View Full Version : Recent visitors - do you like it?
I am considering turning off the 'recent visitors' displays. There is a pretty big performance hit from accumulating the data for that real time display, and as we keep bumping up against the performance limitations of this software, and our server hardware, this step is one very much worth considering.
Personally I really like the display. I put counters on my web pages, and use that display here, just so visitors get an idea if the place is being visited by others. ("warm fuzzies", as we say :D ) But, in the case of these Forums, we already know lots of people are visiting, and the server performance bottleneck from recent visitor displays come at exactly the wrong time (I mean, as activity builds, the overhead of tracking visitors builds)..
So I am curious..
What do you think about the 'recent visitor' display?
Do you even look at it?
Would you miss it?
Is it worth the performance degradation?
FWIW - I think we're doing great performance wise, most of the time, but when we hit 150+ active people here, the server is VERY busy (well, of course 100% is all it can do, but we all have to wait)..
06-14-2004, 01:32 PM
Hate to say it, but I never really check the "recent visitors" display out. :rolleyes:
06-14-2004, 02:35 PM
I wouldn't miss it...
Hey, a poll might be a good idea.
06-14-2004, 02:52 PM
I wouldn't miss it either. I mean... what can anyone actually do with the information? ;-)
Originally posted by Michael New:
...Hey, a poll might be a good idea.Ummmm... isn't that kinda what this is? ;-)
I wouldn't miss it.
If it helps anything else by losing it...lose it.
06-14-2004, 06:07 PM
Personally Bob, I'm here for the content. I don't even look at the recent visitors bit. I'd say turf it if it helps.
06-14-2004, 06:52 PM
Nice to look at, about as usefully as a horse with 5 legs. Extra weight to carry around. It always helps to shed a few pounds. :wink:
06-14-2004, 08:27 PM
this topic name is gramatecally incorrect...shouldn't it be "do you like them?'
06-14-2004, 08:56 PM
I look at it and use it..... but I'd prefer performance over extra features. Loading forum pages has been occasionally slow the past few weeks.
Thanks very much for the feedback, it confirmed what I suspected (many don't care about that stuff at all) I know I'll miss seeing the 'recent visitors' statistics (fun with numbers) but I'll turn it off to see what we notice..
BTW - a new record was set this morning - 218 active visitors over one 5 minute period :wow: - Hard to imagine how the server even works at all at time like that!
06-14-2004, 11:53 PM
If you have to deep six it... so be it...
I like it... to see who's on... and sometimes I can do a direct click based on who is signed on and get a profile...
but... I can also click on the person's name when I run across a post of the person in question... so bye bye I guess..
Suggestion/Alternative.... turn it on one week out of four or five... and get a sampling of numbers... that can be charted scattergram-wise.
I got called a WOMBAT the other day! Waste Of Money, Brains & Time!
Precious! Thought I’d share.
Richard Mao, The Peking Piper ( PekingPiper@mao.org )
06-15-2004, 07:36 AM
Im with Richard,, I like it but if it has to go,, oh well :(
Excellent suggestion Rich - a period of time on here and there will also let us see how significant the response time impact is.
I really do miss the displays already - but I'm guessing numbers nuts :D , and moderators might have found it a useful tool, where others just saw it as sort of useless but interesting information..
AllisonB aka Sweet Reed
06-15-2004, 12:14 PM
I liked it! :thumb:
And I miss it! :( But it looks like I'm in the minority. Maybe a poll is in order here Bob? Something in the beer tent maybe?...where everyone likes to hang out and the poll is certain to be seen! :D
06-15-2004, 01:54 PM
Perhaps you're not in the minority AllisonB, Bob perhaps your query posted in another location might give you a more accurate assessment.
One reason I look at the recent visitors each time I log on, is to see who has had the opportunity to offer a post, and of those; who neglected to do so. It gives me a little insight into some of the members personalities, and how interested they are in a particular subject.
In answer to your question; I like the feature and I will miss it.
06-15-2004, 07:03 PM
I liked it when I could see who was here
I think I will try a poll on this, but I want to give it a few days so we can see how the performance is changed. I now realize how often I used the displays (nearly every time I visit)
For a poll, I think I will ask if people like the display of recent visitors,
if they noticed performance 'issues' creeping up on us,
if they noticed improvement when the 'recent visitors' display was turned off,
and I might ask if people accept the trade - poorer performance for the display.
Any other poll related suggestions?
And yes, I would post the poll in the Beer Tent - this feature, if on, will have an impact on every visitor when we're really busy - so I would want to get as large a sample of poll answers as possible.
06-16-2004, 04:36 AM
I also like the recent visitor list. I use it to stalk Celticmitch! :shrug:
I recently made the switch from dial-up modem to broadband so it all seems faster to me!! It was always the posts that had embedded pictures in them that slowed me down. I'd personally rather lose that option and click a link to get the picture if I want to view it.
**All this coming from someone who doesn't know Jack about computers or maintaining websites!!** :eek:
06-17-2004, 07:44 AM
I always gave the recent visitors list a cursory look, but now that it's gone, I can't say that I miss it. I can't imagine any real purpose it served, other than the obvious one of satisfying one's curiosity about who was visiting at the moment. The listing doesn't impact anyone's "forum experience" nearly as much as slow performance does.
If there is a way to implement Dee's idea, of showing the list on the main page but not for each individual forum, maybe that's a good compromise... but I don't know if you have any control other than "on" or "off."
Unfortunately, at the most basic level the recent visitors is either on or off - I can control / set a number of options when it is on, but those are all related to what information is displayed, not what is captured.
I knew there were significant resources used to capture the data, but I thought it was worth the 'price' because I liked the information so much. But we keep growing, and have, it seems, hit that point where everything was being slowed quite significantly by the data capture.
A poll coming to ask everyone about this - but even if most don't like the display, I do think I will turn in on every now and then..
06-17-2004, 09:59 AM
Have you measured the performance since turning it off?
So are you X % better?
I have looked at log statistics - they don't really give performance numbers - or anything that could translate into response time measures..
There is a greater impact (from log data analysis) on the server than I expected (darn).. And I have heard from a number of people that they see noticeable changes (good) in response during busy times.
Yesterday, as an example, was one of the three busiest days ever on the Forums (a Wednesday ?? I have no idea why) - and I did not hear of the 'usual' slow down during the peak times.
The problem I have is that end user response time measures are really tough to trust - simply because there are so many variables in the route to this and any web site - but log data, and server performance numbers do tell me the change is significant..
06-20-2004, 06:41 PM
Hello Bob and All,
I liked it and always looked to see the cousins
who were visiting.
06-21-2004, 08:10 AM
Originally posted by Bill McClellan:
I liked it and always looked to see the cousins
who were visiting.
Bill McClellan Heheh!