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Lightstalkers Update

Many of you have been writing in about the technical problems Lightstalkers has faced lately. Here’s an update for all of you.

The most severe bug we’ve seen is the “cascading delete” issue. In April of this year, I had fixed a long-standing issue, where some of you were unable to delete images (and consequently were not able to delete your own profiles). This was successful, but a regression happened. In some cases, requesting an image deletion would cause a cascading deletion, and the app would delete the image’s User profile. It’s impossible for us to know how many people this affected, because our system is not mature enough to include audit records. I’ve been able to restore some profiles, and in those cases have contacted you about it. If you lost a profile and haven’t been contacted, it’s because your data’s not recoverable. It’s truly unfortunate and I apologize.

In general, Lightstalkers is like any modern Web application: It depends on a number of external services and APIs for its core functionality to work, and it runs atop Amazon’s elastic EC2 service. This is a tradeoff: We have an efficient and flexible architecture, but it also requires constant monitoring and tweaking. Each of those services can fail, or change on the other side; EC2 itself has a spotty record when it comes to uptime. The reality is that a service like this continually needs human developers to maintain and extend it, and we don’t have any at this time.

For several years, I did all of the development, bookkeeping, operations, and customer service for Lightstalkers, and like all good things, this era has come to an end. It’s been fun, and difficult, and extremely gratifying to work for all of you. I have huge respect for the work you do and the risks you take, and I truly hope to find new ways to support this community in the future. Now, however, my role has ended.

My sincere regret is that I did not act on this realization one or two years ago, and begin building a transition plan which would have saved you from recent stresses. If I am ever lucky enough to find myself in this situation again, I will know better. My last act will be to help Teru, Balazs, and the rest of the November Eleven team a new technology team, and to watch them build Lightstalkers into its next great phase.

Thank you for your support, and I wish you all the best of luck!

by Shinji Kuwayama at 2011-08-25 15:53:36 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

It’s been a great run, Shinji, thanks for everything. Looking forward to v2.0

by John Robert Fulton Jr. | 25 Aug 2011 15:08 (ed. Aug 25 2011) | Spring Lake, Michigan, United States | | Report spam→
Shinji, thanks.

by J-F Vergel | 25 Aug 2011 17:08 | New York, NY, United States | | Report spam→
I’ve been a member since 06 and although my postings have been but a few, I’ve gain lots of information, entertainment, and great food-for-thought from your hands-on support and enabling of this great site. Much appreciation to you & thumps-up!

by gary dwight miller | 25 Aug 2011 19:08 | Brooklyn, N.Y., United States | | Report spam→
Thanks for all you gave to this. Really.

by Trevor Snapp | 26 Aug 2011 00:08 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
Thanks Shinji…
for your support,but still we…….

by Dinesh Dubey | 26 Aug 2011 06:08 | Mumbai, India | | Report spam→
Thanks ………….have a good one

by Imants | 26 Aug 2011 11:08 | " The Boneyard", Australia | | Report spam→
Thank you Shinji for all your attention to LS over the years, it has been sincerely appreciated. Wishing you the best.

by [former member] | 26 Aug 2011 12:08 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
So brother Shinji, first of all i want to wish all the best in your future endeavors and thanks for the support/programing and blood-giving you’ve done for LS and November Eleven…

I will also wish to express, would Teru want it any other way, my disappointment and regret for what has happened. I take my own blame for not storing/copying much of the data and posts and information and writing that I’ve housed here in the last 6 1/2 years. Since no one has called me, I now assume that my original page/contacts/writing/posts/data/addresses/PM’s are all gone….

I can’t say that I am profoundly disappointed and upset, particularly because it was an editor who’d contacted me this summer to tell me my page was gone. As both a vocal, emotional and financial supporter of Lighstalkers, i am really saddened by this.

I rarely (in public or private) express disapppointment or get upset but after all the emotion and time and $$ donated i am very disappointed….

i’d never thought i’d have every thought i’d regretted investment or time spent…

i wish you all the best

i am now finished with LS


by bob black (2.0) | 26 Aug 2011 13:08 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
by the way, my frustration is not with Shinji per se, i take full responsibility for not backing up my writing or my data, but just that after all the support (time/emotional and financial), i’d hoped for a better communication stream…..for a long time, Shinji has been a powerlifter of 1, the man behind the curtain that supported so many of us, pros and amateurs alike….

anyway, the harshness tembre of my note above is probably a reflection of the time and investment and work done supporting ls and our community and members….

so the life of the web: not real, not real, not real

thanks and i’ll try to figure some way to recover some of the writing from the Web cache: if anyone knows how i can do this, please feel free to email me after september 6…now, i’m off to NC…..

by bob black (2.0) | 26 Aug 2011 13:08 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Bob, I noted that, if I did a Google search in my name and added Lightstalkers, I could recover all the information in my former profile by clicking on the “cached” heading. But it does not easily allow you to recover all the things you wrote (though I did find some of those things).

by Neal Jackson | 26 Aug 2011 16:08 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
I made two friends from foreign countries and had a lot of interesting interchange of thoughts. So, many thanks for let us share and discuss in this place. Very curious about what will happen with Lightstalkers 2.0. Saludos

by Hernan Zenteno | 26 Aug 2011 18:08 | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→
In the same spirit of @Hernan, I also made a friend but then she tried to rip me off my rights…:-)
Thanks Shinji.
LS much like photojournalism isn’t dead.

by Ethan Knight | 27 Aug 2011 02:08 | Auckland, New Zealand | | Report spam→
I recall someone in an earlier post about the value of Lightstalkers who was profoundly grateful to LS because it was directly responsible for him getting laid.

No kidding!

Thanks, Shinji. I feared things would come to this. How could any person be the whole kahuna for years and years without losing interest/burning out. Please stick with the program until things can be transitioned. I am going to try to find some entity that would be willing to take on the management of the site. Don’t know whether I will be successful, but I will try.

by Neal Jackson | 27 Aug 2011 23:08 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks, and good luck to the team moving forward.

by Jonathan Lipkin | 28 Aug 2011 08:08 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
All the best to you…thanks!

by Michael Limbert | 28 Aug 2011 15:08 | Detroit, MI, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks, Shinji! I will miss those days when my e-mails to you were answered by you. All the best!

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 28 Aug 2011 17:08 | Vienna, Austria | | Report spam→
Thanks Shinji. All the best.

by Armando Ribeiro | 29 Aug 2011 00:08 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Thank you, Shinji.

by Barry Milyovsky | 29 Aug 2011 00:08 | Manhattan, United States | | Report spam→
Hi all – I hadn’t been on the site recently, but I see yes, it’s having problems (i can’t see the stylesheets). I Shinji’s message above (thank you!) – but what happens next? How do we fix this?


by Dave Walsh | 29 Aug 2011 11:08 | Amsterdam, Netherlands | | Report spam→
An-Mhait Shinji! Thank you for everything and being so hard-working, great support to the site. I wish you all the best in your future and career. Keep in touch!

by Kevin Anthony Griffin | 29 Aug 2011 22:08 | Waterford, Ireland | | Report spam→
Thanks Shinji, you did great job while keeping all colleagues together here from many countries! All the best.

by Ertugrul Kilic | 30 Aug 2011 02:08 | Paramaribo, Suriname | | Report spam→
Thanks Shinji, and best of luck to the new team

by Sara T'Rula | 31 Aug 2011 00:08 | Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Thanks Shinji

by Harvey Hook | 31 Aug 2011 19:08 | Sliema, Malta | | Report spam→
Thank you Shinji for all your tireless efforts on behalf of this site. I hope you know that those efforts are much appreciated by all of us. Good luck on your future endeavors.

by Mark Manley | 01 Sep 2011 04:09 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks Shinji! For all the fine, pioneering work you did. Best wishes and good luck!

by Adam Cohen | 01 Sep 2011 11:09 | Berlin, Germany | | Report spam→
Thanks Shinji, for all the great work you have done in the past for Lightstalkers.

by Frans Poptie | 01 Sep 2011 13:09 | Nan, Thailand | | Report spam→
Hey y’all…

this will be quick…as i’m about to head out for a late afternoon boogie board surf (does the soul good) in Folly Bch….anyway, just to clarify:

SHINJI: man, you’ve done youre more than required powersquatting keeping this site alive and going under duress and financial responsibility and for dealing generally with the rowdy and underappreciative behavior of many, and i salute you and don’t blame you for anything…sorry if my first rant (just frustrated) came off as pissy….my own fault for now backing up….any 1st platoon sgt would have royally kicked my white behind for failure of basic operational orders…so, again, thannks for all you did for all of us these last, what 8 years? :))))

for teru, sara and all the rest who’ve written, thanks so much for the words and links…i’ll mine the hell out of the caches and get all that stuff….my fault, and will find it all and make a note, for sure, in the book’s acknowledgments….

Teru: above all brother, y’all rock….keep that young skywalker Teja in charge :)))

gotta run

by bob black (2.0) | 01 Sep 2011 22:09 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
glad to read your last post. Your first post did seem out of character. It almost called for a bout of exorcism. ;-)
Best, J-F

by J-F Vergel | 01 Sep 2011 23:09 | New York, NY, United States | | Report spam→
J-F ;)

not saying an exorcism still isn’t called for ;))…but a bit of re-birth after a week at the sea with wife and son and just wind, palms, cicadas, surf…words, books, silence….and also, not perfect, but 1st post reflected more the pressure i was under for completing the book (still under that pressure) and trying to get something for a magazine that will be publishing another long series of pics upcoming….i was just frustrated by the lack of response last week after trying to get information for weeks….and that’s about as ‘upset’ as i usually get, unless its someone attacking the family…..

lesson learned: rely on self and backup material i write or post on the www …..typically i’ve been among the first to go over the wall for LS and will do anything for Teru et co…..just stress from lack of response, but anger for me last about as long as it takes to uncork of bottle of wine or mix a Dark & Stormy….

who knows with the web, maybe i need that bit of bitter spit to get the tast of carolina red rice :)))…

onward and outward…


by bob black (2.0) | 01 Sep 2011 23:09 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Is the cascading delete issue unresolved?
My profile disappeared yesterday—this is a new one.

by Jim O'Connell | 05 Sep 2011 13:09 | 17701, United States | | Report spam→
A sincere thank you Shinji, I haven’t been here for long but truly love the job you guys have done here.
May the spirit of this forum keep the same.

All the best to you.

by Raffaela Lepanto | 05 Sep 2011 21:09 (ed. Sep 5 2011) | Milan, Italy | | Report spam→
Shinji: thanks for all of your time and efforts with LS, well done.

by Erik Annis | 06 Sep 2011 01:09 | | Report spam→
shame, you did well. I like and have benefited from LS. good luck to the your sucessor and to you !

by [former member] | 07 Sep 2011 10:09 | london, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Shinji — Thanks for all the hard work and time you invested in this community. Hope your legacy lives on.

by Peter Aronson | 04 Oct 2011 04:10 | Dharamsala, India | | Report spam→
Shinji, wish you all the best. Only God can pay all of your effort to make this remarkable website alive and active.

by donal husni | 24 Oct 2011 09:10 | Pangandaran, Indonesia | | Report spam→
Thanx Shinji for this unique platform!

by Tom Van Cakenberghe | 24 Oct 2011 15:10 | Kathmandu, Nepal | | Report spam→
Thanx Shinji for this unique platform!

by Tom Van Cakenberghe | 24 Oct 2011 15:10 | Kathmandu, Nepal | | Report spam→
Thanx Shinji for this unique platform!

by Tom Van Cakenberghe | 24 Oct 2011 16:10 | Kathmandu, Nepal | | Report spam→
Thank you very much bro Shinji!!! stay supercool man:-)

by Leonardo Martins | 26 Oct 2011 03:10 | Navegantes, Brazil | | Report spam→
Thanks for your work

by Pierre Morel | 31 Oct 2011 22:10 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
Thanks for your work

by Pierre Morel | 31 Oct 2011 22:10 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
And the gratitude keeps rolling in!
Thank you Shinji!

by Thorne Anderson | 01 Nov 2011 13:11 | Dallas, tx, United States | | Report spam→

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Shinji Kuwayama, Software Engineer Shinji Kuwayama
Software Engineer
Chicago , United States ( ORD )
John Robert Fulton Jr., Photographs John Robert Fulton Jr.
Indianapolis, In , United States
J-F Vergel, photographer J-F Vergel
New York, Ny , United States ( JFK )
gary dwight miller, photographer gary dwight miller
(Available for Dessert)
Tra Vinh , Vietnam
Trevor Snapp, Photographer Trevor Snapp
Mexico City , Mexico
Dinesh Dubey, Fixer In India Dinesh Dubey
Fixer In India
Mumbai , India
Imants, gecko hunter Imants
gecko hunter
" The Boneyard" , Australia
bob black (2.0), bob black (2.0)
[location unknown]
Neal Jackson, Neal Jackson
(Flaneur, Savant and Scapegrace)
Washington, Dc , United States ( IAD )
Hernan Zenteno, Photographer Hernan Zenteno
Buenos Aires , Argentina ( EZE )
Ethan Knight, Documentary Photographer Ethan Knight
Documentary Photographer
Bangkok , Thailand
Jonathan Lipkin, Professor, Photographer Jonathan Lipkin
Professor, Photographer
Brooklyn , United States
Michael Limbert, Photographer, CD Michael Limbert
Photographer, CD
Detroit, Mi , United States ( DTW )
Tomoko Yamamoto, Multimedia Artist Tomoko Yamamoto
Multimedia Artist
Vienna , Austria
Armando Ribeiro, Freelance Photographer Armando Ribeiro
Freelance Photographer
London , United Kingdom ( GTW )
Barry Milyovsky, totally unprofessional Barry Milyovsky
totally unprofessional
(emperor of ice cream )
New York , United States
Dave Walsh, Writer, photographer Dave Walsh
Writer, photographer
(Energy and Environment)
Wexford , Ireland
Kevin Anthony Griffin, Photographer Kevin Anthony Griffin
Dublin , Ireland
Ertugrul Kilic, Photographer Ertugrul Kilic
(Photographer based in Suriname)
Paramaribo , Suriname
Sara T'Rula, Sara T'Rula
Liverpool, Merseyside , United Kingdom
Harvey Hook, Photojournalist Harvey Hook
Misrata , Libya
Mark Manley, Photographer Mark Manley
New York City , United States
Adam Cohen, Film/Picture Maker Adam Cohen
Film/Picture Maker
(Adam Cohen filmmaker)
Berlin , Germany
Frans Poptie, photojournalist Frans Poptie
Nan , Thailand ( NNT )
Jim O'Connell, Jim O'Connell
[location unknown]
Raffaela Lepanto, photoeditor, photographer Raffaela Lepanto
photoeditor, photographer
[undisclosed location].
Erik Annis, Photographer Erik Annis
[undisclosed location].
Peter Aronson, Housing Revolutionary Peter Aronson
Housing Revolutionary
(Radio producer + photographer)
Mexico City , Mexico ( MEX )
donal husni, Photographer donal husni
Serpong , Indonesia
Tom Van Cakenberghe, Tom Van Cakenberghe
Kathmandu , Nepal
Leonardo Martins, Photographer Leonardo Martins
(enjoy madly)
Paranaguá , Brazil
Pierre Morel, Photojournalist Pierre Morel
Pierre , France
Thorne Anderson, Photojournalist Thorne Anderson
Dallas, Tx , United States


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