Escargot Spaces Updates

Groups are back.

I really should’ve given them more consideration rather than go with my plan of completely blog-ing Escargot Spaces. Plus, they were the only other interesting thing Escargot Spaces had to offer.

 

Enjoy. 😀

Dashboard Status: Fixed!

A non-essential plugin was interfering with the WordPress dashboard, and disabling it did the trick in making the dashboard accessible for all.

 

Another problem solved! 😀

Back after 4 months of being locked out, and considering migration to a more powerful infrastructure.

To put a 4 month-long story short, I got locked out of my administrator account because I didn’t remember to store the password for it and forgot as time progressed, and trying to reset my password did jack squat, since something was preventing WordPress (the core backend for Escargot Spaces at the moment) from sending emails. But I found a way to hack the password right in the database, and now I’m back! 😀

 

As for whatever was blocking WordPress from sending emails, it was actually a configuration issue with the Google account link Michael set up so that our emails won’t be marked as spam. Re-authenticating the account with the site did the trick, and now emails should be working like normal again.

 

Now at this point, this means looking into the dashboard bug again, and I do plan to continue investigating that problem, assuming that I don’t switch to a custom backend. However, I’ve been considering ditching GoDaddy for hosting and moving to a VPS or a dedicated server, especially considering the issues I’ve had with setting certain aspects of Escargot Spaces up and the quirks it has introduced to me as a webmaster. With a VPS/dedicated server, I have more control over how the server works and less worries about restrictions that would more or less ruin the experience for everyone. There’s also room for possibilities that would be next to impossible to make real on a shared server environment, like the planned integration of the Escargot service with Escargot Spaces for existing accounts to have access, alongside plans for reimplementing Spaces features into MSN, like Gleams and contact cards. When I feel like I’m ready to switch, I’ll negotiate everything with Michael Power. 🙂

 

Hope everyone has a good day/afternoon/night.

 

~ 45gratest (pronounced 45-grate-street, folks. :p)

Groups have been officially discontinued.

The ability to create, post to, or access groups has been removed entirely, as they felt out of place on Spaces, a blogging platform, mind you. That’s all I have to say about this.

 

Also the Groups tab has finally been removed, so no one can end up on an empty page expecting a list of groups.

 

~ 45gratest

The new Space creation issue has been fixed. But with some caveats though.

After backing up and recreating the database along with “reinstalling” WordPress and creating a test Space, I can safely say that the new Space creation issue has been fixed! 😀

 

However, the software I used to backup the database (MySQL Workbench; phpMyAdmin wasn’t cooperating when I tried to export it from there) seems to have screwed up a bunch of special characters in it, destroying some Space names and blog titles, and I hope to see a fix for that in the future. Also, the dashboard bug still seems to appear, so I can still conclude that it’s most likely a conflicting plugin problem.

 

So if you have a Space and/or blogs with titles that might meet that criteria, I’ll most likely fix it for you, but if otherwise, go ahead and fix it.

 

I’m sorry for the small inconvenience. 🙂

 

~ 45gratest

Addressing the new Space creation issue.

So there seems to be an issue with creating a new Space, where it is replaced with an error stating that a connection to the database could not be established. Existing Spaces, however, are not affected by this.

 

From looking at the error logs, this is an issue with WordPress attempting to access tables that have been magically wiped away from the database for some reason.

 

I’ll see what I can do about this, and hopefully it can be resolved within due time.

 

~ 45gratest

My retrospective as owner (Michael Power)

I just wanted to say a few words to pretty much… say goodbye to regular admin operations of Spaces.

I never expected this website to get over 100 users and websites. I thought I would get 10 – 20 people at best. The Escargot community really helped make the website what it is. From the theme by Nintel, to Megadeth joing the admin team at the end of the year to try and get a new look going for you guys. If it wasn’t for this community, I think we would still be using the Twenty Seventeen theme. 

I remember the time the site went down for the first time ever. God, it was both fun and stressful for me. The community definitely softened the blow with the memes that were made from it.

Unforunately, work got to me so I couldn’t really work on Spaces like I did in the past. Unfortunately, this was also one of the reasons why the other two Spaces downtimes took a long time to get back up and why the WordPress dashboard bug was never fixed.

Developing Spaces from the start has been an honour for me. Doing something for the community is something I always have loved, and I am sorry if I ever failed you guys throughout the lifetime of Spaces.

And now, I leave you with a very beautiful song. Thank you all for using Escargot Spaces and I wish 45gratest luck with improving this site. Please read his post below. I love you all. <3

 

~ Michael

 

 

Say hello to your new owner – 45gratest!

After some waiting and thought, Michael Power has given ownership of Escargot Spaces to me, 45gratest.

 

I usually go by the handle of OhHelloThereImTheGuy on the MessengerGeek Wink forums or assholishkirk on Escargot, just so you know, and I had been saving some things for Spaces, not necessarily when I would get ownership, but back when Escargot Spaces was in its infancy, and now that I’m the new owner, I can easily put those things into action, of course with Michael Power’s permission, still.

 

The To-do List of Escargot Spaces:

 

#1 – Get HTTPS implemented ASAP

 

Not only will we be up to par with current internet standards, but it is DESPERATELY needed, since user credentials on here could be at stake when sent in the clear.

 

#2 – Fix the dashboard problem

 

So there’s been a problem with the WordPress dashboard for logged-in users where you can’t do anything in the dashboard since the options are not there. I have gone over why this happened on a thread over on the MessengerGeek Wink forums, so I may be able to uncover the problem, which most likely has something to do with the core of the site.

 

#3 – Make the blogs consistent in design

 

Ever since the theme change last year, there are still a few blogs with the default Twenty Seventeen theme stuck onto them. Plus, the ability to request a completely different theme for your blog breaks the flow of the whole site overall. So what I plan to do is go through each existing Spaces blog and make their themes match the one the site has, which is “Emesen”. This also means eventually removing the “Requests” tab that lets you replace the theme of your Space. Speaking of “Emesen”-

 

#4 – Get around replacing the current theme with a more polished and less buggy one

 

Before “Emesen,” Escargot Spaces was using the default Twenty Seventeen WordPress theme, which didn’t really look good for the site. Everything was bland, flat, and had nothing to do with the original MSN Spaces. Until one of the members, Nintel, had gotten to creating a theme for Escargot Spaces at an attempt to mock the original MSN UI. Funnily enough, I started to create my own before he had gotten to creating one himself, with the accuracy and functionality of MSN Spaces in mind. However, Nintel had beaten me to it, and “Emesen” was the default theme for Escargot Spaces. That was when I ditched my theme and left it unfinished.

 

Now, there isn’t anything wrong with the theme itself, but if you examine it, you’ll notice that it doesn’t look that good with the meat of the pages not being consistent with the intended design, and in cases, can even get buggy at certain points. Also, you can edit the Escargot Spaces logo on your blog, making things more inconsistent, and the blog’s logo doesn’t even link back to the home page and instead to the aforementioned blog.

 

This is where my theme will potentially come in.

 

Instead of mashing a static header and a body together, I had planned for there to be headers based on where you are on the site. So if you were on the home page, the logo would link to Escargot’s site, and if you were on a blog, the logo would link to Escargot Spaces’ home page. Something like that. And as for the body, the same variations apply.

 

Not only that, but I also wanted to implement as much as the original MSN Spaces as possible. That meant the themes, modules, and whatnot, all without hastily meshing it together and end up with a buggy mess of a site.

 

As it is unfinished, I will have to take some time to finish the thing, especially since some of MSN Spaces’ assets are missing from archives (e.g., files for select themes; module picker; etc.). This does mean I’ll have to take some time into recreating them, if needed. So for now, we’ll have to deal with “Emesen.”

 

#5 – Possibly get rid of Groups

 

As much as the Groups feature is interesting, they feel more like mini Spaces blogs than anything else, really. So I’ll talk to Michael Power about the potential removal of Groups and see if he’s cool about it. It’s not like they’re used often anyway. 😛

 

That should be it for now, and I’ll catch you guys later.

 

~ 45gratest 🙂

Implementing ways to not lose data – What I have learned from the recent downtime

So, Spaces went down again, and for that I apologise. This has made me learn that I really need to implement backups as they can be really important as the last backup I had was when the site last went down.

 

CURRENT SETUP

I have quickly installed the BackWPUp plugin with it backing up to Dropbox. I will start to manually do it on Sundays at 7:30 AM EST.

FUTURE PLANS

I will replace Dropbox with a server I’m in the works of getting. I will also get the pro version so that it can do it automatically.

 

Once again, I apologise for the recent downtime.

 

~ Michael

January 16, 2018 + I’m back!

Hey everyone!

I am back from my little break and I got a new feature for everyone!

2FA Authentication

I have added the ability to allow Two Factor Authentication to Escargot Spaces. This is a good way to help protect your account if you don’t want anyone to access it without your permission and it helps add a second way to guard your account.

HOW TO ACTIVATE 2FA

1. Go to the Escargot Spaces dashboard and click on “Two Factor Auth”.

2. Download Google Authenticator for iOS or Google Play and press the + and click on “Scan a Barcode”

3. Click on Enabled and Save Changes, afer that, take a picture of the barcode you see on the page on your phone

4. Reload and MAKE SURE the 2FA number matches on both your phone and the website BEFORE logging out.

5. Now when you login, you should see this prompt. When you do, open Google Authenticator and type in the code. The codes do expire every minute, so be pretty prompt when typing it in.

Any updates on “Live”?

Not yet, but when there is a development, we will let you know.

Other News

I will start to work on ads to promote this website, these will be shown when drafts of those are done.

Thank you everyone for your support.

 

~ Michael