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View Full Version : Question: On what good a limit on avatar changes would do, if any.


Cassino
May 16th, 2013, 02:37 PM
Would limiting how often anyone can change their avatar (to once a week? month? something like that) help relieve server load?
Since I change my avatar so often, I have come to wonder if the upload of images by all members has a cumulative impact on site performance.

Zorua
May 16th, 2013, 02:40 PM
Even if that was an issue, I can imagine a good 90% of the community being against this idea. .___.;;; Simply because avatars have become such a staple of online forum identity, so limiting it wouldn't really be the best of ideas...

Patchisou Yutohru
May 16th, 2013, 02:44 PM
Even if that was an issue, I can imagine a good 90% of the community being against this idea. .___.;;; Simply because avatars have become such a staple of online forum identity, so limiting it wouldn't really be the best of ideas...
Even if that was an issue, I think that if that is a possible solution to a problem, the 90% of the community being against the idea would have to get over it and choose their avatars a bit more carefully. If you're changing your avatars often enough, do you even have an online forum identity that an avatar can properly portray? I don't think so, anyway.

Cassino
May 16th, 2013, 02:45 PM
This is a question, not a suggestion. Everyone please remember that.

Zorua
May 16th, 2013, 02:49 PM
Even if that was an issue, I think that if that is a possible solution to a problem, the 90% of the community being against the idea would have to get over it and choose their avatars a bit more carefully.

If you guys were to set some kind of limit, then having it at least once a week would be the most ideal thing. Once a month would just be kind of too much, especially for those who just have a (bad?) habit of changing our avatars a lot.

This is a question, not a suggestion. Everyone please remember that.


I'm just posting my opinion, nothing else really. u__u;; Sorry if it came across differently. I'm pretty bad with words sometimes, haha.

If you're changing your avatars often enough, do you even have an online forum identity that an avatar can properly portray? I don't think so, anyway.

You raise a good point here. :x I mean, I guess the only people it'd really upset are those that change avatars a lot, I can't imagine any other group really getting affected by this, but I can be wrong...

Cassino
May 16th, 2013, 02:54 PM
I'm just posting my opinion, nothing else really. u__u;; Sorry if it came across differently.
That's fine; the reason this is a thread and not a PM to Ausaudriel is for the sake of discussion. I just don't want this to spiral into some ridiculously vehement debate before the initial question is answered by administration.

Ausaudriel
May 16th, 2013, 03:44 PM
I appreciate the theory and totally get why you thought of it, but in the long run it wouldn't make too much of a difference.

90% of the reason why the forums slow down is just because people are viewing things. Seriously. That's it. Other interactions (such as uploading an avatar) are relatively infrequent and don't really have much of an impact. Even posting isn't a huge deal--figure we average 1200 new posts per day. Divide it down and that's roughly, what, one post per minute? Even if you cut it by half to account for daytime traffic that's still just two posts per minute.

Making a post is just a couple of requests (queries) to the server. Uploading your avatar is just a couple of requests. All of those things are small and infrequent.

Viewing, on the other hand, is ironically a lot more stressful. Each page load you do has a dozen requests for various things, and times those by the number of users online and the number of page loads (index -> forum -> thread -> page -> page -> page -> OH I HAVE A VM YAY PROFILE -> view VM conversation -> view profile -> index -> forum -> thread -> page etc. etc. etc. It adds up.

That's why we always say don't refresh a bunch when you get an offline message or when the forums seem really slow, that just makes it worse. If everyone would just wait like ten minutes before trying again the forums would be back up way sooner.

That's also why I added that filter for guests. By stopping them from viewing a bunch of pages when there are more people online, it makes it more likely that members will be able to continue using the forums.

Patchisou Yutohru
May 16th, 2013, 03:46 PM
Just a thought. What about restricting access to some categories to members only?

Ausaudriel
May 16th, 2013, 03:48 PM
I personally prefer that guests can see everything a member can see, that way they can get a complete image / good feel for the community before deciding to join.

Kura
May 16th, 2013, 04:18 PM
I personally prefer that guests can see everything a member can see, that way they can get a complete image / good feel for the community before deciding to join.

Oh! Is there maybe a way to restrict like.. how far back they can look at threads? (You know at the bottom where you can sift through threads there? How you can see threads made like 6 months ago, etc) @_@ Not sure if that would actually be an issue though.. since they wouldn't be viewing it.. but I dunno if the server like.. culminates all the viewable pages or whatever? I was just curious and maybe that would help.

Guests can't use the search function can they?

@_@ But damn that is actually cool. I would've thought avatar uploading would've caused more stress than viewing. Wonder why name changes cause so much stress then.. ._. But wow.. good we have that Porygon page up though! I really like Syphiel's art.

Zorua
May 16th, 2013, 04:21 PM
Wonder why name changes cause so much stress then.. ._.

The server has to change your name 20,000+ times. That's 20,000+ requests. And that's just for those who have high postcount. That doesn't count VMs, PMs, and the like, which would be more. x_x

Just wanted to point that out! :3

Kura
May 16th, 2013, 04:27 PM
@_@ Hot damn.. yeah that is a lot..

Well doesn't it need to change that same sort of thing for Avatars or is that like.. on some other layer of visibility or something so it doesn't have to make a million different picture request changes ._. Guess cause the name is like hard-coded sorta.. or something..?

antemortem
May 16th, 2013, 04:36 PM
@_@ Hot damn.. yeah that is a lot..

Well doesn't it need to change that same sort of thing for Avatars or is that like.. on some other layer of visibility or something so it doesn't have to make a million different picture request changes ._. Guess cause the name is like hard-coded sorta.. or something..?
Yeah. For you, the server would have to change your name 10,272 times for your posts, at least 3,266 times for your Visitor Messages, 114 times for your blog entries, however many times for the comments you've posted on your blog and others, your PMs, etc. There's a lot requested when a name change is performed.

donavannj
May 16th, 2013, 10:12 PM
With the avatars, I'm fairly certain (though not having worked on the back-end of any database all that much, I'm certainly no expert) that the avatar is simply pointing to one location all the time through a variable, and what that variable pulls back to the post is whatever that user's current avatar is, since I'm fairly certain there's only one avatar listed in the database for each user at a time.

Do correct me if I'm wrong, Audy.

Ausaudriel
May 16th, 2013, 10:30 PM
Yeah, you've got it pretty much right. 8) Most data on the forum is just stored in one spot, and it's called ("queried") each time it's needed. Avatars are uploaded to the forum and then a spot in the database points to those images.

Usernames in particular are a problem because of a design choice made by the people who created vBulletin. I think I've explained this before but basically, there's an option you can enable that lets guests make posts on the forum without registering. In that case they're asked to input a username. Because there's no main account to link the post to, each post is treated separately so each post needs to have a spot for a username to be put. When you're logged in, that spot is filled by your username. If an account is ever deleted, your username will still be shown on the post.

This isn't particularly useful on PC because 1) we never delete accounts and 2) guests aren't allowed to post.

One of the biggest changes I'm making is getting rid of that whole system. I wasn't able to do it before because the number of changes I could make to vBulletin were limited--for the tech savvy out there, I basically had to fudge things through the plugin/hook system. Now that we've basically decided to fork the software into our own direction, I've been given permission to modify files directly, which means I can rewrite the queries that pull this information so that they ignore the extra username field, rewrite the queries that perform username changes so that they don't cause the server to come crashing down, and generally just speed things up.

For the non-tech savvy, this basically all means that some time soon we'll be allowing name changes again. XD

Castform
May 16th, 2013, 10:53 PM
Just a thought. What about restricting access to some categories to members only?

This is interesting, because when you look at the who's online most of the guest are viewing Rom Hacks, so maybe restricting that section only to members might help? Just a thought.

Alli
May 16th, 2013, 10:59 PM
This is interesting, because when you look at the who's online most of the guest are viewing Rom Hacks, so maybe restricting that section only to members might help? Just a thought.

Restricting our most popular forum, the one that causes most people to join PC, is not a very good idea.

Harley Quinn
May 16th, 2013, 11:00 PM
This isn't particularly useful on PC because 1) we never delete accounts

Why is this such a cardinal rule, anyway?

Castform
May 17th, 2013, 08:23 AM
Restricting our most popular forum, the one that causes most people to join PC, is not a very good idea.


When you put it this way haha it makes sense. I was just thinking it might actually make more people join PC as another benefit, but looking back I didn't word it the best way and realized that it would actually be a bad thing.

droomph
May 17th, 2013, 09:24 AM
How about caching the results? I'm pretty sure that this community doesn't need to be completely overhauled every time someone asks for something.

Like, ask for the posts only, and then JavaScript/AJAX (which is our problem) can deal with the adding it in and stuff.

Krazzikk
May 17th, 2013, 11:19 AM
That's also why I added that filter for guests. By stopping them from viewing a bunch of pages when there are more people online, it makes it more likely that members will be able to continue using the forums.

I had no idea that was your idea. Thumbs up to that

I'm not too familiar with vBulletin or JavaScript but is there a way you can stop people from refreshing multiple times (Maybe a limit of 5[?]) ? That would help tons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!