Forum:Optimizing the usage of DPL

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Forums: Index > Watercooler > Optimizing the usage of DPL

Hi folks, I'm PanSola, a Wikia Helper. I am dropping by to chat about DPL (Dynamic Page List) usage practices. This site is among one of the most popular Wikia wikis that use a large number of DPL calls, and as DPL queries can sometimes pose quit a load on the servers, being careful with the usage of DPL can help improve the general user experience at Wikia.

One of the most simple ways to reduce the demand of DPL on the servers is to enable caching of the results. The more often a page with DPL calls get viewed, the greater the effect caching has. And so on a popular wiki such as this one, enabling caching is likely to help reduce the server load quite a bit.

Unfortunately there is a downside: caching means the results won't immediately update when information on the wiki changes. Sometimes the information can be out of sync by several hours. If you are worried about technical accuracy, you can place a note warning the visitors "new changes may not be updated immediately". For mission-critical usages of DPL that are time-sensitive such that any delay is unacceptable, enabling caching wouldn't be a good idea.

I'll drop by again later with more tips on how to improve server performance via optimizing DPL usage. If you have any questions, concerns, or think it's a good idea but need help implementing the change, feel free to discuss here. If you need a fast response from me, please ping me on my talk page (but still keep the main discussion here, so everything is in one place). Thanks. (you can also check out more tips here). -User:PanSola(talk/history) 19:21, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi Pansola. I saw the notes on wikia main forums about using the caching for the DPL pages. I've already added the "allowcachedresults=true" option to all of our DPL templates and pages. Or I should have, and if you find one let me know and I'll fix it too. None of our DPL pages is that critical, so we don't mind having the delay. Tjoneslo 19:38, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Cool, glad to know the above method is applicable here! Another thing to consider with DPL's, is "exactly how dynamic" is the list? If you have a page where the list only changes a tiny bit every other month, and it's a heavily visited page, then perhaps considering maintaining the list manually can reduce server load even further than enabling DPL cache. If it's a heavily utilized page by many people, then there's less fear of the page being out of date if maintained manually. Conversely, if it's a lightly visited page, then the benefits gained from doing a manual list is smaller, and with less people keeping an eye on the page it might not be updated as quickly and using DPL might be better. So it's up to you guys to decide which lists might be worth maintained manually, and with which pages/templates the benefits of the dynamic nature of the list is greater.
I'll drop by again sometime later again to check if you need help, and offer another tip (don't want to overwhelm you all at once d-: ). I'll also hopefully have a list of all pages using DPL to help you double check that you've caught all the non-time-sensitive ones etc. Let me know if you have any questions! -User:PanSola(talk/history) 21:43, 8 May 2008 (UTC)