16 October 2004

Rising Waters

The Snoqualmie River is getting into its flood season again. The autumn rains bring the river up over its banks and flood out the low-lying roads near us and many roads and farms built on the floodplain further downstream. Flooding along the river is fairly reliable annual event, and gives the local television news people an excuse to drive out to this neck of the woods where not much else happens.

If you’ve ever wondered when the best time to see Snoqualmie Falls is, this is it. The huge volumes of water coming down river after a heavy rain on the west slopes of the Cascades help make up for the fact that 75% of the river water is diverted into the power generation plant. Compared to the anemic flow during the summer, the falls are quite impressive during the rainy autumn season.

15 October 2004

WordPress-Pg 1.2.1 Nearly Released

I’ve gotten the changes for WordPress 1.2.1 merged into the WordPress-Pg project’s CVS on SourceForge now. Theoretically you should be able to check this out with pserver and run it now. I’m working with the project administrator now to get a release tarball together and available. I’ll likely post again when that is done.

My own site here is going to have to languish a little bit because my magic caching action is not yet synced into a CVS branch on its own.

I’d also like to take this moment to point out that DOS line endings are very very evil. The WordPress parent project’s CVS repository has a number of files that have been polluted with DOS line endings which makes doing vendor imports and merging incredibly more painful than it needs to be.

11 October 2004

WordPress-pg Gets Faster...

As a followup to my earlier complaints about the slowness of WordPress (the software that creates this page you see), I’ve managed a pretty good speedup with some lazy caching of filtered content. I’ll make my changes publicly available in the next day or two when I manage to get things cleaned up a little. The basic operating theory is to take the plugin filtered content and save it into the database and then use that rather than refiltering the text every time the page is rendered, of course this work is done when an article is requested that is not already available prefiltered.

Of course, there are some catches.

  • If you change your set of content filter plugins you have to invalidate the cached copies of the filtered content.

    • This could be very easily automated with the wp-admin page that changes the plugins clobbering the cached copies.

  • The Textile filter in particular needs some minor tweaks to keep it from gobbling the comment based “more” and “nextpage” directives for WordPress.

    • My quick solution to this was to change the normal single hyphen for the del tag in Textile to be three hyphens.

    • A better solution would be to armor the more directive somehow. Or change it to be less susceptible to being clobbered. Or fix the Textile filtering engine so it leaves comments the hell alone. I think I like the last one best.

  • Interactive plugins like the search word highlighting plugin will not work.

    • Fixing this requires the WordPress authors to separate cacheable plugins from interactive ones.

  • I need to backport the security fixes to WordPress-pg

I should point out that this has resulted in a increase in rendering speed for this home page from 3 seconds to 0.4 seconds on some slow old hardware. Nearly an order of magnitude. And from surfing around other WordPress pages, it looks like I’m not the only one that could use this little fixup. I must admit though that I’m not following what is going on in active development of WordPress.