ALERT: blog problems today – expansion over the weekend

The traffic has grown to the point where the MySQL database is falling over. 

Therefore, we must expand the server infrastructure.

It’s time to grow again, folks! 

What will probably happen is, over the weekend, we will spread everything out over three servers.

Also, we are going to take advantage of the downtime to upgrade the software.

This is more than likely going to result in a change in the look of the blog, a theme change.

The present theme breaks on the updated software.  Also, this present theme is pretty heavy to load.

Here is what I am am probably going to work with:

I do have another theme that looks very much like the present one, but it needs a lot of work.  And since I am not very good at this sort of thing yet, it’ll take time.

We will probably start doing the serious work on Saturday, starting at 1700h UTC (1300h EDT 1900h CET).

There will probably be some downtime while we are working.

Until then, however, we will have to limp into the weekend.

But on the brighter side… here is one of the nice e-mails I got while we were having trouble today.  The sender assumed, while the blog was down for everyone, including myself, that he had been singled out for special treatment:

Thank you for once again blocking me.  I suppose you can only countenance legions of groupies praising your every move and comment.  Sorry if I can’t do that.  I have enjoyed your blog, but, I must say, not having it available has had the commensurate effect of greater productivity in other areas; for that I thank you.

Warmest regards,…

When I have a moment, I will probably make his rash judgment move from potency to act.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. paladin says:

    “Thank you for once again blocking me.”

    Oh, for the love of Mary… (smacking forehead)

    Why is it that those on the socio-political left trot out the “Al Franken” style of satire, whenever they get in the least bit upset (which seems to be almost always)?

  2. paladin: Some people are happy only when they are unhappy. The traditional thing tends to attract them in large numbers.

  3. pattif says:

    I blame 40 years of teaching them to think it’s all about THEM….

  4. Wendy says:

    How about just letting him know he made a rash judgement so that he can learn from it? If you actually block him he doesn’t really learn anything. Kind of just stokes his anger, making it burn brighter. Just a thought.

    Going back in to my little corner of the world now. :)

  5. “…Why is it that those on the socio-political left trot out the “Al Franken” style of satire…”

    Because they can’t relate to the radical right’s style of trotting out lie after lie….

  6. malta says:

    I sent Fr. Z a mea culpa for my rash judgment, but it is one based on the past-experience of being blocked, not an irrational, conspiratorial fear.

    By the way, I wasn’t the least bit unhappy when I sent Fr. Z that email; just having a bit of fun. Sorry if it came across as “angry.”

  7. Wendy says:

    My bad, I’m not familiar with Al Franken, so I guess I read it wrong. LOL It happens.

  8. Al says:


    Just a vote from me for a simplified, streamlined new style. You’re right that the template as it currently stands takes a long time to load (especially from here in the UK where the internet infrastructure is ten years behind other neighbouring countries!).

    For example, the left menu bar is quite huge! Must be 200+ links there, some of which perhaps don’t need to appear on every item in your blog?

    Hope that’s helpful, please don’t take as wanton criticism!


  9. Phillip says:

    Father, would the new format make it easier for those using mobile web over a cell phone. When I am not able to access a computer, I takes a LONG time just to load and view the site, because it is so massive.

  10. Al: Yes… it is pretty heavy to load. A new “skin” for the blog should speed everything up a bit.

  11. John Enright says:

    Please, Father, don’t go with the new look! It contains too much dead space.

  12. John Enright: Changes must be made. Updates are coming and, as I explained, the present theme won’t work once the updates are made.

    I have a theme I am working on which is similar to this theme, but it is not ready.

  13. jacobus says:

    I can’t help but wonder, Father, whether you’ll provide an indult for those of us who are attached to the old form of the website.

  14. John Gordon says:

    I think congratulations are really due to Fr. Z for his wonderful work and his having to upgrade his servers again. I’m sure that while most of us are here are Catholics, many people who find this site/blog through search engines, links, etc., aren’t and have been and are able to find good, concrete, helpful information.


  15. Wendy says:

    I’ll add my congrats to John’s. I appreciate all the work you put into making this place accessible to everyone, Fr. Z.

  16. Fr. Z,

    With regards to style – go with what makes you happy. As a daily reader, I’m most interested in content, not with style.

    I only wish I could read your blog on my Sprint Centro. It tries to load the page formatted like a full blown webpage. I’m ignorant about programs that might help me to read the posts without all the formatting.

    Can anyone help me to learn about options for viewing this and other webpages on something like the Centro?

  17. prophet says:

    Re: your new design for your blog. As a printer / graphic artist… it’s not a good idea to have your picture blessing off the page. In other words, if you’re going to use that picture of yourself it needs to be on the left.


  18. Diane: I have a plugin installed right now that detects when the blog is accessed from an iPhone, thus converting the blog theme to a streamlined mobile theme.

  19. jacobus: provide an indult for those of us who are attached to the old form

    LOL! I wish I could. I am rather attached to the present look.

  20. John Enright says:

    I’d like to help. Let me know what you need to do, and I’ll try my hand at it.

  21. T says:

    It reminds me of Société Générale logo a little.

  22. ASD says:


    Thanks for great blog. I like the clean new look.

    Although it’s not a typical WDTPRS topic, since you mentioned it, I’m very curious about how it can be that “the MySQL database is falling over.” It usually considered very fast and very scalable. Are you running it on Linux?

    Regards, ASD

  23. Jeanne Hunter says:

    Fr. Z……..why do you block certain people…I know a few who have been permanently blocked. Can you tell me your criteria for doing so. Thank you and God Bless you.

    Jeanne Hunter
    Southold, NY

  24. Jeanne:

    I ban people here for very few reasons.  For example, if they

    1) constantly drag entries down rabbit holes and are a general nuisance

    2) write unmerited (in my judgment) insulting things about the Holy Father, bishops or priests

    3) level personal attacks on others who are commenting

    4) attack me in a disrespectful way without really dealing with my positions

    5) write something nasty, obscene or blasphemous

    6) are generally sour jerks who can’t make a contribution without sneering about something

    You get the idea.

    Keep in mind this is a a blog, not a forum.  I have allowed WDTPRS to take on some characteristics of a forum, but it remains a blog.

    I don’t mind tough dialogue, but I want it to be focused on issues. 

    I don’t even mind a little negativity: a lot of Catholics of a traditional mind have suffered for decades, have been completely disfranchised, have been treated like garbage and are therefore pretty hurt.  If I can provide a place to to a <i>little</i> venting… a <i>little</i>… that’s okay, so long as it doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the conversation.

    I have been at this internet thing since the early 1990’s. Over the years I have developed both a long fuse for some things and a short fuse for others. Sadly, the traditional thing tends to attract the sort of person who is happy only when he is unhappy.  I try to sort out if people are just inveterately negative or if they are expressing hurt and frustration.

    My time and energy are precious and this blog could suck my life dry if I let it. 

    This is not a group blog.  I do it myself.  I have toyed with giving a couple other people the keys, but until I do, I have to watch it.  Some people help via e-mails or SMSs or phone calls.  But it can be draining.

    Therefore, some problems are simply best cut off at the very root: that sadly involves banning people.  If you annoy me past a certain point or create more work than I think your contribution to discussion is worth, I will probably delete your comments or shut off your access as best I can.

    Sometimes I delete comments simply to help keep a discussion from being derailed.

    Since its my blog, I get to decide what being annoyed is and what a contribution is.  I am sure some people think I fail miserably in making those judgments and that I make mistakes.  I suppose I do.  Sorry.  I am doing my best. 

    Also, I nearly never intend that a ban be permanent.  If people write and let me know what was up, or say they regret what they wrote, etc., I usually lift the ban. Everyone, and I include myself, will from time to time fail to self-edit and post something we regret. 

    The people I won’t let back in are those who step over the line and then show no regret at all. 

    Those are the types who later send hate mail and blame me for their own behavior, which only confirms my decision.

    As long as this blog is a pleasure for me, and useful and enjoyable for others, I will keep it going.  In order to keep it going, I will use the option to ban people, delete comments, edit comments,… whatever. 

    On many blogs you can’t post at all, or your comments are strictly moderated, or you are required to register, etc.  I have taken the risk of a far more open door. 

    Some people abuse the welcome and they are shown the door.

    Other people can run their blogs as they desire, according to what works for them or what they intend to accomplish. 

    I will do the same.

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