PDA

View Full Version : Suggestion: Tier 5 Supporter added benefit


Lokhlan
May 24th, 2013, 02:48 PM
I recently started posting again on PC and inquired about the ability to name change. A mod politely informed me that that's no longer allowed and it probably wont be coming back anytime soon if ever. I read through the thread explaining why and it makes perfect sense. If it slows the forum to a halt, why continue allowing it.

Well, that got me thinking. What if you added a benefit to tier 5 or created a new tier and once you donated up to that tier you were allowed 1 name change? Tier 6? As I see it, it would allow three positive outcomes:

1. A slight boost in donations to PC
2. People who had wanted a name change but weren't active during the time when it was last allowed would get one last chance to get one.
3. There wouldn't be a slow down on the forums due to mass name changing as the 1 time name change would be gated by a hefty donation.

I apologize if this has already been suggested. I looked through the forum and didn't see any threads similar to this. Though I didn't spend a lot of time looking.

The Doctor
May 24th, 2013, 02:52 PM
This is a pretty good idea but I'd suggest making it lower down the tier.

Tier 5 is $25 or more at the moment. I'd say if you pay $15 or more you can get one name change.

tabor62
May 24th, 2013, 03:10 PM
There already is a Tier 6 which... frankly is not worth it if you're only doing it for a name change. And one name change is a lot already as it has to change the name on every single post the person has. Also it'd have to change their VMs, blog entries, blog comments, etc. Imagine if a person with several thousands of those were to request a username change.

Alli
May 24th, 2013, 03:15 PM
The thing with name changes is that you have to consider how many posts that person has, and then the VMs they've sent, PMs, blog comments, post comments, etc. The server has to change all of that, and the way the server is now, I don't think it could handle that, even if it was in small doses like this. I mean, I could be wrong, but I just don't think it could. Not trying to rain on your parade or anything, of course. I think it'd be a nice perk, but I just don't think the server could handle that atm. :(

Lokhlan
May 24th, 2013, 03:50 PM
The thing with name changes is that you have to consider how many posts that person has, and then the VMs they've sent, PMs, blog comments, post comments, etc. The server has to change all of that, and the way the server is now, I don't think it could handle that, even if it was in small doses like this. I mean, I could be wrong, but I just don't think it could. Not trying to rain on your parade or anything, of course. I think it'd be a nice perk, but I just don't think the server could handle that atm. :(

I guess I assumed since it had been a number of years since it was last allowed that the forums were at a place where PC could handle small amounts of 1 time name changes gated by donations. Admittedly I'm not aware of what PCs current limitations are and how they compare to two years ago but has PC not had any major updates within the last 2 years allowing it to handle such stresses?

I suppose if even one name change was still too much of a risk for PCs stability then this suggestion falls flat real fast. If that's the case, then consider my interest in name changes eliminated. However, if PC is capable of handling it now versus back then, I don't see why it shouldn't be allowed provided it's gated via donations.

The great thing about it being offered via a donation is the gate can be completely tailored to whatever the leadership feels is healthy for PC. So if the leadership wants it to offer it but not have a ton of people asking for it, you simply make it harder to obtain through gating/donations. For example the below quote perfectly shows the type of requirements that might need to be met before one is allowed a name change:
you have to consider how many posts that person has, and then the VMs they've sent, PMs, blog comments, post comments, etc.

Oryx
May 24th, 2013, 04:11 PM
I suppose if even one name change was still too much of a risk for PCs stability then this suggestion falls flat real fast.

Recently Audy tried to change someone's name and crashed the entire server. That was just one person. In addition, at your last point, that makes it harder on the server - unless the requirement is that you have to have a low post count, little to no VMs, little to no PMs, little to no blogs/comments, which makes no sense.

Lokhlan
May 24th, 2013, 04:17 PM
In addition, at your last point, that makes it harder on the server - unless the requirement is that you have to have a low post count, little to no VMs, little to no PMs, little to no blogs/comments, which makes no sense.
I think it was obvious that I meant low post counts etc as requiring lots of posts would only make things worse. As far as what would be considered a low amount, I have no idea. The leadership would be in a better place to make that judgement.

Regardless, as you stated in your above post, 1 person getting a name change still kills PC so name changing is apparently still not an option. Appreciate your input and further enlightenment. I definitely wouldn't want PC to shutdown due to someone getting a name change.

Edit:
Just a thought, a percentage of donation money could go towards upgrading the servers/architecture or something?

antemortem
May 24th, 2013, 04:35 PM
If I'm not mistaken, a portion of what is donated does in fact go towards paying for the server, but it's hard to make it go towards a better server because what is paid to upgrade also, if I'm recalling what Lightning said at one point, becomes the new recurring payment and upholding the finances for that boosted price is even more difficult than before. I do like the concept, though, and hope there's a workaround in the future.

Harley Quinn
May 24th, 2013, 04:36 PM
If I'm not mistaken, isn't Audy working on a way to bring back name changes without all the hassle your suggestion would bring?

Lokhlan
May 24th, 2013, 04:40 PM
If I'm not mistaken, isn't Audy working on a way to bring back name changes without all the hassle your suggestion would bring?
I have no idea. As I stated in my original post, I just recently came back to PC. I Had stopped posting sometime before name changes were stopped. If Audy has a thread up somewhere discussing this, please link it or PM me the link. I'd love to give him some encouragement or at the very least read up on his thoughts/plans. :D

droomph
May 24th, 2013, 05:33 PM
I have no idea. As I stated in my original post, I just recently came back to PC. I Had stopped posting sometime before name changes were stopped. If Audy has a thread up somewhere discussing this, please link it or PM me the link. I'd love to give him some encouragement or at the very least read up on his thoughts/plans. :D

He says that he's gotten access to the main files now (evil world domination ahem), so he can work it so that it doesn't need to change 35,000 things every time somebody wants a name change thus making the server load something similar to changing your user title.

I don't know a place where he discusses it though :P vms could work idk

Munchlax11
May 24th, 2013, 06:13 PM
There already is a Tier 6 which... frankly is not worth it if you're only doing it for a name change.
There's a tier 6? 0.o what are the benefits of tier 6?

antemortem
May 24th, 2013, 06:16 PM
There's a tier 6? 0.o what are the benefits of tier 6?
Very minor things, like a slightly larger avatar size, extra blog permissions, and other assortments of small add-ons.

GenuineCorruption
May 24th, 2013, 07:58 PM
Regarding name changes and such, and please feel free to correct me if this is off topic but I wanted to contribute this.
As a web developer myself I think the name change issue is a testament to the fact that VBulletin is not worth it's going rate. I mean, this is a major design flaw in my humble opinion.
I haven't studied VBulletin enough to speak knowledgeably about it's database structure, but if the posts, pms, vms etc tables stord the primary key (e.g. user ID) of the user instead of the string name, you would have no such issue. When a post is displayed the script must already query the user's user title, post count, joined date, signature, avitar etc. One more query for their user name surely wouldn't hurt all that much especially since it would only have to do it once each time someone requested a thread (assuming they cache information into ram so multiple queries aren't required if the same user posted twice on the same page).
I know other sites allow name changes but I have never seen it allowed on a VBulletin site, evidently for this reason. This seams like amature code and it's surely not worth $243.
It would make the database significantly smaller too. The math looks like this: Even if PC had 1,000,000,00 members the column within the posts table storing which user posted would still only be 32 bits long. Consider my username GenuineCorruption=136 bits (17 bytes) VS. 32 bits (4 bytes)? Statistics speak for themselves. Sure it adds one more lookup per thread view but given how quickly this place racks up posts it sure would save on database bloat as well as making name changes have no effect on server load.
Sure, Cid's primary key would take up more space than his user name would but excluding special cases it sounds like an obvious optimization. I guess what I am getting at is this: do you think it's worth bringing these threads about name changes to VBulletin's attention? I am in fact a legal holder of a VB license but if it were someone from your site bringing up the issue it would probably cary more weight since your site is very large and is a testament to the fact that the industry standard in forum software caves under pressure.
Edit: I just remembered that strings in MySQL are encoded in UTF-8, so my username would take up 34 bytes instead of 17. Storing the user ID (primary key) instead would result in an 88.2 percent decrease in the amount of space user names take up in every single post.

Archer
May 24th, 2013, 08:16 PM
I guess what I am getting at is this: do you think it's worth bringing these threads about name changes to VBulletin's attention? I am in fact a legal holder of a VB license but if it were someone from your site bringing up the issue it would probably cary more weight since your site is very large and is a testament to the fact that the industry standard in forum software caves under pressure.
PC's currently using a very old version of vB. IIRC, they kept the last version before the transition to vB 4 and vB 5 is now out, so I could almost guarantee that if they cared (and they won't), this version of the software would get not attention.

Also, I remember reading somewhere that the extra database lookups required to generate usernames and similar info mean that the entire forum would grind to a halt during peak usage times if all that info was checked at load time. I don't claim to have an excellent understanding of how the forum works, mind you.

Consider that you also have people with non-default 'No. of posts per page' settings. I have 30 and you can hit 100. At the moment, that makes more sense, because it means loading new pages less often, but if the database needed to be contacted for each post on a page, 100 posts per page could be a daunting task.

At the end of the day, if it would only be available for people with low postcounts anyway, it's probably better to make a new account, as there can't possibly be too much connected to it. I don't remember what the policy is with transferring Supporter status, but if you're talking about spending cash to get to a higher tier anyway, then having to rebuy your tier isn't much different.

I'll put my hand up now as a supporter of no name changes without new accounts. Server logistics aside, it's much easier to keep track of people with no changes.

GenuineCorruption
May 24th, 2013, 08:24 PM
I have access to VBulletin 5 connect, I could probably investigate the database structure and find out whether or not it is still storing string litterals.
To be honest I'd be surprised if it has changed.
I am personally not a fan of name changes either for the same reason you mentioned. The server logistics however speak of unoptimized code.
The forum already has to ask the database several questions about the user everytime there's a post being shown. To add one more column to that select query probably wouldn't add much to the overall load.

Lokhlan
May 24th, 2013, 08:31 PM
He says that he's gotten access to the main files now (evil world domination ahem), so he can work it so that it doesn't need to change 35,000 things every time somebody wants a name change thus making the server load something similar to changing your user title.

If what he says is indeed in the works then that is some good news indeed. I'll be happy to get rid of this current name a switch back to a normal english letter name so long as it doesn't negatively impact the forums. It's hard to believe I wanted to switch my name to Katakana back then. That was so many years ago - a completely different mindset back then. Most people have no idea what it says or means. XD

Ausaudriel
May 24th, 2013, 08:37 PM
I'm aware of the inefficient design and I plan on fixing it first thing after we've upgraded to vB 3.8.8. I don't want to bother making file changes until after that otherwise I'll just have to redo everything later.

droomph
May 24th, 2013, 08:47 PM
I'm aware of the inefficient design and I plan on fixing it first thing after we've upgraded to vB 3.8.8. I don't want to bother making file changes until after that otherwise I'll just have to redo everything later.wait so what's taking so long then?

Like, it's not vB 4.0 (which is completely different) so I don't see what the big hassle is but then again i'm not in website management so I wouldn't know

Ausaudriel
May 24th, 2013, 09:01 PM
3.8.8 isn't out yet, haha. Once it's released we'll upgrade and then I'll make the changes.

GenuineCorruption
May 25th, 2013, 07:11 AM
Just out of cureosity, do the changes you speak of involve having the user's ID (primary key) stored in the posts table instead of the name?

droomph
May 25th, 2013, 11:45 AM
3.8.8 isn't out yet, haha. Once it's released we'll upgrade and then I'll make the changes.I thought they were like screw that and moved on

Just out of cureosity, do the changes you speak of involve having the user's ID (primary key) stored in the posts table instead of the name?He said that it basically involves making the username stored with the user information rather than the post itself, so that when somebody changes it, it's takes as much resources as changing their usertitle is.