Users of Delphi's free forums, plagued by downtimes, strange error messages and the like, have Microsoft Windows 2000 to blame for their problems, the firm has said.
Striving to contain the rising ire of thousands of "communities" who have found themselves with nowhere to speak for quite some time, system administrators at the firm said they will go back to Windows NT 4. Tomorrow.
In a statement to moderators of the forum, including our own Hermit who runs our own, administrators said:
"First, let me begin by thanking you for your continued patience while we have worked to locate the source of the recent stability problems and squash them. I want to assure you that we have been working night and day, literally, to resolve this problem. We believe that we have identified the root cause, the "smoking gun", of the problems and have a plan for tomorrow morning to correct the problem completely.
"While we have replaced the hardware and the drivers on the database servers completely, we had continued to use the same model of network cards and the same operating system. After extensive investigations we have learned that the reliability of the network card drivers under the operating system we have been using, Windows 2000, is known to be poor. Obviously, this is extremely frustrating for us, as we have purchased top of the line equipment from top-tier vendors. To find out that these components do not work in conjunction as advertised is extremely disappointing and we making sure our vendors are aware of that disappointment as strongly and clearly as we can.
" We are presented with two choices at this point, we can downgrade the operating system to Windows NT 4.0 and use the same high-end, extremely, fast network cards or we can stay with Windows 2000 and replace the network cards with the lower-end, but still server-class, network cards. We have opted for the first plan as this is a configuration which we have used and know works. At this point, we do not want to experiment with our clients only to find out that the lower-end network cards are not sufficient to the task.
" So, tomorrow morning beginning at 5 AM ET we will be downgrading our Microsoft Windows 2000 forums database servers to Microsoft Windows NT 4.0. Because this can be a lengthy process there is the possibility that the downtime may extend out beyond the normal 2 hour window, but we will make every effort to prevent that. Additionally, where possible we will attempt to bring up portions of the site so that some forums will be available while others return a message indicating the forum is unavailable and to return in a few minutes."
Meanwhile, confirmation has come from another source close to Microsoft that there is disquiet in the corporate world about W2k.
Our source claimed that it is avoided by most corporation as a NOS because of the simple fact there is "almost no certified software for it".
Our mole adds: "According to the Microsoft's HCL, Hardware Compatibility List, on their web site, there are only 7 software suites certified to be compatible with Windows 2000 Advanced Server, the version that corporations will be using. No virus software, no system management software.
"Although IBM DB2 and MS SQL are certified recently, Oracle, SAP, Access and hundreds of common software are not. No wonder W2K looks increasingly like Windows 3.0, waiting for Whistler to really launch it as a network platform for corporations."
He claimed: "Microsoft has not released any figures on corporation W2K server migration figures, almost a year after its release. The fact is, there are significant interoperability problems with other software, with driver availability, with skills scarcity, not to mention the tremendous learning curve and cost of change of implementating W2K, which is so different and so complicated that most corporations seems to want to wait for Whistler instead."
Delphi has certainly decided to vote with its feet. ®