Page 246

July 5, 2011

Right. Ok. So!

Some of you may have noticed that the site got hacked again last Monday night. Some of the WordPress scripts were being dicked around with, so my host suspended the site and strongly advised me to update WordPress. Unfortunately when I made the site about two years ago (after the first one got hacked, I guess I never learn) I coded the CSS rather badly, so when I had to update WordPress (and subsequently the Webcomic plugin) I basically had to remake the site from scratch. Yeah, whoo

So really it’s half my fault, half whoever was screwing with the site. Though I feel I made up for it by spending 24 straight hours Monday through Tuesday coding to get everything (mostly) working, and then maaaaannny more hours since then. Especially on god damn Saturday when the site broke again for a completely different reason, which turned out to be entirely my host’s fault. Complete waste of time.

Anyway, as the message above the comic says, some stuff is still broken, particularly the secondary pages (About, Cast, etc.) and the archives page is especially broken since all the links to individual comic pages have changed slightly. So I’ll… I’ll have to manually update each of the 226 links in there. This is after having to reattach over 150 comic pages to their respective individual blog posts when the WordPress upgrade made them randomly disassociate. I’ll get on fixing the archives when my soul is feeling a bit less crushed. The actual comics are working now, though. Page 74 went completely missing for some reason, but I re-uploaded it this morning and it seems to be fine.

The favicon seems to be working very sporadically. I have no idea what to do about this? Bear with me.

Also the Sage Comics ribbon that was in the upper left is just gone. I lost the code in this whole mess and I don’t have any way of retrieving it. Sorry Sage guys. :/

On the plus side… ??? Er… well, there are now navigation/archive buttons above the comic as well as below. I hope you all enjoy those, they better be worth it

And after some creative coding by my buddy Greg, the pages should load noticeably faster. If there’s anything else really messed up about the site feel free to mention it in the comments. Rest assured, I am/will get right on working on it.

Oh, and I drew a page.



44 Comments

Well, THAT scene looks familiar. Except no dramatic cold rain.

Sucks that your site broke, wish I could help. :/ I could wave my magic wand and wish for everything to be better, but other than that I got nothin’.

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Man, this page looks really good. Contrasting it with pages you’ve drawn in the past, there have been marked leaps and bounds over the years since you started.

As for the web issues, you need something who can take care of this kind of stuff for you, so you can get to working on web comics. ;)

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Thanks man. :) I was actually wondering if I went overboard on the shading in this page. I think after a while I was just like “I am going to shade the bejeezus out of this page, broken website be damned” and it ended up being quite therapeutic.

I can mooostly manage the web stuff myself, and anything particularly tricky I can usually count on Greg to lend a helping hand. I don’t think it’d be fair to foist it all on him or anyone else without paying them though, and currently I can’t afford to do that. Alas.

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Somewhere down the line you said you like the autonomy of making webcomics and having your own site, and I can’t fault you for that really. After all, if you want something done right you should do it yourself.

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sorry to hear about site trouble … hope they rot in H … ok ok hope their mother cooks them a lousy dinner and they have to finish it ALL :)

the page looks amazing

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The author of Webcomic kind of screwed people over with Webcomic 3, offering it as an auto-upgrade while it still has many problems. There is no real equivalency between it and 2, as it needs everything to be overhauled to function.

How do I know this? I had a similar pile of fail with my webcomic’s site a few months back, and wanted to let you know that the up-to-date WP installs *will* work with Webcomic 2, and that if you Google around a bit you’ll find the install files for 2, which should be good to go with any backups you have (after you rip all of 3′s stupid guts out.)

I know you’re probably not going to want to mess with it too much more, but just thought you may want to know this (if you get fed up/can’t get some of the features to work right, like I couldn’t). I personally refuse to upgrade to 3 again/at all until I see evidence it’s being completely supported… I’d rather stick with what works, as long as it works.

Hope it helps, sorry you had so much trouble. Keep up the good work! Love your art <3

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Yeah, I sort of noticed that. I don’t want to place the blame too heavily on Webcomic since I could have done more to make the site update-proof as it were, plus I find it far, far preferable compared to my other options and hey… it’s free. Plus I feel like support is generally quite good and prompt.

On the other hand, my site still did completely break. All the pages disassociating from their news posts was really quite bad and took hours to put right. And the fact that the permalink structure is no longer editable is a bit annoying as well. Plus the comments seem to have less functionality than in 2. If I could get the older comments structure back then I’d probably be happy. And the favicon thing is very annoying.

Having said that I don’t think I’ll be downgrading – the site basically works now and while I have some quibbles with Webcomic 3 I’ll probably just stick with it now that it’s up and running. Good to know it’s an option, though. Thanks for the heads up. :)

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*hugs because you need it*

you have realy not had a good time of it since you got sick! hopefully things get better for you soon.

as a note, you’ve got alot of fans, and i’m sure theres at least one of them who might be willing to donate some time to help you manage the website and all its ticks so that you can focus on the comic.

not me though, i know nothing about building a website…

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Aw. *hugs* Nope, not had a good year so far. Thanks, though. :)

I think I said somewhere in a comment above, I feel like it wouldn’t be fair to ask someone to do that for free. Plus I like being able to mostly take care of my own business – autonomy is something I really enjoy about webcomics, so I’d rather learn more about coding than pass it off to someone else. Though I guess I do only have so much time in the day…

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Could you perhaps steal the code for the sage comic tag from another sage comic site?

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Unfortunately since the code is php I can’t just grab it from the source of someone else’s homepage – it’d take some rather hardcore rooting around to get at it.

Another factor is that I think Sage is kind of done… the website is down to bare bones and the forum was completely wiped. If someone from Sage shows up and gives me the code again or I hear from someone complaining that it’s not there then I’m happy to add it back, but I have a suspicion that that’s not going to happen. Happy to be proved wrong though, Sage people?

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Reaaaaly sucks having to deal with wordpress. Not a fan but you do what you do. Know a bit if you would like some help. Other then that big fan so far, love the coloring and can’t wait for more!

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Yeah, it’s a pain, but it did make the whole site possible, so… I can only complain so much. And I appreciate the offer. :) If I get terribly stuck I’ll let you know. Thanks!

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Ouch. *hugs*
Well, CMSes are double edged swords – they’re (relatively) easy to set up, but when they bork, they do it big time.
Anyway, about the archive links… maybe you could use a plugin to generate them? I gather you’re using some customised solution, so I don’t know how much you can tinker with it – but if you used something like “List Category Posts”, your life would get easier. Also, no correcting gazillion links everytime something like this happens.

Oh, and your page is great. :D

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Don’t I know it. D:

The archive I have right now is simply manual HTML coding. My problem with automatically generating an archive page is that they generally look terrible. I haven’t seen one that doesn’t look awful… though if one does exist that looks half-decent I am ALL for that because dammit, I’m really bad at remembering to update mine and I really, really don’t want to update all of those links. D:

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As it turns out, any plugin made for “normal” WP wouldn’t work with Webcomic anyway, because it uses custom post types. Duh. So, well, I made one…
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/14518748/archivelist.zip
Nothing fancy, but should do the job… just paste [archive start=X end=Y] wherever you need a list of posts from X to Y.

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Oh, wow. That is terribly, terribly nice of you! I’ll give it a shot as soon as I can. Thank you!

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Not that I expect you to be digging through the comments or anything, but I gave it a shot and while it’s nearly very awesome, there’s a couple of weird problems that make it so I can’t really use it:

- Since I didn’t include the covers in my numbering system, for every cover/filler page that’s in there it offsets the page numbers by one.

- For some reason it also adds the comments from a random page to the archives page, which is a tad strange.

- The generated links don’t conform to tables or page breaks, so they tend to run off the side of the page. Not terrible, since I can just repeat the code for a line’s worth and no more, but probably worth mentioning?

Regardless, I appreciate you making this at all! Don’t feel obliged to fix any of this.

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Oops.
New version here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/14518748/archivelist02.zip
The comments and the formatting were bugs, so that should be OK now. As for the numbering – all I can do is make the plugin skip certain tags or posts, based on their ID. You would have to tag all your covers with same tag and use it’s ID, or list all the covers’ IDs when you use the shortcode. I made an attribute for both, so try what will suit you better.
Also, I guess I just clogged the comment nesting. XD

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Sorry to hear about your troubles (although the comic and art are looking great!) Does your host not have a backup facility? They often do have one, even if they don’t publicly admit it… I lost some stuff recently, no backup, but my host came to the rescue with their own disaster recovery backups.

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It’s not really a matter of backups, since keeping the site as it was would still have left it open for hacking. The site got scuppered since I had to update WordPress (and therefore Webcomic) to close the security gap, and here we are. I do have a backup of the old site, but it’s basically useless.

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I think it’s amazing that you’re dealing with all the website stress, re-coding stress and general site collapsing stress and you STILL manage to update?

Go you!

I love your story and art, have done since the first, rainy beginning.

Hope things start to work out for you…

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Well, I didn’t want to completely skip out on updates, that seemed like it would be super lame. I already skipped last Thursday’s page because of this andI don’t think I’m going to manage this Thursday’s either, but… hopefully back to normal by Monday. Anyway, thanks for the support. :)

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Just letting you know that we totally understand your predicament (at least, we can imagine the pain you’re going through) and we’re not snapping at your heels to hurry it up or anything. Please by all means take your time and REST sometime or other, and know that we’re supporting you! …Right guys??

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It’s a shame that some people don’t have anything better to do than destroy. I hope they get cavities and have to sit in the dentist’s chair for a week.

To cheer you up, I’ll vote every day on TWC. C’mon folks, let’s help her into the top 100 this month.

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I’m one of your quiet lurkers, but I just wanted to delurk to say I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with such a load of crap! I’ll be following Mark’s suggestion and voting you up – are there any other ways we can help?

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Thanks, both of you. :) I probably didn’t help my TWC rank by moving the button way down to the bottom of the site, but oh well. I mentioned this in the latest update, but if you have my ads blocked, unblocking them would be helpful! And if you don’t have an adblocker… well, carry on!

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I thought I’d drop by to show some solidarity and support. Events like this tend to drain any and all sympathy for guys like Gary McKinnon, may he rot and die in an American prison because the UK won’t even press charges.

For the past two months my mail server has been under continuous attack to the point that I can’t send mail. I have to re-architect the entire system and people wonder why I virulently hate hacker/crackers ;) I’d love to light off a 5 megaton nuke at Defcon4.

After 30 years, beating off these vandals gets really old :(

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Swung by to let you know that my wife got her work laptop wyrmed. I cost her and a co-worker the entire morning to clean it out.

These attacks are becoming more frequent, even attacking behind corporate firewalls. We, as a society, need to track these cruds down and prosecute them. Take all their money and all their freedom for the next 50 years, for starters. This is regardless of their age or disability. If they are old enough to hack then they are old enough to do the time.

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Cheers for the well wishes. :) I don’t think I feel quite as strongly about it as you do, but I also don’t think I’ve been hit anywhere near as badly by it as you. I guess we’ll see how I feel in 30 years! And I hope your wife’s laptop is working fine now.

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You go through so much shhhhh-tuff just to share your amazing talent with us readers. So, I’m sorry people suck sometimes, and thank you for feeling it’s worth it. I really enjoy your comic, so even though it’s a lot of upkeep, I hope you continue to feel it’s worth it. :D

*computerized hug*

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