Some pictures were lost on the QRZ server - An Apology

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by AA7BQ, Mar 15, 2014.

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  1. AA7BQ

    AA7BQ QRZ Founder Administrator QRZ Page


    Recently, we lost a few hundred of your photos after I made a stupid programming mistake. I'm terribly sorry this happened and I want everyone to know that I take full responsibility for the error.

    I was trying to correct a problem where some files had names that caused issues with the system. These were simple things like illegal punctuation in the file name, that causes our Linux system to cough. I wrote a program to go out and find these bad file names and rename them to something that would not cause further issues.

    What happened, however, was a programmer's nightmare of unintended consequences. What transpired was that after the files were renamed, they became protected by the file system permissions system. This made the files appear to be "unreadable" and this pushed them into the picture review queue. The files were OK, but could not be viewed due to the permissions problem. I corrected the problem, however, not before several hundred of them were mistakenly identified as bad images and were permanently deleted. Many of you were notified that the pictures were removed for "not meeting our standards of publication," which was completely false.

    This has all been terribly embarrassing for me and I want to formally apologize to all of you who were affected by the mistake. The emails that suggested that the images were unacceptable were downright false, and you should not have received them.

    I'm happy to say that the error has been corrected, however, some of the files were permanently deleted. We still have over 950,000 files on the system, not counting another 50 thousand that are hosted on other sites. Still, we deeply regret what happened and I hope that those of you who were affected by my mistake will accept my apologies and upload your images again.

    We're working very hard to insure that things go smoothly. We're also sorry that some of you lost your RevolverGlobes, Flag Counters, etc.. We have adjusted our new content management system to accept those as well. Note that this problem did not affect everyone. If you haven't updated your page in a few days, you probably won't notice a thing different, unless you were one of the unlucky ones who lost an image or two. Regrettably, we cannot restore your pages to the way they were before, because the data was not saved.

    Thanks to all who have been encouraging us and for being patient as we fine tune the system. It's not our intent to limit or take away anything that our users want, but the introduction of new rules always causes an uproar. Clearly, 99% of everything on QRZ was perfectly family friendly, however, that small 1% was enough to create a wave that has now affected us all.

    Even though 60,000 hams visit QRZ every day, there are only 3 paid employees at QRZ headquarters, and only two of us are programmers. We're working overtime to keep QRZ up to the highest standards possible, and to provide the best website in ham radio.

    73 -fred
  2. K5LUO

    K5LUO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you for responding Fred. Glad the problem was found. You have a great site and I will continue using QRZ.
  3. WA1WK

    WA1WK XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Fred -
    I didn't lose any photos, but I do know some people who did.
    I probably would have run the script in a test scenario first before live. Not a criticism, just what I would have done. I love QRZ and use it daily. Thank you.
  4. WL7CG

    WL7CG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I appreciate the effort made to made the QRZ site such a great resource. Things are bound to happen with that many moving parts. Thanks.
  5. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    D I T T O ....
    dit dit
  6. K8ERV

    K8ERV QRZ Member QRZ Page

    I think you should delete all thread pix after a certain period. Don't know why you keep them so long.

    Maybe you are talking about some other pix that I don't know about.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  7. 2E0HPR

    2E0HPR Ham Member QRZ Page


    I wasnt affected but I wanted to say that I really appreciate the apology/honesty etc. Something thats missing from today's lifestyles.

    You and the rest of the guys at do a great job - we couldnt get by without you!

    73s - Ian
  8. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is for sure the truth.

    I don't think blank spaces and special charters should be in a file name, makes it easier for cross platforms.

    Keep Up the great work Fred and the QRZ team.
  9. N8MLK

    N8MLK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I second Ian's statement. Honesty & integrity is a rare virtue these days.
  10. K9LPK

    K9LPK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Fred, do you think it is possible to fix Cheryl and me websites biogrophy and text? Niether maching work with new HTML editor QRZ installed and the QRZ version 2 call logbook server is slow to respond even in a compatibilty mode. Any suggestions?
    Thanks de K9LPK David and Cheryl K9BIK
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