old user login = dividing by zero ( slooooooooooooooooooooow )

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To whom it may concern,

Logging into eternagame.org on mac sierra safari takes 23+ seconds, plus additional 30 - infinity seconds load time for all home page content ( i.e. not loading the top mastering eterna options, though once it did render them ). 

same system, firefox, waited 3-4 minutes waiting on log in, gave up, no successful login.

Will try on another computer some time. Tried with new user, login is almost instantaneous.

Therefore, possibly something to do with preloading all user content on login? Consider loading only credentials, home page on login, and doing staggered load for past completed puzzle history, labs, etc.? I don't know how it works or if this is remotely related to the issue, just a guess. Or perhaps related to old users starting on cmu server, and a port gone awry? Again, I am saying words which I only know a little about, so someone who devs the devvy devviness will have to evaluate and propose a solution.

A) If a new user has this issue, who also has a lot of completed puzzles, labs, messages, comments, or other user content ( as opposed to a new user with little content ), then that would suggest it is an issue with loading user id'd content on login.

B) If an old user has this issue, who has submitted relatively little content, that would instead suggest it may be a port or other issue.

=> This is an issue because our institutional knowledge in old players is indispensable, as the learning curve to switch labs is steep, and they went up the smooth learning curve, not the cliff for new users. And if they try to log in after some time, to find login, page loads, and even external page links ( e.g. to the wiki ) to take forever to load, they will surely never make it through labs, and the barrier to entry will further decimate an already niche user base.

I tried to review results on my old synths for example, and gave up on most of them loading, though some did get there. I tried playing new player progression puzzles, as well as the first recommended puzzle in mastering section, and submission likewise took forever. In the first case I gave up, in the second I waited the 30 seconds out of curiosity, and did eventually see the puzzle submitted.

While I would not be surprised if using a newer, non retina, or non sierra os computer functioned better, the fact that the new user account loads instantly and my old account takes forever, makes me suspect something endemic to eterna's code, and therefore potentially fixable. :)

Next time I try to log in at another computer, I will update if I get different results.

Anyone else who has slow loading, please feel free copy and paste this form into your comment with any info you want to share. I put my own results in.

operating system: mac sierra
browser: safari ( firefox never got past login )
old or new account: old ( brand new zero submission user 1-2 seconds )
many or few puzzles / labs / comments submitted: many ( puzzles, labs, & comments )
time to login: 23-30 seconds
time to load home page: 4 seconds - 2 minutes, gave up on loading Mastering contents
time to submit completed puzzle: 30+ seconds - gave up
time to load labs results page: 2 - 4 seconds ( lab with 1 sublab loads fastest, lab with many sublabs slowest, suggesting loading any quantity of content in this system is not being handled efficiently )
time to load synth results: 3-5 second average, one never loaded ( gave up after a minute or two )

It appears that the primary issue is the handling / loading of larger quantities of data, regardless of datatype, and subsequent consequences may be disproportionately affecting those who have submitted more content. But then, I have no idea, so good luck!

:)

Cheers,
 ~ elves


p.s. several seconds is too long also, just in case those times look short compared to the others. This is the age of instant gratification, and slow loading videos and websites are simply abandoned for other immediately accessible content. So, while this might not seem high priority compared to having a generally functional system ( good job! ), please be assured that few people would have the patience for this. For example, I find it frustrating enough that if I don't get another computer to load the pages faster, I will probably not have the patience myself, despite caring very much about the project.
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machinelves

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  • hopeful!

Posted 2 years ago

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LFP6, Player Developer

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Hey Elves, good to see you around.


I have noticed increasingly slow loading times, but honestly hadn't connected the dots pointing it towards loading old user data - that actually does make sense. I'll try to do some digging once I have a little time to see where exactly the slowdown is stemming from - would not be surprised to see some extremely large, inefficient API request or few.

This is definitely a significant issue, thank you for bringing it up. I personally have a limited amount that I am able to do right now, but hopefully I can at least get the process rolling to get it resolved.
(Edited)
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machinelves

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You too, LFP6! :)

I am delighted to hear you have some good clues as to what might be going on, thank you for considering the issue.

Please don't overextend yourself, we all must take good care of our primary responsibilities and self care. :) I am really grateful for the time and immense work you have already given.

And as time is available, anyone who can solve this problem will vastly improve accessibility to the players who have submitted the most content, and I think we all know what that means to the longevity of the project.
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machinelves

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A special side note to those who are not having slow loading times:

If you get a chance to fill out and comment with the short form I provided above, that information will still be helpful to us, in narrowing down the cause of the issue, even if you yourself do not have the issue.
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LFP6, Player Developer

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Alright, so I don't think this is what I expected. The login doesn't have any data associated with it, so that definitely doesn't follow my hypothesis. The side_project_roadmap and get_labs_for_my_lab_cards queries seem to be taking ridiculously long and don't seem to be carrying that much data or require a ton of processing. So this isn't really what I expected.

I just tried what you did with both my current and test account (the latter barely used), and I definitely see the issues that you're raising. While I don't see times anywhere near what you have (puzzle submission and login times at 15 seconds, home page winds up being probably ~30 seconds which I can almost deal with), using a fresh account is maybe 10 times faster on all counts. I wouldn't be all too surprised if the increase in time that you see is due to the fact that you've used your account more (ie, played more puzzles).

Something must have changed server-side in the last couple weeks to couple months (I believe this slowdown is that recent). I don't have the access to do any further debugging myself, but I'll try to run this past Omei to see if he can get a message to the dev team about this.

Thanks for your patience with this.
(Edited)
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LFP6, Player Developer

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Using Win10/Chrome myself
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machinelves

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Wow, that was a fast and helpful place to start investigating, thank you so much LFP6!!

Getting the confirmation that it is not only my computer helps, even if we aren't sure what is going on yet.

Any magic Omei & other devs can apply to divine the source of the issue would be most appreciated. 

For my own part, there is no rush. But if I am not alone in this, then I am sure other players might appreciate if this were to be addressed whenever possible.
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LFP6, Player Developer

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Just talked to Hoglahoo in chat. He said that he's seen a significant slowdown in load times over the past year or two, 5-10 seconds per page. 12-second homepage load, 27-second login, and 22-second puzzle submission. Not crazy based on his activity, but notable nonetheless.
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machinelves

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Thanks LFP6 & Hoglahoo, this is helpful data indeed. :)
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Omei Turnbull, Player Developer

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Hi Elves!  Good to hear from you!

Here's my results for the survey:

operating system:
 mac sierra version 10.12.5
browser: Chrome
old or new account: old 
many or few puzzles / labs / comments submitted: many 
time to login: 10 seconds from clicking login to home page appearing
time to load home page: 10 more seconds for home page to completely fill up
time to submit completed puzzle: 15 seconds 
time to load labs results page: 1-3 seconds 
time to load synth results: This one can be really variable, because there are three possible different browsers, with different sets of capabilities, each with their own capabilities, that can get invoked.  It used to be that you could only look at results for one puzzle at a time (the Flash browser). but now, there are a lot of links that bring up the legacy HTML browser, the one whose heading looks like this.

If you get that one and it is loading much data, you can be in for a very long wait, regardless of your machine.  It's always been that way; it never really got finished, and no work has been done on it for years.

Compared to my "typical" expectations, I would say this is a little faster than average.  There are times when I experience unusually long delays, most often when submitting puzzles.  But they are the exception rather than the norm.

Can you try with Chrome and see if that makes any difference?  I don't know about the Eterna site as a whole, but I do have access to the analytics for the new HTML browser, and it shows 95%+ of users their using Chrome.  I don't have high hopes for this hypothesis, because I occasionally fire up Safari and Chrome for Eterna, and have not noticed a big performance difference.  But it is one way your experience might be slower than mine.
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machinelves

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Hi Omei, good to see you around too! :)

Thanks very much for supplying your results, context on synth loads, and suggestion to try Chrome. I will check that out.

I think something about the mbp retina rendering is slower and hotter in flash, so that may the part of the hangup on my puzzle submission time.

Also, sierra seems to have a windowserver bug creating a black hole for mem & winding up processor - a couple weeks ago and also just now when I checked though I was too slow to grab a screencap, windowserver privatemem or sharedmem I don't recall which flashes out to an uncapped number of digits... ( when selecting info button to view process stats under memory in activity monitor ) may be a bug with no teeth, or may be a black hole, but processor spikes at same time as observed mem surge. This issue was so severe that my computer was freezing and unusable if I had many windows open, switching between windows / apps / desktops. 

Here's my notes on what stopped the freezing, though apparently not the [ appearance of a ] black hole:
windowserver mem hole fix:
( in activity monitor I saw windowserver private mem spike out intermittently at a truncated 10-20 digit long number of MB, GB, or god knows how large - maybe this is normal, and unrelated to the freezing? )
- Quit stickies app, since I had 50+ sticky notes, maybe not playing nice with memleak in windowserver
- Toggled off automatic graphics switching in system pref Energy Saver section. I usually have this off, sierra may reactivate as default?
- Toggled off transparency in sys pref Accessibility section ( this did not initially resolve issue, while above options did. possible to reactivate transparency, though this is the first recommendation for troubleshooting online ).

So there is an active and unresolved issue with managing windows in sierra, I don't know if this could contribute to my higher wait times, due to frequent rendering changes, or if windowserver is uninvolved until actively switching windows. I'm just guessing at anything that could be remotely related. It would not explain anyone having a slow load on windows, so I would imagine it is only a contributing and not a source factor.

Thanks for your detailed reply. Will try to post chrome results later this week.

:)

p.s. pro tip for windowserver issues I have seen in at least 2 OS versions in the last 4 years: clicking on the body of an app window does not correctly assign target, and keyboard strokes go to previously selected app. selecting menu bar of window instead correctly toggles focus. This one drove me nuts until I figured it out last time, and I would not be surprised if current windowserver issues are related to same bug not being fully resolved, or ghost fragment, because I noticed similar behaviour while investigating freezing in sierra ( selecting window in body not menu = no focus transfer ). I am no longer losing focus since disabling auto graphics switch, so perhaps there is in fact a memleak and it can't keep up with requests? Again, scraping the bottom of the barrel on my knowledge here. Hopefully the right clue will come along. 
(Edited)
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Omei Turnbull, Player Developer

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Your mentions of upgrading to Sierra, liking to have lots of windows/tabs open at the same time, along with memory usage and CPU spiking together, reminds me a lot of my own experience -- which boiled down to just not having enough physical memory to support my habits. I was able to fix that by simply doubling my physical memory, which I could do because it was an iMac; you may not have that option.  :-(  

Something I became aware of in the process of diagnosing my own issues was that there is definitely a memory leak somewhere in the Eterna/Flash/Chrome/Mac stack. Once I knew to look out for it, I could see memory usage rising into the red zone and the Chrome Flash helper thread rising to 100% utilization.  If I let it go far enough, the whole machine would crawl to a stop.  But if I killed off the Flash helper thread, a whole bunch of memory would be released, and I could reload the Eterna pages and continue.  This was happening even before Sierra, but it got bad enough with the Sierra upgrade that I needed to take further action.  Memory consumption still increases over time, but I have enough headroom that my normal power cycling routine avoids the critical meltdowns.
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machinelves

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You are right, I am maxed out at 16GB ram due to being a laptop. 

I went to check out eterna in chrome, despite that I have been boycotting chrome, and found I have never installed it. So I went to install it, still thinking I would make an exception for eterna, but after reading the terms of service and externally linked privacy document, I just can't bring myself to explicitly agree.

I know chrome is the new darling - thanks for the stats on our users, it's a bit unnerving to see such homogenous adoption of a single browser. So undoubtedly chrome testing is necessary. If I change my mind I will try it out, but for now I think I am not the person for the job.

btw I thought market share of chrome globally is lower, closer to 56% last I checked, so I wonder if it is our demographic, or if those on other browsers simply can't access well enough to stick around. It makes me wonder if testing was only done on chrome. Still, demographic may be more likely explanation, so this is only speculation.

You are also right that I did the sierra upgrade recently, having been slow to adopt due primarily to that losing focus bug I had a couple OSs ago, and finally having a stable-ish system with the previous OS. Within hours of beginning real work on sierra, I got freezing, though at least not kernel panics like before.

I think if I won't use chrome, it sounds like I need to get a system with a lot more ram. I think my alienware laptop may already have 32GB ram, so I'll try that out as my next step. But most people access the web on lightweight systems, so if we are to truly democratize access to citizen science, perhaps some computation will need to eventually be done server side - otherwise, I am not sure how any average system can get fast load times and not overheat or otherwise lag out.

Glad to hear you got your system back. And yes, any flash, and google video, and skype also overheat my system, for the record. Pretty much any intensive video / graphics. Oh yeah, I got my alienware because I could no longer do any 3D dev or rendering without screen tearing, and even fully black screen that can render nothing, plus ubiquitous 98C temps.

I suspect the last few mac OS releases have been a bit sloppy with regard to handling rendering on retina screens & window / memory management, and so I doubt the issues are entirely with eterna's code. However, regardless, the game is nearly unusable in my expectations of load time. So if we do find how to pick up slack in the eterna part of that stack, then that would be fantastic.

I really appreciate you articulating your thoughts on this, thanks for your contribution. I am hopeful that if we outline what info we do have, that then we can send this forum thread to devs and give them as much of a head start / clues as possible.

And I apologize that I cannot yet bow my neck to our data overlords.
(Edited)
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machinelves

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well it looks like a friend installed chrome on my alienware without asking me >.< but the upshot is that I tested eterna. 15 sec login, but loading the full home page takes 30 sec.

Firefox on this 32GB mem machine still takes 30 sec login, and 30 sec home page load.

I think the only improvement that would affect anything is not overheating as bad as the mac, but FYI whatever the slow load time issue is, is still an issue in chrome, as well as a higher mem machine.

I feel like this is a critical path issue, because I don't know how many players have that kind of patience. 

Thanks everyone who provided their comments, and good luck to anyone attempting to address this issue!
(Edited)
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whbob

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Hi ~elves, 
I had a couple of older computers using Windows 7 that I updated to W10.  I had Internet Explorer.  Flash was not playing well at all with the two computers.  I installed Linux Mint on both and used Firefox as the browser.  Adobe Flash was going through upgrades quite often.  Each change in Adobe Flash brought slow motion in Eterna challenges and labs.

I tried Safari and it was faster, but every so often it wouldn't work on the puzzles.  I had to do several things to try to clear memory, get latest versions of browser & Flash etc.  I could never get a reasonably fast system for very long.

I changed to a Mac Mini, Sierra OS v10.12.5, 4GB memory.  I installed Google Chrome for a browser.  I set up Chrome to ask before allowing Flash to be used for any program.  I only allow it for Eterna.

After entering my username and password it tales 10 seconds to completely load my home page.  
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whbob

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There is a way to use the Chrome Browser Development Tools to see what is loading and how long each item takes to load your home page.  I don't want to try to list all of the steps here, but if you get to perform this process, it will list all of the things that loaded and how long each takes.  That should let us know where your computer (using Chrome Browser) is stalling.  

Once the processes are identified, it will still be an adventure to find out why something is slowing the load time down:)

Let me know if you want to try the development tools & how we might proceed.
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LFP6, Player Developer

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I have actually done this myself, and found a few queries that were causing issues: https://getsatisfaction.com/eternagame/topics/old-user-login-dividing-by-zero-sloooooooooooooooooooo...

Oddly enough, when testing some other random queries, the lag fluctuated a LOT, ie a `type=user` query might take half a second one time, then 7 seconds another. It's really weird.
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machinelves

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Thank you whbob for your report. That is helpful. Thank you for the suggestion to use dev tools to see where it is hanging - is the same thing possible in Firefox dev tools? I have already uninstalled Chrome, and will not be reinstalling it, since I did not approve of their ToS in the first place.

Thanks LFP6 for the note on the weird fluctuation - any anomalies that can be reported may help narrow down the issue. 
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whbob

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np ~elves,

Reading over your "platform issues" post now.  I haven't used Firefox since I was trapped in Firefox refusing to allow Flash unless I updated to the latest version of Flash and the latest version of flash rendered Eterna unusable on my computers.

Although I have not had delay problems with the home page and labs, I just tried to enter the lab archives.  I clicked on "review results" rather than the other choice that lets you select individual labs.  "review results" took me eventually to the new data browser.  It took 2 minutes! 12 times slower that loading other pages.  It was only 30 seconds waiting to reply and download the data, but another minute and a half with the blue page frozen until the spreadsheet appeared.  Trying to scroll was not pretty.  A buffer kept the scroll going long past my mouse moves.

I don't know if the secure server is any different from the non secure server. Probably not.

I feel your pain:(  
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Omei Turnbull, Player Developer

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@whbob What you got that took 2 minutes and 12 seconds to load is not the "new" HTML data browser.  It is the "legacy" HTML browser, which has some terrible performance problems, as you discovered.  When I started work on the new one, I first tried to see whether the old one could be fixed, but decided a whole fresh start was called for.

Unfortunately, the new browser in its current state doesn't have the parameter processing needed to plug into the main Eterna code's invocation of a project-wide query. So the main Eterna code fell back on the old browser to satisfy that request. 
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Omei Turnbull, Player Developer

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@machinelves Comparable developer tools are available under Firefox.  Go to the menu, select Developer/Toggle Tools.
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machinelves

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@whbob Thank you for the note about not being able to upgrade to current flash version on firefox lest eterna stop working altogether - this is interesting, and suggests the issue here really is the platform being implemented in flash which, as I suppose everyone has already said, either needs a refactoring or replacement / upgrade. 

@Omei Thank you for providing that clarity about the old browser loading up under certain circumstances. Thank you for the note about Firefox dev tools. I have used it only on occasion, and just tried logging in and observing the console tab during site nav:

A) Clicked on puzzles link:

A1) Every tab or page load seems to have this kind of error as the first output:
   TypeError: document.body is null

   [Learn More] https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Reference/Errors/Unexpected_type 

   all.js:75:328

   n/< http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js:75:328
   k http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js:74:206

A2) The next console output is a track pageview beacon that gets sent, and this appears for many or perhaps all pages.

B) Clicked to load puzzle, got these errors:

B1) SyntaxError: expected expression, got ','[Learn More]  8008251:71:50
https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Reference/Errors/Unexpected_token

B2) The character encoding of the HTML document was not declared. The document will render with garbled text in some browser configurations if the document contains characters from outside the US-ASCII range. The character encoding of the page must be declared in the document or in the transfer protocol.  8008251

C) Clicking on random pages got me these:

C1) Setting throttling cookie: __utmt
      
C2) The page was reloaded, because the character encoding declaration of the HTML document was not found when prescanning the first 1024 bytes of the file. The encoding declaration needs to be moved to be within the first 1024 bytes of the file.

D) Clicking on labs, and loading results from second from top lab:
http://www.eternagame.org/web/browse/7559749/

D1) Script stopped loading, here is pic of dialogue box followed by error:


Error: Script terminated by timeout at:camelCase@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:2:11414
css@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:4:6962
f.fn[c]/<@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:4:29383
access@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:2:13373
f.fn[c]@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:4:29112
_fnScrollDraw/<@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:5545:36
_fnApplyToChildren@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:5725:8
_fnScrollDraw@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:5544:4
_fnCallbackFire@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:7064:16
_fnDraw@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:3779:4
_fnFilterComplete@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:4397:4
_fnSort@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:6312:5
_fnInitialise@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:4839:5
DataTable/<@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:9006:5
each@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:2:11774
each@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:2:8302
DataTable@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:8579:3
BuilderBrowser.prototype.on_build/</<@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:38738:36
o@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:2:14728
add@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:2:14948
ready@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:2:8352
BuilderBrowser.prototype.on_build/<@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:38736:16
get_synthesized_results/</<@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:36282:18
process_response@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:26219:16
get_synthesized_results/<@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:36281:16
success@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:23643:22
o@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:2:14728
fireWith@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:2:15502
w@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:4:12470
d@http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/eterna.min.js?ver=23121222542386:4:18318
  eterna.min.js:2:11414

        
=> I don't know if any of this is relevant or if I am missing where I should be looking to observe the issues. Is the last one (D) related to the issue you explain with falling back on the old browser, or is this something else? I don't know if all the constant reloading due to lack of declarations is also slowing it down? Perhaps not the primary issue, but also doesn't seem like it would help it go any faster. 

Also I assume you are busy, so there is no rush to reply or parse through all this immediately - I am just slowly marching forward as I myself have time. ( i.e. I may not always be able to reply immediately myself )
(Edited)
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whbob

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@elves: Someone with HTML experience might make sense out of your screen capture.  
Your browser appears to be correct, the game page does not explicitly declare character encoding.  Looking at that page with my dev tools, I see that character encoding in the game page is in the metadata as UTF-8. Your Firefox is not recognizing the metadata or not getting far enough in the code to read the metadata?  Comments anyone?

Because it is a large database to load, it has been common for me to see a warning window asking if I want to kill the request or continue.  Pressing continue each time the window appears will get the page loaded.  Maybe once the page is loaded, it will read the metadata?  Try the continue thing and let us know if it finally loads.

Thanks for your patience.
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whbob

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@elves: I just noticed the url that you used above " http.. www dot eternagame dot org slash web slash browse slash 7559749" .  When you click on lab archives and click on Review Results the response is doomed:(  Omei, in two posts up, explained ... that button tries to get data by project number and it can't.  It reverts to an unstable old legacy browser with poor response to loading, scrolling etc.  

Instead of the "Review Results" button, please try the "lab info" button next to it.  That will bring you to the sublab page where you can click on one sub lab button and get to the new browser.

That should load faster and respond faster when scrolling.  

This isn't a solution to all of you problems, but not using the review response button should be one less distraction for us to deal with.       
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machinelves

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@whbob thank you very much for these comments. That is very interesting that FF fails to read the metadata - I noticed it explicitly said it was not within the first 1024 chars or something - is it possible you are seeing the declaration, but that it is embedded further down than normal? Or that you have a default rendering that injects a standard when none is declared? Completely guessing here.

Thanks for the note on pressing continue - at the time, nothing happened. I found later this was because even though I had default flash settings 'ask to enable', it did not in fact prompt an ask for flash, and therefore failed to load the page even after clicking continue. I don't know about the metadata at that point. I do know that when I enabled flash to all across the board, then reloaded the page, I was granted access to the puzzle, and don't recall seeing the error again. I posted screenshots of page loads and puzzle submissions in posts below - you may have to scroll slowly and click view more or whatever it is to expand other forum posts.

Thank you very much for the clarification on avoiding old lab result rendering, this was a really clear phrasing that helped me grasp better how to avoid that particular issue. All my tests and screenshots below are for puzzle submits, logins, and home page loads, and I'm glad to know what to do about avoiding long lab results loads.

Thanks very much!!
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Brourd

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It's rather unfortunate that you're dealing with these login issues. An idea I've been thinking of could be the root of the problem may actually have something to do with the contents of your profile page. For Omei, he has a couple lines of text and a link to some website, and while it takes probably less than 20 seconds or so to actually log into Eterna, most page transitions are fairly smooth, and the contents take a bit to load up, but that's unrelated to the webpage. However, my profile page consists of a phrase an old professor of mine uses, and that's about it.

Your profile page on the other hand contains numerous embedded images, which is similar to hoglahoo's profile page, and I suspect that other players with a bunch of stuff on their profiles may experience some slowdown as well. Granted, this is just a random theory with very little actual evidence to back it up, but you never know.
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Brourd

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I guess the suggestion here would be to copy the code for your current profile description to a .txt document, then delete it, apply said changes, then see if there is any change to the speed of login, page/puzzle loading, etc.
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MasterStormer, Player Developer

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While certainly possible, and I do think that removeing your images and saving them somewhere else is the correct first move for now, I can't help but notice that user=your id actually loaded fairly fast for me. Could you show your Network tab in the developer options? (I think it's the rightmost tab in your screenshot). Maybe we could gather data such as which queries took you the most time.
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machinelves

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@Brourd Thank you for this interesting suggestion, I tested this out, and found 100ms faster load time of the main page, not the bulk of the issue, but perhaps something? Since it does not resolve the full issue, I have reinstated my normal profile, but I am very grateful for this idea, as it is a good observation of a potential anomaly in my own user content having many images.

Since I do recall having both overheating issues and slow load times for puzzles and nt coloring and labs as far back as 2-3 years ago, I suspect it is some kind of memory leak or issue with flash, especially as people have reported it getting worse with flash updates. 

@MasterStormer When I tested this theory, per your suggestion I used FF dev tools Network tab - thank you very much!! Here are the results:

1) Was on Newsfeed page logged in. Logged out. Typed in login info at top of page. Logged in, here is screenshot of Network tab. I don't know enough to know whether any of these numbers are login credential related, so I blacked them out. I noticed that zero page content loaded while hanging on the facebook load. I do not use facebook. Perhaps it was confused by this? The page that loaded was the same newsfeed page I had before logging out.



2) I clicked to my profile page, copied out all text and image links, and saved a completely blank profile page. I clicked to the newsfeed page for comparison consistency. I logged out. I entered user info in top of page, and logged in. Here are the results, 100ms faster for main page, but otherwise no change, and still getting 64C temps just for newsfeed page loading after 1 minute:



Here for that same session, is the continued thread of loading, more of that get noti count stuff indefinitely loading in the background:

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Brourd

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I'd guess the server constantly checks for new message notifications, which is what that's doing. I don't know, but it only took about ~8 seconds to load my newsfeed using this old linux machine with Firefox.
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Brourd

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And it takes ~15 seconds to load the Home tab and all of the applicable modules.
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Brourd

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These numbers are consistent on my Windows Surface 3 tablet using Chrome, and my max core temperature was only around ~55 C, with it hovering around 50 C, with god only knows how many tabs open and 3 programs open and in idle.
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machinelves

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Brourd thank you very much for posting these numbers and the systems. For most of the time I had thought mac just makes unusable laptops now, but I do also recall that when I first got it I had no problems until using eterna for extended periods, which is what first prompted me to start tracking temperatures. I don't recall if we ever discussed this, but fyi I was maxing out to 98C temps before shutting down eterna, in tests. And Nando mentioned he had a computer that melted down using eterna - he would have to say how badly and under what circumstances, as I don't recall the specifics.

When I went to log in and it took so long, as well as the time to load the full home page as you experience, I guess that was for me like fully hitting the wall and just not knowing if I have the patience for slow load times. I wish I were more evolved but I guess I have been spoiled by the modern expectations that you don't even wait for more than 5-6 seconds of ad time waiting for a you-tube video to load, so the inability to seamlessly and instantly navigate eterna feels unnaturally frustrating to me.

It seems perhaps my system got fried a bit from early issues, and is a bit slower and more prone to overheating now than other systems. However it also seems that no matter which platform or computer is being used, that nobody is reporting instant load times throughout the platform, and rather actually there are several reports now of taking even 5-15 seconds for various loads, seems too long to me. I remember many years ago I was testing how fast I could get through puzzles, and was able to complete many puzzles in the same time it now takes to load and submit one. 

I just recalled flash settings are on a website not local:
https://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager02.html

( btw I must say even though I put the link there that anyone should probably look up the link themselves and never trust others with flash settings links even if they add a disclaimer like this one )

I notice the following things, which may be irrelevant but who knows:
- peer bit-torrent like sharing is on ask, not deny or allow for eterna, and so I turned that off ( last panel )
- max permitted storage for eterna was 100kb, but it also showed null - bytes stored at first, then only 3KB. My original idea was to flush the memory, but it appears that may be unnecessary, or not even being used since I did not save a puzzle design.
- Firefox browser someone else reported that when they tried to upgrade to flash being current, it stopped working altogether. I don't know if I just stumbled on why, but here's something I noticed: In Firefox, I had 'ask to enable' for all website flash requests. However both eterna and Adobe's own settings panel failed to prompt a window asking for perms, and instead just render blank. I had to change plugin settings to allow all to get either domain to load flash. This is obviously not cool and not a solution, but at least may be informative. Before doing that, loading a puzzle just hangs on a blank blue background screen. After doing that, it loaded the puzzle fairly quickly in comparison, at 3-5 seconds:



Then completing this tiny tutorial puzzle shot my temps up to 82C during submission, when all the bubbles come out - is each bubble its own object or something?
http://www.eternagame.org/game/puzzle/6502942/

Then I tried loading the newsfeed after already being logged in, this took only 3-4 seconds for all primarily visible content:



Then I tried logging in with a new user ( actually a few years old, but with negligible puzzles or any other content assigned to the uid ). The login was 3-5 seconds:



At this point many times logging in and out have kept my computer between 74-64C, dropping now that eterna window is out of focus for a minute to 59C.

Going back to eterna in Firefox, up to 60C, then 64C on loading home page.

Selected first tutorial puzzle as this relatively new user:
http://www.eternagame.org/game/puzzle/6502927/

68C after loading puzzle. Temp jumps rapidly to 74C on submit and 84C within a couple seconds as bubbles release. I then click next to next puzzle in tutorial line, and complete and submit. This network screenshot may show both puzzle submits ( posts? ) in same session:



Then I log out, log back in with my old user account, and look at network for login, followed by two sequential puzzles. Here is login, where home page is being loaded, and you can see the 30 sec delay:



Clicking away to newsfeed page, then back to home page still takes 30 seconds to load the top level mastering content:



Now I load the tutorial puzzle back up and play this one and the next, followed by sreenshot of network submit times, same issues with bubbles overheating to 84C, and taking I don't know what this is, ~30 seconds to submit the first puzzle and indefinitely for the second? I was resizing the FF dev tools panel while the bubbles were going, maybe this confused it?:
http://www.eternagame.org/game/puzzle/6502943/



Several minutes later the puzzle was still "submitting" and I had to reload the page, which landed me on the next puzzle in sequence with no confirmation of the previous submission.

This is all keeping in mind that I used to play with plenty of non-eterna programs open, with scores of tabs in browsers, and with many tabs of eterna open as well, slamming through one puzzle after another quickly and without issue. 

I appreciate you mentioning any ideas that could address the loadtimes, and sharing your results, thank you!

Basically for me, eterna may be draining battery power ( my battery has gone down a lot faster while running tests it seems, or perhaps I imagine that ), and is certainly overheating my computer, and being very slow. It is worse for old users with lots of content, but a user with no content while faster to log in still has some issues with heat and slowness to submit during puzzle submission and probably design in large molecules I would bet.

I worry whether new users will have the patience for this. I wonder how I will get comfortable navving and submitting when I have to worry about frying my computer. 

I will try these tests on my other computers some time, and see if more ram or a non retina screen make a difference. However from the reports I am seeing, this appears to be a cross platform issue with all roads leading back to flash and / or some memory inefficiency as the culprit.

Thanks again for your help, and if you are busy please don't feel like you have to respond right away, I realize I am just a walking wall of text.

Cheers!

p.s. here's the thread I made about overheating on macs specifically:
https://getsatisfaction.com/eternagame/topics/mac-retina-laptop-overheating
(Edited)
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machinelves

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Well it took an hour to install windows updates, but now I have a 32GB ram machine without retina screen. I tried Vivaldi first as a browser, here are the network results there:



As you can see, a gif is still loading, and I just checked after it's been a couple minutes, and it still hasn't loaded. Followed by that red error and this console error:

eterna.min.js?ver= [ a number ] GET http://www.eternagame.org/workbranch_medicine/frontend/ajax-loader.gif 404 (Not Found)

Login took 20-30 seconds, and clicking around, then back to home page, took 25-30 seconds ( 5 seconds for most content, not including top section mastering eterna ). This is all in Vivaldi chromium browser.

I think I'm probably not going to continue using Vivaldi since it's still on chromium, but in case this gives another data point, here we are. Also, as you will see in a moment, Firefox is not playing nice with Flash, and even though it is working enough to log in and play puzzles, the background is missing. So... I don't even know what browser to use for eterna on Windows, even if this box has more mem than my mac.

On this same Windows 32GB ram box, here is the Firefox login taking 30+ sec with old user, plus requires granting flash 'always' access which is ridiculous because: 

A) it is necessary to even get flash to load, since it also doesn't prompt ask, like with Firefox on my mac laptop, and

B) still doesn't resolve the weird background failing to load issue that I think it also has with Hulu flash on this Windows Firefox box:




So next I try solving puzzles on Firefox, on Windows. It took at least 30-50 seconds to submit. Curiously the background not appearing is in places like login home page landing above which I thought was rooted in html, and getting to the flash puzzle player gives the correct background ( see above it is white not blue ), so maybe this bg misrendering is due to some browser setting or other issue?



Has anyone gotten firefox to work with flash on windows? 

I just looked again through the replies in this thread - they mostly appear to be chrome, I recall one person saying FF didn't work with the current version of flash, and you Brourd said you're on Linux/FF & Win/Chrome. So please anyone feel free to point out an instance of FF/Win that is working correctly.

In summary, everything in this post was on the same 32GB ram windows laptop. Both Vivaldi Chromium and Firefox browsers took ~30 seconds for login. 

In closing, so far I have not found a browser/os combo without these issues in some form.

Combos tried:
Windows 7 ( Firefox, Vivaldi Chromium, Chrome ) 
Mac Sierra ( Safari, Firefox )
(Edited)
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Brourd

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For whatever reason, your side_project_roadmap query is taking an absurd amount of time to get. For myself, that only accounts for ~7 seconds.

As for the puzzles, it's really just an issue with Flash more than anything. If I recall correctly, the reason Nando's laptop had a meltdown was due to leaving a Flash window active overnight, which isn't advisable. As your previous posts over the past few days have stated, Flash is not great, and there should be an eventual move from it. If that's in development or not, who knows.
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Brourd

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Yep, after I made sure that Shockwave Flash was installed in Firefox on Windows 10, I solved a puzzle and had no issues whatsoever.
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machinelves

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Thanks for the note on meltdown context, and roadmap taking so long.

In Vivaldi I looked at the roadmap response also taking 30 sec to load in this browser still, and the response tab was:

{"data":{"achievement_roadmap":[{"key":"ten_tools","level":1,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/ten_tools_1.png","title":"Nucleotide Mixer","desc":"<b>Nucleotide mixers<\/b> prepare a mix of nucleotides, the basic building blocks of the RNA medicine that you design, and the DNA templates that encode those RNA molecules.","maxlevel":10,"verb":"PLAY","past":"Nucleotide Mixer","to_next":0.45454545454545,"current_puzzle":"6502945"},{"key":"ten_tools","level":2,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/ten_tools_2.png","title":"Gene Synthesizer","desc":"<b>Gene Synthesizers<\/b> combine DNA nucleotides from the Nucleotide Mixer into DNA double helix templates that encode the RNA molecules you are designing for medicine.","maxlevel":10,"verb":"PLAY","past":"Gene Synthesizer","to_next":0,"current_puzzle":"6502945"},{"key":"ten_tools","level":3,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/ten_tools_3.png","title":"Thermocycler","desc":"<b>Thermocyclers<\/b> use the polymerase chain reaction to amplify DNA templates from the Gene Synthesizer into sufficient quantities to create RNA molecules and test if they will be useful for medicine.","maxlevel":10,"verb":"PLAY","past":"Thermocycler","to_next":0,"current_puzzle":"6502945"},{"key":"ten_tools","level":4,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/ten_tools_4.png","title":"Next-Generation Sequencer","desc":"<b>Next-generation sequencers<\/b> separate the DNA templates amplified by the Thermocycler into separate spots on a glass slide, and verify the order of their nucleotides.  Each of the resulting sequences should match RNA molecules that you and other players designed in Eterna!","maxlevel":10,"verb":"PLAY","past":"Next-Generation Sequencer","to_next":0,"current_puzzle":"6502945"},{"key":"ten_tools","level":5,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/ten_tools_5.png","title":"RNA Polymerase","desc":"<b>RNA polymerase<\/b> is a special enzyme molecule that synthesize your RNA medicine designs from DNA templates and a mix of RNA nucleotides. It makes the RNA directly on the same glass slide that was used in the Next-Generation Sequencer.","maxlevel":10,"verb":"PLAY","past":"RNA Polymerase","to_next":0,"current_puzzle":"6502945"},{"key":"ten_tools","level":6,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/ten_tools_6.png","title":"Microfluidic Chip","desc":"<b>Microfluidic chips<\/b> are like next-generation test tubes. They enable the manipulation of minute amounts of fluid sample for biochemical analysis. They encapsulate the slide holding your designs for RNA medicine and allow washing and regeneration of the RNA for multiple experiments.","maxlevel":10,"verb":"PLAY","past":"Microfluidic Chip","to_next":0,"current_puzzle":"6502945"},{"key":"ten_tools","level":7,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/ten_tools_7.png","title":"Fluorescent Probes","desc":"<b>Fluorescent Probes<\/b> stick to specific structures in the RNA design. Looking for these bright spots tests whether your RNA designs are changing structure to turn on or off in response to molecular inputs on the Microfluidic chip.","maxlevel":10,"verb":"PLAY","past":"Fluorescent Probes","to_next":0,"current_puzzle":"6502945"},{"key":"ten_tools","level":8,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/ten_tools_8.png","title":"Laser Microscope","desc":"<b>Laser microscopes<\/b> excite Fluorescent Probes with specific wavelengths of light and detect fluorescence emitted by those molecules with very high sensitivity. The microscope images show whether your RNA designs are on or off under experimental conditions analogous to different disease states.","maxlevel":10,"verb":"PLAY","past":"Laser Microscope","to_next":0,"current_puzzle":"6502945"},{"key":"ten_tools","level":9,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/ten_tools_9.png","title":"Liquid Robotics","desc":"<b>Liquid robotics<\/b> allow the Laser Microscope to test your RNA designs in a barrage of different conditions, in experiments that can run for several days continuously and automatically.","maxlevel":10,"verb":"PLAY","past":"Liquid Robotics","to_next":0,"current_puzzle":"6502945"},{"key":"ten_tools","level":10,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/ten_tools_10.png","title":"Supercomputer","desc":"<b>Supercomputers<\/b> accelerate the image processing and analysis of for millions of Eterna designs obtained through the massively parallel application of the other nine tools.","maxlevel":10,"verb":"PLAY","past":"Supercomputer","to_next":0,"current_puzzle":"6502945"},{"key":"side_quest_just_for_fun","level":1,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/badge_sp_justforfun_1.png","title":"Just for Fun","desc":"Try solving some of the craziest puzzles players have come up with!","maxlevel":3,"verb":"Go","past":["Just for Fun [Level 1]","Just for Fun [Level 2]","Just for Fun [Level 3]"],"to_next":0.26,"prereq":"ten_tools1","current_puzzle":"6479656"},{"key":"side_quest_just_for_fun","level":2,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/badge_sp_justforfun_2.png","title":"Just for Fun","desc":"Try solving some of the craziest puzzles players have come up with!","maxlevel":3,"verb":"Go","past":["Just for Fun [Level 1]","Just for Fun [Level 2]","Just for Fun [Level 3]"],"to_next":0,"current_puzzle":"6479656"},{"key":"side_quest_just_for_fun","level":3,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/badge_sp_justforfun_3.png","title":"Just for Fun","desc":"Try solving some of the craziest puzzles players have come up with!","maxlevel":3,"verb":"Go","past":["Just for Fun [Level 1]","Just for Fun [Level 2]","Just for Fun [Level 3]"],"to_next":0,"current_puzzle":"6479656"},{"key":"side_quest_nova_videos","level":1,"current_level":0,"image":"https:\/\/s3.amazonaws.com\/eterna\/nova\/nova-badge-(1).png","title":"NOVA RNA Lab","desc":"Learn a little bit more about the many roles RNA plays in the cell.","maxlevel":1,"verb":"Go to NOVA","past":"NOVA RNA Lab","prereq":"ten_tools2","to_next":0},{"key":"side_quest_challenge_puzzles","level":1,"current_level":7,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/badge_sp_challenge_1.png","title":"Challenge Puzzles","desc":"RNA is all around us. Solve these puzzles to learn more about the RNA world!","maxlevel":7,"verb":"Go","past":["Puzzle Master [Level 1]","Puzzle Master [Level 2]","Puzzle Master [Level 3]","Puzzle Master [Level 4]","Puzzle Master [Level 5]","Puzzle Master [Level 6]","Puzzle Master [Level 7]"],"to_next":1,"prereq":"ten_tools3"},{"key":"side_quest_challenge_puzzles","level":2,"current_level":7,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/badge_sp_challenge_2.png","title":"Challenge Puzzles","desc":"RNA is all around us. Solve these puzzles to learn more about the RNA world!","maxlevel":7,"verb":"Go","past":["Puzzle Master [Level 1]","Puzzle Master [Level 2]","Puzzle Master [Level 3]","Puzzle Master [Level 4]","Puzzle Master [Level 5]","Puzzle Master [Level 6]","Puzzle Master [Level 7]"],"to_next":1},{"key":"side_quest_challenge_puzzles","level":3,"current_level":7,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/badge_sp_challenge_3.png","title":"Challenge Puzzles","desc":"RNA is all around us. Solve these puzzles to learn more about the RNA world!","maxlevel":7,"verb":"Go","past":["Puzzle Master [Level 1]","Puzzle Master [Level 2]","Puzzle Master [Level 3]","Puzzle Master [Level 4]","Puzzle Master [Level 5]","Puzzle Master [Level 6]","Puzzle Master [Level 7]"],"to_next":1},{"key":"side_quest_challenge_puzzles","level":4,"current_level":7,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/badge_sp_challenge_4.png","title":"Challenge Puzzles","desc":"RNA is all around us. Solve these puzzles to learn more about the RNA world!","maxlevel":7,"verb":"Go","past":["Puzzle Master [Level 1]","Puzzle Master [Level 2]","Puzzle Master [Level 3]","Puzzle Master [Level 4]","Puzzle Master [Level 5]","Puzzle Master [Level 6]","Puzzle Master [Level 7]"],"to_next":1},{"key":"side_quest_challenge_puzzles","level":5,"current_level":7,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/badge_sp_challenge_5.png","title":"Challenge Puzzles","desc":"RNA is all around us. Solve these puzzles to learn more about the RNA world!","maxlevel":7,"verb":"Go","past":["Puzzle Master [Level 1]","Puzzle Master [Level 2]","Puzzle Master [Level 3]","Puzzle Master [Level 4]","Puzzle Master [Level 5]","Puzzle Master [Level 6]","Puzzle Master [Level 7]"],"to_next":1},{"key":"side_quest_challenge_puzzles","level":6,"current_level":7,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/badge_sp_challenge_6.png","title":"Challenge Puzzles","desc":"RNA is all around us. Solve these puzzles to learn more about the RNA world!","maxlevel":7,"verb":"Go","past":["Puzzle Master [Level 1]","Puzzle Master [Level 2]","Puzzle Master [Level 3]","Puzzle Master [Level 4]","Puzzle Master [Level 5]","Puzzle Master [Level 6]","Puzzle Master [Level 7]"],"to_next":1},{"key":"side_quest_challenge_puzzles","level":7,"current_level":7,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/badge_sp_challenge_7.png","title":"Challenge Puzzles","desc":"RNA is all around us. Solve these puzzles to learn more about the RNA world!","maxlevel":7,"verb":"Go","past":["Puzzle Master [Level 1]","Puzzle Master [Level 2]","Puzzle Master [Level 3]","Puzzle Master [Level 4]","Puzzle Master [Level 5]","Puzzle Master [Level 6]","Puzzle Master [Level 7]"],"to_next":1},{"key":"side_quest_eterna100","level":1,"current_level":3,"image":"https:\/\/s3.amazonaws.com\/eterna\/badges\/128_Eterna10.png","title":"Defeat the robots","desc":"Defeat the robots! These are all designs that bots have trouble with.","maxlevel":4,"verb":"Go","past":["Robots Defeated","Robots Defeated","Robots Defeated","Robots Defeated"],"to_next":1,"prereq":"ten_tools5"},{"key":"side_quest_eterna100","level":2,"current_level":3,"image":"https:\/\/s3.amazonaws.com\/eterna\/badges\/128_Eterna20.png","title":"Defeat the robots","desc":"Defeat the robots! These are all designs that bots have trouble with.","maxlevel":4,"verb":"Go","past":["Robots Defeated","Robots Defeated","Robots Defeated","Robots Defeated"],"to_next":1},{"key":"side_quest_eterna100","level":3,"current_level":3,"image":"https:\/\/s3.amazonaws.com\/eterna\/badges\/128_Eterna50.png","title":"Defeat the robots","desc":"Defeat the robots! These are all designs that bots have trouble with.","maxlevel":4,"verb":"Go","past":["Robots Defeated","Robots Defeated","Robots Defeated","Robots Defeated"],"to_next":1},{"key":"side_quest_eterna100","level":4,"current_level":3,"image":"https:\/\/s3.amazonaws.com\/eterna\/badges\/128_Eterna100.png","title":"Defeat the robots","desc":"Defeat the robots! These are all designs that bots have trouble with.","maxlevel":4,"verb":"Go","past":["Robots Defeated","Robots Defeated","Robots Defeated","Robots Defeated"],"to_next":0.58},{"key":"side_quest_best_lab_practices","level":1,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/badge_sp_bestlab.png","title":"Best Lab Practices","desc":"Learn more about creating winning designs in the lab!","maxlevel":1,"verb":"Go","past":"Best Lab Practices","prereq":"ten_tools4","to_next":0.69230769230769,"current_puzzle":"4648490"},{"key":"side_quest_switch_puzzles","level":1,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/badge_sp_switch_1.png","title":"Switch Puzzles","desc":"More switches than you can shake a switch at! Switches are a great way to practice designing for the lab.","maxlevel":3,"verb":"Go","past":["Switch Puzzles [Level 1]","Switch Puzzles [Level 2]","Switch Puzzles [Level 3]"],"to_next":0.14035087719298,"prereq":"ten_tools6","current_puzzle":"2840340"},{"key":"side_quest_switch_puzzles","level":2,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/badge_sp_switch_2.png","title":"Switch Puzzles","desc":"More switches than you can shake a switch at! Switches are a great way to practice designing for the lab.","maxlevel":3,"verb":"Go","past":["Switch Puzzles [Level 1]","Switch Puzzles [Level 2]","Switch Puzzles [Level 3]"],"to_next":0,"current_puzzle":"2840340"},{"key":"side_quest_switch_puzzles","level":3,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/badge_sp_switch_3.png","title":"Switch Puzzles","desc":"More switches than you can shake a switch at! Switches are a great way to practice designing for the lab.","maxlevel":3,"verb":"Go","past":["Switch Puzzles [Level 1]","Switch Puzzles [Level 2]","Switch Puzzles [Level 3]"],"to_next":0,"current_puzzle":"2840340"},{"key":"side_quest_create_a_puzzle","level":1,"current_level":1,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/badge_sp_create_puzzle.png","title":"Create a Puzzle","desc":"Create puzzles to explore the energy model, confound your friends, or teach your strategy.","maxlevel":1,"verb":"Create","past":"Create a Puzzle","prereq":"ten_tools7","to_next":7},{"key":"side_quest_create_a_tutorial","level":1,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/badge_sp_create_tutorial.png","title":"Create a Tutorial","desc":"Use your puzzles for good! Create tutorials for other players to walk through and learn from.","maxlevel":1,"verb":"Create","past":"Create a Tutorial","prereq":"ten_tools8","to_next":0,"current_puzzle":"3440232"},{"key":"side_quest_create_a_script","level":1,"current_level":0,"image":"\/puzzle-progression\/badges\/badge_sp_create_script.png","title":"Create a Script","desc":"Learn the power of scripting. Create scripts to search through lab solutions, to make puzzle-solving bots, and much more!","maxlevel":1,"verb":"Create","past":"Create a Script","prereq":"ten_tools9","to_next":0}]},"memcache":false}


Then I looked at the preview code tree, and it shows mostly the identical thing a above but formatted properly instead of one line, with the main difference being that title and verb attributes(?) are out of order. Also I noticed in both, a 0.454545 repeating value where it seems like it should be 1 or 0 boolean but I have no idea, and I assume even though this value looks repeating that it is truncated. But in case not, I mention it:
  1. achievement_roadmap:[,...]
    1. 0:{key: "ten_tools", level: 1, current_level: 0, image: "/puzzle-progression/badges/ten_tools_1.png",...}
      1. current_level:0
      2. current_puzzle:"6502945"
      3. desc:"<b>Nucleotide mixers</b> prepare a mix of nucleotides, the basic building blocks of the RNA medicine that you design, and the DNA templates that encode those RNA molecules."
      4. image:"/puzzle-progression/badges/ten_tools_1.png"
      5. key:"ten_tools"
      6. level:1
      7. maxlevel:10
      8. past:"Nucleotide Mixer"
      9. title:"Nucleotide Mixer"
      10. to_next:0.45454545454545
      11. verb:"PLAY"
Most to_nexts are 1 or 0. However, I do see a few other cases where to_next is not a 1 or 0, each in separate categories, generally a decimal / fractional value between 0 and 1, so I assume this is tracking partial completion? I wonder what is the reason for this? Place finding in the progression? I have no idea.
  1. ["Just for Fun [Level 1]", "Just for Fun [Level 2]", "Just for Fun [Level 3]"]
  2. prereq:"ten_tools1"
  3. title:"Just for Fun"
  4. to_next:0.26
  5. verb:"Go"
And the main outlier is one instance where to_next is a 7, greater than 1:
  1. {key: "side_quest_create_a_puzzle", level: 1, current_level: 1,...}
    1. current_level:1
    2. desc:"Create puzzles to explore the energy model, confound your friends, or teach your strategy."
    3. image:"/puzzle-progression/badges/badge_sp_create_puzzle.png"
    4. key:"side_quest_create_a_puzzle"
    5. level:1
    6. maxlevel:1
    7. past:"Create a Puzzle"
    8. prereq:"ten_tools7"
    9. title:"Create a Puzzle"
    10. to_next:7
    11. verb:"Create"

Now, I have mostly no idea what I am talking about here, so I'm sure there is some explanation for this. But in case not, it is the first thing that jumped out at me looking at the code.

Also that ajax-loader.gif file is again the immediately preceding item in the network timeline, and fails to load. When I go to the gif url provided previously, it also fails to load in the browser.

I then completed another puzzle in the tutorial progression, to see if the to_next value would change.

Before it was as above, 0.454545 repeating and truncated

And now it is 0.5454 repeating, and rounded:
  1. achievement_roadmap:[,...]
    1. 0:{key: "ten_tools", level: 1, current_level: 0, image: "/puzzle-progression/badges/ten_tools_1.png",...}
      1. current_level:0
      2. current_puzzle:"6502946"
      3. desc:"<b>Nucleotide mixers</b> prepare a mix of nucleotides, the basic building blocks of the RNA medicine that you design, and the DNA templates that encode those RNA molecules."
      4. image:"/puzzle-progression/badges/ten_tools_1.png"
      5. key:"ten_tools"
      6. level:1
      7. maxlevel:10
      8. past:"Nucleotide Mixer"
      9. title:"Nucleotide Mixer"
      10. to_next:0.54545454545455
      11. verb:"PLAY"
So this does appear to perhaps be tracking the place in each of the ten steps' sub-progressions? In other words, there are not only 10 puzzles in tutorial, but rather 10 steps each of which have multiple puzzles, and as one is completed, the to_next value is incremented and perhaps used to direct the user into the correct puzzle in that sub-progression.

Still though, I don't see a clear indication this contributes to load time unless there is in fact allowance of values which are not inherently truncated, I don't recall the phrase for this issue as I have no CS degree, and I don't see the phrase I am thinking of immediately in this thread, but it touches on some of the idea:
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/16094577/how-do-deal-with-infinitely-repeating-numbers-as-decima...

Oh yeah now I see it mentioned, floating point numbers. Again, I am pulling invisible rabbits out of hats here, or throwing darts at the ocean, I only know a very little about all these things... hopefully someone who knows more can comment and dismiss this altogether or verify whether it should be looked into more.
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machinelves

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Great, thanks for the confirmation on win 10/FF/flash working. I'm on win 7 atm.
(Edited)
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machinelves

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Also the general length of the page actually seems a bit long, and with some redundancy within categories - would it load faster if there were functions or parent object or class types or whatever is appropriate here? For example there are ten of these for ten_tools tutorial progression steps, here are two with redundancies noted after:
  1. 0:{key: "ten_tools", level: 1, current_level: 0, image: "/puzzle-progression/badges/ten_tools_1.png",...}
    1. current_level:0
    2. current_puzzle:"6502946"
    3. desc:"<b>Nucleotide mixers</b> prepare a mix of nucleotides, the basic building blocks of the RNA medicine that you design, and the DNA templates that encode those RNA molecules."
    4. image:"/puzzle-progression/badges/ten_tools_1.png"
    5. key:"ten_tools"
    6. level:1
    7. maxlevel:10
    8. past:"Nucleotide Mixer"
    9. title:"Nucleotide Mixer"
    10. to_next:0.54545454545455
    11. verb:"PLAY"
  2. 1:{key: "ten_tools", level: 2, current_level: 0, image: "/puzzle-progression/badges/ten_tools_2.png",...}
    1. current_level:0
    2. current_puzzle:"6502946"
    3. desc:"<b>Gene Synthesizers</b> combine DNA nucleotides from the Nucleotide Mixer into DNA double helix templates that encode the RNA molecules you are designing for medicine."
    4. image:"/puzzle-progression/badges/ten_tools_2.png"
    5. key:"ten_tools"
    6. level:2
    7. maxlevel:10
    8. past:"Gene Synthesizer"
    9. title:"Gene Synthesizer"
    10. to_next:0
    11. verb:"PLAY"
Redundancies:

  1. Redundant - current_level:0
  2. Redundant - current_puzzle:"6502946"
  3. Not redundant - desc:"<b>Gene Synthesizers</b> combine DNA nucleotides from the Nucleotide Mixer into DNA double helix templates that encode the RNA molecules you are designing for medicine."
  4. Not redundant but incrementable? - image:"/puzzle-progression/badges/ten_tools_2.png"
  5. Redundant - key:"ten_tools"
  6. Not redundant but incrementable? - level:2
  7. Redundant - maxlevel:10
  8. Not redundant - past:"Gene Synthesizer"
  9. Not redundant - title:"Gene Synthesizer"
  10. Not redundant - to_next:0
  11. Redundant - verb:"PLAY"

I don't know the practicalities of factoring this into a more chunked approach so again, darts at the ocean...
(Edited)
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MasterStormer, Player Developer

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It was too long for me to read it all, but
  • The resolution on your connection log is too small so I can't read what's in them. Could you just copy and paste the screen into imgur.com? It's much sipmler than here (simply open the site and press Ctrl V). Also your network logs don't show everything (I think), so you need to stretch it all the way to the top of the screen. Apperently firefox has a chart thingy that could help find where are the longest queries (http://imgur.com/a/IJrrU). So either screenshot all the queries in fullscreen if all of them fit, but if they not, send the graph and the screen of the request type with the highest time. Also make sure the entire timeline fits withing the width of the page.
  • It can't be only the side_project_roadmap, sinse on my computer (which has bad internet) it only took 2 seconds.
  • Also, if for some reason you have way to many queries to screenshot, consider doing this on chrome, as they have a time column that is sortable (so it just brings the lengthiest query on top)
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machinelves

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Thanks for your feedback, I hope I can address most or all of these points fairly quickly:
- When resolution on forum images is small, click on the image. It opens at full resolution in a new tab. I know about imgur and lightshot for example, I specifically chose to upload the images to the forum to preserve them indefinitely for debugging.
- Thank you for the note on roadmap loading faster for you. Does your roadmap have the same length of code? Does your total homepage load take 30sec? If your total homepage load is faster, and / or your roadmap code is shorter, those would be helpful data points to know.
- Now that I read this last question, and look back at my post, I see most of my screenshots are omitted. I cannot edit the post anymore, therefore I will repost I suppose. I did take care to grab shots of fully expanded and as relevant as possible information. However I was up all night until 7am working on this, so apparently some wire got crossed and I didn't realize. Will repost shortly.
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machinelves

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ah, I see the forum collapses very long threads, and scrolling back it is easy to miss part of my report, responding to Brourd's comment. If you expand the view more or whatever it is, then at least those screenshots are all preserved. So it looks like I do not have to repost anything.

Therefore, if you would like to see images with more detail, please scroll up, expand the forum posts, and click on any image that you would like higher res on.

My analysis of the roadmap is not on the already documented 30 second network panel, but rather taking a look at the code itself since Brourd kindly pointed out it was particularly long to load the roadmap for my use case.
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machinelves

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hmm I tried but failed to edit the above comment, and instead it turned into 2 identical comments, I tried to delete one and that failed and no longer gives me the option. 
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machinelves

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[Staff edit: the previous post has been removed per the author's request]

p.s. I was trying to edit the above comment to clarify that the above posts address your question about expanded and more complete reports for all loading elements, in both FF and Vivaldi Chromium dev tools:




This image is taken out of context from a post above, so the issue may be what I had, which is fast scrolling through forum post misses those frustratingly invisible expand view more links, they are called something else, maybe view replies I don't know. Anyway, if you scroll back slowly you can see them. Thanks for the tip on sorting by most time, I believe I can do this in Vivaldi since it is based on Chromium. I do not use Chrome and will probably uninstall Vivaldi eventually.
(Edited)
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machinelves

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Also, I just tested login and home page again, Win7/Vivaldi, and it took 36 seconds to load home page from newsfeed after a separate 30+ sec login, with the roadmap clocking in at 34 seconds to load, and when sorting all pageload assets by time in the network panel, just confirming that this was the lengthiest option, with no others coming close. Also that ajax-loader.gif file again failed to load. 
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machinelves

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And just tested submitting tutorial puzzle 8 working up to level 1, first try failed to submit after a couple minutes, reloaded page, sent back to same puzzle undone. Did puzzle, submitted, took 50 seconds to submit. Longest thing to load is post/ at 33 seconds total load time.

Bubbles in background interact with mouse cursor, and also bounce off each other. What calculates and tracks bubble vectors / positions / movement? Is it intensive? Or inconsequential?
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MasterStormer, Player Developer

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Oh, my bad :P becaus they put here an image of lower resolution and only when I click show the real one, when I drag it to a new tab it looks like it has a lower resolution.
So, I don't think it has much to do with your machine. I think it is about your internet connection. could you close everything and do and connection speed test? Also, are other sites / games working well for you?
I am going to test RequestPolicy, an addon for firefox, in a bit. maybe you can stop the site from doing noti_count and side project roadmap? then you won't have some stuff available, but you will still (probably) be able to access puzzle via the menu, and then search for stuff based on the mode you wanted to enter, which is much better than nothing.
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machinelves

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i have lost my data 4 times now because I am not used to this keyboard and I keep using a mac shortcut to change windows that blanks out my entry here, so sorry will be short here:

thanks for all suggestions, very good ideas. in brief fyi I'm remembering from top of head since it took me the last 45 minutes to do these tests and I won't repeat them:

speed test:
  • 66 down
  • 6 up

other games test:
  • foldit longest puzzle load 8 seconds, otherwise instant nav and load
  • web games & complex 3D platforms alike have no anomalous behavior

new user in eterna without much data test:
  • 1-2 sec login
  • 2-4 sec homepage load
  • 1.5 sec roadmap load specifically
  • ajax loader gif not loaded
  • load labs page 8 seconds
  • load puzzles page 2-4 seconds
  • submit puzzle average consistently 9 seconds each for 4 tutorial puzzles

Conclusion is new user much faster login and puzz submit and nav but still all a bit too slow for consistent user engagement
(Edited)
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MasterStormer, Player Developer

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Apperently your internet is far faster than mine. try going to http://eterna.cmu.edu/get/?type=side_project_roadmap&uid=2577, how long does it take there? for me it was 1.82 seconds (although it flanctuates a bit).
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machinelves

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Thank you for the suggestion. This URL only gave text and code, not a rendered page. It may be that this roadmap page is a file without its own internal html, and is only to be loaded by another file that wraps it in its front end UI. On the other hand I am not sure I even understood what I just said, so who knows. Anyone feel free to correct my guesses.

This also held true for trying the eternagame.org domain, and without the user uid.

As for how long it took, the text was an instant load, hooray! 
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MasterStormer, Player Developer

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It just prints the data that it gives. My question is, how long does it take there? If you wanna be specific open the network menu and hit F5 then to record exactly.
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machinelves

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I did not feel it was necessary to do that, as I said it was fairly instant. Opening up dev tools, and looking at Network feedback, it took 1.69 seconds without and 1.79 with the uid. Why do you want to know? I am not sure I understand, so I will appreciate any context or explanation you can provide, as any hunches may help us further along.
(Edited)
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MasterStormer, Player Developer

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That makes 0 sense, although I already reached the conclusion that it will make 0 sense when I did my test of it.

The whole page is the result of your project sidemap or whatever it is called. So, obviously, it calls the server with the request for this data. However, instead of taking 30 seconds, it took 2. Maybe the 30 seconds we see in your screenshot is inflated by multiple requests happening simultaniously?


EDIT:
Wait, could you send the entire url of side project roadmap, including the blacked out stuff? It has 2 things in it- uid, the thing that I can see when I go to your profile, and rnd, which is a random thing for tracking requests as far as I know. Maybe because of rnd it is different, or maybe it has a parameter I don't know about?
(Edited)
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machinelves

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Aha! Thank you so much for the clarity on the purpose for this experiment. Indeed, that is odd, and a great discovery to add to our clue pile. 

I would guess the rnd value is a benign factor to force reload of the page with fresh incrementation of roadmap progress ( i.e. not loading precached page with outdated roadmap completion status ), but since I am not a backend programmer, I cannot say for sure, and I seem to recall random numbers also being used for uid login authentication in some systems, but I may be totally wrong here. So I will need to perform an experiment first to confirm, and then may be able to provide this. Alternately, you can experiment on yourself, assuming there is a non negligible difference in load times for you between the two access points, albeit not as severe as my own.

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/7821434/what-purpose-is-of-rnd-parameter-in-http-requests

So fyi, I will get back to you on this, and thank you very much for this interesting and potentially informative investigation path!!
(Edited)
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hoglahoo

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Another tidbit for you clever people: I reset my profile page to default plain jane and it took 28 seconds to get logged in and fully load the home page in chrome.  28 seconds in firefox as well.  changing my profile page back now to all the little frills and doodads since it appears to make a negligible difference in loading times
(Edited)
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machinelves

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Workarounds

In trying the player puzzles in addition to the 10 step tutorial walkthru, I realized something I had forgotten: that previously the puzzle submission took long enough that I did not wait to see it officially submit, and rather just closed the window and went on to the next. 

So, I don't know whether puzz submit was always very slow and I just got around it by doing this, or if it was a bit slow, but not as bad as it is now. Some folks have noticed things being slower perhaps with certain flash changes.

For example, I came across this while looking at player puzzles:



I do recall in the past of course larger puzzles taking longer even for simply coloring nts.

This also made me realize that the tutorial progression funnels you into waiting for submit completion, rather than being able to close out the tab as described above.

Index Tutorial Puzzles?
Therefore, perhaps a workaround could be making the tutorials available in an indexed link list, like how the labs and player puzzles are all accessible via direct link and indexing.

Being funneled into the guided and gated tour is an understandable UX approach, and I think ( correct me if wrong ) that the gating to access to features would still stand, since it is based on completion of certain puzzles? If there is concern about a user skipping ahead and only completing a few of the latest puzzles to get lab access, for example, then you could set a gate of needing to have completed x amount of puzzles, or even the explicit list of tutorial puzzles or sections ( if it is not already this way ).

Workarounds in Summary
My current workarounds to old users having slow load and submit times, and overheating, are as follows:
  • Overheating :: Do not use mac laptop, even if it is mbp dual processor with 16GB ram.
  • Slow Load, Submit, Etc. :: Play another game on another device or have something else to do while waiting. 
  • Slow Player Puzzle Submit :: You don't have to wait for player puzzles to fully submit, you can close the window and you still get credit & points. I tested this thoroughly yesterday. This may not work on labs or puzzlemaker, I haven't tried, so copy your sequence before closing a still-submitting page there, to be sure you don't lose your data. This could be applied to tutorial puzzles, but then you are booted from your 'next' button carousel/funnel into the proceeding puzzle, and have to nav back probably thru your home page. Still, if that takes less time than waiting for the submit, at least that may be an option. Note that I haven't tried this on the tutorial puzzles, so I don't have a confirmation whether your place in the progression gets submitted or lost, if closing out early.
  • Slow Tutorial Submit :: Create an indexed direct link tutorial puzzle list so that we can close out without waiting for submit feedback.
(Edited)
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hoglahoo

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regarding the Slow Player Puzzle Submit, I don't find it necessary to close the window.  Continuing on with the workaround in a new tab seems to be just as fast for me and eliminates any credit or points risk associated with closed the window
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MasterStormer, Player Developer

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I honestly can't believe I forgot to mention it, but if you want to be in the chat, you could go to irc.eternagame.org, use the ios app, or use a mirc setup like @hoglahoo.

(p.s. hog said he has problems with irc.eternagame.org, and he is on firefox. so if it takes a suspiciously long amount of time to connect, check if you have an error in the console (f12), because that means it decided to stop trying to connect)
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hoglahoo

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My problem with irc.eternagame.org is most likely related to a firewall according to LFP6 based on some troubleshooting he did for me the other day.  Also, I have no trouble with it when I'm on a machine that doesn't go through the firewall
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Omei Turnbull, Player Developer

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While I was investigating the possible cause of Wednesday's service outage, I stumbled across the fact that the Apache logs were filled with warnings that the connection to the memcached process was failing.  To make a long story short, the memcached is a dynamic cache that is intended to provide fast results to common database queries, improving average query times.  That process wasn't running, and apparently hasn't been running for a long time, because there was nothing about it in the server setup documentation the current devs inherited.  So Nando started it up, and I verified that the warning messages went away.

My own impression is that it has actually made a performance improvement.  Most noticeably, I haven't seen any of the intermittent long (~30 second) delays that I have previously observed in the Chrome debugger, where the browser is just waiting for the server to return the first byte of response data.

I am sure that this is not going to fix everyone's performance issues.  But I am curious to see if anyone else thinks there has been some improvement starting about noon today (PDT).  It may just be my wishful thinking. :-)
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machinelves

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Wow thanks Omei, that sounds like a good find. High five! I tried to log into eternagame.org which took 32 seconds, and also load the home page 33 seconds. I cleared my browser cache & cookies, and same situation.

I noticed specifically that login and home page load is faster with users who contain little data, whether new or old, e.g. few or zero puzzles solves, lab submits, comments, messages, etc.

I also tried deleting all saved eterna settings in macromedia's flash settings panel, but login and home page were still same slowness

Therefore I am sorry to report that from my current observations, unless there's some other cache I need to flush, this has not yet affected my 30 sec login and home page loads.

Thank you very much for finding and solving this issue though, because I am sure others will benefit from the fix. It sure sounded like a possible culprit to what I was seeing, so I was happy to try it out.
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whbob

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@machinelves: I am curious to know if the server upgrades that have just been completed has made any difference in your Eterna experience.  Keeping my fingers crossed that it has :)
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LFP6, Player Developer

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Just wanted to give a quick update! It seems that our recent database upgrade may have resolved a majority of the performance issues we've been seeing as of late (long story short, our database server was old and had less resources, and appeard to have bottlenecked incoming request - which all came to a head in an influx of website timeouts, especially with the increase of submissions in openCRISPR).

Crossing your fingers that this will get us back on track - please post if you continue to have performance issues. I'll try to monitor performance over the next couple weeks, and resolve this issue if things seem to be going smoothly.
(Edited)