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Answers - so slow as to be unusable?

Or is it just me?

The slowness is causing lots of duplicate questions and comments, as particularly with a comment you forget whether you pressed the button or not, click it again, and 30s later you get two identical comments.

Jeremy and co have done such a great job with their fork of OSQA... email notifications, code blocks, and so on and so on, it's a shame that using it drives you to distraction nowadays. Seems like the community is thinning out too... lots of once-only users, very little voting and commenting.

Personally, I'm off until performance and searching are fixed. (Except for the rare questions specifically about my plugins). Adios!

10 answers

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1 vote
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I believe we've made some initial progress on this. We put a workaround in place and I'm hoping its a bit better. This is just step one; once we get a proper fix in place, it should be back to snappy again. Because we haven't put the root cause fix in place yet, I don't want to post how-to-make-answers-crash explanation quite yet.

Stay tuned, I'll keep posting updates here. Please post any observations.

Not having any problems anymore. Thanks @Jeremy!

0 votes

Yup, it's had a few wobbly patches today. Was fine in the morning, flaky in the afternoon (pages not retrieved, clicking post took a few minutes before they eventually timed out, duplicated couple of comments because clicking ok seemed to do nothing). It improved in the evening, but had a timeout loading a page from an email link.

(Times are UK - GMT)

0 votes
Yes, Colin. I'm finding things a little slow.

Seems to be back to a crawl again. Anyone else experiencing a very slow AAC?

0 votes

Maybe having an advanced search box as an option might be useful, providing the opportunity to specify tags and keywords separately, while still being easily useable without having to learn the special syntax. Or perhaps having a short search syntax guide above or below the search box might work too.

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I didn't know about the [tags] prefix, that helps a lot, but it's not intuitive - ideally, you'd treat tags as the first thing to search as a keyword, then the [tags] thing becomes a "I only want to search tags"

Here's a simple example. If you type "jira subtask" into search, you get hundreds of results, most of which don't even mention subtasks. Thanks to the doc you posted, I understand that's because of the default to OR, but most search engines assume AND. Even when you insert an AND, the relevance isn't strong, it just picks up anywhere it's mentioned. If you try the same in google, you get a much more relevant list.

Thanks for the links to the canonical improvements though - I think those would be a great help!

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I'm eager to get to the bottom of the performance problem. We're just rolling out dogslow, hopefully this week. I'm hoping early in the new year we'll be past this.

But the fact you can't actually search on [tags] usefull renders it pointless.

Nic - I'd love if you could unpack this a bit. I've already got in our backlog Clean up AAC tags. Also, reading this, I realized it's probably not obvious that you can do a search on a tag plus keywords or exact matches, so I just now added an FAQ for searching (sorry - I think all that's been much too hard to discover!). I realize search itself still needs improvement, and was thinking Bump title match to top relevance would help. But I think you might still mean something different?

We should see the canonical answers rising to the top rather than the same old same old appearing all the time, all answered in a slightly different way.

I opened a feature request for this - Improve search results of canonical answers. I think it's going to be a bit tricky to get right, but we can find a way to identify posts in addition to up-votes (up-votes already increment relevance scores, but its not significant enough with the complexity of text matching).

Agree with you Nic. We should see the canonical answers rising to the top rather than the same old same old appearing all the time, all answered in a slightly different way.

But suddenly it's fast again... someone gave it a kick?

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Ah, it's not just me suffering more and more slowness.

As for searching, well, um, one thing about Answers was "it's a nice idea to put everything in the same place and then encourage users to use labels". But the fact you can't actually search on them usefull renders it pointless. In the old forum, where search worked, we got "new" questions from people who were genuinely struggling with searching, but Answers has a much higher proportion of questions that could have been answered easily if it did work.

I was also hoping Answers would let us do something quite simple - when a question is a repeat, instead of having to answer it again and again and again, it should be possible to say "this is the same as question X" and then have them all grouped together (and searchable). E.g. the one we get about JRA-1330 every week....

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