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Update Askbot (running TJC) to a more recent version

asked 2017-10-09 20:53:29 +0300

olf gravatar image

updated 2020-05-07 00:02:30 +0300

Dear sailors,

please update Askbot (the software utilised to run together.jolla.com) to a newer release, as its outdated version 0.7.49 (released 2013-09-13) used here has a couple of annoying bugs, for example:

  1. The search function returns many seemingly unrelated results, although the search suggestions (i.e., in its JavaScript-based drop-down list) are quite spot on. See e.g [Bug Askbot]: Search function cannot find string and askbot and full question text search, which nicely depict this issue (see also Suggestion: Update the forum software so it is easier to find/read relevant issues?).
  2. Activating the check-box "minor edit (don't send alerts)" does not make a difference (Askbot always sends alerts), when editing questions, answers or comments.
  3. Adding tags to a question via "retag", makes you appear to have edited it in the question header.
  4. For suggesting new tags, one has to try to "retag" a question first, and then hit "retag", again: Only then a free text line appears, in which new tags can be submitted for moderator approval. This behaviour of Askbot 0.7.49 is neither intuitive, properly guided or documented!
  5. Daily digest feature does not work and Together digest email notification not working plus ("new") No more email notifications at all after April, 18th 2020.
  6. Askbot: @Nickname problem attributes wrong link automatically.
  7. The strange behaviour described in askbot: question lost/deleted? has been nicely tracked down and answered by @Keto for this specific case, but still seems to be technically unresolved.
  8. Askbot view count unreliable.
  9. [askbot?] deleted questions appear in search
  10. The entries in Askbot's JavaScript-based drop-down list of search suggestions seem to be sorted from old to new.
  11. Only questions and answers can be marked as "flag offensive", but not comments! Consequently comment spam stays on TJC forever.

And I wholeheartedly agree with this old feature request (and manual workaround) Askbot: Expose comment anchors for direct linking.

Askbot is Free Software, hence this is IMHO part of the administrative tasks to keep TJC's server software up to date. And on first sight that seems to be not too hard, as Askbot's documentation is quite extensive, and installing / upgrading it can be accomplished in three different, almost equally easy ways (well, ignoring the efforts to adapt Jolla's customisations).

But when looking closely, the recommended easy_install (and pip install) will download and install the Askbot version available at pypi.python.org, which is a new major release (0.10) and currently a beta version (0.10.2), hence potentially causing trouble.

While Askbot's changelog lists version 0.7.57 as its recent stable release, the latest publicly available stable release of Askbot is apparently version from its development site at github, which must be manually downloaded, unpacked and installed per python setup.py install (technically equivalent to running easy_install).

So please update Askbot from version 0.7.49 to (or 0.7.57, if that version is accessible for you).

Thanks and happy sailing.

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I don't know what customizations Jolla made to askbot, but I don't think you can just pip install -u askbot and get this over with. For example, if it's running on an old version of Django (for example 1.5.x), they have to switch migrations system from south to the built-in solution. I've seen apps in production running on Django as old as 1.3.x, simply because patching it requires less effort than upgrading all the dependencies.

pisarz1958 ( 2017-10-09 21:54:22 +0300 )edit

I absolutely agree, that it is likely not that easy, especially Django often seems to be a hurdle admins have to take. But solutions for that specific issue are well documented in the net (basically either migrating or patching, as you already pointed out). As we both do not know what exactly is running behind the scenes, I did not bother addressing this: It is up to the TJC admins to analyse and try this on a staging system and decide how the proceed.

And a simple pip install -u askbot would pull Askbot 0.10.2 (which does not seem to be a good idea), anyway.

Point is: The Askbot version TJC currently utilises is outdated and buggy, while newer stable releases are available, so please update, as TJC is the central platform for Jolla and their users to communicate, and hence crucial for them.

olf ( 2017-10-09 22:31:19 +0300 )edit

older question about digest email : https://together.jolla.com/question/42832/together-digest-email-notification-not-working/

c.la ( 2017-10-13 14:02:21 +0300 )edit

All these updates to the question, which bring it to the top of the index, demonstrate how useless Askbot is.

DaveRo ( 2017-10-16 23:55:04 +0300 )edit

Well @DaveRo, as it is the central source of information for SailfishOS users and contains years of accumulated know-how, I believe this Askbot instance (i.e. TJC) is extremely useful (otherwise I would not care and have not posted above question, BTW).

WRT the Askbot software proper, IMHO it is O.K. and does the job. But the aforementioned bugs of Askbot 0.7.49, are annoying many and hinder its adoption by users, this is why I am suggesting that Jolla should really plan to update it.

olf ( 2017-10-18 01:05:13 +0300 )edit

1 Answer

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answered 2017-10-09 22:47:41 +0300

Keto gravatar image

Our Askbot version is indeed quite old. And we also have quite big customizations on top of the upstream version, so the upgrade is not exactly a simple task. So unfortunately we do not have resources to do it right now.

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As it is described by @peterleinchenhere the ancient askbot also hit me with refusing to send update notification e-mails.

As the modifications are not shown in the web version of a users inbox it's a pain to search for new / modified posts.

Are there any plans for updating the software.

jollajo ( 2020-04-28 10:36:16 +0300 )edit

@Keto, @jolla
Another oddity here:

Without being notified by email this clutter askthing is absolute useless, non-usable, a mess.

PLEASE do something!
Reactivate my account, change some askbot setting, update the forum, whatever...

peterleinchen ( 2020-04-28 10:45:53 +0300 )edit

Askbot is undeniably a horrible tool to use.

jovirkku ( 2020-04-28 13:10:19 +0300 )edit

seems to be a recurring problem at jolla to add customazations to software and after that never updating agian... when will you learn from that? this is ridiculous. like highschool coders

fl ( 2020-05-05 00:51:49 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2017-10-09 20:53:29 +0300

Seen: 5,418 times

Last updated: May 14 '20