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[SOLVED] Display lag: online list, forums (refresh interval?)

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There is serious lag between posts being made and posts showing up, users' online status, users' current activity, etc.

There are now prolonged discrepancies between what one sees, for example, viewing the "online users list", a mouseover of the the user's handle there, and what is visible in the forum, for several minutes at a time.

I have also noticed that my own posts do not show up for a rather long time.

There was always a wee delay, but nothing like it is now.

How often do these pages "refresh"/update/index?
Are they supposed to be in sync?


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Odd, I see the exact opposite, in that my posts show up immediately.  In fact, the auto-join posts functions, set to 5 minutes, works too well, sometimes, in that I have posts joined together that I do not want necessarily joined, but as distinct posts.

Try it as a reply to me and then another immediate reply and see if that works for showing up immediately.  If so, then it must be something else.

Also, is this across the board?  How about time frame, does it happen at all hours of the day or only during specific time periods?

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  • Root Admin

Yes, this feature for merging posts is designed to prevent multiple posts by the new user or spammer but is a bit problematic even for me as it is merging many of my posts that I don't want merged either. We'll need to review this further and see if it can be group controlled. If not we may need to look at disabling it again.

But to daledoc1's point - if I mouse over my own name right now it shows my last content 4 minutes ago


Yet I've now replied to this post 3 times now (if auto merge was off I'd now have 3 posts) and yet it still says 4 minutes ago


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Yes, there are discrepancies.
I don't know the technical terminology -- "indexing" or "refresh" or "update".

Here is what I see.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. I open the "Online Users" page (and then sort to see only the registered users) in one tab and I open, for example, the General Support forum page in another tab.
  2. A user makes a post in that forum (new post or reply).

Expected behavior:

  1. The post appears in the forum immediately. AND
  2. When I view the user's name in the online list and I mouse over the user's name on the Online page, I should see the fact that they have just posted.

Observed behavior:

  1. Significant delay (often > 1 minute or more) before post shows up.
  2. "Online Users" page does not refresh for several more minutes, either directly or when mousing over the user's name.
  3. Most often, the "Online Users" page will say that there is a new post by that user, but the forum still doesn't show it.
    1. In the case of a reply, one can open the thread, but the reply won't be there yet, even though the online users page says it is there.
  4. I have seen the same thing with my own posts: sometimes they do not show up for over a minute.
    1. Several times I mistakenly thought I had forgot to hit the "submit reply" button, until I determined that this is the normally abnormal new behavior.
  5. Just to clarify: when it's my own post/reply, it does "post", but it does not become visible on the relevant forum page until a delay has elapsed.

Users' online status on the "Online Users" page often does not refresh for ~30 minutes or more.
This is also true with the "Online List" at the bottom of the main page.

This is consistent, reproducible behavior, regardless of the time of day, it happens only at THIS forum, and it only started with the forum software upchuck upgrade.

If necessary, I will post screenshots to illustrate the observed behavior.
But, try it yourself and see.:)


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Here is an example on the "lag" on the Online Users page. (It is NOT an example of the delayed post appearance).

As you can see from the time-stamps on the screenies, they were captured a few seconds apart and a few seconds ago.

EDIT: I guess you cannot see the timestamps in the "new" forum, because the file names have been replaced.:angry:

Image 1: What I see when I view the user's name and mouse-over it on the "Online Users" page -- note the discrepancy between the information under the handle and the mouse-over dialog. The user, at that moment, was NOT "Viewing Topic: License Problem", s/he was actually already offline and had been for several minutes. And it had been at least 24 minutes since the information had been "refreshed".

EDIT #2: And, yes, I hitting the "Reload Current Page" in the browser has no effect.;)

Image 2: What is visible on the forum.



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OK, so to keep the board from going crazy with system resources, I suppose that the indexing refresh is set to something larger than 24 minutes, seems like maybe 30 min or an hour.  I can understand that from the software PoV, as indexing every 5 minutes will put a large strain on the system resources, particularly in forums that are getting a lot of posts (Malware Assistance, Beta threads, general chat, etc.).

In light of that, not really sure if that can be changed or not.  I certainly do not have access to view the system resource usage to confirm / disprove my theory, but I'm betting that I am not far off, now that I see what you are actually looking at.

To ad to that, I also do not use that view, nor look around for things.  Then again, I also do not assist with the Malware assistance forums at all, so I have no need for that view.  In cases like yours and the other volunteers here who do, this lag, if you will, cam definitely be detrimental to accomplishing your goals.  My own methodology is to keep the main forum page in a locked an protected tab that auto-refreshes every 15 or 30 minutes (depending upon the forum, here is 15) and I can open any subforum by simply clicking on it in this locked / protected tab.  In a sense, that is why I never (well, almost never) use the online users / open threads view in the first place.

Hopefully. @AlexSmith or @msherwood can give a more concise explanation as to why these indices are not updated as regularly as one would expect them to be.

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Oh, no, I'm not saying it can't be changed.  I'm saying that more than just the necessity of users here will need to be taken into account for this particular function.  If, for example, setting the indexing to every 10 minutes makes all topics la when replying, well, then, that most certainly would not be acceptable, even if the software allows indexing to be performed every minute.  IOW, it most certainly can be set to that value, but realistically, it would prove more harmful than beneficial.

This is not one of those situations like the loss of BBCode, or hiding / showing of specific panels that we've discussed in other topics - this is one that affects the entire board's responsiveness, and that has to be a major factor in determining the optimal setting here, and definitely more important than what we're using the index for.

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I will try to explain with an example of POST APPEARANCE lag I just experienced.

I posted a reply in this thread at 1220h local time - I noted the system clock time when I did.

The 2 screenies, with their embedded timestamps, show that ~1 and ~3 minutes later, the post had not yet shown up either in the sub-forum (#1) or on the forum main page (#2).

If you mouse over the screenies, you'll see the embedded timestamps that reflect the times the screen caps were made, both of which were significantly later than the time at which I actually submitted the reply.

During the time intervals after posting, "reload current page" in Firefox had no effect.

Bottom line: it's real; it's new; and while it may not affect everyone (or perhaps some who are affected do not notice), it's recurrent.

Hope this helps.



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That is weird, and I cannot duplicate it.  I've been seeing your posts and others' posts show up with times of 3, 2 even 1 minute.

As soon as I can Ill grab screen shots showing that from the main forum page.

Here is one right now.

Of course it is me, and about the reply above, but still.  I ttook the screenshot at 13:29 local (EDT) time.

MBAM Forums Testing 2.PNG

Another example:

MBAM Forums Testing 3.PNG

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I wonder. 

  1. Is this only in Firefox?
  2. Do you have any special settings in Firefox, such as cache related settings, and about:config? Particularly disk.cache?

Granted I am on Firefox Nightly 48.0.1a, but there is not a lot inherently different between this alpha and the current release build.  If this occurs across all browsers, then it is not a Fx issue, and I'm wondering if it is then at the ISP level.  I see replies as they make it show in the main forum page immediately, so it's not the board software here that is the cause of this.

Also, do you have desktop notifications enabled?

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No, nothing extraordinary or special.

Release build 45.0.1.

ONLY HAPPENS HERE, not at any other forum.
Did NOT happen before the forum upgrade.

Reproducible on both systems.

I really appreciate your efforts to repro and troubleshoot, but it's only making it more confusing for me. I guess I am just tired of fighting the forum software.

But perhaps all that extra data will assist the Team and IPS.

Thanks very much for your help,

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Sorry for flagellating the deceased equine, but a spammer has just helped to prove my point, now that "Recent Topics" has been restored.:)

Screen cap #1: The spam post shows up on the main page in its sub-forum area, but NOT (yet) in "Recent Topics".

Screen cap #2, taken a few minutes later after reloading the page: The spam post now shows up in both places, but with time stamps that are 3 minutes apart.

Who said that spammers can't be helpful?:lol:



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Today I noticed no refreshments at all I have to do it manually all the time.  Don't know if it's only with me, but other forums are 

normal refreshing so I don't know if its a problem here or on my side ??

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I created a new post and it did not show in the "Recent Topics" list.  I replied to thread post with another and it is still was not listed.

I opened another Browser and it still was not in the list of recent topics.

5 ~ 10 minutes later,  THEN is showed up in the list !!

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Hi everyone, according to IPS, the "Topics" section to the right of the forum is a widget and the widget content is cached for a few minutes for performance.

The "Who's Online" at the bottom is also a widget and will also experience delays due to cache.

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So, I ask for another vote then.

Since this is cached information, and is not going to be up to the minute, do we really still need it there?

Now that I know how to make my own activity stream and where to click to get my custom stream to show, I see no need for that thing to even be there.  But this is my opinion only, hence asking for a vote.

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Oops forgot to add that the naming of "Topics" is somewhat deceiving. It should probably say "New Topics". 

Below you can see that my post is newer than UweJo's but my post is in response to a thread that was created March 26, while UweJo's post is a new thread and created 30 minutes ago.screenshot-forums.malwarebytes.org 2016-04-06 11-14-15.png

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when looking for spammers it's very usefull, to have it on the index. Hope now we have it back we will not have the to discuss again te remove it now please :mellow:

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Correct.  But as Daledoc1's posts show, the cache causes a lag in terms of when topics were actually started versus what that panel shows.  Creating a custom stream to show new topics is just as easy, remains hidden until you need it, and can easily be kept in another tab that you manually (or automatically, via an addon) reload to see what is new.

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