Jeff tweeted this morning about recent performance work, and I dare say lots of bits have been getting faster - but since the recent "envelope change", getting to responses has been really slow.

It's fine in the "Inbox" part of the StackExchange, but it takes 20 seconds to come up in the main user profile page on SO. Now, there are two mitigating factors:

  • This is partly my own fault for being used to using the profile page instead of the "global" inbox, for historical reasons. I tend to only use the global SE icon when it indicates new responses... then if I find I've lost track of things (e.g. I see there are 3 new comments but only read two of them) I go to my profile page. So I can at least retrain my behaviour for the moment.
  • I wouldn't be surprised to hear that my experience is somewhat worse than most users. After all, I have 779 pages of responses, which is probably a bit more than the average user.

I thought I'd mention it though, as something that has bitten me a bit recently.

  • 4
    I think one thing that might help is just to have direct access to "responses" from the display-name-dropdown, or elsewhere in that area. It probably should get the same priority level that reputation, revisions, and favorites get. It won't necessarily affect the load of that page, but it may speed up getting to it.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Mar 23, 2011 at 14:54
  • Shamelessly plugging my feature request here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/83270/… (as I'm also used to use my profile for checking responses rather than the SE inbox. Plus it would certainly help to have better access to all recent changes in one single place).
    – 0xA3
    Mar 23, 2011 at 15:17
  • @jon ... I'm working on this right now :) it is one nasty plan sql server is going in to a tail spin there.
    – waffles
    Mar 23, 2011 at 23:44
  • to be deployed in an hour or 2
    – waffles
    Mar 24, 2011 at 5:16
  • See? /users/recent is still better than all the newfangled cr[ahem, sorry] Super Magic Dropdown Overload. Just sayin'.
    – Marti
    Mar 24, 2011 at 5:27
  • @Marti ... hazelnut ice cream is also better than vanilla ice cream. Define better, if there are specific gaps raise feature requests.
    – waffles
    Mar 24, 2011 at 5:58

1 Answer 1


Wow ... we were spooling all out posts table for your specific user page, which in turn was causing huge amounts of db pain.

I totally rewrote the way we get at the data so it no longer spools billions of rows (even though the posts table only has 5 million or so, go figure)

End result .. after next deploy performance for your responses should be quite a bit better.

  • Confirmed this is now much faster - thanks again!
    – Jon Skeet
    Mar 25, 2011 at 7:24
  • @Jon let us know if you notice any other perf issues, glad it helped.
    – waffles
    Mar 25, 2011 at 8:03

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