Forum speed increase attempt in progress: feedback requested

Sapient
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Forum speed increase attempt in progress: feedback requested

I need to know how much faster the forums work for you as a result of current changes I'll be making with the intent to increase forum speed.  This change is predominantly an attempt to increase forum speed.  Thanks to Brad for inadvertently suggesting this change which I had been contemplating but couldn't afford to do because I needed to use the side bars for advertising.  With recent donations I've been able to justify this change in hopes that this will make the forum more active.  

If you like the change and have yet to donate please help keep things like this by subscribing to bronze for $3 per month.  You can also send a one time $5 donation to help replace the ad revenue that will be lost.  Of course larger donations are appreciated but if I can get 30 bronze members at $3 per month it will easily replace ad revenue that will be lost.  (fwiw: we're not gonna get 30)

One of the reasons I need feedback here is to determine what else could be slowing the forums down.  I will slowly strip away a ton of advertising but if it's the text editor or how the menus are built, or something else I need to know.  

When giving feedback these are the most important things I need to know:

  • What browser are you using?
  • How much faster is it now?
  • Can you tell if it is hanging on something specific?

 

This will be done in stages so revisit this thread to add more feedback later I will update the changes.

First batch of changes: 

  • Removed entire right column on forums, the forums are now wider as a result.  Help make up the money lost!
  • Removed 3 Amazon books on left side of site (some amazon books will go back up soon when I can deliver the content in a faster method)
  • Removed the small amazon book table on the left
  • Removed the bookmark button on the left side (use the bookmarks under the posts now ie stumbleupon, facebook, reddit... please use these so we can make new friends!)

 

- Brian Sapient


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I didn't notice the ads are

I didn't notice the ads are missing because I use adblock.

 

I have suggestions that won't affect revenue:

 

Clean up the clutter on the other side such as take out "webcam" for example.

Also does there have to be that many topics per page? I mean the last topic on the page is a week old. Not to mention there's 123 pages with topics not having a response for 1-3 years. Which I guess cost more to keep on the site.

 

 

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Clean up

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Clean up the clutter on the other side such as take out "webcam" for example.

Pondering that one for a few days now, already looked into it, didn't think that particular link should go though.  Still pondering...

 

Quote:
Also does there have to be that many topics per page?

Link me to the page you're referencing.  

 

Quote:
I mean the last topic on the page is a week old. Not to mention there's 123 pages with topics not having a response for 1-3 years. Which I guess cost more to keep on the site.

Only 123!  That means I've removed at least 400 this week!!  Eye-wink

 

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Sapient wrote: Quote:Also

Sapient wrote:

 

Quote:
Also does there have to be that many topics per page?

Link me to the page you're referencing.  

 

 

 

The "recent posts" page. I don't know how many topics per page it has, but it could be reduced. And if a person is gone for a week or something, they can just click on the next page to see what they might of missed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Don't know about speed yet,

Don't know about speed yet, but I did notice that the super tracker now shows on my Firefox tab as the 'still loading' animation, instead of the RRS icon. The page appears to be fully loaded, but in the status bar it says "Transferring data from thumbs2.ebaystatic.com..." It's been on the 'still loading' animation for minutes now, I don't think it's ever going to finish.

 

About speed issues, are you saying that the forums are slow on your side, on the server, or that people have complained about slowness in their browsers? Because, if it's on the server side, you should be able to 'debug' the processes and see what's holding things up.

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The forums have always

The forums have always loaded extremely fast for me. I don't think that they could reasonably load faster. Is long loading times a problem for other people here?

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 This is a tough one for me

 This is a tough one for me as I have been having connectivity issues with my laptop. WHEN I can maintain a connection ~ I use Safari to browse and post on this site and find a reasonable delay (meaning I don't experience delay that makes me want to put a fist through my screen) I can't tell if things are faster today because of the removal of the right-side banner ads or because I have maintained connectivity :-/

I can no longer use Firefox on this site ~which is on my end~ ever since I updated the browser and went to Snow Leopard on my Mac.

 

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I'm using Firefox on Ubuntu

I'm using Firefox on Ubuntu 9.10

I connect via a mobile broadband USB stick (sadly, DSL and digital cable aren't available to me).

Because I use adblock, I hadn't noticed that there were any ads.  However, all the forums load a bit slow for me.  When loading a forum page, the browser usually freezes for a second or two (in Ubuntu, you can tell when that's happening because the screen darkens with a gray wash).  If that was the only problem, it would be a bit annoying but tolerable.  (It was still happening when I navigated to this topic.)

The issue that I find the most frustrating, though, has to do with the text editor.  It seems that it doesn't load completely.  The main text entry field will remain white and I won't be able to type anything into it.  I can't even get a cursor.  This doesn't happen every time but it happens often enough to be a real pain in the ass. 

However, the editor problem hasn't happened for me this afternoon.  Maybe you've already done something about that?  I'll keep playing around for a while so I can tell whether or not there's been a change.

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The editor seems to be

The editor seems to be working fine for me now.  However, before concluding that it really has improved, I'll keep trying it for a day or two.

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What browser are you using?

What browser are you using? PS3.

How much faster is it now?
Inconclusive. If much change, I haven't noticed yet. Though the forums have always loaded quickly for me on all systems I've accessed them on.

Can you tell if it is hanging on something specific?
Embedded videos are all I've noticed slowing me down.

PS: I like recent posts as it is. Especially since more traffic is being encouraged.

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OK, I have not tried to do

OK, I have not tried to do any type of speed test. Since I never really tried that before, I have no basis for comparison anyway.

 

FWIIW: Firefox 3.5.5 with adblock+ (about eight filter lists), NoScript and FasterFox on win/XP SP1.

 

What I have noted in the past is that fairly often I will try to post something and it will hang up at like 98% with “waiting for rationalresponders.com” showing in fasterfox. Going back a page and trying again never works. Waiting about 20 minutes is the only thing that helps. However, when this happens, I can often post in other threads.

 

My guess is that one of the ad servers is causing the initial hang and then my cache is holding the problem for a while.

 

I have also seen the editor hang that NoDeity speaks of but that is much rarer and I have not seen it enough to hazard a guess what might cause that to happen.

 

Also, while you are in a forum adjusting mood, could you look into a couple of things for me?

 

First, look at any of the longer threads. At the bottom of each page, there are thread navigation links. Here is an example:

 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/15288

 

At the bottom of every page are links for the numbered page, next page and last page.

 

Now granted, it is a fairly minor thing but would it be possible for you to put the thread navigation at the top of the page so that nobody has to scroll to the bottom to go to the end of the thread?

 

Second, when someone posts a picture, sometimes it will be too wide for my monitor (which BTW is set for 1280 px wide). When that happens, it blows out the table for the whole thread and all posts can only be read by either scrolling left to right to read each line or by cutting and pasting into my word processor.

 

While that does not happen very often, it does happen and it really ruins the thread for me.

 

Would you look to see if there is a way to curtail the posting of such pictures please? It could be a module that converts picture to links to the host, or it could be an ajax insert that forces large pictures into a sub-cell that has scroll bars in the cell to view the whole picture.

 

Either way would represent really minimal server load (I have also seen picture resizers but that is a much larger server load) and it would provide posters of large incentive for members to do the prep work on pictures before posting them.

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Sapient
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Cpt_pineapple wrote:The

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

The "recent posts" page. I don't know how many topics per page it has, but it could be reduced. And if a person is gone for a week or something, they can just click on the next page to see what they might of missed.

It had 125, now it has 60.

 

natural wrote:
 The page appears to be fully loaded, but in the status bar it says "Transferring data from thumbs2.ebaystatic.com..." It's been on the 'still loading' animation for minutes now, I don't think it's ever going to finish.

 

About speed issues, are you saying that the forums are slow on your side, on the server, or that people have complained about slowness in their browsers? Because, if it's on the server side, you should be able to 'debug' the processes and see what's holding things up.

I'm guessing ebaystatic was part of a google ad, but I'm not sure.  As for the second part of your statement, it was a comment from nodiety that spawned this speed increase desire.  For me the site is blazing fast in google chrome, has been for a while.  This was his comment on my facebook: 

More than any other site I frequent, the forums at rationalresponders.com cause trouble with my browser. As much as I appreciate what you're trying to do, I won't contribute financially to a project that works so badly on a practical level. I don't know if it's too much java or what, but the site is simply too resource-hungry. 

I'll use it -- when it actually works for me and as long as it's available -- but I sure as fuck won't pay a penny for it. 

And, no, I don't have a very old computer and I'm not low on RAM.

 

Jormungander wrote:

The forums have always loaded extremely fast for me. I don't think that they could reasonably load faster. Is long loading times a problem for other people here?

That's good to know, thanks.  I guess I'm learning that the problem might not be as bad as I thought.

 

 

NODIETY: Could you try another browser or two and let me know if that helps at all?

VASTET: Take a look at recent posts now, tell me if it looks good with 60.  I think it looks good.  Pineapple was it slowing you down before or just an eyesore?

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It works. Pages are still

It works. Pages are still there, so I can still see the next group of 60 that way. If it helps someone then it'll work well enough.

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Sapient wrote:NODIETY: Could

Sapient wrote:

NODIETY: Could you try another browser or two and let me know if that helps at all?

 

Right now, I'm trying it in Google Chrome.  It seems marginally faster and the browser-freezing thing that I experienced in Firefox doesn't seem to be happening.  

The browsers that are available for Linux are not all the same as the ones that are available for Windows and Mac.  For example, the Linux version of Chrome is considered to be unstable at this time -- it's not yet in beta -- and of course there is no Linux version of IE (not that I miss it).  I've installed a couple of other Linux-based browsers and I'll try them tomorrow or the day after.  

Also, tomorrow or within the next few days I'll try Firefox with all the addons disabled and then enable them one by one to see which, if any, are causing trouble.

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 By the way, I tried to do

 By the way, I tried to do a bronze subscription just now and it didn't work.  I clicked on "subscribe" in the "My Account" page.  It took me to PayPal and asked me to log in and that's it -- there was no option along the way to opt into a subscription.  That's in Chrome.  I might try it again later in Firefox.

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NoDeity wrote: By the way,

NoDeity wrote:

 By the way, I tried to do a bronze subscription just now and it didn't work.  I clicked on "subscribe" in the "My Account" page.  It took me to PayPal and asked me to log in and that's it -- there was no option along the way to opt into a subscription.  That's in Chrome.  I might try it again later in Firefox.

The paypal module broke a while ago.  I had a thread about that a few weeks back with people helping me test it.  I now activate subscriptions manually and have the link in the first post of this thread, on the left hand side of every page (the animated banner) and I've copied it here for you too: http://www.rationalresponders.com/monthly_subscriptions

 

The paypal module that's broken is currently being trashed, we're just grandfathering in anyone who subscribed via that method and archiving the data before we remove that option from your account.  In fact... maybe I can do that now... I'll go check.  The way to subscribe currently is here:  http://www.rationalresponders.com/monthly_subscriptions  (thanks Brad)

 

 

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I got one comment somewhere

I got one comment somewhere else saying to put the ads back to keep the site up and running, and Brad is the only interested $3 per monther.  So what I did was put the missing google ad on the left hand side with the other.  I'm still not showing the other ads that we're there before, but will be doing so when I can ensure that the don't slow anything down.

 

 

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NoDeity wrote:Also, tomorrow

NoDeity wrote:

Also, tomorrow or within the next few days I'll try Firefox with all the addons disabled and then enable them one by one to see which, if any, are causing trouble.

Speaking of Firefox addons, long ago I had to remove the Alexa addon, because it would add long delays to page loading. The only reason I added it in the first place was to support RRS, but then I ran out of income and had to switch to super-cheap dialup (yes, dialup, I know, I'm so embarrassed...). And on dialup, the Alexa addon was a dog.

Maybe that's what was slowing things down for people? I think the problem had to do with the fact that Alexa is a bit slow in forming initial HTTP connections, but I'm not sure.

If I had a faster connection, I would switch back to it, just to support RRS.

Personally, I use dozens of tabs in Firefox, so the only time I have a problem with speed is when I'm in a quick back-and-forth debate. Even then, I can usually be doing something else while the reply editor page is opening.

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 At this time, I find the

 At this time, I find the speed acceptable.  Faster is always better but, no matter which browser I use, the editor seems to consistently load correctly for me now, which is the issue that I was finding most annoying.

I tried some other browsers this morning -- Epiphany, Galeon, and Netsurf -- but none of those seemed faster than Firefox.  

So far, Chrome seems the fastest.  The Linux version of the Chrome browser is considered unstable at this time (it's not yet in beta release) but it seems to be working fine right now.  At this stage of development, any update could temporarily break it, of course, so any Linux users here who are thinking of using it should bear that in mind.  Also, not all the features are in it yet.  However, it did do a very nice job of importing all my settings from Firefox.

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I have

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I have suggestions that won't affect revenue:

Clean up the clutter on the other side such as take out "webcam" for example.

They could possibly affect revenue, but that answer we'll likely never have for sure.  Do you like the changes to the menu I just did?  Less cluttered, eh?

 

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Sapient wrote:Cpt_pineapple

Sapient wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I have suggestions that won't affect revenue:

Clean up the clutter on the other side such as take out "webcam" for example.

They could possibly affect revenue, but that answer we'll likely never have for sure.  Do you like the changes to the menu I just did?  Less cluttered, eh?

 

 

Less cluttered, but I wouldn't do something that would affect revenue

 

 

 


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It is less cluttered

 

and I think quicker for me, anyway.

I'm on firefox with an ADSL 2PLUS link. I've had intermittent slowness in recent weeks but not sure whether my end or yours.

It's loading well at the moment and navigation is easier.

 

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So no love for me? I only

So no love for me? I only asked for two fairly simple things.

 

Thread navigation at the top of the thread should be a fairly simple template hack.

 

A picture resizer might take some digging to see what drupal has to offer but I can't imagine that there is not one. Really, breaking the tables is a huge pain in the ass when it happens.

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

So no love for me? I only asked for two fairly simple things.

Sorry man, neither are simple.  We've been spending time on both ideas for 2 years now.  

 

 

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Are my eyes and/or brain

Are my eyes and/or brain failing me or is there no search function for the forums?

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Sapient
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NoDeity wrote:Are my eyes

NoDeity wrote:

Are my eyes and/or brain failing me or is there no search function for the forums?

Google SEARCH this site!  (in the left hand menu)

also here: 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/node/10655

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Sapient wrote:What browser

Sapient wrote:

  • What browser are you using?
  • How much faster is it now?
  • Can you tell if it is hanging on something specific?

 

 

1. Mozilla Firefox.

2. I haven't noticed any changes.

3. Everything seems to look and work just fine.

 

 

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Sapient wrote:NoDeity

Sapient wrote:

NoDeity wrote:

Are my eyes and/or brain failing me or is there no search function for the forums?

Google SEARCH this site!  (in the left hand menu)

also here: 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/node/10655

Oh man.  I gotta get new glasses.

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Sapient wrote:I need to know

Sapient wrote:

I need to know how much faster the forums work for you as a result of current changes I'll be making with the intent to increase forum speed.  This change is predominantly an attempt to increase forum speed.  Thanks to Brad for inadvertently suggesting this change which I had been contemplating but couldn't afford to do because I needed to use the side bars for advertising.  With recent donations I've been able to justify this change in hopes that this will make the forum more active.  

If you like the change and have yet to donate please help keep things like this by subscribing to bronze for $3 per month.  You can also send a one time $5 donation to help replace the ad revenue that will be lost.  Of course larger donations are appreciated but if I can get 30 bronze members at $3 per month it will easily replace ad revenue that will be lost.  (fwiw: we're not gonna get 30)

One of the reasons I need feedback here is to determine what else could be slowing the forums down.  I will slowly strip away a ton of advertising but if it's the text editor or how the menus are built, or something else I need to know.  

When giving feedback these are the most important things I need to know:

  • What browser are you using?
  • How much faster is it now?
  • Can you tell if it is hanging on something specific?

 

This will be done in stages so revisit this thread to add more feedback later I will update the changes.

First batch of changes: 

  • Removed entire right column on forums, the forums are now wider as a result.  Help make up the money lost!
  • Removed 3 Amazon books on left side of site (some amazon books will go back up soon when I can deliver the content in a faster method)
  • Removed the small amazon book table on the left
  • Removed the bookmark button on the left side (use the bookmarks under the posts now ie stumbleupon, facebook, reddit... please use these so we can make new friends!)

 

As soon as I get my hands on actual money, you'l get a 5$... (or more)

(I say this somewhat amused because the recession seems to have hit us ALL pretty hard... well, except the snake oil salesmen)

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Kapkao wrote:(I say this

Kapkao wrote:
(I say this somewhat amused because the recession seems to have hit us ALL pretty hard... well, except the snake oil salesmen [and Canadians ])

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."