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PHP 8.1 Upgrade, Possible Site Technical Issues and Changes

Started by Tarkus, June 03, 2023, 05:15:26 PM

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SC4 Devotion received word from our webhost at the very end of May that they are planning on phasing out support for PHP 7.4, which currently powers the site, and on June 7th, they are either going to force us to switch over to PHP 8.1, or face additional "extended support" charges in order to continue running PHP 7.4 (until they phase it out entirely at a later date).  We have remained on PHP 7.4 in large part due to the ongoing issues with the LEX software and its impact on our server.

As such, we are going to go have to go ahead and switch over to PHP 8.1, in order to avoid an increase in hosting costs.  We will be making this change on June 5th. 

We do not anticipate this will cause much of an interruption with the forums, but we are anticipating that issues with the already-broken LEX (that we have not been able to fix/replace to date) will become magnified, and that the Wiki may experience issues as well, especially since it is in a fragile state that has resisted upgrade to date.

This situation has also led to us considering the future of the site in more depth, and we are considering some options to rework the SC4 Devotion ecosystem, to foster a more active community and decrease the technical burden exists with the site in its current configuration.

On behalf of the site, I would like to thank everyone for the continued support, and ask for patience as we navigate these changes.

Alex (Tarkus)
SC4 Devotion Site Owner


An update on the situation here: I have gone ahead and moved the site over to PHP 8.1, and thus far, the upgrade does not seem to have any additional adverse effects to the site's operations (beyond the already extant issues).  The site will still, on occasion, load slowly or spit out Error 500 or Error 503 issues, as it did with PHP 7.4, and will likely continue to do so until we're able to make more substantial changes.



Also a heads up that the LEX may have occasional tendencies to spit out corrupt downloads, and the search features will intermittently fail with a message of "server error".  These usually are temporary, and a second attempt can fix it.

If you're on the LEX to download SC4Mapper (one of the main reasons people are on there), try downloading it off the forums downloads section instead--registration is not required.  We have a few other key tools up there right now.  It is a bit awkward (part of the reason it won't be converted into a more substantial temporary LEX, let alone a replacement), but it is at least more serviceable than the LEX is at the moment.  I will be exploring (and hopefully, starting to implement) alternatives in the coming days, when RL permits.