Feedback friday - 2020-07-03

Hey everyone, inaugural post for feedback friday.

This is a place for the lemmy devs, and site admins here to

  • Give updates / show you what we’ve been working on.
  • For anyone to suggest improvements, better moderation practices, and how we can improve both lemmy and this site in general.

Also its very helpful to me if you post feature requests / bugs on the github issue tracker. They’ll probably get lost here otherwise.

Dessalines
admin
creator
1910M

So as yall can tell, with this huge influx of users lately, lemmy has gotten really, often unbearably slow. This is entirely my fault for not structuring the database caching (lemmy currently uses a SQL technique called materialized views), in a proper way.

With a small amount of users / posts, it seemed fine, but as we scaled up, this is proving not to be a good method to do caching. These past few days (even with all the adoption), I managed to build a way to do that increases speed by maybe 30%, but its still not good enough, so I’m tackling it from a few different angles. All my other work is on hold, because this seems to me to be the most important thing to handle right now.

In other news, !chapotraphouse@lemmy.ml is in the process of making a lemmy instance, and we’ve seen a few others pop up too. Once we deploy federation, we’ll be happy to federate with them, and link them in an official instance list.

Also we’ve got some movement on people building a lemmy mobile app, as well as @IronOxidizer@lemmy.ml 's building a lemmy-lite, a liteweight non-javascript front end, which when done, we’ll be happy to bundle with lemmy directly (Possibly at lemmy.ml/lite) which would be great to have.

My original ideas were to have a web app (like this one), a native android app written in kotlin + jetpack, and a terminal app like rtv / tuir, so its great to see development here.

Let me know anything I can do to improve the site, and especially be sure to add feature requests to the github. Thanks!

I really like the idea of lemmy-lite. A lot of people on reddit wouldn’t migrate because it required JS, this may be a way that would make them more comfortable with the website.

@PureTryOut
510M

Oh lemmy-lite as part of Lemmy itself, yes! Would be nice to make it configurable per instance as the default UI, although users should always be able to override that.

@inwardpath
410M

Love the idea of lemmy-lite!

I love the commmunication you admins have, it’s really nice to know exactly whats going on. You guys rock!

Dessalines
admin
creator
310M

o7

@nutomic
mod
admin
1110M

Just like dessalines, I was mostly busy this week handling the huge influx of users, first from Hackernews and then from Reddit. At one point the site was brought down completely because of too many open websocket connections (in other words, too many people were on the site at the same time). Luckily this was rather easy to fix with some changes in the nginx config (which I should probably document somewhere).

Another effect was a huge number of new issues and pull requests that had to be answered and reviewed. Of course contributions are very welcome, but they do take time away from other things.

I also setup Grafana to monitor the server. This still needs some improvement to show better stats (wish I had time to dig into that).

We also came under a DDoS attack. Our previous provider wasnt helpful in dealing with this at all, so we moved to OVH instead. Their DDoS attack detected an attack within half an hour of moving the server, and successfully mitigated it. Since then things have finally calmed down.

Today I finally managed to get some actual coding done (for the first time this week). I made some progress migrating to the new version of our ActivityPub library, but its not that straightforward and still needs more work.

There might be other things I’m forgetting, maybe next week I should keep a list or something.

@ajz
3
edit-2
10M

btw, just came across this : https://cmpwn.com/@sir/104450692805191466

@ajz
310M

Cool to read this. Cheers !

Oops, another one: The subscribe button responds too slowly upon pressing it. Most buttons change to loading circles (e.g. post) or respond immediately (e.g. voting) presumably without waiting for the backend. The subscribe button calls out to the backend (slow) but doesn’t update itself until the backend replies leading to me clicking it multiple times and getting errors.

@ksynwa
210M

i actually attempted adding a loading icon on click for the meanwhile but couldn’t understand the code

@ray
510M

Wanted to say I love the rss feed for notifications :)

Am curious, do you think it’s necessary to have a big red “banned” label next to username when seeing a list of posts for a community? It’s a little disruptive in cases like this

Dessalines
admin
creator
310M

Am curious, do you think it’s necessary to have a big red “banned” label next to username when seeing a list of posts for a community? It’s a little disruptive in cases like this

Its a re-used user component across everything, I’m not sure another way to do it.

@snackwifi
310M

I really wish titles for external links went to the external link and not the comment section, breaks my expectation of what is going to happen and then I need to click again to view the content

@xvf
29M

I personally prefer it goes to the “comment” (post) section rather than the external link.

  • Easier to click and tap to access the comment section vs clicking/tapping the small comment icon.
  • Functional consistency. When you click a text post it will send you to the “comment” (post) section, the same way for links.

P.S. Reddit mobile webpage currently sends you to the “comment” (post) section and not to the external link.

@snackwifi
19M

Easier to click and tap to access the comment section vs clicking/tapping the small comment icon.

This is a pretty strange point to make, of course it’s easier, it’s the biggest part of the post

Functional consistency. When you click a text post it will send you to the “comment” (post) section, the same way for links.

I’m not sure why one would expect functional consistency when they’re different kind of posts. Most all links go to the content the link is about, when it’s a text post the text is the content. This is just how links work.

Reddit mobile webpage currently sends you to the “comment”

I hope Lemmy can aspire to be better than Reddit ;)

@Leer10
19M

Yeah as an ex-reddit user this really confused me. I realize this is extra work but could it be a config option?

Dessalines
admin
creator
110M

It used to be that way, but a lot of people asked me to change it to go to the comments.

@snackwifi
29M

Hahaha, well the only argument I can give for link > comments is that people should be reading the article before they comment, otherwise they’re just commenting on the title. Perhaps a setting?

Dessalines
admin
creator
19M

You can click the image, or the smaller domain on the right, both go to the link.

@snackwifi
09M

I know but it’s not relevant to my opinion of the UX with the title

@YouWalkOffCliffSoDoI
3
edit-2
10M

Below the title of posts (e.g. this one), there is a series of buttons. At the right hand end of that series of buttons is a “…”. Clicking that … only expands to one more button.

When the expansion menu only contains one button, maybe replace the “…” with that button.

Edit: That’s all I can think of for now - great work y’all!

I’m really curious if anyone has thought about trying to use noria as a db for lemmy? It’s a research project - so not really appropriate for real production use - but in theory I think it might significantly improve the performance.

@ksynwa
310M

huh maybe the devs will be interested in it since it’s in rust

I think preview support for lemmy links would be nice. I’m no web developer but IIRC there’s a standard way to let applications know how to generate previews for links. For example, if I shared the link of this post, it could preview the title, image if applicable, and part of the body of the post. Right now, platforms I share Lemmy links on will not generate a preview of the content, but they will for links to other websites.

@nutomic
mod
admin
210M

We have an issue for it here, its not easy to fix unfortunately.

https://github.com/LemmyNet/lemmy/issues/226

The alert UI was somewhat unintuitive to me. It wasn’t clear how to mark messages as read/why it didn’t go away after I read them. I’m not sure how to fix or even if this was just me and not a common experience.

On a related topic - would it be possible for upvoting/downvoting/replying to/saving a post to automatically mark it as read?

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