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State of CustomsForge - Full - 10/18/2019

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#1
Offline   Unleashed2k

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Thank you for all the continued support for CustomsForge it means the world to us.
I want to start off by apologizing for all the downtime recently. It was never intentional and we’ve been running into several issues over the last week. I’ll start at the beginning:
 
Around Saturday (Oct. 12, 2019) there were user and staff reports of 502 and other types of errors. I investigated and started adjusting the server configs and other files. Unfortunately, this led to more severe issues so we had to revert to our server backups. For our backups we have two servers - one for MySQL and one for data. The MySQL server was reverted back to 7 days due to the fact that the last two backups had problems in the database. 
 
Additionally, we had to run a backup restore on our data server. Due to the mass amount of files on that server, it can take up to 16 hours to complete. Our backups failed multiple times. We had to have our host work on it and help fix issues with the recovery. While that was running (16 hours 5-6 times is a very big pain and super time consuming) we did have a backup that failed but mostly at OS level. I was able to recover a majority of the files and start a donation goal so we could launch a new server while our host tried to fix the backups. Thanks to Chainbrain and others, we were able to get that server going and I was able to bring CustomsForge back online.
 
From there even when the server was recovered we’ve been running into multiple problems with the servers including DNS, SSL, and email issues. I’ve been working around the clock trying to resolve any outstanding issues and we still have a lot of work ahead of us.
 
The Road Ahead: 
  • Fix login issues on the website and improve performance
  • Rewrite some basic functions on Ignition & the forum backend to prep for MySQL migration
  • Migrate MySQL to our new improved web server
  • Prep the website for Forum & Ignition upgrade (please note: no ETA but our goal is within the next few months)
 
Thanks to everyone for the support and once again I apologize for the downtime, at the moment it’s just me working on everything. 
 
If you’re experienced in Laravel, MySQL, PHP, and Server Administration we’re always looking for people to add to the team to help. You can apply here: https://goo.gl/forms/yWt0FX8GQGie3WGG2

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#2
Offline   mrdogsmusic

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good luck guys and thanx for everything



#3
Offline   rdgray87

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you guys  putting in maximum effort and as such when i can i will start to donate i thank you  for the  effort !!!!!!!



#4
Offline   nph

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At the risk of sounding like an asshole (sorry in advance), one would think that you could easily run a web server as well as the database for the forum and ignition on a VM for 10 bucks a month (20 if I'm to be generous and include some extra storage for backups and whatnot). There are hardly thousands upon thousands of concurrent users and neither do you store any CDLCs yourselves. The donation goal is 900 (!!!) a month and still there are performance problems that originate who knows where. I'm really puzzled by the situation. Sorry again and thanks for the service despite the recent issues.



#5
Offline   milbog

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At the risk of sounding like an asshole (sorry in advance), one would think that you could easily run a web server as well as the database for the forum and ignition on a VM for 10 bucks a month (20 if I'm to be generous and include some extra storage for backups and whatnot). There are hardly thousands upon thousands of concurrent users and neither do you store any CDLCs yourselves. The donation goal is 900 (!!!) a month and still there are performance problems that originate who knows where. I'm really puzzled by the situation. Sorry again and thanks for the service despite the recent issues.

Exactly. I wrote this very thing to Unleashed2k some months ago as well (it took several tries to load the page for sending the message and for it to actually go through).

 

I cannot understand why on earth would they need $900 a month to run a hosting for a forum. And with that, it is - admittedly - the worlds slowest forum in the year 2019. Perhaps in the history of the Internet.  I am just sad that this is a super useful forum which many people like, and donate to, but can still barely load forum pages without throwing an error five times out of six. And it has been pretty much like that ever since I discovered CF something like a year ago.

 

Administrators, hopefully this message will be considered as fair criticism so that you seek professional help with the problems with the website and resolve them in a long lasting way.



#6
Offline   Unleashed2k

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At the risk of sounding like an asshole (sorry in advance), one would think that you could easily run a web server as well as the database for the forum and ignition on a VM for 10 bucks a month (20 if I'm to be generous and include some extra storage for backups and whatnot). There are hardly thousands upon thousands of concurrent users and neither do you store any CDLCs yourselves. The donation goal is 900 (!!!) a month and still there are performance problems that originate who knows where. I'm really puzzled by the situation. Sorry again and thanks for the service despite the recent issues.

Exactly. I wrote this very thing to Unleashed2k some months ago as well (it took several tries to load the page for sending the message and for it to actually go through).

 

I cannot understand why on earth would they need $900 a month to run a hosting for a forum. And with that, it is - admittedly - the worlds slowest forum in the year 2019. Perhaps in the history of the Internet.  I am just sad that this is a super useful forum which many people like, and donate to, but can still barely load forum pages without throwing an error five times out of six. And it has been pretty much like that ever since I discovered CF something like a year ago.

 

Administrators, hopefully this message will be considered as fair criticism so that you seek professional help with the problems with the website and resolve them in a long lasting way.

 

There are big query issues with the website that can only be fixed by upgrading the website & forums. There are issues with the server being maxed out (both CPU & Memory) over time when services are restarted. This is due to long slow queries that do not close, therefore it builds up on memory and CPU over time. Please note the $900 IS NOT JUST for servers. It is for development, email services, backups, and more.

HtvxgM2.png

 

There are several issues with the website I'm trying to resolve and rework asap. Soon I will be changing our servers from 2 to 1. One of the reasons the costs of the servers were so expensive was that we were paying for three servers (one for data, one for mysql, one for development) + backups + service licenses cost. 

Other problems we deal with include DDoS and scrapers that cause heavy load on the website. 

 

I wish I could host the website on a $10-20 server, I truly do. But due to the way the forums & ignition are coded it is not possible at the moment. Our database is over 20gb and has several issues that we're working on resolving. In fact, CF uses around 100gb of space.

My main goal is to finish Ignition4 asap, we are very close and after that we will start the migration of the website to the new forums. The new ignition is separated from the forums requiring only authentication from the forums. With clean code and queries it should run without using a massive amount of resources. 

I hope this can help you understand the cost of running the website and that my plan is to reduce the costs asap. It's hard to finish the website when our developers are volunteers. Our main developer in in India and deals with constant issues of terrorism & the government shutting down the internet. So he has been trying his best to wrap up the development of Ignition4. We just need more help finishing the user side and a few other functions then we are done. I have been personally working on the development this go around with additional front-end developers that have been working with me on completing what we can asap. 

Originally I wanted to begin beta testing this month but unfortunately due to problems beyond my control that is not happening. 

I'll be trying my best to lower costs and speed up the website. I love CF and I am sad I am letting people like you guys down. 

 

- Unleashed2k

 

Edit:
To be transparent here is an example of the large queries that is slowing down the server. I've came up with a solution that might resolve this. It is not ideal but in theory it should work. 

DuD8wN5.png


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#7
Offline   nph

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I appreciate your detailed response.

 

>large queries that is slowing down the server

Those can't be simple lookups for the forum/ignition, can they?

 

>DDoS and scrapers that cause heavy load on the website

You should look into putting the entire domain behind CloudFlare's reverse proxy. Even their free tier could be very beneficial.



#8
Offline   Unleashed2k

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I appreciate your detailed response.
 
>large queries that is slowing down the server
Those can't be simple lookups for the forum/ignition, can they?
 
>DDoS and scrapers that cause heavy load on the website
You should look into putting the entire domain behind CloudFlare's reverse proxy. Even their free tier could be very beneficial.


We've been under cloudflare for a long time but due to recent issues with SSL and other weird issues I had to remove the site from it. I'm still working on some odd login issues users are experiencing that has to do with SSL and cookies.

The slow queries are from a function called core_like and is very intergrated with the forums and ignition. When you follow a post, like a post, reply to a post, view a record, etc this function is used. It's the largest function and is multiple gigs by itself. It's a major design flaw unfortunately but we've fixed it in the new ignition.

As of right this second I am running an experiment on the website. So far it fixed performance issues but I need to see how it works during the day. Hopefully it improves performance but basically I am killing long lasting queries now. Just not sure if it's fully working yet.

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#9
Offline   yaniv800

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Sorry man but thats the truth this site is just a forum with a big database and everything like you said i really dont want to get into your shoes i know that running this website is a big responsibility ;but there must have been a hugh mistakes made in the past  2 years

Because noting has changed ; there is still not a proper search engine for people to search and find out new songs

When you post a cdlc its got buried upon others cdlcs and you will never know what you missed because the system of this forum is super old and not changed for the past 2 years ; Theres got to be a rating system for people to know the good charts (and ive said it like 2 years ago)

Theres got to be a suggestion system for people to get suggestions for good new charts they might like

And get people encouragement to download the good cdlcs of this site

and last one theres got to be encouragement system for charters ; because no one ever saying "Thank you" or good words and thats not all youre fault because people(me included) dont like to say thank you for things but thats the way it works If you dont people will get much less quailty charts and less rare charts that got no tabs online



#10
Offline   dblbogey1

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Thanks Unleashed2k for all the hard work. I support very large data transmission platforms so I have some idea of your struggles. Besides my financial support, if you're in need of testers or something like that. Shoot me a PM.

 

Keep up the fight.



#11
Offline   Unleashed2k

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Sorry man but thats the truth this site is just a forum with a big database and everything like you said i really dont want to get into your shoes i know that running this website is a big responsibility ;but there must have been a hugh mistakes made in the past 2 years
Because noting has changed ; there is still not a proper search engine for people to search and find out new songs
When you post a cdlc its got buried upon others cdlcs and you will never know what you missed because the system of this forum is super old and not changed for the past 2 years ; Theres got to be a rating system for people to know the good charts (and ive said it like 2 years ago)
Theres got to be a suggestion system for people to get suggestions for good new charts they might like
And get people encouragement to download the good cdlcs of this site
and last one theres got to be encouragement system for charters ; because no one ever saying "Thank you" or good words and thats not all youre fault because people(me included) dont like to say thank you for things but thats the way it works If you dont people will get much less quailty
charts and less rare charts that got no tabs online

A rating system will never happen and it was the downfall of the previous site before CF. A user can rate a custom bad just for not liking the artist. I was there around the end of SA and the rating system hurt a lot of charters. Rated songs 0 even if the CDLC was good. What we will introduce is a new like or report system. You can like it if you enjoy it, and add it to your collection. Or you can report the cdlc and give reasons why. But we will NEVER introduce a star rating system.

No proper search engine? Ignition is our search engine and does its job I have no clue what you are on about.

I agree there has been problems within the last 2 years we were near deep with an ignition prototype and our developer disappeared. We had to start over and that screwed us pretty hard. That's why this time I was involved so I could help document and learn the code.

But I still don't understand how you don't use Ignition properly. I have thousands of CDLC even after my hard drive crashed its not hard to discover CDLC if you go through artist view and download songs. I'm going to have to majorly disagree with you there.

"Just remember: when something breaks, kick it as hard as you fucking can"

-Trent Reznor
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#12
Offline   ffio1

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There's a thank you button on the bottom of the record page

#13
Offline   yaniv800

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Sorry man but thats the truth this site is just a forum with a big database and everything like you said i really dont want to get into your shoes i know that running this website is a big responsibility ;but there must have been a hugh mistakes made in the past 2 years
Because noting has changed ; there is still not a proper search engine for people to search and find out new songs
When you post a cdlc its got buried upon others cdlcs and you will never know what you missed because the system of this forum is super old and not changed for the past 2 years ; Theres got to be a rating system for people to know the good charts (and ive said it like 2 years ago)
Theres got to be a suggestion system for people to get suggestions for good new charts they might like
And get people encouragement to download the good cdlcs of this site
and last one theres got to be encouragement system for charters ; because no one ever saying "Thank you" or good words and thats not all youre fault because people(me included) dont like to say thank you for things but thats the way it works If you dont people will get much less quailty
charts and less rare charts that got no tabs online

A rating system will never happen and it was the downfall of the previous site before CF. A user can rate a custom bad just for not liking the artist. I was there around the end of SA and the rating system hurt a lot of charters. Rated songs 0 even if the CDLC was good. What we will introduce is a new like or report system. You can like it if you enjoy it, and add it to your collection. Or you can report the cdlc and give reasons why. But we will NEVER introduce a star rating system.

No proper search engine? Ignition is our search engine and does its job I have no clue what you are on about.

I agree there has been problems within the last 2 years we were near deep with an ignition prototype and our developer disappeared. We had to start over and that screwed us pretty hard. That's why this time I was involved so I could help document and learn the code.

But I still don't understand how you don't use Ignition properly. I have thousands of CDLC even after my hard drive crashed its not hard to discover CDLC if you go through artist view and download songs. I'm going to have to majorly disagree with you there.

 

 

I found out that the Ulitimate-guitar rating system is pretty good ; It needs 3 votes to show the rating and if the user update his tab the rating is starting all over again ; you can also make it that only users with 50+ messages can rate a cdlc ; but still i can understand how trolls can ruin the charts i just trying to find away that people will find out the good cdlcs over the bad ones

 

My problem about the search engine is that i cant found out what im looking for

For example i want: 2000s music ; female fronted ; pop ; youre search system doesnt allow me to make it and thats what need to be fix

Because when i want to put up some rare charts in this website they are just got buried upon others cdlcs and getting really low downloads

and thats because people dont know what it is ; and people wont click on them (even to show up the video)  because there are too many cdlcs

Maybe my solution is to force charters to do at least 3 Tags to explain what the songs are ; and that will show up next to the cdlc

Another solution is to give a medal(that people will think its like offical chart) next to trusted users who are known as making great cdlcs ; that way it will help people choose the good cdlcs

 

I appreciate youre work around this website and i understand you are working around to get a new version and its not all youre fault

Im as a charter i  dont really having fun when my cdlcs turn into a block of texts and people cannot discover them unless they know the bands name

And recently when putting up some rare cdlcs that got no tabs and getting 20 downloads+10 more after a week (on my new user)

 

Sometimes i request my cdlcs on twitch to get people to know the songs more but most of the streamers dont know those songs and already playing plenty more charts so people cant really get there what the songs about too

Thats why i prefer that people will know them here with a system that explain the cdlc rather then twitch where people just get to hear it played alongside many others and get confused

 

There's a thank you button on the bottom of the record page

 

And people dont click on it ;trust me i got too many cdlcs and its super rare to see some giving you a thank you



#14
Offline   Unleashed2k

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Sorry man but thats the truth this site is just a forum with a big database and everything like you said i really dont want to get into your shoes i know that running this website is a big responsibility ;but there must have been a hugh mistakes made in the past 2 years
Because noting has changed ; there is still not a proper search engine for people to search and find out new songs
When you post a cdlc its got buried upon others cdlcs and you will never know what you missed because the system of this forum is super old and not changed for the past 2 years ; Theres got to be a rating system for people to know the good charts (and ive said it like 2 years ago)
Theres got to be a suggestion system for people to get suggestions for good new charts they might like
And get people encouragement to download the good cdlcs of this site
and last one theres got to be encouragement system for charters ; because no one ever saying "Thank you" or good words and thats not all youre fault because people(me included) dont like to say thank you for things but thats the way it works If you dont people will get much less quailty
charts and less rare charts that got no tabs online

A rating system will never happen and it was the downfall of the previous site before CF. A user can rate a custom bad just for not liking the artist. I was there around the end of SA and the rating system hurt a lot of charters. Rated songs 0 even if the CDLC was good. What we will introduce is a new like or report system. You can like it if you enjoy it, and add it to your collection. Or you can report the cdlc and give reasons why. But we will NEVER introduce a star rating system.

No proper search engine? Ignition is our search engine and does its job I have no clue what you are on about.

I agree there has been problems within the last 2 years we were near deep with an ignition prototype and our developer disappeared. We had to start over and that screwed us pretty hard. That's why this time I was involved so I could help document and learn the code.

But I still don't understand how you don't use Ignition properly. I have thousands of CDLC even after my hard drive crashed its not hard to discover CDLC if you go through artist view and download songs. I'm going to have to majorly disagree with you there.

 

 

I found out that the Ulitimate-guitar rating system is pretty good ; It needs 3 votes to show the rating and if the user update his tab the rating is starting all over again ; you can also make it that only users with 50+ messages can rate a cdlc ; but still i can understand how trolls can ruin the charts i just trying to find away that people will find out the good cdlcs over the bad ones

 

My problem about the search engine is that i cant found out what im looking for

For example i want: 2000s music ; female fronted ; pop ; youre search system doesnt allow me to make it and thats what need to be fix

Because when i want to put up some rare charts in this website they are just got buried upon others cdlcs and getting really low downloads

and thats because people dont know what it is ; and people wont click on them (even to show up the video)  because there are too many cdlcs

Maybe my solution is to force charters to do at least 3 Tags to explain what the songs are ; and that will show up next to the cdlc

Another solution is to give a medal(that people will think its like offical chart) next to trusted users who are known as making great cdlcs ; that way it will help people choose the good cdlcs

 

I appreciate youre work around this website and i understand you are working around to get a new version and its not all youre fault

Im as a charter i  dont really having fun when my cdlcs turn into a block of texts and people cannot discover them unless they know the bands name

And recently when putting up some rare cdlcs that got no tabs and getting 20 downloads+10 more after a week (on my new user)

 

Sometimes i request my cdlcs on twitch to get people to know the songs more but most of the streamers dont know those songs and already playing plenty more charts so people cant really get there what the songs about too

Thats why i prefer that people will know them here with a system that explain the cdlc rather then twitch where people just get to hear it played alongside many others and get confused

 

There's a thank you button on the bottom of the record page

 

And people dont click on it ;trust me i got too many cdlcs and its super rare to see some giving you a thank you

 

The new ignition will have tags, so that's a plus. 


"Just remember: when something breaks, kick it as hard as you fucking can"

-Trent Reznor
Support Me (Via Patreon)


#15
Offline   yaniv800

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Sorry man but thats the truth this site is just a forum with a big database and everything like you said i really dont want to get into your shoes i know that running this website is a big responsibility ;but there must have been a hugh mistakes made in the past 2 years
Because noting has changed ; there is still not a proper search engine for people to search and find out new songs
When you post a cdlc its got buried upon others cdlcs and you will never know what you missed because the system of this forum is super old and not changed for the past 2 years ; Theres got to be a rating system for people to know the good charts (and ive said it like 2 years ago)
Theres got to be a suggestion system for people to get suggestions for good new charts they might like
And get people encouragement to download the good cdlcs of this site
and last one theres got to be encouragement system for charters ; because no one ever saying "Thank you" or good words and thats not all youre fault because people(me included) dont like to say thank you for things but thats the way it works If you dont people will get much less quailty
charts and less rare charts that got no tabs online

A rating system will never happen and it was the downfall of the previous site before CF. A user can rate a custom bad just for not liking the artist. I was there around the end of SA and the rating system hurt a lot of charters. Rated songs 0 even if the CDLC was good. What we will introduce is a new like or report system. You can like it if you enjoy it, and add it to your collection. Or you can report the cdlc and give reasons why. But we will NEVER introduce a star rating system.

No proper search engine? Ignition is our search engine and does its job I have no clue what you are on about.

I agree there has been problems within the last 2 years we were near deep with an ignition prototype and our developer disappeared. We had to start over and that screwed us pretty hard. That's why this time I was involved so I could help document and learn the code.

But I still don't understand how you don't use Ignition properly. I have thousands of CDLC even after my hard drive crashed its not hard to discover CDLC if you go through artist view and download songs. I'm going to have to majorly disagree with you there.

 

 

I found out that the Ulitimate-guitar rating system is pretty good ; It needs 3 votes to show the rating and if the user update his tab the rating is starting all over again ; you can also make it that only users with 50+ messages can rate a cdlc ; but still i can understand how trolls can ruin the charts i just trying to find away that people will find out the good cdlcs over the bad ones

 

My problem about the search engine is that i cant found out what im looking for

For example i want: 2000s music ; female fronted ; pop ; youre search system doesnt allow me to make it and thats what need to be fix

Because when i want to put up some rare charts in this website they are just got buried upon others cdlcs and getting really low downloads

and thats because people dont know what it is ; and people wont click on them (even to show up the video)  because there are too many cdlcs

Maybe my solution is to force charters to do at least 3 Tags to explain what the songs are ; and that will show up next to the cdlc

Another solution is to give a medal(that people will think its like offical chart) next to trusted users who are known as making great cdlcs ; that way it will help people choose the good cdlcs

 

I appreciate youre work around this website and i understand you are working around to get a new version and its not all youre fault

Im as a charter i  dont really having fun when my cdlcs turn into a block of texts and people cannot discover them unless they know the bands name

And recently when putting up some rare cdlcs that got no tabs and getting 20 downloads+10 more after a week (on my new user)

 

Sometimes i request my cdlcs on twitch to get people to know the songs more but most of the streamers dont know those songs and already playing plenty more charts so people cant really get there what the songs about too

Thats why i prefer that people will know them here with a system that explain the cdlc rather then twitch where people just get to hear it played alongside many others and get confused

 

There's a thank you button on the bottom of the record page

 

And people dont click on it ;trust me i got too many cdlcs and its super rare to see some giving you a thank you

 

The new ignition will have tags, so that's a plus. 

 

Thats solve some problem and thats a good start ;

And my other suggestion are also good hope that there will be a full solution



#16
Offline   Jan Universe

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There's a thank you button on the bottom of the record page

Well I have searched many times for that button, but in the end, I might have found it like a few times only.

So it's not always around or so?

But basicly I gave up on looking for the button.

And ofc I gave it another go after reading this and went to the record page of my last downloaded song, and no luck there to find the button.

Maybe it should be at an other spot to click in the future maybe?


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#17
Offline   bpcairns

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@Unleashed2k I for one am extremely grateful to you for all your work on this site. It has been mostly reliable for me apart from the last week and I am disinclined to complain as "shit happens" and it seems to be working OK now. It amazes me that people moan about a free service. I'd have got bored of RS long ago without this site and the many great charters who have filled it with great content. There is way too much on here I want to play to do justice to it all so if I find a chart that isn't that great (quite rare actually) I shrug and move on to something else, maybe the charter will fix it, maybe not, there is plenty more. Keep up the good work and know you are appreciated by most of us.

 

@yaniv800 I honestly think most people are happy to search by song title or artist as they are looking for music they know, Youtube and Spotify are where one discovers new music. Perhaps your charts are for artists and songs that just aren't that popular. Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it, just that not many people on here want to play it. Personally I have no interest in searching for types of music. I know what I want to play and search for that. Just a different perspective, no criticism intended.



#18
Offline   firekorn

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@yaniv800 We are aware of what is lacking in our current search system. Yes, it's far from perfect and lacks some option but it's also a free tool made on people freetime, it can't have everything and we have to make choice as to what is the priority. The next version of ignition will surely cover some of your complaint and won't on others. We do with what we have and what we think is the best approach for as many people as possible.

 

We have constant discussion on our staff chat about the issue you are raising. Our problem is the mean to make it all happen and few user have the potential to help us on that aspect.


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#19
Offline   Unleashed2k

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Our current plan with development is to get the rewrite out asap of Ignition and upgrade the forums to the latest version. This will resolve a lot of issues. Additionally when we have the new ignition out it will be easier to push new features out since we know what we are working with now. The current code is just too integrated with the forums to do anything with, which is why we had to rewrite it. 

But yes, features like tags will be coming and we will be adding more features after Ignition4 gets released that the community wants. But our main goal is to get it rewritten and released so we can stop having performance issues.


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#20
Offline   gabigool

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Very grateful to admin and other volunteers for the work they do here.

 

Like another poster pointed out, these files have maintained my interest in Rocksmith as I'm not good enough to master songs, and prefer to play 20 different songs in one session, depending on my mood that day. 

 

I also disagree with instituting a star system. That works on UG because they have multiple versions of the same song. Here, we're lucky if we get one. You can find out if it's good by downloading it and trying it. If it isn't, you can make a comment and suggest improvements. 

 

The ability to "search by tags" would probably help me "remember" some songs that I like, but never think to look for. However, I doubt that I will ever 'discover' a new song on Customs Forge. So if the time and manpower can be used elsewhere, adding extra functionality to the search function should be a low priority IMO. 

 

I wonder would it possible to have a bare-bones backup (text file even) that basically links all the CDLCs to their host file, but without the graphics, search function etc? Just somewhere to go when the main server is down, as the files are still out there, users just can't get to them. 

Sorry if that's a stupid question, I have literally no idea whatsoever about the resources required to build or maintain a website.