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xSpy v0.4 Review

Please note that this is pretty much a negative criticism post, rather than a balanced review as mentioned in this thread. Also be aware that stuff posted here may be highly subjective.
Please feel free to criticise this post, however.

Plugin Reviewed: xSpy Plugin!
Plugin Version: 0.4 (last updated 20th June 2010)
Plugin Author: flash.tato
Author Message
ZiNgA BuRgA Offline
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Posts: 3,338
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #1
xSpy v0.4 Review
This is a plugin "review" requested by flash.tato.


No outright issues were found.  Just a few concerns and suggestions:
  • I think it would be a good idea to start "spying" immediately when the page is loaded.  I don't really see any other purpose of why you'd go to a blank page
  • There is a 15 second window when you initially start "spying", which may not be terribly useful for smaller boards.  I guess the purpose of this plugin isn't really to provide a history, so perhaps this is desired behaviour, though, maybe, it might be a good idea if this time interval was configurable.
  • Maybe I'm wrong on this, but I couldn't find anything which automatically clears old entries from the page.  Probably not a big issue however.
  • Maybe draw a line in the list when the user starts/stops "spying", so they know where new/old entries are
  • In the xspy_install() function, $db->write_query should be used instead of $db->query
  • There is no breadcrumb on the xSpy page - perhaps there should be one?
  • There's not really a fallback for users with JS disabled; arguably, this is pretty much a non-issue, though a <noscript>You must have Javascript enabled to view this page</noscript> would be preferable
  • The default polling interval of 1.5 seconds is perhaps a bit odd when timestamps on the server are stored in whole seconds.  Perhaps 1 or 2 second intervals would be more appropriate, although, arguably, there's some delay with sending/receiving requests, which could fill up the 0.5 second gap.  Also, it may be a good idea to allow the polling period to be configurable by the admin, to potentially reduce server load from many requests.
  • The plugin doesn't really do extensive permissions checking - it checks whether the user can view the forum or not, but doesn't check stuff like whether the thread is unapproved; arguably not a big issue, but may not be desirable
  • Static data which is logged into the xspyevents table is static, thus if changed, could be inaccurate (eg thread being moved to a different forum); arguably not a big issue, but may not be desirable

Otherwise, the plugin looks quite solid from what I can see.  Good job flash.tato Smile

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(This post was last modified: 06-29-2010 01:40 PM by ZiNgA BuRgA.)
06-25-2010 04:04 PM
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Messages In This Thread
xSpy v0.4 Review - ZiNgA BuRgA - 06-25-2010 04:04 PM
RE: xSpy v0.4 Review - flash.tato - 06-25-2010, 08:47 PM
RE: xSpy v0.4 Review - ZiNgA BuRgA - 06-25-2010, 09:13 PM
RE: xSpy v0.4 Review - flash.tato - 06-25-2010, 09:23 PM
RE: xSpy v0.4 Review - ZiNgA BuRgA - 06-26-2010, 09:16 AM
RE: xSpy v0.4 Review - flash.tato - 07-03-2010, 08:02 AM
RE: xSpy v0.4 Review - ZiNgA BuRgA - 07-03-2010, 10:14 AM
RE: xSpy v0.4 Review - flash.tato - 07-03-2010, 06:47 PM
RE: xSpy v0.4 Review - ZiNgA BuRgA - 07-03-2010, 07:04 PM
RE: xSpy v0.4 Review - flash.tato - 07-03-2010, 08:56 PM
RE: xSpy v0.4 Review - ZiNgA BuRgA - 07-03-2010, 10:10 PM

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