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Changelog 11th January 2009

Date Posted: 11th Jan 2009 at 6:56 PM

  • Adjusted the "Users who thanked this also thanked" code to only pick between 20 and 30 max users who thanked rather than all possible users as was happening in some circumstances
  • Added Creator Links dropdown (as of a few days ago)
  • Removed Upload Items from the User Tools dropdown
  • Adjusted the cache for threadextra details to always load from the database if the thread creator is viewing the thread
  • Cleaned the threadextra table
Comments 0
Changelog 6th January 2009

Date Posted: 6th Jan 2009 at 10:48 PM

  • Fixed bug with the takeover ad triggering all the time regardless of cookie state
  • Fixed bug with invalid posthashes in Upload wizard
  • Updated all base code to 3.0.14 vBulletin
  • Added Multi-Part/Custom Install/Related boxes to Stage 9 of upload wizard
  • Fixed bug with server redirects going to nene/linna instead of www
  • Added pointer cursor to [+] on stage 1 of upload wizard
  • Revised Upload Wizard preview screen
  • Added conditionals on the download pages to not show the clickable download information hidden divs if no information would be displayed
  • Added tabbed view
  • Added Multi-Part/Custom Install/Related boxes to Edit Post
  • Added Social Groups feature
Comments 0
Small changes to the download view pages

Date Posted: 27th Oct 2008 at 1:27 AM

I've spent a couple hours working on some small but subtle changes to the site today:
  • Swapped the vertical positioning of the news rotation box and the breadcrumbs in the navbar
  • Moved the "Featured banner" from above the thread title to the top of the download details box
  • Added number of posts/replies/thanks to the text information at the top of the thread
  • Added number of favourites to the top of the thread
  • Moved the "Posted / Updated" text to the information at the top of the thread
  • Moved the Thanks panel to the bottom of the download details
  • Moved the Recolours List to below the Downloads box
  • Changed the Recolours List so it shows the first 5 latest as thumbnails and the rest as a click to view list
  • Moved the Other Recolours List to below the Downloads box
  • Changed the Other Recolours list to show the first 5 as thumbnails and the rest as a click to view list
  • Fixed the colouring of the Screenshots title and the Downloads title
  • Moved the Unsupported box to the top of the thread details
  • Moved the "Thanks / Replies / Feedback" text to next to the page dropdown in the Comments panel
  • Moved Thread Tools / Search to the title of the Comments panel

Thats it for now.
Comments 2
Status report for server migration

Date Posted: 24th Sep 2008 at 10:57 PM

I've spent the past couple of days bringing up to spec one of the new quad core servers that MTS2 will be running on. Today I also found the joys of memcached. After adding caching to a number of the scripts, I then brought the new server - called Nene - up and running.

What I usually do with these new servers is redirect all MTS2 traffic to them to see how quickly they keel over and die. You'll notice that www/forums/hideki/sumomo all get redirected to

I'm pleasantly suprised to note that she's handling the entire load of the web traffic running at about 90% CPU, and a load average of less than 10. Considering that Hideki/Sumomo would go into the load avg of 50+ with the same traffic, thats quite an achievement.

One of the beauties of memcached is that you can have a global cache pool across multiple servers, and it's very very easy to change the existing PHP/mySQL code to work with it. I think that using memcache was the right choice - it's currently processing 1,322 cache requests per second with a cache hit rate of 96.9%. Thats pretty damn impressive for only guessing at the likely cache expire times, and with only 40% of the available cache used.

I'm going to leave Nene serving all www traffic overnight and see if she dies. I've noticed a slowdown after a couple hours running so I think perhaps Apache isn't freeing up processes or there is a RAM leak since it starts swapping. I'll have to investigate.

I'm pretty impressed with how things are going, and figured I'd share it here. Not that anybody reads these entries anyway....
Comments 7
Current To-Do list for MTS2

Date Posted: 10th Sep 2008 at 11:41 AM

Currently on my list are (not in any particular order):
  • iMTS2
  • Creator Policies
  • Journal comment editing
  • Journal entry page revamp
  • Clean up Chii/Thumbs
  • Figure out why graph2 isn't working when embedded in another PHP script - Not going to use graph2 for the moment
  • Optimise queries / throughput for showthread.php - partially done
  • Experiment with linux kernel parameters to try and drop iowait on thumbs
  • Swap default mysql for mysql percona build - No need as percona only really helps InnoDB
  • Remove legacy gameXX fields in the database
  • Remove any other legacy fields (category2, etc)
  • Add search parameters for Apartments
  • Virtualise search keywords for sections
  • New S2C Finds system
  • Badge system for S2C
  • MTS2 Helpers subforums, etc
  • DDO v2
  • Aggregate downloaded table to allow for quicker generation of graphs

Yeah, so much for being retired... but hey, this stuff is fun. Going from PHP coding to mySQL optimisation to linux kernel hacking to C# programming.
Comments 7
Test entry

Date Posted: 7th Sep 2008 at 1:24 PM

This is a test entry.

Does anybody have a size 6 sprocket?
Comments 0
4k and counting

Date Posted: 13th Jun 2008 at 11:19 PM

Okay so short post. 4038 people on right now (1563 members and 2475 guests), and usually the site really slows down after about 2.5k ish.

However, earlier today, I upgraded the mySQL to the latest 5.0.x branch, did some more tweaking on the my.cnf and then proceeded to sit down and figure out ways of optimising the speed.

To upshot of this is the following files have changed:
- editpost.php
- favourites.php
- quicksearch.php
- upload.php
- download.php
- member.php

All of these with the exception of download.php where to support a better way of storing the defaultpic thumbnail in the thread table, so that it takes up less space but still contains the same information. My estimates are that this single field went down by 50%. Every little helps.

The main changes are to the download.php - For some particular queries (most notably visible to guests and also for regular non-filtered browsing), it no longer has to grab every single thread from the database (which caused massive table locking, hence the slowdown). For other queries it still does this but the number of occasions are massively reduced (since most people actually don't actively filter).

I also changed some of the images and javascript files that where still pointing to local files and also the main stylesheet location - all of these are now properly offloaded to static. This frees up slots on hideki and sumomo, so that they can handle incoming connections better and then become pure PHP servers instead of a mixture of PHP and static content.

The final result of all this is that with 4k people online, hideki and sumomo currently have about 2/3 slot allocation, db is running very fast, and even Chii is quicker for it.

Hopefully the speed and general browsing improvements are visible to everybody.
Comments 6
Okay so maybe I am only semi-retired....

Date Posted: 24th Apr 2008 at 12:32 PM

Okay so I'm still working on bug fixing and adding new features, I just wont be as active in the day to day stuff.

I'm still looking after the servers, optimising and tweaking things, so I guess this is only a semi-retirement.

Expect more tweaks, fixes, and other fun stuff soon
Comments 8
Retiring from the Sims 2 community

Date Posted: 10th Dec 2007 at 8:57 AM

Hi All,

As of, well, nowishly (but definately from Jan 2008) I will be officially retiring from this site, as well as the other sites I run.

After this point there will be no more major coding updates, no more tools, and little in the way of bug fixing. I will still be around - just not really that active or as helpful, and certainly not paying too much attention to the sites.

It's gotten to the point where it doesn't really need my active input all the time - the staff and other admins do a great job of keeping things running and all I have to do is the odd bug fix and so forth.

Also, just so this is all official: I will not be doing a site like MTS2 for the Sims 3. In other words, there will be no MTS3. It's been fun, but the only reason I am on the site nowadays is for the challenge, and there are hardly any left... certainly there wont be many for the Sims 3 to the same degree.

I realise that some people where kind of expecting me to continue on into the Sims 3 - even to the point of discussing when I would launch a new site, or new tools and all that stuff. If you have been like this, then my apologies, but I've been saying for a while now I have no inclination to continue in the same vein as this.

It's been extremely hard to run a site as big as this one and build it up over time, and although it's been rewarding, I feel my talents and skills are best taken elsewhere than to continue on with the Sims 3.

I just want to say it's been great working with everybody who has contributed to the community. To name names would take too long and I'd probably miss some out.

I'll still be around on MSN or on the chat if anybody wants to say hi - but don't expect me to answer site questions.

Have fun!
Comments 54
New user online record

Date Posted: 12th Mar 2007 at 8:55 AM

Okay so it appears that the single query and index optimisation I did yesterday (see my previous entry) has had an absolutely massive effect on the site and sped it up immensely.

We went from a previous high of ~3600 up to a high of ~4144, and with a lot of times around that figure. It's the first time MTS2 has gone above 4k people online, and the site was still very very fast - for normal browsing that is.

My next task is to investigate thttpd+php for serving the ads/static images and if that works successfully, do a trial run on one of the fileservers and see if we can't speed things up a bit.

Does anybody actually read these entries? lol
Comments 27
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