Is extending tables for plugins good or bad practice
Inspired by this discussion I wanted to ask if extending tables for the sake of performance reasons a good idea - and will it work anyway?
some of the things you are asking for would be affecting performance in a high use board. e.g. seeing participants in each thread on the discussions view.
Performance goes down if you use more tables. You could add an additional column to discussion table and let this column be updated with a list of all users in this discussion whenever it gets updated because someone posted to it. So the critical operation (counting comments per user and storing this information) must only be done, when a discussion gets commented.
Afterwards this information could be reached within one query to the discussion table.
Is this a clever workaround for performance problems in the above example (like I think) or is this a bad habit I should not even think about? And would this additional column be accessible for me?