Performance tweaks and fixes.

General site news. Details of forthcoming outages and so on.
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JQW
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Performance tweaks and fixes.

Postby JQW » 19 Nov 2010, 22:32

We're still having some sporadic performance issues.

I've tracked them down to two optional board features which we've still got enabled.

Firstly there's the marking of the read/unread state of each thread. Currently we track everything in the server itself, storing the last visit time for each user's visit to each thread. As this table is now absolutely huge, looking this up takes some time, and slows the server down when both displaying a list of topics, and topics themselves. If we instead store the same information a user's own browser, it reduces the server load considerably. However one drawback is the fact that you can't move between browsers and keep the same read/unread state.

The other is the tracking of every thread a user has posted to; again this results in another fairly huge table that gets accessed many times whenever a list of topics is generated.

If I disable these, we should see some increase in performance. It may require users of some browsers to delete their cookies for this site.

I've some other performance ideas to try out. I want to run some tests on the main database to attempt to get to the bottom of the problems encountered when deleting posts, but as that will require taking the board down for 30 minutes or more I will have to give adequate warnings before I attempt it.


Another issue is that phpBB 3.0.8 is due to be released soon, perhaps even by the end of the month. This incorporates many fixes, including some relating to performance.
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toomanyhatz
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Re: Performance tweaks and fixes.

Postby toomanyhatz » 19 Nov 2010, 22:49

As always, thanks for all your efforts.

Also, as always- will we get the search function back? And will the fixes to phpBB put an end to, or at least reduce, the problems with it?
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JQW
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Re: Performance tweaks and fixes.

Postby JQW » 19 Nov 2010, 23:02

The search function is back at the moment. However I will probably have to turn it off at some point whilst I investigate things.

I've been through the changelog of the pre-release of the next phpBB update. I've spotted a mention of one major performance tweak, but as some of these log entries are fairly cryptic there's probably some more. Plus these changelogs don't necessarily include every modification to the code. so there could be other undocumented changes.
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Re: Performance tweaks and fixes.

Postby Harvey K-Tel » 20 Nov 2010, 01:59

Damn, I hate having the 'posts read' functionality turned off.
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Re: Performance tweaks and fixes.

Postby The Prof » 20 Nov 2010, 16:22

Have the little dots gone that mark your contribution to a thread?

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JQW
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Re: Performance tweaks and fixes.

Postby JQW » 20 Nov 2010, 16:34

Yes, they have. Unfortunately generating them uses up a lot of server resources, and it's recommended that they're turned off on medium to large sized boards.
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JQW
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Re: Performance tweaks and fixes.

Postby JQW » 20 Nov 2010, 21:32

I've now upgraded to version 3.0.8, so we're now running code with some performance improvements.

I can still see one cause for concern, though. It still can take a few seconds to open a thread if you click on the unread posts marker. To get around this I will need to re-optimise the main posts table, which will require taking the board down.
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. - Bertrand Russell

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Re: Performance tweaks and fixes.

Postby packrat » 21 Nov 2010, 17:56

Hi Jethro

Has this change/ upgrade deactivated the Black Pearl style then, 'cos mine ain't working no more? If so, will it be back sometime please :)
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JQW
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Re: Performance tweaks and fixes.

Postby JQW » 21 Nov 2010, 18:01

Although there was nothing in the documentation, it's possible that some third-party layouts will stop working.

I'll take a look.
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Re: Performance tweaks and fixes.

Postby Muskrat » 21 Nov 2010, 18:15

If I had a choice of colors, prosilver is not the one I'd choose, my brother.
Just sayin' (as the kids say).
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Re: Performance tweaks and fixes.

Postby JQW » 21 Nov 2010, 18:20

Yes, unfortunately there's a small number of problems with the Black Pearl style. Hopefully I'll get them fixed and the style re-instated over the next few days.
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Re: Performance tweaks and fixes.

Postby Muskrat » 21 Nov 2010, 18:24

Didn't mean it's a flounce-worthy crime, but did want you to know (in case you don't have access to such data) that at least I appreciate some contrast, if only because it makes for easier reading.
Things that a fella can't forget...

Quaco wrote: Not that I advocate writing "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict" if that happens to be in the set, but just don't shorten it quite so much!