You may have noticed that the Recent Activity page has been problematic this past week, with the lists of recently-commented-on pages disappearing. It’s all back now, and working OK, but it won’t be updating as frequently as it used to.
The problem was that generating one of those lists took the database four or five minutes, and while this was happening many other operations were held up. It has been the case that whenever a new annotation was posted then the appropriate list would update immediately. Which, of course, meant that every single new annotation required the database to do nothing else for a few minutes.
I’ve looked into ways of making this operation more speedy but it looks like there’s no easy way to do so. The only option for this to happen more quickly is to move this website to a more high-powered webserver — which would be good, but this far into the Diary, and so close to the end, I’m not keen to make such a drastic move!
So for now we have a compromise: The Recent Activity page is back, but it will now only update once per hour. Occasionally you might notice some things slowing down a lot, but it will be rare. This will also, hopefully, mean that posting annotations will be faster than it used to be (“that’s not hard” you might be thinking!).
As ever, let me know if you notice anything particularly wrong, and thanks for your patience.