Jatsko wrote: ↑
06 Jan 2022 15:31
That raises a question: since I don't know anything about how running a server like this works - when you say "you have to keep the browser window open", does that mean there's a browser window open on a constantly running computer somewhere all the time to keep the forum running, or is that just for adding results to the search index?
The way interactions on the web work, generally speaking, is that
- The client request a page from the server,
- The server runs code to produce the page,
- The server sends the page to the client.
Since the forum is ran entirely as a web server, everything the forum does has to be contained within that basic framework. It's simple enough in the case of, say, displaying the front page of the forum. The client requests [www.pastelland.net/forum
] from the server, the server runs code (which in this case involves querying the database, which is a somewhat separate entity, for a list of forums, their number of posts, and so forth) to put together how the front page should look, and sends it back to the client.
For posting to the forums the logic is similar. When the user presses "submit", what actually (roughly) happens is the user requests a page containing their post, with the text of the post submitted as part of the request. The server then, in order to serve that page, adds the post to the database, then serves the last page of the thread the post is in. However, this is already a bit of a hack, because other things need to happen when a post is submitted, including adding it to the search index and sending out email notifications, neither of which have anything to do with displaying the submitted post to the poster. Nevertheless, those things are all done as part of the process to display the submitted post for the first time, because it's a webserver and it can only ever do things when responding to a browser requesting a page.
This reaches an extreme when it comes to rebuilding the search index, which is a long and time-consuming bulk operation. Ideally you would just press a button and it would keep running, but it can only do things as part of responding to requests for webpages, and if the client has to wait too long for a page the request will simply time out. The solution, therefore, is to have a page that, each time it's requested, the server rebuilds a tony bit of the search index as part of "putting together" the page. The page then contains a bit of code telling the browser to request the page again, causing the server to index some posts, and so forth repeatedly. Close the browser and there's no longer anything to keep requesting the page, meaning the indexing process stops.
This is obviously a total hack, but as I understand it at the moment
it's the sort of thing webservers need to to get around their limitations. Since I have full control of the server the forum runs on, I could install something which runs code outside of the "page request"->"page preparation"->"response" loop, but most forum admins don't have that sort of control - Mateusz probably did not, AK most certainly did not - meaning nothing in phpBB can be built expecting that to be available.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, if the old boss had been an octahedron, which they weren't.