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 Post subject: Web Site Info Popups Working Again
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 6:07 pm
Posts: 2930
The informational popups for the main web site stopped working a few weeks ago and I have finally fixed the problem. You can get information from Blogs to Player Profiles to Server Information.

One of the changes coming in 0.31.1 is a special mode for publishing server information. When you move your mouse over a server link in the lower left corner of the screen under New Signups you will be shown a list of the Top 20 Players on the server. If you go to the Server List page on the web site you can move your mouse over any of the server links and get the same information.

There was a form of this available on the site a few weeks ago. It was a temporary idea until I could come up with this solution. :) The old form would actually try to display the Ranking Page from the web site. This would cause a couple of annoying problems.

The first would be the web page could be changed by the ranking page style sheets. This opened up a possibility to exploit our site by displaying unwanted advertisements.

The other problem is how web crawlers were hitting these popup links and accessing the listed server. Our site gets hundreds of hits from many web crawlers every day. We have had over 20 google bots trolling our site at the same time. We could try to block access but that doesn't mean they would actually be blocked. :) The game servers probably wouldn't like to have the useless extra bandwidth usage but that's not the bigger problem. The bigger problem would have been the excess database calls being caused by the google bots.

So with 0.31.1 the game will create a text file that contains only text information for the top 20 players on the server. This file is only created every hour. It doesn't use any extra database calls as it is created when someone accesses the ranking page.

This also allows us to have a nice clean display on our web site for the Top 20 Players on the selected server. If you want to see how this works just move your mouse over our Main Game link. If the server isn't 0.31.1 then a message saying the server doesn't support this feature.

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