November 9, 2017 IT Update: Firewall, Mail Server, Section Changes, Adblock & YOUR INPUT NEEDED!

Discussion in 'Announcements, Rules & Regulations' started by xydrine, Nov 9, 2017.

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  1. xydrine

    xydrine Vengeance. Justice. Fire and Blood. Administrator Advanced User Premium Member

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    Alright! So here's what's happening today!

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    1.) Firewall Activation. I've finished the setup of our new firewall changes being made to the server and website. Today I will push those changes live. The main firewall changes are in preparation for the new theme (I've added a bunch of security-related features to it) we are officially rolling out this week.

    A while back we made it so any outgoing link (i.e. to other websites like Google, Amazon, etc - anything you see linked on this site) click would transparently pass you through a script I coded to blank out your referrer (i.e. normally and right this moment when you click a link to say eBay, eBay's server (and usually their logs) would show you came from RDF and whatever URL you were currently on when you clicked that link). For a site which is big on security and privacy, I've (and most of you) have never liked referrers. I've coded a new script to do this and once activated, every time you click an outgoing link here on RDF, your referrer will be blanked out and then you will automatically be transferred to the link you clicked on (thus no input or anything required of you, like "You are leaving RDF, click here to continue" or a browser extension to do it).

    I mean, unless you guys would like to see a message, which requires hitting continue, like that ("You are leaving RDF click here to continue") before being transferred to outside websites. Let me know your guy's thoughts on this. I could actually even make this toggleable, but if like absolutely nobody wants this I won't bother. Either way it'd be easy to code this in as an option.

    2.) Mail Server Setup. I'll be finishing setting up RDF's new mail server container today which has more forum-related, email-related features (ones like being able to respond to certain things such as threads or PMs directly from email) for the site. As a side-note, we'll be offering members the option to host their own email/email domains on this mail server as well (see the IT section for details on this) - there are so many reasons to have your own private email instead of using something like Gmail exclusively, but that's not the primary reason we're setting this up - the new functions are.

    3.) Sections & Countermeasure-Related Development. Today I'll be creating a new development category for the purpose of better organizing the current countermeasure-related development stuff (YaV1 section, new JBV1 section coming, RDFGS, etc) and getting the site ready for more CM-related development and development-oriented functions/features which will be a very big focus after our new theme is up.

    We are essentially creating our version of XDA-developers here on RDF and the goal is to centralize all CM-related development while providing you guys - members and developers alike - tools needed to properly collaborate, communicate, plan, build and publish CM-related projects. Open source projects have swept the IT industry the past decade and we will be embracing that here on RDF with the launch of these dev-related features/functions.

    As far as sections go, we will be taking a look at categories/sections on the site over the next week or so and deciding what changes need to be implemented. If you guys have any input on this, or sections you'd like to see here on RDF, by all means let us know.

    4.) Adblock Stuff - provide your input on this please... Okay so I hate advertisements. You hate advertisements. We will NEVER have advertisements on RDF, ever. I would pay out of pocket (and at some points along our existence have) before this ever became a reality. One thing I have noticed and experienced myself on a few different browsers (and some of you have as well) is a few features/functions of the site not properly working, directly because of Adblock software. Skimlinks isn't intrusive (even less so with the new theme, more on all that later)/isn't really an ad so I really don't consider that an ad.

    While this has mainly been limited to a small number of people, and for the most part adblockers have not affected big ticket features, when people start reporting issues that usually means it's a big enough deal to look at solutions.

    So, with that all said, what are your guy's thoughts about having a simple notice for those who have an adblocker detected, stating that there are absolutely no ads here and never will be, but a few of our features/normal website functions are affected by certain heavy-duty adblockers, and asking them to turn it off to allow the site to work to its full potential?

    Adblock users wouldn't be blocked from the site like the vast majority of the sites who have anti-adblock measures in place. But should they choose not to turn it off, they'd have to agree to the notification which states the message above, and at least this way it would make them aware that if they are experiencing functionality issues with the site, it could very well be the result of an adblock extension they are using...

    ^ This pretty much seems like the easiest/smartest way to go about this issue - there are so many different browsers and adblockers out there that redesigning various functions around them would be extremely time consuming, and frankly a waste of time when all they would have to do is click the mouse twice to make any potential issues go away.

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    That's it for today's update. Most of the things being done (in this update and previous ones as of late) are directly related to the theme/preparation for the launch of the theme which I'd prefer done before pushing it live (to ensure everything works as much as possible at launch).

    Please let me know your thoughts on the various subjects we've requested your input on.

    Thanks!
     
    Jhaggy, speedski, BamaFan and 4 others like this.
  2. Mild

    Mild Apex Hunter Beginner User

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    Everything you have mentioned seems excellent. I agree with all of it.
     
  3. CJR238

    CJR238 -CMS Article Admin- Administrator Advanced User Premium Member

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    X2 on if they choose not to turn it off, they'd have to agree to the notification which states the message.

    So an email RDF system?
     
  4. xydrine

    xydrine Vengeance. Justice. Fire and Blood. Administrator Advanced User Premium Member

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    Sorry about the slow movement the past few days. Been recovering from a baddd migraine this weekend. Fortunately have minimized the frequency of these things but not solved completely yet, :argh:. Will update you all with what's up with the site later today :).
     
  5. LeftLaneInPA

    LeftLaneInPA School buses are my nemeses. Beginner User Premium Member

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    Regarding the adblock notice: I support it. Something unobtrusive pointing out that there is no advertising, but it has been reported that some adblock software interferes with some functions of the site. That way, when media links don't work (which is what uBlock was screwing up, oddly enough) they know why.
     
    xydrine likes this.
  6. tphank1

    tphank1 ... Advanced User Premium Member

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    I'm on board, and I run noscript and adblock(with exceptions where needed).
     
    xydrine likes this.
  7. Jhaggy

    Jhaggy On Your Left... Beginner User

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    Sounds like a good idea. I just white-listed RDF on my adblock origins and it works perfectly on my browser. A non-intrusive message would work if they were not willing to white-list it, to simply disable it since there are no advertisements.
     
  8. xydrine

    xydrine Vengeance. Justice. Fire and Blood. Administrator Advanced User Premium Member

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    Yeah, I'm not sure exactly why certain things get blocked out but some adblockers are just too aggressive these days. For example they block the javascript file ad.js regardless of anything or anywhere or whatnot - any file named ad.js is blocked from rendering. This is actually how most adblock detectors work - by checking to see if this file has been loaded by the user and if not, the adblock detection message gets thrown up.
     
  9. Jhaggy

    Jhaggy On Your Left... Beginner User

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    The only thing I noticed that was affected was youtube videos which was why I had to whitelist RDF and that was only after the video optimization phase was completed. Everything else was working perfectly fine.
     

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