Thursday, December13, 2018 L-36.com

Keeping L-36.com running



Background

There were two significant issues that caused less than ideal performance that you might be interested in. This page will explain what happened and what I did to resolve it.

XTide

About 10 years ago, I installed XTide on the server that is the home of L-36.com. It was not easy and I had help. The issue is that this site runs on a shared server and the installation instructions for XTide only work on dedicated servers where one has root access. You don't get root access on a shared server so it is not possible to install the necessary shared resources. What is needed is a dedicated stand alone or static version of the main program called "tide".

A few weeks prior to my becoming aware of the problem, I got an email from my web host company saying that they had updated the hardware that my server was running on. It turns out that about the same time they changed the OS to a 64 bit version. One of these two changes broke my version of tide. After a half dozen phone calls with tech support and many false leads, I again contacted the person who helped me ten years ago. He created a virtual machine on the web, installed the OS and all the required support programs and installed tide. He then hacked the compile instruction to make a static version which I installed on my server. A few more mysteries were solved involving which harmonic files were being used and we now have a working version of XTide again.

To celebrate the change, I modified the look of the tide graph. I hope you like it. I also implemented some of the "mobile friendly" changes to the supplemental tide programs.

Google Maps

Google maps changed they way they deal with users. They now charge for the use of their maps, want an account with a credit card, and offer $200 free credit. The problem is that 99.9% of the calls to maps are by bad actors loading every page I have looking for vulnerabilities. Because most of the pages on L-36.com are auto generated there are literally hundreds of thousands of pages and these crawlers can generate thousands of calls to maps per day. I have no control over this and don't want to open up myself to unknown changes for things that do not benefit my users. The solution was to switch from Google Maps to OpenStreetMaps. I actually like the Open Street Maps more than the Google maps. There are still some Google maps on the site where I have an API key. I do not know how long those maps will work but hopefully I will be able to use Open Street Maps and replace those if needed.


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Disclaimer:
The information on this web site has not been checked for accuracy. It is for entertainment purposes only and should be independently verified before using for any other reason. There are five sources. 1) Documents and manuals from a variety of sources. These have not been checked for accuracy and in many cases have not even been read by anyone associated with L-36.com. I have no idea of they are useful or accurate, I leave that to the reader. 2) Articles others have written and submitted. If you have questions on these, please contact the author. 3) Articles that represent my personal opinions. These are intended to promote thought and for entertainment. These are not intended to be fact, they are my opinions. 4) Small programs that generate result presented on a web page. Like any computer program, these may and in some cases do have errors. Almost all of these also make simplifying assumptions so they are not totally accurate even if there are no errors. Please verify all results. 5) Weather information is from numerious of sources and is presented automatically. It is not checked for accuracy either by anyone at L-36.com or by the source which is typically the US Government. See the NOAA web site for their disclaimer. Finally, tide and current data on this site is from 2007 and 2008 data bases, which may contain even older data. Changes in harbors due to building or dredging change tides and currents and for that reason many of the locations presented are no longer supported by newer data bases. For example, there is very little tidal current data in newer data bases so current data is likely wrong to some extent. This data is NOT FOR NAVIGATION. See the XTide disclaimer for details. In addition, tide and current are influenced by storms, river flow, and other factors beyond the ability of any predictive program.