Thursday, March 17, 2005


More bloggy goodness

First, head on over to the fourth History Carnival, courtesy of Blogenspiel.

Then, ooooh and aaaah at my shiny new "recent comments" feature in the sidebar, courtesy of Blogger Hacks. I'm not sure why right now the recent comments only appear on the main page; I have a request in to Ebenezer Orthodoxy, the genius behind my comment system. Also, I really would like to know if you notice that my page is loading significantly slower as a result of the new feature. Ebenezer warns that speed might be reduced because the script has to search all of the posts and sort out which comments are most recent. If the load time is really slow, it might not be worth keeping the hack.

Collective Improvisation:
Whatever the hack is, it's probably wrapped only with MainPage tags in the blogger template, not MainorArchivePage or the other variants.  

Posted by JM

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 3/17/2005 12:50:00 AM : Permalink  

Thanks. I had actually thought of that all by myself ... just forgot to actually check for the tags! Doh!

I see now why it was wrapped in MainPage tags though. Apparently the script only searches the page that you're on at the time in order to fill in the array. Kinda like the way Blogger judges "recent posts" from wherever you happen to be in the archives. I guess I'll put the MainPage tags back later.

One cool thing I discovered, though, is that when you hover your mouse over the link to the recent comment, it gives you a teaser. 

Posted by Caleb

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 3/17/2005 01:05:00 AM : Permalink  

Glad you figured it out. I hadn't even looked at it or anything, and was just guessing. But you know, if it only operates the way you described, and you have the "number of posts on main page" setting to a reasonable number, then I wouldn't worry about it being bogged down by load time. I mean, it's not detectable now, and if you add a post it'll knock one off anyway, so you should be ok. 

Posted by JM

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 3/17/2005 01:10:00 AM : Permalink  

You're really getting a lot of mileage out of blogger.

The load doesn't seem slow to me at all... 

Posted by paul

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 3/17/2005 08:38:00 AM : Permalink  

posting the comment did seem to take a while, however. Does the hack actually rebuild all the pages whenever there's a new comment? 

Posted by paul

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 3/17/2005 08:39:00 AM : Permalink  

Judging from the fact that it only searches for recent comments on the current page, my bet is that it only rebuilds the page when you reload it. It's a Java script, and that's about as much as I understand! Julie might be able to answer this question, or maybe if I ping Ebenezer Orthodoxy enough, he'll come over here and answer it.

I think sometimes commenting is just slow in Blogger. Unfortunately, no way to fix that. 

Posted by Caleb

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 3/17/2005 09:06:00 AM : Permalink  

If it's a javascript snippet, all it's doing is working with the text of pages that are already loaded. Javascript is client-side technology, so there's no integration of it with a database or application server. The process would be something like this: request blogger page, blogger spits out the page, the javascript bit gathers info from the already-loaded page, prepares the output for display and displays it. This would be a dynamic process each time a page is displayed for each user.

If you get a load strain, it would be because of: many posts on the page, then many comments for those many posts, and crappy client-side rendering. I think if you keep a manageable number of posts to a page, the load will be negligible. 

Posted by JM

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 3/17/2005 10:44:00 AM : Permalink  

Caleb, The recent comments thing is really nifty. Accessing the blog didn't seem slow to me. I just noticed that I can't access your cv tho'. Congratulations on the article! I'm looking forward to getting my hard copy of it by subscription in the mail and devouring it in a kind and gentle way. 

Posted by Ralph Luker

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 3/17/2005 07:15:00 PM : Permalink  

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