Strange Behavior with the Comments

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PG has received a couple of messages that describe something he’s observed himself.

Sometimes when PG pulls up TPV and examines a post for which he knows there are comments, when he gets to the bottom of the post, there is no indication that there are a number of comments, only the “Leave a Comment” link that has, in the past, meant that if you click on the link, you’ll be the first to comment on that post.

On other posts which have comments, at the end of the post, the number of comments that have been made is shown in the manner PG expects them to appear.

He has only noticed this behavior over the past few weeks and doesn’t recall seeing it before. In some cases, it seems to come and go, 10 comments listed for a post now and nothing shown a couple of hours later.

PG hasn’t made any changes to the site, theme, etc., to which he can attribute this behavior.

PG has archived about the oldest 20% of the posts on TPV (quite old ones) over the past few weeks simply to reduce the size of the TPV database, but has noticed that the number of comments (over 300,000) have not diminished on the TPV admin dashboard although he would have expected that archiving the posts might do something similar with the related comments.

Clearing his browser cache, opening TPV in a different browser, etc., haven’t yielded any useful information about this odd behavior.

Since PG’s plate has been full lately, he hasn’t had a chance to research the problem, but hopes to find time to do so soon.

For those who have left comments, but haven’t seen them show up in the “XX comments” line below the posts, PG has discovered that, if he clicks on the “Leave a Comment” link below a post that doesn’t indicate that there are any comments, he sometimes finds comments that have been made relative to that post.

That’s not a very efficient solution to this problem, however.

If anyone knows what’s causing this behavior or can point PG to potential causes or solutions, PG would appreciate you leaving a comment to this post. It would save him time spent looking for information online and get things running right around this joint again.

7 thoughts on “Strange Behavior with the Comments”

  1. I have no insight on the problem, but I have learned to click on items that I suspect might have comments even if there are none listed (or the number listed hasn’t incremented for days), because there will be comments on the page.


  2. This has actually been going on for quite a while, but I haven’t deemed it important enough to mention to you. Like M.C.A. Hogarth, I just click on the link if I suspect there might be comments or mine hasn’t shown up in the count.

    It has the hallmarks of a failure to flush the server cache on your main page in a timely manner. There is no “standard” way to fix this; I could dredge up the method for IIS and a .NET app configuration, but WP isn’t necessarily that. Look, in either the WP controls, or in the javascript files you have access to, for the word “cache” – combined with, usually the word “idle.” Most servers flush the cache after the site has been idle for however many seconds are specified by the following number. I once did a five second “miracle fix” on a company site that somehow had the idle time set to a full year. Never found out who had that bright idea.

    You have probably not noticed it until recently because the server cache is automatically flushed whenever the page is changed on the server – which is normally what you are doing when you go into it, adding a new post. Which is something you have been doing less of the last few days. (The issue became noticeable to me back when you took one of your vacations in happier days to see the grandchildren. May those come again soon…)

    • Yep. Didn’t update this post to “2 comments” with the previous one. (Makes it more likely that it is NOT in any scripts, but a site setting.)

      Ah, but the “# thoughts on…” in the comment form page is updating as new ones come in.

      • And your third comment makes no change to the one comment shown on the home page. I agree that this has been going on for quite a long time and have adopted a similar solution to you.

        I’ve also noticed that “Recent Comments” can vary according to which page I happen to have open, though I’ve not found any pattern governing this behavior.

  3. Firstly congratulations on over 300,000 comments to TPV. Most of the above is a foreign language to me, who could barely find her microphone when doing a podcast this week. Folk expect me to do things my Gibbs-style flip phone won’t do (maybe the user won’t?) I need a factory reset to about 25 years ago.

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