/month at Heroku. I’d already ported everything but search to use PostgreSQL instead of MySQL, so I’m going to port search (or hopefully pull in code from someone who’s already done it). But this means search will be down until I can get to that (PR welcome).

That’s all I got. Sorry for the inconvenience, and a fond farewell to our previous host. Please let me know if you see anything odd on the site in the next few weeks.

Special thanks to @AlexGilleran and @asteadman for letting me know the site was down.


  2. 2

    Thanks for the detailed write-up

    1. 2

      Yaaaay. Nice work getting it back up :)