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View Full Version : A few (user's) words about keeping the board running smoothly



caduceus
03-17-2010, 12:23 PM
I'm not an insider so I don't know what kind of server the S-R has the board running on, but I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice how the site seems to be running on a hamster wheel when we get more than a couple hundred users on the board.

It's especially frustrating during games and other notable events (e.g. selection Sunday, post-loss mass user meltdowns, etc.), and you know it's really bad when you start seeing "database error" 404 pages.

While I'm sure that something could be done on the server side of things (this is by far the slowest vBulletin board that I frequent), it's a free site and I truly appreciate the effort Bobzag and the rest of the crew put in to keep it running. Perhaps a discussion at some point is due in terms of things we as a group can do to improve server performance (e.g. I would be more than happy to pitch in a few bucks here and there for a faster server if it would help, and I'm sure many others would too). This is not the point of my post, however, and that is probably better for discussion after the season is over.

Since the Big Dance is looming, I expect we will be seeing more board sluggishness, I think there is one small thing that we normal users can do to reduce the frustration of long page load times.

You might notice that when things are busy, the site serves up a page, and then the site graphics (avatars, smileys, etc.) will load at some later point. Each of those images are a request from your browser to the server to load up some piece of data. A single page might have a queue of dozens of little bits of graphic data, and I've seen it take up to 20 minutes to serve these when things are particularly bogged down.

In Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera web browsers, here's a little tip to keep the site running smoother during critical times: The Escape Key (ESC in the upper left corner of your keyboard) is your friend. Once the page of text has loaded, hit that little ESC key if you don't want to wait for all the graphics and other doo-dads to load.

If even a handful of users were to do this during an in-game thread, it would clear the server's queue of hundreds of HTML requests. And this, my friends, would allow all of us to continue to post, read, check rep, praise, flame, and all the other things we love to do here without the board going down in flames.

Just my humble suggestion, and again great thanks to all that contribute to GUB (users, techs, and mods alike).

=caduceus=

Angelo Roncalli
03-17-2010, 12:33 PM
You mean there's a logical, technical explanation why the board bogs down after a Zags loss? Why, I read on some other message board that it is because we GUBoards administrators close the board down so that no one can post anything negative about GU.

You mean they're wrong?

I'm so disappointed... I guess we wouldn't have this problem if we had just 17 posters... :)

lothar98zag
03-17-2010, 12:36 PM
I'm not an insider so I don't know what kind of server the S-R has the board running on, but I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice how the site seems to be running on a hamster wheel....
Pretty sure this is top of the line. Don't know why things get slow...

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/photos/commodore_pet2001_clavier-merdique.jpg

75Zag
03-17-2010, 12:38 PM
Bandwidth = Money

I am pretty sure that if 500 of us each pay $5 per month for the privilege of logging on, the Spokesman can add enough bandwidth to handle a thousand times the traffic without a whisper of delay. Who wants to go first?

Thanks Spokesman for hosting this FREE service!

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

lothar98zag
03-17-2010, 12:40 PM
Bandwidth = Money

I am pretty sure that if 500 of us each pay $5 per month for the privilege of logging on, the Spokesman can add enough bandwidth to handle a thousand times the traffic without a whisper of delay. Who wants to go first?

Thanks Spokesman for hosting this FREE service!

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!
or even $5 a year.

LongIslandZagFan
03-17-2010, 12:41 PM
BTW... almost 600 online right now. Running smoothly.

caduceus
03-17-2010, 12:42 PM
You mean there's a logical, technical explanation why the board bogs down after a Zags loss? Why, I read on some other message board that it is because we GUBoards administrators close the board down so that no one can post anything negative about GU.

You mean they're wrong?

I'm so disappointed... I guess we wouldn't have this problem if we had just 17 posters... :)

Thanks, Pontiff. Now I need a new keyboard after I just spit Coke Zero all over my desktop. I forgot you mean admins are all about the propaganda!

:D

ridgebackzag
03-17-2010, 12:42 PM
In Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera web browsers, here's a little tip to keep the site running smoother during critical times: The Escape Key (ESC in the upper left corner of your keyboard) is your friend. Once the page of text has loaded, hit that little ESC key if you don't want to wait for all the graphics and other doo-dads to load.

All of the browsers that you mentioned have a cache for temporary files (enabled by default) and should only be downloading the pictures once per session at most anyway.

caduceus
03-17-2010, 12:48 PM
All of the browsers that you mentioned have a cache for temporary files (enabled by default) and should only be downloading the pictures once per session at most anyway.

I would think so, but something is amiss. I've seen this VERY frequently: Open a few threads in separate tabs when the board is busy. They'll sit there each loading for several minutes. Cancel the first tab/thread (ESC), and then the next 4 tabs will serve up instantly.

tinfoilzag
03-17-2010, 12:54 PM
You mean there's a logical, technical explanation why the board bogs down after a Zags loss? Why, I read on some other message board that it is because we GUBoards administrators close the board down so that no one can post anything negative about GU.

Maybe a more discriptive error code would work. Something like:

"Error 404 'page not found'

Actually, the page is available it's just that we have reached our quota of threads starting with "what was Few thinking" and "<enter players name here>".

Please try again later when you have calmed down. :) "

caduceus
03-17-2010, 12:56 PM
BTW... almost 600 online right now. Running smoothly.

Took me several minutes to load this page just so I could reply. Goes in spurts, it seems.

LongIslandZagFan
03-17-2010, 12:58 PM
You might want to talk to your ISP... I haven't seen any lag at all.

caduceus
03-17-2010, 01:05 PM
You might want to talk to your ISP... I haven't seen any lag at all.

Hmmm...anyone else seeing any lag on the board today? I'm in Seattle so it's only about 6 hops to GUB, 48 msec ping, so fast connection. No probs with any other site.

ridgebackzag
03-17-2010, 01:06 PM
Took me several minutes to load this page just so I could reply. Goes in spurts, it seems.

Haven't experienced any lag myself. I am an avid user of middle-click tab opening and all seems well.

webspinnre
03-17-2010, 01:08 PM
Huh, I very rarely have problems. sure its not a memory leak on your end?

Pure
03-17-2010, 01:16 PM
Bandwidth = Money

I am pretty sure that if 500 of us each pay $5 per month for the privilege of logging on, the Spokesman can add enough bandwidth to handle a thousand times the traffic without a whisper of delay. Who wants to go first?

Thanks Spokesman for hosting this FREE service!

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

Its not bandwidth... Its Server and or config issue...

caduceus
03-17-2010, 01:17 PM
Huh, I very rarely have problems. sure its not a memory leak on your end?

Definitely not. This machine has 8 gigs (25% used), quad core proc, Win 7 x64, fast pipe to the internet. Will investigate further, as it's been going on all year (and only GUB). Assumed it was the board.

U Zig, I Zag
03-17-2010, 01:22 PM
This site is database driven. When the user load is heavy it bogs down. Bandwith is probably not the issue, but the server itself (or the configuration of it) might not be able to handle the load. It renders each page for each request. There is caching on the server but whatever it is caching is constantly changing when it's really in use.

I am an IT nerd but I don't run bulletin boards or a lot of .php web applications so I wouldn't be the one to ask the specifics.

Faster hardware is probably the answer (or database cleanup on the backend but I imagine that is done routinely anyway).

NotoriousZ
03-17-2010, 01:39 PM
Hmmm...anyone else seeing any lag on the board today? I'm in Seattle so it's only about 6 hops to GUB, 48 msec ping, so fast connection. No probs with any other site.

The 'Boards don't take kindly to husky fans. BobZag can get you the password for Zag fans in Seattle.

BobZag
03-17-2010, 01:42 PM
At times it does lag. High volume. A year or more ago more memory was installed into the server and it became much better/faster. But at times it lags, like after big wins/losses and things like Selection Sunday.

I sent the link to this thread to the S-R techs. It can only help. Appreciate this feedback.