May 172010
 

I thought I’d add a few notes on what’s up with MDC since my last report.

Upgrade Ahoy

First, the upgrade from MindTouch 9.08.3 to 9.12.2 is still scheduled for Tuesday, but has been bumped from 4 PM Pacific Daylight Time to 7 PM Pacific Daylight Time, in order to better accommodate the schedules of certain people that need to be available during the upgrade. So MDC will be (hopefully briefly) offline around that time while we perform that upgrade.

Performance

I also have some additional news regarding our work on performance issues.

I’ve revised a few of our templates — particularly some of those that generate sidebars in the XUL Reference — to use the MindTouch web caching service. This means that the templates now cache the HTML they generate for up to an hour before regenerating them.

This appears to have noticeably improved performance while browsing the XUL Reference. These templates are very large and call multiple other templates; by caching their results, we save many, many dozens of template executions for each page rendered in the XUL Reference.

Also, some of the testing MindTouch did determined that the mediawiki extension, which is used in templates that were built using MindTouch’s automated MediaWiki to MindTouch conversion utility, can be very slow. We have several dozen templates still using this extension. That needs to change.

So I’m going through and rewriting every template and page that uses this extension. This will take some time. Also, I’m only doing it for English; if you work on documentation for another language, you probably will want to try to do the same for pages and templates for your language.

You can download a copy of the list of pages that use the mediawiki template to take a look at it. Some of them have already been fixed, but most still need going over. It’s possible that some of these templates are entirely obsolete, too. Feel free to help fix these!

Note: I’ve fixed the corrupt UTF-8 in the list now.

 Posted by at 12:56 PM

  3 Responses to “Another MDC status report”

  1. [S]ome of the testing MindTouch did determined that the mediawiki extension … can be very slow. We have several dozen templates still using this extension. … So I’m going through and rewriting every template and page that uses this extension.

    Excellent. Anyone who’s ever been interested in making a change to a template and found that it uses the mediawiki extension knows that those are a mess.

  2. Hi Eric.

    The TXT file appears to be served as “Encoding: ISO-8859-1” (according to “View Page Info”) which looks garbled and unreadable for the most part when viewed with a Minefield nightly.

    The file looks fine when downloaded using wget though.

  3. Yeah, apparently my server is slightly stupid. I will try to look into that this evening or tomorrow morning.