Long sig lines

I noticed when I changed my sig a month ago or so that it changed on even my old posts, which means that every time you open a page the software has to go out to each person’s profile to get their sigs, if they have one.
This is odd. Why isn’t the sig saved with the post? This would certainly make things faster, I would think.

I doubt it. It has to look in both places anyways, so I’d imagine the time to be about the same. Storing one sig per user takes less space than storing the equivalent amount of text with each post, thus saving hard drive space.

The page is made of hundreds of such file references. Every little icon, every post is separate as well.

My guess is that it’s done this way to save disk space. The sig only has to be stored once in each user’s profile, and only a signature flag needs to be stored with the message itself.

The hard drive space argument is good, but if the sigs are getting to be a problem, it might be time to consider saving them. Disk space is cheap, getting cheaper all the time. And drive speed keeps going up too.

Remember that this board operates from a relational datbase (MySQL, specifically) and people who design relational database implimentations abhor database redundancy.

This is the way the software is written, and I doubt the SDMB Admins want to go poking around to change it; it would be non-trivial.

As an aside, allow me to make up some numbers. Let’s say the average sig is 100 bytes long. There are currently some 66,000 threads, and let’s assume the average thread has 10 posts. Let us further assume that 75% of those posts have sigs attached.

That works out to: 66,000 x 10 = 660,000 posts total
660,000 x .75 = 495,000 posts with sigs
495,000 x 100 = 495,000,000 bytes worth of sig, or a little less than 495 megabytes, just for sigs!

That’s the advantage of the relational model. Takes more time, but the space saved is enourmous.

Doh. I should make it clear that the above demonstrates why it is not a good idea to attach the sig in every single post. Seeing as we have 13,000 members, each having a 100 byte sig (but not all members have sigs, but I’ll pretend they do to make my point) that’s only 1,300,000 bytes, slightly over one megabyte to store the sigs, instead of half a gigabyte.

Just say no to sigs!

Eschew 'em!

You know, 495 megabytes is hardly a lot of memory for a server.

Consider: Only a tiny fraction of that would be summoned up at a time, and the amount itself must be trivial in relation to the total memory used up by all the posts on the board.

The problem isn’t hard drive usage but BANDWIDTH usage… having a few thousand or so threads being loaded up at a time will stress the server, NOT the content is being loaded up. The only long-term solution is a new server… which probably isn’t going to happen any time soon.