Are the posted questions getting worse?

  • Steve -

    Glad at least there is a meeting set up to discuss some options. While you are discussing things, if you have not already done so, having some metrics about the posts - average / median number of posts per topic. We know this water cooler is an exception, but are there any others? And how long most topics see activity might be of some interest.

    One thing that stands out with the link to a post - the site knows what the current page is. But the link sent out lists a previous page. Is it possible that something as simple as there is logic where when generating a link there are hidden / deleted posts in that logic?

    This might also be related to the having to bump a post sometimes.

     

     

  • Most topics are short, < 1 page. I think the avg and median are likely very close, though I shudder to try and get stats from a documentdb 🙁

    There are some 20 or 30 page posts, but most have all their original posts links. I'd think this one has an issue with deleted/removed/spam posts that are breaking calculations. I wouldn't think this would be hard to figure out, but apparently no one can do so, or reproduce it.

    The not catching the first post thing is maddening. I can't imagine why this happens. That should be easier to figure out, but I also think we've seen some issues with WP->PHP->Project Nami (SQL port) -> BB Press. We are thinking to remove Project Nami and go back to a native MySQL port, which should allow upgrades easier and sooner. Nami is semi-abandoned at this point.

     

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor wrote:

    We're not just a forum, though. This is a whole publishing engine that gets article submissions, runs them through a queue, publishes, scheduled, generates a newsletter, has the daily question, and more. It's not a simple site, nor is it simple to move.

    Wordpress might not be great, but it's not bad. To me, the biggest issue is the forum structure doesn't fit well in a documentdb. It's a bit forced. Much better to make this relational.

    Does it make any sense to look at seeing if there is a solution that works well for the forums, and one that works for the rest? I'm sure moving / upgrading is like changing an ERP system. Or using Excel for everything, including word processing. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

  • Not likely. Having two sites (or hosts) would mean duplicating or abandoning menus, auth, etc. That breaks the idea of the site, which is one login and one place for lots of stuff. We aren't Stack, where this is just questions.

    I don't know how easy it is to run different software as a sub-URL (/forums). Plus the other issue is all the redirects to ensure links work. We have a ton of those already, and I don't know I want to add a second layer of more.

  • That was my thought on deleted / removed posts impacting the page number. I would just guess that since it sends me back about 15 posts, but several pages, there are a couple of things to look closely at.

    I guess math is not simple, although the breadcrumb gets it right. Imagine slowly changing dimensions are hard for some too.

    It makes my brain hurt seeing a link to a page, with a post number, not able to be in synch with a correct page, with a specific post that was supposed to be used to generate that email. I agree it should be rather simple - everything should be there.

    Memories of stepping through code in debug mode come to mind.

    The first page - actually should be first post on a new page. My pea sized brain would test for repeatability. If it shows up at the first post on the second page of a new post, bingo. If not, see if delete, remove, spam on page one creates an issue. After being retired for so long, all I have to think about is my next trip. Life gets so much simpler, and so much busier than you imagine.

     

  • What I'm seriously miffed about is that no one at Redgate seems aware nor gives a damn about these forums.  Apparently even Steve has zero pull with them.

    Two short paragraphs on this post... I wonder how long the submit will spin on this post before it times out.  🙁

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.

    Change is inevitable... Change for the better is not.


    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Jeff Moden wrote:

    What I'm seriously miffed about is that no one at Redgate seems aware nor gives a damn about these forums.  Apparently even Steve has zero pull with them.  Sorry but this really sucks, Steve.

    Two short paragraphs on this post... I wonder how long the submit will spin on this post before it times out.  🙁

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.

    Change is inevitable... Change for the better is not.


    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor wrote:

    We're not just a forum, though. This is a whole publishing engine that gets article submissions, runs them through a queue, publishes, scheduled, generates a newsletter, has the daily question, and more. It's not a simple site, nor is it simple to move.

    Wordpress might not be great, but it's not bad. To me, the biggest issue is the forum structure doesn't fit well in a documentdb. It's a bit forced. Much better to make this relational.

    Understood.  In the /wp-admin section of the site I've submitted a few things so I've looked around a bit.  Yesterday I submitted a new Question of the Day 🙂  All of SSC's functionality doesn't exist "out-of-the-box" anywhere and a generational progression would be a decent size project.  Totally achievable tho.  For migrating the forum volunteers could be helpful.  If there's a "users group" or ??? I'd be interested as well

    Aus dem Paradies, das Cantor uns geschaffen, soll uns niemand vertreiben können

  • Jeff Moden wrote:

    What I'm seriously miffed about is that no one at Redgate seems aware nor gives a damn about these forums.  Apparently even Steve has zero pull with them.

    Two short paragraphs on this post... I wonder how long the submit will spin on this post before it times out.  🙁

    The timeouts are annoying (504 errors), but strangely stuff does still post which confuses me.

    Overall, I like the forums. The questions are interesting, the QOTD's are fun, and the articles are educational. I learn a lot on these forums and I feel like I help a lot of people. Plus, there is nothing out there that is nearly half as good or half as active. I know I looked back when things were switching over to wordpress as I found that overall the site was not as good, but I think it MAY have been a personal bias at the time - I dislike change. I get used to how a website looks and feels and then the UX changes, it makes me grumpy and I instinctively dislike the "new" way. Windows 11 puts the start menu in the middle and I look for a way to move it back to the left where it should be. They force icons to be grouped and not show the name and I put in a feature request to get that back as it is hurting my productivity. But had I not changed those things in Win 11, I would get used to them and be happy with them over time. Same thing with SSC.

    The thing that bugs me more though is bugs. The 504 errors when posting so I don't know for sure if my stuff posted OR the "are you sure you want to post that?" messages when I write up a nice reply to someone that should help fix their issue.

    I do notice a LOT less spam on the forum than when it first switched over to wordpress so I am happy about that. Hopefully upgrading things can help fix the 504 errors. I know I don't know much about wordpress, but I am pretty good at C# and I know all about how one minor change can cause some odd impacts down the road. I have one app that SOMETIMES resizes itself. It seems to auto-scale itself down if you have your monitor set to scale other than 100% and I can't figure out why it is doing it. Although I don't feel too bad - Microsoft has similar problems with Excel.

    The above is all just my opinion on what you should do. 
    As with all advice you find on a random internet forum - you shouldn't blindly follow it.  Always test on a test server to see if there is negative side effects before making changes to live!
    I recommend you NEVER run "random code" you found online on any system you care about UNLESS you understand and can verify the code OR you don't care if the code trashes your system.

  • Sorry, been traveling, but to me, I'd say there are a few big things and then a whole lot of small ones.

    Biggies

    • 504s on posting (becoming too frequent)
    • not showing first post on next page
    • calc bug on forums over a certain length (10 pages?)
    • slow add of articles from the feeds (admin side for me)
    • spam protection needs a bit of a bump

    The smaller stuff is around code formatting, some enhancements, better / easier stats for users or content, rescheduled /edited stuff messes up the front page, closing old threads, improving search

    If there's other stuff, let me know. I may try to get to this Tue or Thur next week. I really wish I could see the GH issues on a plane, since there I have time.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor wrote:

    Sorry, been traveling, but to me, I'd say there are a few big things and then a whole lot of small ones.

    Biggies

    • 504s on posting (becoming too frequent)
    • not showing first post on next page
    • calc bug on forums over a certain length (10 pages?)
    • slow add of articles from the feeds (admin side for me)
    • spam protection needs a bit of a bump

    The smaller stuff is around code formatting, some enhancements, better / easier stats for users or content, rescheduled /edited stuff messes up the front page, closing old threads, improving search

    If there's other stuff, let me know. I may try to get to this Tue or Thur next week. I really wish I could see the GH issues on a plane, since there I have time.

    Enjoy your flight and I'd say try not to worry too much about SSC. It'll be here when you land too!

    Also, I am not sure if I'd call things with workarounds "big". For example, the 504 errors, a simple refresh fixes those OR, if you are like me, I almost always open a new tab to post in, so I just close the tab and can re-open it if needed.

    And, not sure if it is just me or not, but I'm seeing a lot less spam than I used to. Not sure if that means the spam filter is working OR if legit posts are being hit as spam.

    The not showing the first post on a page is a bit of a big one as it can result in hidden relies.

    The calc bug on forums over a certain length is another one with a workaround if I understand it correctly. That's the "link in email bring you to wrong post" bug, right? If so, that's also an easy workaround.

    Mind you, my opinion on "big bugs" is layered deep with support I do at my job. When bugs are reported, first step is to reproduce and determine if we can find a workaround until a proper fix can be implemented. IF a workaround exists, the urgency goes down. We still resolve them, but we focus on "show stopping" bugs first which are the "big ones" and everything with a workaround gets lowered priority.

    I still stand by my claim that there is nothing else out there quite as nice as SSC. Other sites either have fewer people willing to help or have too many "bad" replies mixed in with the good that it is hard to know what is a "good" solution to the problem. Here at least the replies are good, the community is friendly and helpful (no replies telling people to "quit their job as a DBA and open a coffee shop" because they asked too basic of a question). We get the odd jerk on the forum, but you will get that everywhere. We also get the odd person who uses SSC as their personal SQL Server support portal, but I feel like the majority of the posts on here are not solved with a quick google. And even when they are, the OP usually is good about accepting the help.

    I also enjoy the discussion and challenges that get thrown around on here. OP asks for help with a query and we have 3 or 4 people jumping in to give a solution, all of which are often slightly different but give the same result. Sites like stack overflow (for example), you MAY get that happening, but I have rarely found anyone who reads more than the first "answer" provided and it could very well be that answer 2 or 3 is more relevant in the specific scenario. PLUS SSC has a nice way of dividing the SQL versions for the questions. SO (again, as an example) I often find that the answers are for different versions of SQL that I am using or sometimes not even for SQL Server.

    Just my 2 cents - I really like SSC and I look at the forum at least once per day to see if there is someone I can help OR something I can learn.

    The above is all just my opinion on what you should do. 
    As with all advice you find on a random internet forum - you shouldn't blindly follow it.  Always test on a test server to see if there is negative side effects before making changes to live!
    I recommend you NEVER run "random code" you found online on any system you care about UNLESS you understand and can verify the code OR you don't care if the code trashes your system.

  • Thanks, Brian. Good thoughts.

    The 504s are annoying, partially because they interrupt, partially they cause double posts, but mostly for me, they slow things down.

    I think we've tried to make workarounds for too many things here, and need to clean up the site. Certainl,y spam is way better, and some of the changes allowing all of you to report them easily is good, but it still could improve a bit more.

    I don't see any other big bugs, but I will be in the UK in two weeks, so I'll press for something to move.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor wrote:

    .

    I don't see any other big bugs...

    Post links that go to the wrong post because spam notifications are no longer considered to be posts and are not counted in the post offsets.

    First post of most new pages don't show up until someone makes a second post on the page.  The likely reason is that one of the counters is zero based while the other is unit based.

    Of course, the 504's.

    The nearly double spacing in the code windows is a real annoyance.

    Quoting a post frequently massively screws up the format especially if any list codes or similar formatting has been done.

     

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.

    Change is inevitable... Change for the better is not.


    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Ah, double spacing. Forgot about that. The quoting is a real annoyance as well.

  • Quick interuption: 5+ gallons of blueberries from my bushes. First picking. And oh, do they taste good.

    More berries to come in a few weeks, possibly just as many.

    What to do. What to do. So many options.

    Brandie Tarvin, MCITP Database AdministratorLiveJournal Blog: http://brandietarvin.livejournal.com/[/url]On LinkedIn!, Google+, and Twitter.Freelance Writer: ShadowrunLatchkeys: Nevermore, Latchkeys: The Bootleg War, and Latchkeys: Roscoes in the Night are now available on Nook and Kindle.

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