Live Thread app needed?

gail

Member
I see an app called Sonnb Live Thread. It says no need to refresh page to see new replies. Do users really need to refresh pages to see new replies?

Just wondering if this app is really needed.

Thanks
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
Pages are not automatically updated in XF - a browser refresh is required.
 

gail

Member
Pages are not automatically updated in XF - a browser refresh is required.
Brogan - would you mind telling me if it's like that with most forum platforms? I'd like to be able to report to our team on this. Thank you
 

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
Not Broan, but none of the major paid ones I use use auto-updates.
I have Burning Board, XenForo, IPS, and on the free ones myBB.
As I said, none of them (by default) do an auto-update, or live update of the thread. There may be add-ons that allow that, but most do not normally do it because that can become resource intensive.
 

gail

Member
Not Broan, but none of the major paid ones I use use auto-updates.
I have Burning Board, XenForo, IPS, and on the free ones myBB.
As I said, none of them (by default) do an auto-update, or live update of the thread. There may be add-ons that allow that, but most do not normally do it because that can become resource intensive.
Thank you so much for your reply! When you say they can become resource intensive, does that mean it would slow down the forum? Would an add-on not be as
resource intensive? Thank you
 

ENF

Well-known member
Thank you so much for your reply! When you say they can become resource intensive, does that mean it would slow down the forum? Would an add-on not be as
resource intensive? Thank you
The default packages don't use the intensive refresh so that the software works on most platforms without draining resources. If you add the function of live updates via an addon, your resource usage will increase based on the number of active users you have on the site at any given time. The more users at one time, the more resources will be required. (CPU, Memory, Disk I/O)

The end result of running out of or low on resources is a slower responding forum and/or crashes depending on how bad it gets. Addons that are well made, will still be resource intensive for this sort of function. Poorly made ones are even worse...
 

gail

Member
The default packages don't use the intensive refresh so that the software works on most platforms without draining resources. If you add the function of live updates via an addon, your resource usage will increase based on the number of active users you have on the site at any given time. The more users at one time, the more resources will be required. (CPU, Memory, Disk I/O)

The end result of running out of or low on resources is a slower responding forum and/or crashes depending on how bad it gets. Addons that are well made, will still be resource intensive for this sort of function. Poorly made ones are even worse...
Wow - big disappointment here. So if I tell the team I'm working with that there is no aut0-refresh and getting an add-on for it is not such a good idea (since we'll have a decent amount of active users at times), they can't say I made a bad choice in forums and be right? Thank you.
 

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
It's a balancing act... most of those type features require (for a busy site) a LOT of horsepower behind them. So, how important it is to your site will determine how much hardware you can throw at it to provide that feature.
You can have an add-on coded to do this, but then if your site is busy you have to realize you may have to use 2-3 times the hardware (not based upon any factual data, just a WAG for an example) compared to a site that doesn't use it and has the same traffic.
 
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gail

Member
It's a balancing act... most of those type features require (for a busy site) a LOT of horsepower behind them. So, how important it is to your site will determine how much hardware you can throw at it to provide that feature.
You can have an add-on coded to do this, but then if your site is busy you have to realize you may have to use 2-3 times the hardware (not based upon any factual data, just a WAG for an example) compared to a site that doesn't use it and has the same traffic.
Thank you Tracy, I really appreciate your help.
 

ENF

Well-known member
What do you mean by hardware? What if we had a dedicated server?
When we talk about hardware, we're talking about the physical machine that is running the site.

Dedicated Server - Is just that, a dedicated machine that you can dedicate 100% of the resources to whatever you choose to. But, just because it's a dedicated server, doesn't mean it's up to the task. If you buy a cheap dedicated server with a lower end processor and minimal RAM + Disk combos, it won't run any better than a small VPS. When Tracy talks about horsepower, he's referring to to beefed up hardware that can support large sites. (Most large sites though, usually have more than one dedicated server to balance the loads with a separate database server, dedicated to DB transactions only.)

VPS - These are virtual servers using shared hardware with other users. These can be small, medium and large. Most site owners these days start out with VPS units because of the low cost for start-up. You can scale (up or down) the VPS to a certain point before having to move to your own dedicated hardware once your site reaches a certain activity level. (Note: The host of the VPS may kick you off if you consume too many resources early on.)

Shared Hosting - Not even worth mentioning these days, at least for serious projects.
 

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
Exactly as @ENF stated. You can be on your own dedicated server and eventually overload it (even if it's a monster server). Then you have to look at offloading the MySQL and other processes onto another server/servers (referred to as load balancing as stated above). Most "normal" sites don't reach that point for a while, but when you start adding in additional work loads you have to make allowances for that in expanding the hardware requirements.
You can start with a dedicated server (I'm on an OVH and paying about $125 a month for it) and run 4 forums and 2 WordPress sites on it... but none of them are really that busy.
Larger sites will have a dedicated DB server, possibly a dedicated memcached/redis/ElasticSearch server and I've even known of a few to offload the PHP processor onto another server. Usually when you reach that point, you would have at least a 1/2 rack in a center and run them on a private LAN setup so that they (the offload machines) are not exposed to the internet, only to the other servers on the private LAN.
 
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gail

Member
Thank you Tracy and ENF. I'm amazed at how much time you've spent explaining all of this to me. It makes this forum a very nice source of info.

A friend of mine works as admin or moderator for an older version of vBulletin. I asked him a few questions about vB. He said it doesn't auto-refresh and it's
not an annoyance. He also said it shows when there's a reply.

I'd like to ask you some of the same questions. 1) Do you think not having auto-refresh is annoying? 2) Does XenForo show when a reply has been posted?

Many thanks to both of you!
 
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Tracy Perry

Well-known member
If you are watching the thread and you have configured to receive alerts, you get an alert pop up... that's the red indicator next to the alert tab at the top. If you are quoted you also do, as does being mentioned.
As for not having auto-refresh being annoying? I would find having it annoying. :D
 
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RobParker

Well-known member
Just to chime in here, auto-refresh isn't really a thing you need (or maybe even want).

XenForo is excellent at providing relevant alerts (relevant being the key word!) when someone quotes/replies etc to a thread they're following. This is MUCH more useful than just having the forum index or thread contents update in real-time. XenForo also notifies you if someone else has replied to a thread while you've been posting yours post, which again is arguably a better way of informing you about new content than just auto-refreshing the page with no idea of what's new.

If you really do want something "live" than the digital point "spy" addon gives you a special page showing new posts that is auto-refreshed.

https://forums.digitalpoint.com/spy/
 
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