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— Site News, Baseball Talk, and a Bunch of Other Stuff

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Site Slowdowns

A number of people have complained about slow load times for pages at different times during the day. After spending some time monitoring the server a little more closely the last few days, I’ve narrowed down the cause to a few Mysql queries that have been locking some of the database’s biggest tables. When that happens the other queries pause and fall into the queue until the table lock is released.

I’ve already fixed some issues created within the forums by archiving the old Lounges. I need to spend more time researching some of the other queries to work around the issue by rewriting or disabling the errant queries. When that’s done I will spend a little time tweaking the Mysql configuration to get thing working to satisfaction.

Thankfully, the issues are not related to the site’s hardware.

I apologize for the inconveniences and for not setting aside time to fix things sooner.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 09, 2015 at 10:19 AM | 161 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 02, 2015 at 07:04 AM (#5051925)
I haven't had any page load issues in the last couple of days, but if others have, then that does suggest that they are not causal.
   102. Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2015 at 08:36 AM (#5051947)
The site has been loading pretty quickly for me over the last 24 hours. I just experienced a very slow page load again, however. I found that the server itself is operating with a very light load. At this point I am searching for a page within the site that is loading a much larger dataset than it should be.
   103. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 02, 2015 at 10:05 AM (#5052045)
The site has been loading pretty quickly for me over the last 24 hours. I just experienced a very slow page load again, however. I found that the server itself is operating with a very light load. At this point I searching for a page within the site that trying loading a much larger dataset than it should be.


Someone probably forgot to close italics.
   104. Bote Man Posted: October 05, 2015 at 04:17 PM (#5054504)
At the risk of jinxing things, the site seems consistently responsive today. (Note: I run AdBlock Plus on my desktop machine, while my tablet takes a while to complete loading the page)

Also, the Nationals fired Matt Williams today. Coincidence??
   105. Scoriano Flitcraft Posted: October 07, 2015 at 12:27 PM (#5056325)
Things do seem better this week, thanks!
   106. Rafael Bellylard: The Grinch of Orlando. Posted: October 07, 2015 at 01:09 PM (#5056407)
I don't know every tweak you made, but things are markedly improved.

Thanks, Jim.
   107. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 07, 2015 at 01:12 PM (#5056416)
I still can't access the forums. But that's pretty minor, and it appears to be only me. The important thing is yes, the site is running much better.
   108. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 07, 2015 at 01:30 PM (#5056448)
I didn't want to jinx it either, but it's been running fairly well for the last few days here.
   109. Jim Furtado Posted: October 08, 2015 at 08:47 AM (#5057737)
I still can't access the forums. But that's pretty minor, and it appears to be only me. The important thing is yes, the site is running much better.
I just checked your permissions. You should be able to access the forums. Try logging out of the site and removing all the site's cookies. Then log in again.
   110. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 08, 2015 at 08:52 AM (#5057741)
Lemme guess -- you bought the servers a private session on efficient caching with Jake Arrieta :-)

Now they're ready to resurrect even PETCO!
   111. Rennie's Tenet Posted: October 08, 2015 at 09:33 AM (#5057772)
Been running flawlessly for several days.
   112. shoewizard Posted: October 08, 2015 at 11:13 AM (#5057874)
I live in China where they always slow down internet traffic to sites out of the country, so I wouldn't be able to tell if the site was slow or if it was just the great firewall of china frustrating my efforts. I'm numb to slow page loads at this point.

I hate to complain about much of anything. I appreciate all the work and effort it takes for Jim to run the site so we have this place to hangout, and I thank him for the efforts. I've enjoyed this site for over 11 years now. But I will use this opportunity to say I just gave up after 3 efforts to submit an article. I was simply choosing the word General in the primary tag, and as I typed, it appeared in the drop down. I clicked on the word and it was there in it's entirety in the field. But after clicking submit, I kept getting error message saying I didn't fill in the tag field. And of course when I click on the link to go back to the submission page, everything is blank and I have to start all over. After 3 attempts, I quit.

Here is the article I was trying to link by the way.

Thanks
   113. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: October 10, 2015 at 07:10 PM (#5060734)
I have not had problems with the site over the last month that other have had issues. The only thing I miss is Beta.

If they are a problem, why continue the OT threads?
   114. Scoriano Flitcraft Posted: October 13, 2015 at 01:48 PM (#5064086)
Some people like stable, reliable, boring things, but peoples with more refined tastes in websites know that the great thing about the BBTF user experience is its unsurpassed unpredictability.
   115. villageidiom Posted: October 13, 2015 at 02:31 PM (#5064135)
Some people like stable, reliable, boring things, but peoples with more refined tastes in websites know that the great thing about the BBTF user experience is its unsurpassed unpredictability.
That's the thing about BBTF: It's not afraid to slow down for prolonged periods. You have to admire it for that.
   116. Rennie's Tenet Posted: October 30, 2015 at 11:39 AM (#5083163)
Fyi, I've been running flawlessly for about three weeks, but in the last 24 hours my mobile running Chrome has failed to reach the website. It goes to a Nissan banner ad with an otherwise white screen, and then stops dead there despite refresh attempts.
   117. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 30, 2015 at 11:43 AM (#5083169)
I'm getting the same thing Rennie is getting but only my iPad and iPhone. It is working fine on FireFox (work PC) and Safari (home Mac).
   118. mike f Posted: October 30, 2015 at 12:19 PM (#5083204)
Same issue in Safari on my iPhone. Lord help me, I'm posting this from the browser in the Facebook app!
   119. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 30, 2015 at 12:26 PM (#5083213)
I access BTF through Firefox on my desktop, and for the past 6 or 7 weeks it's performed about as well as it ever has. Nothing like it was in early September.
   120. Delorians Posted: October 30, 2015 at 01:49 PM (#5083282)
Same for me as 116-119. Flawless on desktop, nothing there on mobile.
   121. Greg Pope Posted: October 30, 2015 at 02:06 PM (#5083310)
It's the same thing that I mentioned in post 42. But then it was only one ad. Now it seems like quite a few of the ads cause this.

Most of the time you can get to the desired page by hitting the back button on your browser. It seems like the browser loads up the proper page, the thinks that the ad should be shown on a new page, so it jumps to the ad. Clicking Back takes you to the page that you wanted.

However, lately that doesn't always work. Sometimes it takes me to the previous page and I have to click the link again. Maybe 25% of the time.
   122. Bote Man Posted: October 30, 2015 at 02:37 PM (#5083341)
I just checked on my Nexus 7 (2012 model?) with the latest Android 5.1.1 which seems to cause its own internal sluggishness particularly when waking up. Chrome on the Nexus loads the site more slowly than Firefox on my desktop machine and the "loading" spinner continues to sit still in the tab even though the page elements and banner ad across the top (Public grocery store) and sidebar ad (AT&T) have loaded. I hit the X that took the place of the circular reload button and it doesn't change, as if that tab is frozen. The tab next to it with a very simple, plain hobby web page served off a web server right here on my own LAN acts fine by comparison.

Chrome likes to tout how each tab runs in its own separate process so the whole browser can't crash due to one web site, but I don't find that to be entirely true. I rarely use Chrome on my desktop so I don't have a baseline for comparison.

Now I closed the unresponsive BTF tab in Chrome on my Nexus 7, created a new tab, and went to BTF via a bookmark. It loaded the page elements, then the banner and sidebar ads (same advertisers) and went idle as normal. The whole thing took about 35-40 seconds. Hope this helps.
   123. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 30, 2015 at 02:41 PM (#5083344)
No problems on my ipad
   124. Chicago Joe Posted: October 30, 2015 at 02:56 PM (#5083358)
Same deal here. The last 24 hours only the Nissan banner ad has loaded on my iPhone, though desktop and IPad are fine.
   125. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: October 30, 2015 at 03:15 PM (#5083365)
Same deal here. The last 24 hours only the Nissan banner ad has loaded on my iPhone, though desktop and [tablet] are fine.

This was true for me - content now appears on my iPhone.
   126. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 30, 2015 at 04:22 PM (#5083414)
Same deal here. The last 24 hours only the Nissan banner ad has loaded on my iPhone, though desktop and IPad are fine.

Haven't checked the iPad, but desktop Safari is fine while iPhone, as of 30 seconds ago, still gets stuck at the Nissan ad.

Haven't been here as much lately, but desktop site seems much faster and more stable than a few weeks/months ago. Thanks, Jim.
   127. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 30, 2015 at 06:22 PM (#5083556)
. . . in the last 24 hours my mobile running Chrome has failed to reach the website. It goes to a Nissan banner ad with an otherwise white screen, and then stops dead there despite refresh attempts.

Same here. Won't load on iPad or iPhone, but appears OK on the PC.
   128. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 30, 2015 at 06:59 PM (#5083580)
FWIW, I e-mailed Furtado about the current problem. It's been ~20 hours since it first appeared, seems like their should be some acknowledgment by now.
   129. Karl from NY Posted: October 30, 2015 at 10:13 PM (#5083942)
I got the same problem of only the Nissan ad appearing, on an iPad. Then I went directly to the login page and logged in. Then the site worked. (I think I'm in a donators group that doesn't get ads.)
   130. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 30, 2015 at 11:11 PM (#5084088)
what the #### has happened to the site formatting in the last 2 hours??? the right side is bleeding well off the right side of the Chrome window
   131. Greg Pope Posted: October 30, 2015 at 11:55 PM (#5084166)
It's dependent on the ads. At first it was only the Comcast ad, but now it's more. Those that are seeing the problems on one device and not another are likely simply seeing different ads on the alternate device. Probably due to browsing and searching history or something.
   132. SY Ruined School Lunches! Posted: October 31, 2015 at 12:03 AM (#5084172)
Checking in with the same problem. Cant load the site on iphone/ios. Just a Nissan banner add at the top of the screen.
   133. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 31, 2015 at 12:10 AM (#5084179)
Still no problem on my iPad.
   134. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 31, 2015 at 12:51 AM (#5084188)
Working on iPad now, about 24 hours after problem first appeared. Keeping fingers crossed.
   135. Bote Man Posted: October 31, 2015 at 02:40 AM (#5084198)
The advertising is context-sensitive. It depends on the geographic location of your i.p. address, the cookies stored in your browser by sites that you have visited and their advertising hangers-on, and other factors. So each device will see a different mix of ads.

But if you can't see the site content because the ad blocks it, then that is truly the ad blocker from h3ll.
   136. Bote Man Posted: October 31, 2015 at 02:44 AM (#5084199)
#130 - The Newsstand index page is held artificially wide because the all-important OT: Monthly NBA Thread - November 2015 includes a massive graphic that spans a huge swath of the page and breaks the width. More tail wagging the dog.
   137. Jim Furtado Posted: October 31, 2015 at 07:23 AM (#5084206)
As Bote-Man said, the advertising is dependent on your history. This makes tracking and turning off an individual ad near impossible as the ad companies literally serve a thousands of different ads to the site's visitors every month, so finding and disabling one particular ad is pretty near impossible. Usually an errant ad will clear out of the rotation in less than a day.

FYI, if you've donated at least $20 to the site within the last year and aren't viewing the site ad free (which happens because the email with the donation isn't the same as your site email), contact me directly with info related to you donation and I will make your site visits ad-free.
   138. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 31, 2015 at 09:30 AM (#5084218)
OK, I have made a discovery, and a work around for mobile users. I said the site was working on my iPad, but that is only partly true. When I try to go to the BTF homepage, I get the same Nissan ad and blank screen. but when I go directly to the newsblog or other blogs, it works. So if you don't have a direct link to the newsblog on your mobile, set up a favorite or send yourself a link via e-mail from a regular computer.
   139. Greg Pope Posted: October 31, 2015 at 09:39 AM (#5084223)
Jim, we don't need to turn off the ads. But some ads seems to break the site, while some are fine.

For example, I first came the site this morning through the main page. Everything was fine. Then I clicked on the link to this thread, and I got the Comcast ad, which showed up as the only thing in my browser. I clicked the back button and that took me to this page. So it seems that I got to this page, but when the browser loaded the ad, it took me forward to just showing the ad.

Now, there's an American Family Insurance ad at the top which does not have the same behavior.

EDIT: Sorry, it's not Xfinity, it's Comcast B4B that causes problems. Mazda ad: fine, Chevrolet ad: fine.
   140. mike f Posted: October 31, 2015 at 09:50 AM (#5084226)
Direct links aren't working for me on my iphone in chrome or safari. I get the same Nissan banner ad and a blank screen. The only way I can get here on my iphone is going to the BBTF page in the facebook app and clicking on an article, and even that fails half the time.
   141. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 31, 2015 at 10:29 AM (#5084237)
Direct links aren't working for me on my iphone in chrome or safari.


Direct links to the homepage, or the newsblog page?
   142. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 31, 2015 at 11:15 AM (#5084255)
Direct links to the homepage, or the newsblog page?


For me, it's any page on baseballthinkfactory.org. I get the banner ad at the top, and nothing else.
   143. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 31, 2015 at 11:50 AM (#5084275)
Yeah I just checked and as of this morning, on my iPhone the Nissan ad loads and that's it.
   144. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 31, 2015 at 12:12 PM (#5084286)
FYI, if you've donated at least $20 to the site within the last year and aren't viewing the site ad free (which happens because the email with the donation isn't the same as your site email), contact me directly with info related to you donation and I make your site visits ad-free.

I just donated $50.00 a minute ago. How long does it take for the ads to disappear?
   145. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 31, 2015 at 01:34 PM (#5084316)
OK, I have the ad problem on the homepage only.
   146. ReggieThomasLives Posted: October 31, 2015 at 04:35 PM (#5084390)

For me, it's any page on baseballthinkfactory.org. I get the banner ad at the top, and nothing else.


ditto on iPhone 6 plus and iPad Air2.
   147. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: October 31, 2015 at 06:02 PM (#5084427)
I was having the same issue on my Android earlier today.
   148. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: October 31, 2015 at 06:13 PM (#5084431)
I've been having the same issue on Android; fwiw whatever URL I went to redirected to just baseballthinkfactory.org and the ad-only screen.
   149. bobm Posted: October 31, 2015 at 07:25 PM (#5084455)
No problems for me on Android, both as free and logged out.
   150. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 01, 2015 at 12:40 AM (#5085061)
The Nissan ad seems to be the culprit. No problem on Friday when it apparently rotated out for an iTunes ad, but the problem was back today when the Nissan ad reappeared, with the problem clearing up shortly after midnight when the Nissan ad rotated out again.

The Founding Primate's apparent lack of action or concern is a bit of a problem, IMHO. The iPad is the only way I'm going to access the site while watching the World Series or other sports programming, and I doubt that I'm the only one, although I'll try bookmarking the NewsBlog in addition to the main page.
   151. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 01, 2015 at 12:42 AM (#5085063)
I doubt there's a damn thing Jim can do about that particular problem.
   152. Jim Furtado Posted: November 01, 2015 at 08:27 AM (#5085093)
The Founding Primate's apparent lack of action or concern is a bit of a problem, IMHO. The iPad is the only way I'm going to access the site while watching the World Series or other sports programming, and I doubt that I'm the only one, although I'll try bookmarking the NewsBlog in addition to the main page.
I can appreciate your issue. I have tried to replicate the problem on all the devices at my disposal (iPad, iPhone 6S+, Note 4, and my Android table) with no luck. I also have tried searching for a Nissan ad takeover ad but haven't been able to find one within the ad agencies display mechanisms. Although I could try to generate more ad revenue by allowing them, I don't have takeover or interstitial or pop under ads on the site, even though the revenue they produce is much, much higher than the simple banner ads currently in use. Lastly, I selectively banned Nissan ads from the site.

If you still are having an issue, I'm sorry but I have exhausted my options.
   153. mike f Posted: November 01, 2015 at 09:06 AM (#5085097)
The site is loading for me in safari again, and I no longer get the Nissan ad. Thanks, Jim!
   154. toratoratora Posted: November 01, 2015 at 09:17 AM (#5085100)
Hey-I can get BBTF on my iPhone again!
   155. ReggieThomasLives Posted: November 01, 2015 at 09:41 AM (#5085106)
It's working again for me. I hate to say it but if this was caused by an errant ad, it's one of the reason people install ad blockers. I didn't have mine turned on for BBTF.
   156. BDC Posted: November 01, 2015 at 10:04 AM (#5085111)
Works for me too. So that's what it was.

Odds of me buying a Nissan after 30 years of Honda Civics were low anyway :)
   157. Rennie's Tenet Posted: November 01, 2015 at 10:23 AM (#5085114)
Worked for me on android/chrome, too. Air National Guard banner, with a small Nissan banner below.
   158. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 01, 2015 at 03:53 PM (#5085214)
Site is loading fine today on iPad - without the Nissan banner ad (iTunes instead). I don't have any technical knowledge, so I'm still confused about why a problem that only occurs at BBTF wasn't something that could be readily fixed by BBTF, but maybe Jim's banning Nissan ads will do the trick going forward. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, and don't plan on ever buying a Nissan, but I fear it's only a matter of time before North Korea takes over the entire site. : >)
   159. Rafael Bellylard: The Grinch of Orlando. Posted: November 01, 2015 at 04:22 PM (#5085222)
I'm getting the occasional page that is having width issues, pushing Hot Topics off the edge of the screen. I've found simply refreshing the page has been an easy fix.
   160. BDC Posted: November 01, 2015 at 04:53 PM (#5085234)
it's only a matter of time before North Korea takes over the entire site

Well not with the Air National Guard to protect us.
   161. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: November 16, 2015 at 03:05 PM (#5096410)
Is Beta done? Any future options for mobile viewing, specifically Chrome on Android? The horizontal settings don't always work, but it has appeared to be better recently.
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