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Author Topic: SMF admin panel backup is crap! Can we have a patch release to remove it please?  (Read 32620 times)

kat

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Our poor users are thinking that they're safe, because, like the good admins that they are (Some, anyway), they've backed-up, not knowing that the SMF backup "feature" is a load of old pony.

This has caused serious problems, for some. Indeed, it's still doing so.

It's been reported and whinged about for bloody yonks, too.

I've mentioned it, in the wiki. But, of course, not everyone knows about that.

So, can we finally just dump it, please?

Patch both the v1.x and v2 branches?

Like... NOW? Or, even better, yesterday?

This has been a public service announcement from the Pissed-Off Party.



Edited to remove Freudian slip of the keyboard. :P
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 09:38:42 PM by CoreISP »

Offline Robert.

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I agree, it costed me my forum once because I had no idea that admin panel backups didn't work. So, I'd say yes :)
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Offline 青山 素子

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Taking backups is all well and good, but they should always be tested. It's the same thing with any kind of minimal-use item like carbon monoxide or smoke detectors - those should be checked once a year. At the least, important database backups should be checked on a similar schedule.
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Offline Sir Osis of Liver

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kat

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Yeah, but this is abysmal stuff.

If the devs are too hard-pressed, or don't give a ****** (No dig intended), is this something that could be made into a mod?

Although, if it was done as a mod, not everyone would even know of it's existence, I guess.

Soooo....

Offline a10

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Fix it or remove it! Any software can be delivered with some potentially serious\fatal flow, but it's a disgrace if it's not dealt with properly after it has been discovered.

Those who are often on the forum\wiki pick up any crucial info quite quickly and gets phpmyadmin up and running asap, but seemingly some come here for help after the fact, and discover the hidden truth.
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I say fix it. It's a nice part of SMF when it works. If it can be fixed then I say leave it, if not chuck it out like your throwin out the old bath water. :)

TheListener

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chuck it out like your throwin out the old bath water. :)

I'm sure the neighbours would be thrilled.

 ;D

Offline CoreISP

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Did the topic title really have to be in capitals? :P
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Offline Adish - (F.L.A.M.E.R)

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A fix may be plausible. However, it could be resource intensive and could take quite some time depending on the server resources. At this point, all I can say is that we can create a sticky and give them a warning that they check the backup before proceeding. Sometimes you do get a good backup, while sometimes you don't. It all depends on the server functionality.

Offline Sir Osis of Liver

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Sometimes you do get a good backup, while sometimes you don't.

That's really the whole point - it's unreliable, and it's a critical function.  There's no error or any indication that the backup has failed.  An experienced user will notice that the backup file is way too small, but not everyone is an experienced user.  If it's a major problem to fix it, shouldn't be too difficult to issue a patch that removes it altogether.


Offline 青山 素子

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I do have to admit that having something that doesn't work reliably is probably more dangerous than not offering it at all.

Still, people should be testing their backups instead of just relying on hope.
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kat

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Did the topic title really have to be in capitals? :P

I thought so, for two reasons.

1) As has been pointed out, this is a pretty major, critical flaw, when you think about it.

2) It's been mentioned at least four zillion times and squat's been done about it.

Offline CircleDock

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Did the topic title really have to be in capitals? :P

I thought so, for two reasons.

1) As has been pointed out, this is a pretty major, critical flaw, when you think about it.

2) It's been mentioned at least four zillion times and squat's been done about it.

Ummm... You're part of the Team, you discovered it, wrote about it and, I assume, reported it -- and it hasn't been fixed???!!

Oh bloody wonderful.

And just how are you supposed to test if a backup is working? If it's faulty, you'll probably lose (part of) your site in the process.

 >:(

Offline ziycon

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I'm working on a very basic mod at the moment for backups, its nearly done.

kat

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Ummm... You're part of the Team, you discovered it, wrote about it and, I assume, reported it -- and it hasn't been fixed???!!

I suspect it's a case of "Perceived priorities", CD.

As I'd kinda unilaterally decided that it was time to shout about it, I did. ;)

I'm expecting a bit of flak over it, naturally. ;)

Offline emanuele

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And just how are you supposed to test if a backup is working? If it's faulty, you'll probably lose (part of) your site in the process.
If you want to test a backup you do it off-line on your own computer or at least on another database, of course you *never* do it with your live site.


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kat

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You can often tell just from the size of the file, I would assume.

I've never used the thing, myself, because, when I very first used SMF, I realised that there's nowhere in the Admin section to actually restore what you save, there.

So, I found the CPanel way of doing it, PDQ.

But, for some nooBs, it may not be that obvious.

I've always kinda assumed that we all want SMF to be as user-friendly as possible and this fails, in that, big-time.

Offline Sir Osis of Liver

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Still, people should be testing their backups instead of just relying on hope.

If you want to test a backup you do it off-line on your own computer or at least on another database, of course you *never* do it with your live site.

Bear in mind that the same noobs who don't recognize the backup problem are also unlikely to know how to safely test a backup, and would certainly run the risk of trashing their forum if they tried it on a production board, as emanuele points out.

Placing the onus on the user does not excuse a serious deficiency in a critical function.


Offline Adish - (F.L.A.M.E.R)

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Sometimes you do get a good backup, while sometimes you don't.

That's really the whole point - it's unreliable, and it's a critical function.  There's no error or any indication that the backup has failed.  An experienced user will notice that the backup file is way too small, but not everyone is an experienced user.  If it's a major problem to fix it, shouldn't be too difficult to issue a patch that removes it altogether.


The thing is, the backup method implemented is based on the server configurations. Now, we have to work through the very widely used server configuration to work on a fix for this or an alternate way which does not abuse the server resources would be a good idea. I am pretty sure this idea was brought forward previously from what I remember. Something was started back then but never got implemented either.

Many FREE hosts don't allow database backup's for free. In order to help them out, this backup method is sort of a work around. At least something is better than nothing. But I have to admit, there could be a better way out there.