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Forum is SO Darn Slow


cnegrad

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To anyone who knows the Admin of this site (Dave?):

 

I know that the software of this forum is old, and I know that the powers that be are reluctant to make improvements. But whether we're talking about before or after the recent downtime, this site is just SO DARN SLOW. It's slow to find your server when coming from any other site, and far slower when making a post.

 

Not being a techie, I have no idea what's involved or why this is happening, but this is by far the slowest website that I frequent, though it's probably the one I wish to use the most. I respectfully ask that you try to rectify the situation. Thanks.

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Yeah, it would be nice of them to increase the bandwidth or whatever soon.

 

Thought it was running a little faster after it went down a few days ago. :confused:

 

Yet, it is better than nothing. I look forward to hanging out with you cats. :)

 

cnegrad--How many days/weeks before you start playing Guaraldi's "Christmas Time is Here"? ;)

 

Soundscape--Found those orchestra hits yet? Sequenced "Holding Back The Years" using nothing but 80s sounds? :P

 

This place is great. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Originally posted by NoahZark:

I just meant free to folks like me. Don't know about you, but I've certainly never paid a dime to participate here.

Quite, but the point is it's not a charity exactly. Now, I'm not saying anyone's making a fortune out of this site--as far as I'm aware the magazine business per se is tight enough--but at the same time it seems to me that if money needs to be spent on better hosting, then it's not burning a hole in the accounts. While everything's on a friendly basis here, we are 'customers' of a sort. Plus many here buy or have subscriptions to Keyboard magazine itself. I'm not about to demand better customer service, but improving lagging server response time seems quite a reasonable request to me.
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Originally posted by soundscape:

Quite, but the point is it's not a charity exactly. Now, I'm not saying anyone's making a fortune out of this site--as far as I'm aware the magazine business per se is tight enough--but at the same time it seems to me that if money needs to be spent on better hosting, then it's not burning a hole in the accounts. While everything's on a friendly basis here, we are 'customers' of a sort. Plus many here buy or have subscriptions to Keyboard magazine itself. I'm not about to demand better customer service, but improving lagging server response time seems quite a reasonable request to me.

I can't (and don't) disagree with anything you say. :thu:

 

Noah

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cnegrad--How many days/weeks before you start playing Guaraldi's "Christmas Time is Here"?
Funny that you mention that! Seriously; it's already been playing in my head for about a week. I'm just hoping to get a gig somewhere after Thanksgiving so I can get away with playing it. If I played it now, people would probably give me strange looks.
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Originally posted by soundscape:

While everything's on a friendly basis here, we are 'customers' of a sort.

Your forum fees are covered by a money-back guarantee... ;):P

 

 

but improving lagging server response time seems quite a reasonable request to me.
Well, there are two factors at play here, at least for those users in North America who seem to be the majority reporting/agreeing with the slowness of the site.

 

First, the site is hosted in the U.K., so there are issues of latency between page requests and them being returned from across the pipe that runs along the bottom of the Atlantic. Not always huge, but more of a factor during business hours, when data is being transmitted between major urban/financial centers such as London and New York. ;)

 

Secondly, yes, the forum software is somewhat lagging... in fact, the makers of this software have announced that it's reached EOL (End Of Live), and will be replaced with something new, likely next year.

 

The problem with the software is that it's written in Perl and uses flat text files to store all of these posts, rather than a proper structured database.

 

So, the long and the short of it is, because of the design of the software, it's not a server issue; it's the software itself.

 

In order to improve the response of the forums, they'd need to replace the current forum software with a new software package.

 

There's an upgrade to the latest UBB software, but that's a minimum cost of $229 US for the basic software. The upside is that they'd be able to migrate most, if not all, of the messages, users, and other data to the new forum.

 

The alternative to this, of course, is losing all the history here, including user accounts, and starting from fresh with a new platform. :freak:

 

Of course, not knowing what the budget is within the CMP family for supporting these forums, none of us are qualified to comment on whether or not this should be a step taken or not. I'm sure that won't stop many from chiming in, of course... ;)

 

I'm curious as to what led CMP to host their sites with a company in the UK that doesn't have a co-location presence in the US. :confused:

 

Anyway, I'd also like for the speed of the forums to be improved; just pointing out that there are software issues at the forefront of the problem, so it's not about hardware/bandwidth.

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Originally posted by Sven Golly:

First, the site is hosted in the U.K., so there are issues of latency between page requests and them being returned from across the pipe that runs along the bottom of the Atlantic. Not always huge, but more of a factor during business hours, when data is being transmitted between major urban/financial centers such as London and New York. ;)

I (being in the UK) find many US-based sites are fast enough, although it's always hard to say with local caching. But in any case, this simply can't account for 20 seconds to post a message.

 

Originally posted by Sven Golly:

Secondly, yes, the forum software is somewhat lagging... in fact, the makers of this software have announced that it's reached EOL (End Of Live), and will be replaced with something new, likely next year.

Interesting. I wonder if the new version will have migration tools.

 

Originally posted by Sven Golly:

The problem with the software is that it's written in Perl and uses flat text files to store all of these posts, rather than a proper structured database.

This implies the site is hitting problems with scalability. Perhaps this could even result in reliability or data corruption issues, or at least that the speed problem will get even worse.

 

Originally posted by Sven Golly:

Of course, not knowing what the budget is within the CMP family for supporting these forums, none of us are qualified to comment on whether or not this should be a step taken or not.

Of course not.
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Originally posted by captainmri:

You get what you pay for. Still a bargain and the first thing I check out in every early morning trawl. Well...that and how K-Fed is doing.

Actually, I'd be happy to pay a fee. I used to use CompuServe which had far better proprietary software and great third-party offline readers that eat any of the Web-based forum interfaces for breakfast.

(I find it ridiculous that many of them don't support properly threaded messages, and unless I'm missing something, don't have the ability (private messages apart) to notify someone that a message has been sent to them.)

 

Now, online services like CompuServe used to charge an extortionate hourly fee that I'd rather not go back to, but I think it's a shame that everyone expects everything on the Web to be "free at the point of delivery." Or the idea that all services should be "unbundled"... whereas in fact, in reality services have to be bundled because people won't pay for them separately. (e.g., in reality a pub isn't just a place to drink, it's also a place to hang out, chat, have a table sit with friends, and any other bonuses (live sports on big screens, music, etc.) that are covered by the cost of the drinks.)

 

As for K-Fed, he's F-*ed. :D (I don't have a problem with someone who only has a certain amount of musical talent but is an attractive all-around 'star' being a front for music created by producers who know what they're doing, but in his case... sheesh! This guy's performances just don't cut it and his 'musical career' looks to be even shorter lived than his marriage.)

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Originally posted by soundscape:

(I find it ridiculous that many of them don't support properly threaded messages, and unless I'm missing something, don't have the ability (private messages apart) to notify someone that a message has been sent to them.)

If you use the Full Reply form on this forum, there's an option for Email Notification on reply... :thu:
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Originally posted by Sven Golly:

Originally posted by soundscape:

(I find it ridiculous that many of them don't support properly threaded messages, and unless I'm missing something, don't have the ability (private messages apart) to notify someone that a message has been sent to them.)

If you use the Full Reply form on this forum, there's an option for Email Notification on reply... :thu:
But, does it notify you when someone replies to you, or just in that topic?
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Originally posted by soundscape:

Originally posted by Sven Golly:

Originally posted by soundscape:

(I find it ridiculous that many of them don't support properly threaded messages, and unless I'm missing something, don't have the ability (private messages apart) to notify someone that a message has been sent to them.)

If you use the Full Reply form on this forum, there's an option for Email Notification on reply... :thu:
But, does it notify you when someone replies to you, or just in that topic?
Most forums allow you to subscribe to any thread, *without having to post to it*; but just because it interests you. You can't do that here.

 

In response to the $229 fee, there are so many of us "regulars" here, I'd think that most would be willing to contribute a small one-time fee to upgrade the software. I know that I would; how about you?

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Maybe I should explain... with a CompuServe forum, not only would you have threads (topics) but each message in the thread is sent to someone. (Generally, the first message would be sent to "ALL" but it can be specifically sent to someone; otherwise, a reply is sent to the person that posted the message you're replying to.)

 

Therefore, if you used the CompuServe software, on entering a forum, if you had new messages you'd have a "You have new messages" notification at the bottom of the screen, and you could obtain a list of these new messages; rather more convenient than trawling through looking for replies.

 

(I suppose here you could always have that E-mail notification going and automatically filter mails with the word "soundscape" or your username in them?)

 

BTW, the CompuServe forums all had the ability to do instant messaging to any member "in" the forum at the time, and had chatrooms, as well as a "Library" that was be used to store files (text or binary.)

 

Now, let's be honest, given the potential we have today with broadband connectivity and much more powerful desktop computers, it was in some ways rather crude, but the point is that we're years into the so-called "Internet revolution" and yet we're using Web-based forums with poor user interfaces, lousy response times, and lacking in extremely basic features.

 

Anyway, I guess ranting about this stuff doesn't really help the situation here any, but I'd rather that past features of forums and a vision for the future aren't forgotten.

 

(Remember that whole "cyberspace" idea? OK... so it was fiction... but this simply isn't cool enough! :D )

 

Originally posted by cnegrad:

Most forums allow you to subscribe to any thread, *without having to post to it*; but just because it interests you. You can't do that here.

Now that's another basic feature that 'should' be offered by any forum software.

 

Originally posted by cnegrad:

In response to the $229 fee, there are so many of us "regulars" here, I'd think that most would be willing to contribute a small one-time fee to upgrade the software. I know that I would; how about you?

Sure.
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Originally posted by cnegrad:

this site is just SO DARN SLOW...

 

... this is by far the slowest website that I frequent, though it's probably the one I wish to use the most.

Are you referring to the web site, or the people who post here?

 

Because, I just want to say that if we could...

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Originally posted by cnegrad:

In response to the $229 fee, there are so many of us "regulars" here, I'd think that most would be willing to contribute a small one-time fee to upgrade the software. I know that I would; how about you?

:thu:

 

In fact, I'd be willing to cover the whole fee. :eek:

 

I'll play "Chrismas Time is Here" in the summer. I love that tune!

 

Look at me funny but dig these chord changes. Sweet. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Originally posted by Sven Golly:

Hey, ProfD, if you'll cough up my hourly fee, I'll also volunteer to handle (or assist with) the migration to a better forum platform. :thu:

 

I'll also work for gear, if that's better for ya... ;)

Uh, yeah Wolverine, as long as you keep those claws retracted, we might be able to work something out. :P:cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Originally posted by cnegrad:

So Dave Bryce, as our connection to the people behind this site, what say you about all this?

What makes you think I'm the connection to the people behind this site? On the rare occasion that I actually communicate with anyone from MP about this forum (which is next to never), the people I talk to are the people at Keyboard mag and Jim Quinn (who anyone here can PM just as easily as I can). They're the ones in contact with the people who own the forums, not me.

 

I have no direct connection to the people who are behind this site, nor have I ever met any of them or spoken with any of them. That'd be the people who own Keyboard, EQ, Guitar Player, etc. New Bay Media, I believe.

 

Personally, I'm glad the forum is here. I'm glad it's free and I'm glad that someone (other than me) pays to keep it here. If it's slow here and there, I only perceive it as a minor annoyance. When it's really slow, I open multiple tabs and go back and forth between other pages/sites while this site is loading.

 

Sometimes this site is slow, sometimes it isn't. Right now, it isn't. Actually, my experience is that it's been much better since the server move last week.

 

Sorry to not be more sympathetic to the cause. ;)

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

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Dave,

What makes you think I'm the connection to the people behind this site?
What's up? Since you're the Mod here, I asked the question in case you knew the answer, that's all. Evidentially that's not the case.

Personally, I'm glad the forum is here. I'm glad it's free and I'm glad that someone (other than me) pays to keep it here.
As are we all. I'm not aware that anyone is in disagreement.

Sometimes this site is slow, sometimes it isn't. Right now, it isn't. Actually, my experience is that it's been much better since the server move last week.
I wish that were the case where I sit.
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Originally posted by cnegrad:

Since you're the Mod here, I asked the question in case you knew the answer, that's all. Evidentially that's not the case.

Nope.

 

No one from the company who owns the site ever communicates with me, nor I with them. Heck, I didn't even know the forum was going down last weekend until it was down...and no one has given me any reason for it other than a short text message on my phone saying they were moving the server.

 

I think maybe you misunderstand the scope of the mod thing. Really, I'm just kind of the host of the party; however, I don't own the club, and I've never met the owners.

 

Also, to be perfectly honest, I question whether the people who own the forums see the same value in them that we do. Despite what you some of you guys may think, my inclination is that they don't really generate much positive revenue at all (even with the banner ads), so my thinking on the subject is that it may not be the best idea to be trying to put any pressure on New Bay to spend any money here.

 

Like Noah said:

 

I'm loathe to complain since this place is both fun and free (a rare combination in today's world).
:thu:

 

What I want is for them to leave us alone. Sorry if that's out of sync with what you want, and I'm sorry if that disappoints you.

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

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