A dumb devil



Still not Defeated

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Every few years, disparate web services seem to conspire to shutdown or break at the same time. It happened again last month. Some of them you may have heard of, but the others broke or disappeared without any prior announcement. I've been through this sort of thing before, so I knew it'd eventually take a little work to keep my services humming along again.

Google Plus

Google Plus announced that they'd shut down their service ten months before doing so. That gave me a few months to avoid addressing the issue, and then eventually getting around to backup up my posts. I love my backup, it's so much faster to load and navigate than Google's service.

Google Image Charts

Google Image Charts gave us seven years to prepare for their shutdown. They even staged one short and one long outage to draw our attention to the upcoming closure. I ignored it the whole time, and then scrambled to find a replacement after the permanent closure.

FourSquare Activity Feeds

FourSquare shut down their user activity feeds without any notice. They were in a sort of limbo as they tracked Swarm activity, but the URLs were still FourSquare. The feed was very important to me because I maintain a lifestream. I became a FourSquare developer to access my content, and discovered that I could make a more informative feed on my own than the feed they'd just killed. Yay! That turned out to be an unexpected win.

Internal Server Errors

My shared web hosting service started suffering intermittent "internal server errors" (HTTP code 500) at the same time as the above changes. I turned off FastCGI, but that didn't help. Then I upgraded PHP from 5.6 to 7.2, which broke my blog engine (Habari), so I fixed that, but the "500"s kept happening. As a last resort, DreamHost moved my site from Virginia to some new servers in Oregon. That fixed the issue, and even better, upgraded my account to a Linux distro that uses Python 3.6! Yay, that means I finally get to use f-strings at DreamHost! DreamHost was the last place where I couldn't use f-strings, so I'm really happy that they've caught up.

Despite the handful of shutdowns and failures, I ended up with a couple of unexpected wins over the previous situation, so I'm pretty happy about that.

Photo by Andrew Wallace / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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