More website updates

Howdy all,

As you know, we launched the new Drupal 7 site with a few known issues, and we’ve also found a few fun ones along the way.

This is a progress update on where we stand on some of those issues:

  1. Sessions were being “lost” when switching between http and https (and vs and some other aliases that lead to the same site). This led to a number of weird AJAX errors, inability to use the shopping cart, search the ticket tracker, and a few other areas where AJAX calls were being made. This was particularly ornery because it was intermittent in some cases, so it was not immediately apparent what the root cause was. But, once established it was an issue of session being lost, I simply enabled https for all connections, and redirect all aliases to the same site. This makes Google Analytic happier, anyway.
  2. Coupons for existing customers have not been sent out yet and discounts are not turned back on yet. This is proving more challenging than I expected. The Drupal Commerce discount and coupon system is flexible, but in weird ways that don’t match our use case, at all. To us, it just looks overly baroque and does so many things, but they’re all the wrong things. The worst aspect is there is no pre-built way for users to see their own coupons, or for administrators to assign coupons to specific users in a visible way. I’m probably going to have to write some code. But, I’m gonna go into “head down, work until it’s done” mode either Sunday or Monday, so we can send out those coupons during the upcoming week. Thank you for your continuing patience.
  3. License manager was failing to provide a pager for people with more than 25 licenses or any type. That’s been fixed. When combining multiple pagers in a single view, the div ID will overlap and cause neither to function…so, you have to manually alter the ID of the pagers. My bad, I should have noticed this, as I have more than 25 licenses on my account, but didn’t notice I didn’t have a pager in testing after I combined both license manager views into one page. I just trusted it to work, since it worked when there was only one view. Anyway, easy fix. I just needed someone to bring it to my attention.
  4. We continue to battle spam and spambots and fake accounts; I think partly because we’ve had a lot more outside links than usual lately because of excitement over the new version, new website, and new pricing. I’ve disabled the CAPTCHA on most pages because it was causing problems for some folks, particularly folks in China and other places where Google servers may be blocked. I’m not sure how to resolve that problem without really opening the floodgates for spam. We’ve already got the Spamicide plugin running (which is a honeypot style spam mitigation tool, that doesn’t effect real users at all, but may trick spammers into blocking themselves). CAPTCHA currently only happens on the initial account creation page; if you’re in a place that can’t reach google servers, I think the fallback option is now enabled so you may be able to still create accounts (which might also be how spammers are getting through). I’m still working on it. The old site had a few extra spam related plugins enabled, but they had a spotty track record, as well…and were all a bit too likely to flag legitimate messages as spam. Sorry if any spam slips through; I’m killing them as fast as I see them and blocking the offending user.

So, in short: Coupons and discounts are coming this week, hell or high water. Resellers will be getting back some of their old functionality (and we’ll be opening the door for new resellers, as well, so if you’re a hosting business and want to offer Virtualmin Professional, either on all of your servers or as an option in your shopping cart, we’ll want to talk to you in a few days…I mean, we’ll be happy to talk to you anytime, but we need to do some more work on the backend to make it nice to use before we get really aggressive about recruiting hosting providers to offer Virtualmin Professional). Spam sucks and spammers suck more, but we’ll keep it out of this place.

Keep filing those tickets about problems you find. Sometimes we’ve seen it, sometimes it’s a particular edge case and we need a nudge in the right direction to find it. We also welcome specific feedback about things you want to see improve (i.e. “this forum sucks” is not useful feedback, but “I want to do X, but right now it’s hard because of Y” is). If that feedback includes a link to a Drupal 7 module that implements what you want, that’s even better (no promises I’ll implement everything, but I’m certainly open to change).



Just a thought on spam -
I’ve found a combination of the spambot and honeypot modules to be particularly effective for sites of this type - I’ve never had a whole lot of luck with Spamicide. Requires a little tuning though. Captcha seems to be less and less useful all the time.

Oh – and you MAY not want to use the commerce Discount/Coupon stuff at all in your use case - it might be easier and less icky to just use rules – see

Like the new look of your website, but could you place the search field more prominent, and not at the bottom please?
Thanks and best