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July 14, 2009

Service advisory, redux
Posted by Patrick at 02:56 PM *

As discussed in our previous post on the subject, we’re going to once again try to migrate nielsenhayden.com to Movable Type 4. Commenting will be disabled for about three hours during the upgrade, which will begin tomorrow at 9 AM European summer time, 8 AM in the British Isles, 3 AM on the east coast of North America, and midnight on the west coast. Watch out for falling pianos.

Update from Martin at 10:45 CET: Upgrade complete. No pianos were harmed during the installation of the new software. Sorry about the goat, though.

Comments on Service advisory, redux:
#1 ::: Nick Rogers ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 03:07 PM:

I didn't realize that pianos were involved in the typical Movable Type upgrade technology stack. Beyond that, I wish you the best of luck.

#2 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 03:37 PM:

"and midnight on the west coast."

And that's as far west as you'll acknowledge you have readers?

Hmmph. Clifton and I may sulk.

#3 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 03:41 PM:

Petunias!

#4 ::: DaveKuzminski ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 03:42 PM:

What? No galaxian times?

#5 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 03:46 PM:

Falling pianos.
Hurtling harps.
Bouncing banjos.
Crashing cellos.
Vanishing violins.

#6 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 03:52 PM:

I hope all goes well and you make one giant leap towards scalability.

#7 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 03:56 PM:

Linkmeister, no, it's just that we figure you guys are better at counting and arithmetic than mainlanders.

#8 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 04:01 PM:

Ooh, nice save.

#9 ::: Daniel Martin ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 04:02 PM:

Users not served by the above-mentioned times can run the following command on any unix system that's properly set to your timezone:

perl -le "print scalar(localtime(1247641200))"

(Actually, that'll also work on windows machines that have ActivePerl installed)

Not sure what timezone you unix machine thinks it's in? Run "date" and compare the result to a local clock.

Want to change your time zone? Run:

export TZ=Asia/Macao

Or whatever file you find in /usr/share/zoneinfo that fits your fancy. (some unix variants keep those files in /etc/zoneinfo instead)

Note that the above commands make no allowance for relativistic effects, so on the surface of the earth should not be considered any more accurate than 10^-12 seconds.

If you're in a reference frame offset from the earth's surface enough that relativistic effects are of concern, you're on your own.

#10 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 04:21 PM:

After the upgrade, can we haz superscripts?

#11 ::: mayhap ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 05:06 PM:

Watch out for falling pianos.

I hope you've got someone who's handy with a cricket ball about!

#12 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 05:09 PM:

Memo to self: pack piano repellant, tiny umbrella, and small sign saying "Yipe!" as well as sandwiches for tomorrow.


Cadbury.
p.s: good luck with the upgrade, do you have your rubber chicken and an adequate supply of goats?

#13 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 05:35 PM:

Serge, I eagerly await your efforts for xylophones

#14 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 05:41 PM:

Cadbury Moose @ 12:

I always thought the goats were for SCSI, not networking stuff.

#15 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 05:42 PM:

Cadbury Moose @12:
do you have your rubber chicken and an adequate supply of goats?

You would not be-frickin'-lieve the resources we have laid on in here. Not that it was easy to get goats on Bastille Day. Much less the—no, I can't bring myself to describe that.

#16 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 05:52 PM:

As I said last time, forget the goat. It won't be enough. A moose, maybe?

#17 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 06:00 PM:

Dave Bell @ 13...

Expelled xylophones.
Tumbling tubas.
Downward drums.
Crashing clarinettes.

#19 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 07:49 PM:

Cadbury Moose @ 12 ...
Memo to self: pack piano repellant, tiny umbrella, and small sign saying "Yipe!" as well as sandwiches for tomorrow.

Does the towel go without saying?

#20 ::: -dsr- ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 09:49 PM:

Goats are for SCSI, chickens for general hardware issues, hamsters for input devices, turkeys for RAID hardware (except that NetApp requires ostriches and EMC says only an emu will do).

Oh, only an emu will do...

When it absolutely has to be up and running in the morning, zoos get emptied. The Miami tech services shops took a real hit when the anti-Vodou laws were passed. Eventually it went up to the Supreme Court, where the real argument clincher turned out to be a full bell-book-and-candle exorcism of the clerks' network. I hear in New York there's a guy with an office in the basement of 60 Hudson who can get you an aardvark in less than four hours -- 50% fee in advance, cash only, please. There are all sorts of people in similar lines of business in San Francisco, but mostly it's not computers they're fixing. Nor is it a coincidence that they have a mint over there, if you know what I mean.

And I think you do.

#21 ::: Brenda Kalt ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 10:39 PM:

Patrick, will you and Teresa be awake for the kickoff?

F***ing French horns. (I can say it; I played one.)

#23 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 11:04 PM:

Cadbury Moose #12: Does Acme-brand piano repellent work on safes too?

#24 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 11:14 PM:

dsr #20: Yeah, but OS recovery is even worse -- Microsoft's bull is bad enough, but peacocks are expensive! And you know how hard it is to get hold of a penguin in the Northern Hemisphere!

#25 ::: David Harmon sees Asian spam ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 11:17 PM:

WRONG thread to pull that on!

#26 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 11:36 PM:

Hyperwords and a bit of interpretation translate the spam title to "Electric light switch". Bizarre....

#27 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2009, 11:36 PM:

Xopher @ 26 & David Harmon @ 27 ...
Dunno... seems like a pretty accurate description of my evening -- and I can only hope that the mysterious and recalcitrant issue that I'm chasing stays well away from here!

#28 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 12:04 AM:

Does Acme-brand piano repellent work on safes too?

About as well as it works on pianos. Or, Yipe!

#29 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 02:37 AM:

May Ghu have mercy on your souls, human, electronic, and informatic, an inseparable whole greater than the sum of your parts, in this momentous time of transition.

#30 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 02:53 AM:

"What was that?"
"French horns."

#31 ::: Abi Sutherland ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 05:34 AM:

There appears to be a circle of clear ground around the house, and, just outside of it, the shards of three pianos, two safes and four anvils. Careful measurement shows that the center of the circle is Martin's laptop.

I'm sure the lavender will regrow, and fortunately all the debris that landed on the pool cover was lightweight.

#32 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 07:15 AM:

If anyone is interested, the spam comment @24 was the first one zapped from the new backend.

Just for the record.

#34 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 07:53 AM:

We've had a couple of minor hiccups; if anything looks funny, bear with us.

#35 ::: Kevin Reid ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 08:44 AM:

Something looks funny: The first 11 comments are missing from the feed for this thread.

#37 ::: linnen ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 09:51 AM:

But whatever did you do to that cat? I think I understand the bonnet on it, but why are there pink pinstripes only on one side?

#38 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 09:53 AM:

Sometimes the goat needs to go. It's not like you really want to, but if you don't the gibbering masses beyond the 'brain start peeking through.

Oops, been reading too much Stross lately.

#39 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 10:29 AM:

Looks from here like you're golden... Thanks to all responsible!

Admittedly, I haven't been checking the RSS feed. Speaking of which, would it be possible to set up a combined feed -- both new articles, and all new comments?

#40 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 11:19 AM:

abi @ 36... if anything looks funny

If I see a goat playing the piano, you'll be the first to know. Strictly speaking, that's not true though. If I see I goat playing the piano, I'll be the first to know, but you'll be the second person.

#41 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 11:45 AM:

David Harmon @ #28: Hyperwords and a bit of interpretation translate the spam title to "Electric light switch". Bizarre...

Of all the things somebody might try to advertise here, I can't think of anything much less bizarre than a device designed for making light.

#42 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 11:50 AM:

My question: was it a Nubian goat?

#43 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 11:51 AM:

Linkmeister: I'm waiting for Tania to join in the complaint.

#44 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 12:07 PM:

Can I be the first to say I like the glowing masthead?

#45 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 12:13 PM:

Yeah, but OS recovery is even worse -- Microsoft's bull is bad enough, but peacocks are expensive! And you know how hard it is to get hold of a penguin in the Northern Hemisphere!

Well, I wouldn't know. I use GNU.

#46 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 01:13 PM:

So, abi, the trick of traveling to France to do the upgrade worked. This supports the hypothesis that Het Abiveld slowly seeps into the pores of the Earth when you stay there for any length of time.

Or is it just that Martin exhausted the Dutch supply of sacrificial goats, and needed fresh pastures?

#47 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 01:27 PM:

I have long observed that Martin is almost entirely immune to het Abiveld. Nonetheless, it was not entirely perfect. The two known front-end problems, which we will address in the near future, are:

1. The header on the "your comment is held for moderation or otherwise not submitted" page is huge, and
2. Comment posting takes longer than we would like, due to rebuilding the "Last [n] comment" indices.

#48 ::: Kevin Reid ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 01:30 PM:

Followup to me #38:

The comment feeds appear to be displaying only the last N comments, for somewhat inconsistent values of N (whereas they used to show the entire thread). And, worse, numbering them such that the first appearing comment (not the first comment on the thread) is #1.

I wouldn't mind if the feeds were displaying the last, say, 200 (well, preferably 499) comments, but the current state is — rather useless, at the rate at which I check back vs. the rate of new comments.

Regardless of whether the change to not-everything is on purpose, please make the numbering stable and consistent with the regular pages.

#49 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 01:46 PM:

Me #28, Paul A. #43: In fact, it originally gave the translation "Photoelectric switch", but by then (11:30pm)I was running on fumes, so I neglected either to realize that someone might actually be selling that, nor to connect it between Making Light and the "current thread"....

#50 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 02:37 PM:

#46, Jules: "Can I be the first to say I like the glowing masthead?"

Probably not, since we've had it for a couple of years. Did you perhaps recently switch to a browser that actually displays the glowing effect? Upgrading to Firefox 3.5 would do it.

#51 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 04:01 PM:

Ah, yes, I upgraded this morning. Ahem. :)

#52 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 04:06 PM:

What glowing masthead?
I use Internet Exploder.

#53 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 04:21 PM:

Oh! I just saw the glowing masthead using Safari for Mac. Very nice.
It doesn't work with Firefox 3.0.11 for Mac.

#54 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 06:38 PM:

wait...it glows? Really? *pokes masthead* Mine's broken.

congrats on the successful move.

*continues poking*

#55 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 07:16 PM:

Coming back in late. Congratulations on the upgrade. I hope that you can iron out the remaining bugs quickly, and that getting used to the new interface isn't much of a chore.

-dsr- @ 20: That's delightfully strange.

ObMasthead: Is this where I get to be smug about enjoying the glowing masthead for years?

#56 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 08:36 PM:

The glowing masthead is visible to people using browsers that support the "text-shadow" CSS attribute. For a long time that was basically Safari. (Plus maybe the world's twelve Opera users, but who cares.) Ironically, the Nielsen Haydens mostly use Firefox, so until the recent release of Firefox 3.5, we didn't usually see it either.

(For that matter, the Nielsen Hayden known as Teresa probably hasn't upgraded to Firefox 3.5 yet herself, because doing so would require saving and shutting down the roughly 150 tabs she usually has open at any given time. Those who think I'm exaggerating are invited to inspect her computer at a randomly-chosen time.)

#57 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 08:54 PM:

Huh. I didn't realize FF 3.5 was out. I just installed it; thanks for the heads-up.

#58 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 09:09 PM:

I'm abashed to admit that I'd always figured the glow was something to do with my fuzzy eyes, not intent...

#59 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 09:44 PM:

Note: There is a critical security hole in Firefox 3.5 that can compromise your system with malicious Javascript code (which can in turn be placed on compromised sites).

The hole doesn't seem to affect 3.0, so if you haven't yet upgraded, you might want to wait until the hole is patched. If you're already running 3.5, I'd suggest turning off Javascript, or applying this workaround. (You can also run NoScript, but if you're allowing Javascript to run on a site that's been compromised, that's enough to get compromised yourself.)

#60 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 10:06 PM:

Okay, I HAVE GOT TO KNOW! How in blazes is she keeping 150 tabs open in Firefox? I go beyond twenty on my Mac and the program goes down like a Greenlake duck...

#61 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 10:38 PM:

Bruce E. Durocher II @ 62... Obviously Teresa's Mac taps into the Multiverse.

#62 ::: Bonnie ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 11:12 PM:

Patrick #58--

Hey, I use Opera, so you can make that #13. Actually in a lot of ways I like it better than Firefox. It hardly ever crashes, for one thing, and the Wand application is great.

#63 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 11:13 PM:

Bruce E. Durocher II @ 62 ...
What I want to know is how a Greenlake duck goes down...

#64 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2009, 11:44 PM:

Not a bug, exactly, but the absence of a feature that may, itself, have actually been a bug.

PNH gave me a link a few weeks ago to the Greasemonkey Firefox script that grays out comments you've read (or at least had the page open to). I noticed that besides visually marking the comments in the thread, it also made the links in the sidebar to any "grayed-out" comments appear as if they'd been read as well. This made catching up rather convenient; just click unread-looking comment links on the sidebar until they all look read.

Since the upgrade, the graying-out is still working fine, but the making-the-links-look-read part (which may, as I said, have actually been a bug) has gone away.

It won't kill me not to have this feature back, but it would be nice.

#65 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 12:06 AM:

?xeger @ 65... What I want to know is how a Greenlake duck goes down...


How did that Danny Kaye song in White Christmas go?

Through the air they keep flying

Like a duck that is dying


#66 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 02:45 AM:

I wish to register the observation that I also use Opera.

Except earlier today, when I was using IE8 because my computer has only had this hard disk since yesterday noon, and top priority was getting Powerpoint working again and essentials restored before I got on the plane out yesterday evening. A lot about my day can be inferred from this datapoint.

#67 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 11:55 AM:

Ok, TECHNICAL NITPICK: clicking darn near any link now takes me to a *.xml page, which only lists titles of comments without letting me read them (though it does purport to let me subscribe via RSS). I only got to this page so I could leave this comment by manually changing the .xml to .html ... this is supremely suboptimal to me, because I used to click the date link on any given comment and bookmark that URL so I can come back to a thread adn see if there's anything new below that.

Or just to read posts at all, because, again, I have to manually edit .html onto it.

I'm using the latest Firefox, if it matters.

#68 ::: Martin Sutherland ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 11:55 AM:

Re. the problems with the RSS feeds: I had temporarily set the number of comments included in the per-entry RSS feeds down to 25, and then disabled them completely, to speed up the rebuilds I had to do during the upgrade...and then I forgot to set it all back after the upgrade. It will take a little while for all of the per-entry RSS feeds to rebuild (there are many, and they have a plan), but they should be okay again after that.

@Cally #66 Can you give me the URL for the Greasemonkey script? I have no idea what's going on there.

#69 ::: Martin Sutherland ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 12:04 PM:

@Elliot #69 Re. all links going to the XML files for the entries - my fault; should be fixed now. I made a mistake when I was re-enabling the per-entry RSS feeds as per my comment #70. Sorry about that.

#70 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 12:05 PM:

Martin @70

PNH sent the Greasemonkey script to me as an attachment. It's called mlcommenttagger.user.js. I can forward it to you, if you like, but I'll need an email address to send it to.

#71 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 12:08 PM:

Elliott Mason @69: Wow. That was disorienting. Clicked in here a minute ago and got the RSS feed:

[pinwheeling arms, grabs for floor handles]
"WAAAAHHH It's all UPSIDE DOWN!!!"

Whew! S'all better now.

#72 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 12:11 PM:

Same here.

#73 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 12:52 PM:

Also, copied from OT127:

And... I just caught the double-posting bug in action! I hit "Post", my browser went to the hourglass... and then back to normal cursor, while remaining at the preview page. My comment did not appear at the bottom, but when I tried to refresh, Firefox warned me "To display this page, Firefox must send information that will repeat any action (such as a search or order confirmation) that was performed earlier." Opening the thread in a new tab revealed the double post. I think I missed the hourglass the first time, which is why I hit Post a second time. In contrast, #149 went right back to the thread page, as it's supposed to.

(the comment in question was relatively lengthy, which may be relevant.)

#74 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 03:33 PM:

Serge@63

No, she just has a special version of Firefox that was ... modified by Agatha Heterodyne.

#75 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 04:56 PM:

Bruce E. Durocher II @ 62: In fact, I've gotten up to 80 or so (yes, TVTropes was involved ;-) ). Lately, I've been getting drastic slowdown problems, but it's not about numbers of tabs -- apparently it's my plugins, notably Flash.

#76 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 05:01 PM:

Michael I @ 76... I'm not sure if an Agatha-modified computer is less scary than a one that'd tap into the Multiverse, even if it accidentally opens a tab into a lovecraftian Dimension.

#77 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 06:25 PM:

David Harmon @ 77

I usually have between 40 and 50 tabs open on Firefox 3.0. Performance ranges from fair to "Oh, please Klono, make something happen!". The maker performance factors, in approximate order of how pissed-off I get from them:

Flash (Worst Evah!): Not that I'd miss it if it had never been invented.

Javascript: Some pages load scripts that will run forever after, sucking up cpu, until you flush the browser's page cache. Worse, I think I've see different pages load in the same Javascript code and run it in separate threads. Not sure about this, but if it's true, someone is about to get a visit from Cousin Vinnie who runs the concrete shoe store.

Time: it sure looks like there are memory leaks in Firefox; keep an instance going with an average of 40 or 50 tabs, constantly replacing 5 to 10 of them with different pages in different tabs, and the browser slowly gets slower. I have to restart Firefox every few days; this cures the performance problem temporarily, at the expense of a very long startup time as the session is reloaded with all tabs open on their pages. It's long enough that my gmail tab never starts properly during session startup; it times out and I have to reload it manually after all the Making Light tabs are loaded.

Added in preview: saw my first upgrade change when I hit preview. NoScript got a spurious "suspicious cross site script" error, and didn't allow the reply to be sent, thus getting a (very nicely formatted) error message from the server. That message used to be straight ASCII, written directly to the window, I'd guess. This is not the server's fault, I found some code in NoScript that gets indigestion if it finds certain uncommon combinations of punctuation characters. Does anyone know any more about this? If it happens much more I'm going to spend some time looking into it, but I'd really rather not.

#78 ::: Hilary Hertzoff ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 06:53 PM:

I'm another Opera user. I use Firefox as a backup, but I've never found the password saving to actually work in the latter. Wand is a thing of beauty.

And now I'm off to clean up my rss feeds. I haven't been removing them from google reader when they die, and so with the upgrade, I've had about a hundred threads show up suddenly with "new messages". This happened to a lesser extent with the previous upgrade attempt, so I was expecting it, and it shouldn't take too long to mark all read or unsubscribe from the comment threads that aren't likely to have new comments.

#79 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 08:53 PM:

#80
It works for me (WinXP and Firefox 3.0.11). It asks, actually, until you give it an answer one way or the other. (choices: Yes/No/Not now).

#80 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2009, 01:24 AM:

You folks complaining about finding the right sacrifices, wait until you need a shoggoth.

(I'm getting both XML and HTML versions of the topic feeds. It's confusing as all heck, especially since Safari doesn't seem to want to let me sort the XML version in reverse.)

I'm also somewhat curious to find if aforementioned sekrit Greasemonkey script (Google fails to find it) would work with GreaseKit.

#81 ::: Nix ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2009, 02:47 AM:

Bruce@#79, there are leaks in FF, but not many. The majority of the effects you see are probably normal caching (it has to store all those millions of tabs somewhere until you close them) and heap fragmentation, which is pretty much impossible to fix as long as FF is written in C++ (or any other language that uses raw pointers extensively, as this prevents motion of fragmented regions).

#82 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2009, 07:48 AM:

Serge@78

I'm sure Agatha left everything else on the computer the same when she modified Firefox.

Besides, how much damage can she do with one little Mac? :-)

#83 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2009, 11:15 AM:

I'll be happy to forward the Greasemonkey script PNH sent me to anyone who wants it (email is my name, formatted firstlast at yahoo.com), but it seems to me like it might be more efficient if one of the mods put a link to it up on the front page somewhere. Especially since I don't check my email as obsessively as some {wry}.

#84 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2009, 11:37 AM:

Michael I @ 84... how much damage can she do with one little Mac?

A lot?

#85 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2009, 01:32 PM:

At Cally's suggestion, I've posted a link to the Greasemonkey script. It's in the right-hand sidebar on the front page, under "More What."

I'm afraid I don't remember the name of the user who whipped it up, and the URL inside the script itself is now defunct. But it does still work.

#86 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2009, 03:33 PM:

I think there should have been more goats. Posting (at least on the open thread) now takes serious wall clock time.

#87 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2009, 03:46 PM:

We're aware that posting comments has slowed down. As I mentioned in the Siberia thread, Abi and Martin are traveling and thus offline today; I believe Martin intends to hack away at this problem once they're home.

Performance on the back end is fantastically faster, but we realize that doesn't do you folks a lot of good!

#88 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2009, 09:43 PM:

Moreover, the Chinese translates as "permanent/warm/permanent/wet" and it's probably not someone's name.

#89 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2009, 10:33 PM:

Clicked on the "this is spam" option on the back end. Therefore there's a post missing (which would have been #90).

Must think about the best balance between keeping the numbering and making sure a given spammer doesn't get through again.

#90 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2009, 12:32 PM:

Patrick @ #87: I'm afraid I don't remember the name of the user who whipped it up, and the URL inside the script itself is now defunct.

However, a URL beginning http://www.molehill.org/~jtl/ suggests the existence of a particular email address (which I will not spell out on general spam-awareness principles; even if the site's apparently defunct, the email address may still be active).

Searching for that email address within nielsenhayden.com leads eventually to Open Thread 71 and an announcement by Todd Larason.

#91 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2009, 12:04 AM:

Nix @83: Nonetheless, there is something going on with Mozilla that's not going on with Opera, given that I regularly have 60-70 tabs open in Opera, leave it running for months, and only get slowdowns on rare occasions when I've reloaded a single tab a few hundred times and it's caching all the previous stuff for me to go back to with my "back" button. Closing that single tab fixes it.

So I would think that to be evidence that, if Mozilla can't do the same thing without getting slow, it's doing something wrong somehow.

(On the other hand, I turn off all plugins; no flash, in-browser PDFs, etc. That may have something to do with it.)

#92 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2009, 10:04 PM:

As I said in a previous missive, it may have been a bug, but I really liked the way that the Greasemonkey script (now available on the front page) made all the direct links to posts I'd read appear as if they'd been clicked. Every time I clicked one, and read those messages, a whole block of lines turned "this has been clicked" color. This made spotting the lone "Open Thread 126" comment hiding amongst the "Open Thread 127" comments much easier; everything else would change color, and there it would be, camouflage destroyed.

Is there any hope that this might come back, or is it incompatible or simply too much trouble?

I'm using Firefox 3.0.9 for Ubuntu, if it matters.

#93 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2009, 01:04 PM:

Cally Soukup (95): That does sound nice. The only problem with that (for me) would be the times when I load a page but don't get to read it all. I click the link on where I left off, so I know where to start again. (Thank heaven for the 'last 2000 comments' list. More than 1500 were posted while I was away recently.)

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