Leaderboards Changes: The forums leaderboards had a few problems this release addresses. The leaderboards is a list of users in the right rail of top contributors. There are two scopes to these user lists a. the brand locale or "top
users for msdn en-us" b. the forum "top users in a particular forum". There are various "cuts" of user data we make available in these two scenarios, offering top user lists by affiliation. We also show top moderators on the forums pages. The problem is the
various cuts of user data have historically been brought down to the client on the page view. So the home page, for example, would be burdened with bringing down 5 lists of users (10 each), each 'user' in the leaderboard is a request for avatar images. This
caused some performance issues on home and forum pages. This release helps with this by ONLY bringing down the first chunk of user data. There is also a change in how we scroll through the different lists of users. We now have a "Next" link users can
about 40. We expect to see a very positive perf improvement with this change and a couple of other performance fixes in the pages.
Thread Page Rewrite: We spent this month reworking some of our middle tier code, focusing on the thread page which gets over 70% of the daily view traffic. The page should be more reliable, resolving a long standing bug where
extended hex characters could render a thread useless (http 500). The changes should improve overall load time of thread pages and reduce thousands of monthly errors on the most used page. The changes will also make it easier for us to fix/maintain going forward.
The page rewrite also addresses a few issues recently reported, such as reducing how many 'edit' notes we show for users that edit their posts.
Database Changes: This month we are doing some major work on the database, simplifying some of the DBs/tables and removing some of the replication dependencies. At a high level this means there should be no more outrages or
delays in "My Threads" or "My Alerts" views, the aggregation job that was supposed to keep this data fresh is going away, being replaces by a more real time data query.
F# Code Formatting: We have added support for F# code formatting this particular language. User can see this when they insert code using the code formatting option in the editor.
New Profile Stats Page: There will be a new interface in the user profile which shows some high level activity counts for the various applications (fourms, blogs, wiki, gallery, etc). For now, we only surface replies, helpful votes
and new threads. Answers will not be surfaced until the October 27th release.
Looking Ahead: We are continuing to work on performance improvements. We are also looking at some scenarios that may introduce tagging in the coming months in some contexts. Our plans are to get some of this tagging work in place
in a CTP (test/review) environment and get feedback on how we can change and improve it prior to releasing it. We do not have dates for this yet but we are starting the work. Expect more next month.