One of the things I’ve been meaning to take care of is the lengthy amount of time it takes to post new comments here at SEB. Part of this is due to the rather heavy customization I’ve done on the site in terms of adding things like smilies and recent comment listings and the like. The amount of time between hitting submit and having the comment actually post was causing folks to press the button a couple of times resulting in multiple duplicates so it behooved me to try and cut some of the fat, as it were, and I managed to add a new thing in the process.
The first change that resulted in an immediate savings in rebuild time had to do with how I was using the MTMacros plugin for making smilies possible. Previously I was applying it to the looping tags that MT uses to construct the entries on the main page and the comments in the individual archive. This would mean it would call the plugin for every single comment on the page and some of these threads are pretty long. I changed things so that the whole are I want the macros applied to is within a MTMacro container tag which makes MT run the plugin once for the page regardless of any loops on the page. I read about this tip someplace else which I can’t recall at the moment and I remember wondering why I hadn’t thought of that before.
I also changed the recent comment listing on the sidebar to list just a name and the thread they commented on. I don’t know if that’ll make much difference, but it reduces some clutter. I’ll probably design a new sidebar for the individual archives which removes that part altogether and it doesn’t really serve any purpose on that page.
I’ve also gotten Oscar’s EZ Subscribe To Comments script installed so that folks can now subscribe to comment threads to make keeping up with them a lot easier. I’d been meaning to put something like this into place for a long time, but the previous solutions involved hacking the MT code somewhat, which I’m loathe to do. Oscar’s solution involves no hacking at all and works with Jay Allen’s MT Blacklist plugin to boot. On top of that it helps prevent duplicate comments by putting up a “Please wait…” message while it processes the submission. So if you’ve wanted a way to be notified when a thread you’ve been reading here at SEB gets a new comment you can opt-in at the bottom of the comment form.
There’s a few other tweaks I’m thinking of applying so if you notice anything else that’s changed around here, well, don’t be surprised.