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Caching, Javascript, and Open Thread on Software Problems
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Since much of the website software has now stabilized, I finally got around to implementing additional caching intended to greatly improve the loading speed of most of the pages, especially the main ones. This included moving many of the standard files and nearly all the images to external Cloud servers, which should especially improve performance for overseas visitors.

According to the tests I’ve been running, the results have been very nice, with the image-heavy pages now usually loading 2-3x faster and a great deal of improvement on the other pages as well.

Major changes sometimes cause major problems, and several people have complained about serious difficulties in accessing or using the website over the last day or two. This may have been related to other changes I made in the load-positioning of some of the JS and CSS, and I’ve now tried to fix that issue. However, since neither I nor most other visitors seem to have experienced the problems, it’s difficult for me to be sure.

Some complaints have concerned Javascript, with one commenter saying that using the website with Javascript disabled had become very difficult. I tested the website with Javascript disabled and it seemed to work without difficulty, so I’m not exactly sure what he meant.

Many of the nicest website features do require Javascript and I’d encourage people to keep it active. The commenter in question was apparently worried that using Javascript allows the NSA and Google to monitor dissidents, but it seems to me that if they wished to do so, the NSA and Google could probably spy on people with or without using Javascript. However, if there’s a great deal of demand for non-Javascript fallback options on this website, I would try to implement more of them.

 

Incidentally, an amusing thought came to mind regarding the huge concerns many commenters have over the controversial sentiments they sometimes express. In today’s American society, voicing opinions that might be considered “racist,” “anti-semitic,” or “homophobic” is clearly considered a monstrous crime, apparently worse than mass-murder if the Omar Thornton case is anything to go by.

Meanwhile, in my most recent article, I speculated that the best career move for an ambitious young politician might be to secretly commit some monstrous crime, then put the hard evidence in the hands of various powerful people, who would then back his rise, knowing that the blackmail evidence they possessed would keep their political puppet permanently dangling from their strings.

So I wonder if some of the more outrageous commenters here are actually non-ideological career politicians, simply producing the necessary paper-trail of blackmail evidence that their prospective donors require before they fund their future political campaigns.

Anyway, consider this post an “Open Thread” for your software complaints and comments, especially relating to problems over the last couple of days.

 
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  1. Drake says:

    For the comments editor you have buttons for bold, italic, and blockqoute, but none for creating links, so people who don’t know html will have a hard time posting working links correctly.

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  2. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Javascript is the Spawn of Satan. More sniffer apps than you can count on the average MSM page. Aim higher!

    Read More
  3. J Yan says:

    On article pages, the right-hand column does not always link to the latest post by some authors, such as Philip Giraldi. This seems to happen when an author’s post is found only in “Author Archive” and not in “Columns”.

    Read More
  4. Max Payne says:

    Ron Unz all you have to do is maintain a ad-free website in basic HTML and you’ll instantly have an edge over all news competitors. Don’t worry about speeding things up. The lack of ads speeds things plenty I assure you.

    The fact I link friends to this page and they are astonished at the lack of ads is great. I can tell them “because my news doesn’t come with a corporate sponsorship price tag”.

    Read More
  5. Svigor says:

    I wouldn’t object to ads. I just hate the click-through crap to increase click stats, avoid at all costs.

    Since much of the website software has now stabilized, I finally got around to implementing additional caching intended to greatly improve the loading speed of most of the pages, especially the main ones.

    Thank the Gods. All I want is an edit feature I can load before the clock runs out! And I still think you should raise the time limit to like 10 or 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile, in my most recent article, I speculated that the best career move for an ambitious young politician might be to secretly commit some monstrous crime, then put the hard evidence in the hands of various powerful people, who would then back his rise, knowing that the blackmail evidence they possessed would keep their political puppet permanently dangling from their strings.

    It’s fun to encounter a mind even more devious than my own.

    Read More
  6. Ron Unz says:

    @Drake

    My system already converts any raw URL placed in the text into a clickable link, so there’s no need for a special link-function. Also, regular links mask the target location so that people wouldn’t know where they were going, perhaps to some infected website, while clickable URLs are safer. And if someone feels so strongly about producing a regular link, they can just add the ordinary HTML.

    @gig young

    Well, perhaps Javascript is as evil as you say. But all the fancy features on a website require it. Without Javascript, you can still read, search, and comment here, but much less effectively.

    @J Yan

    Yes, that’s a confusing architectural issue. I intended the system to distinguish between full articles and more minor columns/blog posts, but since it seems to confuse so many people, maybe I’ll just merge them all together.

    @Max Payne

    Thanks. All the wasted space given over to advertising on other websites has always annoyed me which is why I don’t have it here. Anyway, the revenue is usually pretty negligible. I’ve never understood why it makes sense to allocate 20% of your website to generate the net revenue that would cover 2% of your costs.

    @Svigor

    I’m confused. Doesn’t a new comment along with the Comment Edit box come up within a few seconds of the comment being submitted? The default 5m edit interval was intended to let people fix obvious typos rather than make wholesale modifications to their comment. Changing it to 10m or 15m is totally trivial, but why isn’t 5m enough?

    Read More
  7. Shawn says:

    When I hover over a commenter’s reply to another comment, really large comments sometimes take up more than the whole screen. Can you add a scroll bar?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    When I hover over a commenter’s reply to another comment, really large comments sometimes take up more than the whole screen. Can you add a scroll bar?
     
    Good suggestion. I just added the feature and uploaded the new version to the Live server, so it should be operational.

    Also, one very long comment-threads, I decided it would be nice to be able to display all the comments by a particular individual, so there's now a "This Commenter" button that does that.

    @Nojava

    Well, I looked at the website under Chrome with Javascript off and everything seemed fine, though the nicer features no longer worked. Apparently, Firefox won't let you disable Javascript, so I couldn't try that.

    Personally, I'm *extremely* skeptical that the USSA Stasi would bother using Javascript to track down anonymous un-PC internet comments from anyone who wasn't especially wealthy, high-profile, or important; and I'd think people in those categories could afford to buy a second web device. But do what you want.

    I remember one racialist fellow I knew who was ultra-paranoid about being tracked on the Internet via his IP addresses or all sorts of complex things. But then he went around telling everyone at his university that the greatest book ever written was Charles Murray's The Bell Curve and why it was so great, and naturally got into trouble for that.
  8. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I have javascript off. I’ve tried some experiments to get the site readable. No matter what it still looks like the style sheet isn’t loading, the way pages look if you select display View – Page Style “No Style” in Firefox. Allowing all the external sites to load doesn’t change anything. If the style sheet is coming from another server it must need javascript on to load correctly. If javascript is required I won’t read this site. It can be used to get past proxies, hack computers, take over computers and generally mess things up.

    The cutesy remark about letting the enemy have career ending evidence is a big laugh when you’re independent. Some of us have jobs that we will lose the second any SJW finds out what we say on our off time. In the United States with no safety net for white men that means dying in the streets. This isn’t a game.

    Read More
  9. Ron Unz says:
    @Shawn
    When I hover over a commenter's reply to another comment, really large comments sometimes take up more than the whole screen. Can you add a scroll bar?

    When I hover over a commenter’s reply to another comment, really large comments sometimes take up more than the whole screen. Can you add a scroll bar?

    Good suggestion. I just added the feature and uploaded the new version to the Live server, so it should be operational.

    Also, one very long comment-threads, I decided it would be nice to be able to display all the comments by a particular individual, so there’s now a “This Commenter” button that does that.

    @Nojava

    Well, I looked at the website under Chrome with Javascript off and everything seemed fine, though the nicer features no longer worked. Apparently, Firefox won’t let you disable Javascript, so I couldn’t try that.

    Personally, I’m *extremely* skeptical that the USSA Stasi would bother using Javascript to track down anonymous un-PC internet comments from anyone who wasn’t especially wealthy, high-profile, or important; and I’d think people in those categories could afford to buy a second web device. But do what you want.

    I remember one racialist fellow I knew who was ultra-paranoid about being tracked on the Internet via his IP addresses or all sorts of complex things. But then he went around telling everyone at his university that the greatest book ever written was Charles Murray’s The Bell Curve and why it was so great, and naturally got into trouble for that.

    Read More
  10. jb says:

    Just curious — is any of this Open Source? Are you going to be cheesed off if someone steals your Javascript?

    Read More
  11. Lot says:

    Ron,

    1. I have never had the slightest issue with load times.

    2. I suggest that you add the very nice feature where you can see who responded to comments to the “commenter archive” page, which would allow you to scan and see if anyone responded to your comments on old posts without opening up the whole post.

    3. I used to disable javascript on Firefox with the scriptmonkey plugin. A ton of people do this as seen by its popularity in the Firefox plugin rankings. I don’t think you need to change anything for them, it is still a small minority and they’re all aware of the issues it can cause. It can be re-enabled easily on a site to site basis.

    4. I have never had a problem with delays for the comment edit feature.

    5. Another feature suggestion for comments is the ability to respond to more than one comment at a time. You’d hit reply to the first comment, then the other ones would gain a “also reply” button.

    6. An “add URL with text” feature would be nice too. I don’t think most people know how to do add text with a URL attached.

    7. For revenue, a “shop Amazon through here” and “shop Priceline through here” links would allow referrer revenue that would not look ugly or require serving ads from off-site locations.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    Actually, someone had asked me a couple of days ago about adding the "Replies to" on the Commenter page, and I already put it in, so it should be working. Take a look and let me know if I'm misunderstanding your suggestion.

    Allowing a single comment to act as a Reply to several is actually very tricky, both from the operational method and the database structure, but I'll keep it in the back of my mind.

    Allowing URLs to be attached as clickable links to bits of text wouldn't too difficult to implement, but as I said, I'm reluctant. People wouldn't know where the link was going, while clickable URLs are already trivial to add.

    An Amazon shop button linked to particular books sounds like a nice idea. The revenue would probably be negligible, but book images look nice and respectable.

    @zomg

    Thanks for letting me know about the RSS bug, which I fixed a day or two ago.


    I've now mostly gone back to working on my big software project unconnected with this website, but many suggestions are so small, I can still quickly put them in.
  12. Ron Unz says:
    @Lot
    Ron,

    1. I have never had the slightest issue with load times.

    2. I suggest that you add the very nice feature where you can see who responded to comments to the "commenter archive" page, which would allow you to scan and see if anyone responded to your comments on old posts without opening up the whole post.

    3. I used to disable javascript on Firefox with the scriptmonkey plugin. A ton of people do this as seen by its popularity in the Firefox plugin rankings. I don't think you need to change anything for them, it is still a small minority and they're all aware of the issues it can cause. It can be re-enabled easily on a site to site basis.

    4. I have never had a problem with delays for the comment edit feature.

    5. Another feature suggestion for comments is the ability to respond to more than one comment at a time. You'd hit reply to the first comment, then the other ones would gain a "also reply" button.

    6. An "add URL with text" feature would be nice too. I don't think most people know how to do add text with a URL attached.

    7. For revenue, a "shop Amazon through here" and "shop Priceline through here" links would allow referrer revenue that would not look ugly or require serving ads from off-site locations.

    Actually, someone had asked me a couple of days ago about adding the “Replies to” on the Commenter page, and I already put it in, so it should be working. Take a look and let me know if I’m misunderstanding your suggestion.

    Allowing a single comment to act as a Reply to several is actually very tricky, both from the operational method and the database structure, but I’ll keep it in the back of my mind.

    Allowing URLs to be attached as clickable links to bits of text wouldn’t too difficult to implement, but as I said, I’m reluctant. People wouldn’t know where the link was going, while clickable URLs are already trivial to add.

    An Amazon shop button linked to particular books sounds like a nice idea. The revenue would probably be negligible, but book images look nice and respectable.

    @zomg

    Thanks for letting me know about the RSS bug, which I fixed a day or two ago.

    I’ve now mostly gone back to working on my big software project unconnected with this website, but many suggestions are so small, I can still quickly put them in.

    Read More
  13. Don says:

    The site is displaying properly without any scripts running now. I do notice that fewer external sites are trying to load than there were when the site was styleless, maybe the site was relying on some scripts from them. Anyway, it ain’t broke now, so don’t fix it!

    Read More
  14. iffen says:

    I missed the open thread open thread, but this Peter Lee is going to prove to be an outstanding addition.

    Read More
  15. Chang says:

    Many of us are fearful of consequences if our online statements are ever traced to our real identities. The main fear seems to be loss of employment or expulsion and being blacklisted from future employment and academic opportunities.

    A big question I have is — how many Americans are actually fired every month due to non-PC online speech? It seems like a lot because there have been a number of high profile cases and the media likes to cover it.

    But I wonder what the actual # is in a nation of 320M people. 10 a month? 50? 100? 1000?

    I think if we could show the # and, more importantly, the % was actually quite small – then people might not be so fearful and would feel more free to speak their minds. And the more of us who speak our minds — the more targets for the Speech Nazis to go after.

    There’s safety in #s. Maybe we are overly afraid.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    That's an interesting question. I think we have to separate it out into two parts.

    First, there would be totally non-anonymous speech, like filling your own public Facebook page with "racist rants." I'd think that people with corporate or government jobs might get into serious trouble over that, but I doubt almost any of them are so foolish. But if you work as a plumber or run a hardware store, I can't believe anyone notices.

    As for people getting into trouble over speech intended to be anonymous, like commenting on this website, I'd be surprised if the number losing jobs was even one a month. Who would bother going to the trouble of identifying someone, unless they were very high profile or maybe a bitter personal blogger-enemy? Every now and then you hear about a politician being outed for his "online racism" but that's why campaigns hire op-research staffs.

    As for embedded images, it seems like a good idea, so I'll take a look at it once I can take a break from my other big software project.

  16. Chang says:

    Is there a way to post images in comments?
    I saw so many youtube videos before I assumed images were possible, but … I don’t see how to do it.

    That’s not a complaint if it’s not a feature. Just wondering if I’m missing something obvious.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    Actually, I checked and embedded images should work fine, so long as you put in the HTML yourself. There was one small problem in which images lacking space-separation failed, but I fixed that. For example:



    Based on the code

    [[img src='https://www.vdare.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/jeffreygoldberg.png' width=100]]
  17. Ron Unz says:
    @Chang
    Many of us are fearful of consequences if our online statements are ever traced to our real identities. The main fear seems to be loss of employment or expulsion and being blacklisted from future employment and academic opportunities.

    A big question I have is -- how many Americans are actually fired every month due to non-PC online speech? It seems like a lot because there have been a number of high profile cases and the media likes to cover it.

    But I wonder what the actual # is in a nation of 320M people. 10 a month? 50? 100? 1000?

    I think if we could show the # and, more importantly, the % was actually quite small - then people might not be so fearful and would feel more free to speak their minds. And the more of us who speak our minds -- the more targets for the Speech Nazis to go after.

    There's safety in #s. Maybe we are overly afraid.

    That’s an interesting question. I think we have to separate it out into two parts.

    First, there would be totally non-anonymous speech, like filling your own public Facebook page with “racist rants.” I’d think that people with corporate or government jobs might get into serious trouble over that, but I doubt almost any of them are so foolish. But if you work as a plumber or run a hardware store, I can’t believe anyone notices.

    As for people getting into trouble over speech intended to be anonymous, like commenting on this website, I’d be surprised if the number losing jobs was even one a month. Who would bother going to the trouble of identifying someone, unless they were very high profile or maybe a bitter personal blogger-enemy? Every now and then you hear about a politician being outed for his “online racism” but that’s why campaigns hire op-research staffs.

    As for embedded images, it seems like a good idea, so I’ll take a look at it once I can take a break from my other big software project.

    Read More
  18. Harold says:

    BUG 1:
    On my iPod (which is running pretty old software) under the title bar there are home, categories, columnists, bloggers and mission buttons. The mission button wraps to the left margin and obscures the bottom half of the home button. (this is the mobile version, of course)

    BUG 2:
    You may consider this a “Doctor, it hurts when I do this” situation.
    If I open a number of links in rapid succession into seperate tabs I often get something like the following:

    By Steve Sailer • March 16, 2015 • 400 Words • 42 Comments • 20 New • 20 New • 20 New • Reply

    where the number of new comments is repeated thrice. It is always thrice.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    Some of the various Mobile devices have layout problems like that---I'll take a look.

    As for the problem with opening lots of tabs quickly, the "New" numbers are implemented via Javascript and which runs on your device, and if the device is old, lots of complex Javascript too quickly may overload it.
  19. Ron Unz says:
    @Chang
    Is there a way to post images in comments?
    I saw so many youtube videos before I assumed images were possible, but ... I don't see how to do it.

    That's not a complaint if it's not a feature. Just wondering if I'm missing something obvious.

    Actually, I checked and embedded images should work fine, so long as you put in the HTML yourself. There was one small problem in which images lacking space-separation failed, but I fixed that. For example:

    Based on the code

    [[img src='https://www.vdare.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/jeffreygoldberg.png' width=100]]

    Read More
  20. Ron Unz says:
    @Harold
    BUG 1:
    On my iPod (which is running pretty old software) under the title bar there are home, categories, columnists, bloggers and mission buttons. The mission button wraps to the left margin and obscures the bottom half of the home button. (this is the mobile version, of course)

    BUG 2:
    You may consider this a “Doctor, it hurts when I do this” situation.
    If I open a number of links in rapid succession into seperate tabs I often get something like the following:

    By Steve Sailer • March 16, 2015 • 400 Words • 42 Comments • 20 New • 20 New • 20 New • Reply

    where the number of new comments is repeated thrice. It is always thrice.

    Some of the various Mobile devices have layout problems like that—I’ll take a look.

    As for the problem with opening lots of tabs quickly, the “New” numbers are implemented via Javascript and which runs on your device, and if the device is old, lots of complex Javascript too quickly may overload it.

    Read More
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