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Possible. I can see why people would want it as a feature. I'm mainly font end coding, but it doesn't really sound like too drastic a change as far as coding goes (someone else may have a different opinion). It would require more settings and checks though so yes, it certainly would not increase performance. How bad it would be is going to depend on the amount of traffic the site gets and how much grunt their servers have in reserve.

Another thing that I've had grumbles about is the ignore user function. At the moment it hides posts only in actual thread pages. It doesn't hide them in the recent posts, unread replies or unread posts listings. It was done this way for performance reasons. Again, running this sort of thing requires settings and checks and these do result in some penalty. You don't get something for nothing. Every bit of code you run will take time and resources to process.

On the other hand, I can see why people would want an ignore user function to do what it says on the box. A site that doesn't get a lot of traffic, and has reasonable servers, could probably stand the added overhead. A really big site that is pushing its servers hard during peak usage times might not want the added overhead. OTOH, such a site should have tech staff who are good enough to know when load needs to be reduced and how to reduce it. So there is an argument for including that functionality for people who want it.

Angelina Belle:
The "show new unread posts in watched topics" feature would be a one-for-one replacement for "show new unread posts in topics I've posted to" feature. So it might not make performance any worse. And it wouldn't remove any functionality, either. It wouldn't even confuse the users, if the language strings were written appropriately.

"ignore users even in recent posts" would be a possible default feature, something to be turned off in large/active forums, for the sake of caching.  Some of the "23 ways to improve performance" could even be implemented in a single "button" that would throw several such switches to the "optimum for large sites" setting. The "big forum button", of course, could just as well be a mod.

What has been posted makes a great deal of sense. SMF should continue to engage the community at every point and involving them.

As the community becomes more involved I am sure extra help will come with that too. One of the next great ideas for future generations of SMF is a hook based system for mods.

Either way - a great post and good news for everyone.

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