Updated: 11/2/04; 7:43:29 PM

  Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Radio is getting more improvements: comment and trackback moderation, upstreaming changes and comment count speed increases.

Comment and Trackback Moderation

A long time coming but worth the wait, comment and trackback moderation code is currently in beta testing.  We've been running the server side of the code for about a week, ensuring that there is no "breakage" for users.  So far, no issues have come up.  We released the beta installers to the pioneers on the radio-dev Yahoo groups mailing list and are waiting for feedback.  Myself and Patrick Ritchie, the code's author, have been running with the changes for nearly two months and have yet to see issues.  Here's how it works:

Code gets installed on the Radio side and within 24 hours the comment and trackback servers will enable moderation for your account.  When enabled, you'll see a small text entry field at the bottom of the comment or trackback page labeled "Moderate?".

When you are ready to moderate, enter your password and press the "Go" button.  Checkboxes will appear next to each entry, so check the ones you want to delete and then hit the top button labeled "Delete checked comments".

Done moderating?  Click the link and you're "logged out".

Upstreaming changes

Lawrence Lee did some detective work over the last couple of weeks and was able to reduce a significant load on the comment servers.  That helped everyone out--comments, trackbacks and upstreaming are handled by a common group of servers.  Now, we're ready to release a minor upstream improvement.  Once again, Patrick Ritchie's code is the key, introducing a retry mechanism for the server.  This will be especially useful for those on dialup internet connections.

The code watches for a common TCP/IP error code and, if found, will let Radio know to log the error and retry the file later.  Simple.

Comment count speed increase

Finally a common complaint is fully addressed:  comment and trackback counts that slow down page loads.  First, some background:

Before these changes, when someone would request any page from your weblog's site, a request would be sent to the server for the counts of comments on *all* of your posts.  Then, another request would be sent to the server for the counts of trackbacks on *all* of your posts.  Remember that's two separate requests to the server.

The new system?  One request and only for the posts that appear on that page.  Again, simple.  This should significantly reduce the load on the server and speed up page loading.

When?

We expect to roll out these changes before month's end, barring any odd issues that come up during the beta test.

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