A hello from Crust
Crust
Status: Contributor
Joined: 08 Sep 2008
Posts: 64
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Hello everyone!

I just wanted to say hi to everyone, especially h2.

I just registered today.

-Crust
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techAdmin
Status: Site Admin
Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 3762
Location: East Coast, West Coast? I know it's one of them.
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thanks crust, and thanks for your many good ideas and suggestions over the years for smxi.
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Crust
Status: Contributor
Joined: 08 Sep 2008
Posts: 64
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BTW, this forum software is super fast. I like it a lot. I see why you prefer and chose it.
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techAdmin
Status: Site Admin
Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 3762
Location: East Coast, West Coast? I know it's one of them.
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crust, this forum software is the very same code base as that which runs the sidux site. The major differences are that the sidux site uses the all in one CMS 'postnuke', which wraps phpbb 2 in a cms skin (and not just any cms, no, it's one of the worst, least efficient, slowest, out there), which means that every single page load requires probably 3 times or more database queries to construct the page, and 2/3 of those are totally wasted since they just create the wrapper for the forums.

If you look at most large forums for distros, you'll find they do not do that, for very good reason, it's a waste of resources and server capacity and creates almost no real benefit to the end user.

I've been customizing and optimizing phpbb here for years, to drop both page file size down (by rewriting the actual html templates completely), using CSS effectively, and by cutting out chunks of code you don't need and that add little value to the end user experience, assuming the end user's desire to get some information is their primary reason for being here.

And, because of the wonders of browser caching, after your first visit, the CSS file, which is actually larger than most of these html pages, but which does all the heavy lifting for the layout and display, is stored in your browser, which means that only the actual page html itself, the gzipped part, needs to be loaded for each subsequent page view.

All images have been removed as well, since images are just eye candy, and, again, do nothing to improve the end user's experience.

The overall page size, including CSS, is probably less than 1/10 the size, to give you an example, of a standard phpbb page, with images. That's if you count all the files and pieces that make up a regular phpbb page. And then that code is compressed with gzip, which means it basically gets to your browser virtually instantly.

Since every file request is a request to apache web server, obviously, the fewer files a page is made out of, and the smaller those files are that are served, the less work apache has to do, and the better off both the site server and the end user is.

I do a fairly wide ranging set of optimizations, in several different areas, some of which you can see if you logout and view this page, for example, then log back in and view it again.

Since most forum page views are guests or search engine bots, these optimizations increase performance even more.

The thing that actually slows these pages down is the google ads, but since they pay for my hosting more less, I consider them a necessary evil. In the past, I never used them, but finally I decided it would be best to run them.

However, since my webserver doesn't have to serve that data, it's not that big a deal to me or the end users I think.
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Crust
Status: Contributor
Joined: 08 Sep 2008
Posts: 64
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Well, you did a great job. I've found that Google ads are pretty much the only acceptable ads and don't interfere or slow down websites.
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techAdmin
Status: Site Admin
Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 3762
Location: East Coast, West Coast? I know it's one of them.
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I'm glad the google ads don't bug you, believe me, I spent years debating whether to put them up, then finally decided to do it. I agree, they are the least annoying in general, I can live with them too. I do prefer the ultra clean fast adless site, but sometimes we have to make small compromises for practicality's sake.
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aus9
Status: Assistant
Joined: 21 Sep 2008
Posts: 358
Location: Australia
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hi

Rather than start another one......I hardly notice google ads...especially if they do not flash at me.

I use and have used a number of file sharing sites and oh boy some give you a headache by the ad overload.

Bonus...just noticed no ads in doing the typing of the reply.

so good choice all round you two.

cheerio
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