First, thanks to the literally dozens of people who answered our cry for help fixing and upgrading this site. Thanks to John Scalzi for sending even more kindly volunteers our way. And thanks for all the excellent and informative advice in the discussion following our appeal. We are astonished and humbled; we are not worthy. (We also want to see Michael Roberts’ basement.)
Second, yes, various fixes are underway. Thanks to Martin Sutherland—who’ll be helping migrate us to Movable Type 4—we now see how our ancient “View All By” script, dating from 2002-or-so when MT-based blogs might have 2,000 comments in their database, has been more or less beating our server to death, since it’s now 2009 and that same database now contains over 300,000 comments. To address this, Martin has implemented a bunch of sensible fixes which we’ll explain in more detail down in the comments. In addition, comments from people who don’t enter a personal URL no longer default to showing their declared email address. This is part of a larger effort to keep our commenters from being spammed by email-address-harvesters. Yes, we should have dealt with this a while ago.
The various changes rolled in this weekend have quick fixes to urgent problems. Sometime in the next little while, we’ll actually migrate the whole site to MT 4.25, and then start rethinking aspects of the way the place looks and works. Not on the agenda: threaded comments, personal avatars, or a quick sale to mobbed-up Russian “businessmen.” Of course, we would say that.