If you have "no place to go," come here!

More minor site changes

First, the new server is up, and I hope you all are seeing the same speed increase than I am. Pages should just build faster. Basically, more memory, more processors, more disk storage all mean that the hamsters have bigger, shinier wheels, and that translates directly into performance. (The old server had been going since 2006, which is centuries in hamster years.) Most of the site issues we've been experiencing in the last days are due directly to the site finally running up against the technical limits of the old server.

Second, users who are not (yet) logged in should receive an additional speed increase through caching.* So, if we get a link from somewhere like Yves, with a lot of people who have never been here before and don't have accounts, the page loads very quickly and they are not discouraged and keep coming back.

Now, the flip side of caching is that only logged in users get the very latest posts, because users who are not logged in are being served stored, already built pages from the cache. The moral of the story is that if you want up-to-the minute content, log in. Now that the login is or should be basically forever, again, this should no longer be an issue.

Fourth, the Read More links now take you from the front page to the the point in the complete post where you are supposed to, er, "read more," instead of the top of the page. There is also a little bit of blue text reading "...more" in the complete text to show where the break is. WARNING: Because of caching, see above, not all pages will have links like this immediately. But they will over time, and new pages should have this behavior at once.

Fifth, there are various other minor improvements I need to install later in the day, like file uploads.

And there is also the issue of what the heck is happening to title links on categories pages, which I haven't been able to run down.

NOTE * Caching means this: Every page on the site is constructed out of many tiny bits, "on the fly," dynamically. That is what the hamsters do in their cages. This is a real feature -- it's why, for example, the Random Links change on every page build; the pages are built dynamically. However, constructing pages like that is work, so it takes time -- like pouring water into a bucket. So, for users who are not logged in, a page, having been built, is stored ("cached") once rather than being reconstructed every time -- we just hand them a pre-filled bucket, instead of waiting for the bucket to fill. Then the cache is periodically "flushed" -- the bucket is emptied and refilled -- and then the newest content shows up. Why can't logged in users get the same speed up? Because the only way they could get up-to-the-minute content would be to flush the cache all the time -- and that would be the same as putting a hole in the bucket.

UPDATE There is now an "email this page" link, per twig in chat.

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Submitted by lambert on

The server upgrade, which ran late, was something I wanted to get in place before my Fall fundraiser....

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

me likes.

When is that fall fundraiser?

Submitted by lambert on

Got to fix a few more things ....

Of course, not really "forever," since storage space is finite. But long enough.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

When the coloration and formatting disappeared at one point when I logged in recently I became alarmed, but it really illuminated how appealing and convenient this site is. Not to take it for granted.

The plant pictures really add to its appeal, btw!!

Bravo!!!! I am a tech-phobe but will read about the corrente tools and thank you. :)