30 Dec

Some Flickr Stats

From this Salon article:

  • 176,000+ members
  • 2.2+ million photos growing at the rate of about 30,000 a day
  • 82% of the pictures on the site are publicly available

01/03/05 update: Uploading Mayhem: We feel your pain!:

  • "The number of images uploaded has tripled over the past two days, January 1 and 2
  • Normally we serve about 15 million photos a day, now were serving about 30 million
  • About 20 images are uploaded very second; when an image is uploaded, processing it takes a few seconds, because 5 images in different sizes are made, and because we keep live backups on site, each image is each saved onto two different servers"

01/20/05 update: Stewart Butterfield: Growing Pains.

29 Dec

Inside LiveJournal’s Backend

Here’s data sampled from this PDF about Livejournal presented by the Danga team (Lisa and Brad):

  • 100+ servers
  • 5+ million accounts, about half active
  • 50M+ dynamic page views/day

The document explains all the steps over five years from one shared server to the current infrastructure, with users spread around database clusters, two proxy/load-balancing layers (at the IP and HTTP levels), and caching handled by memcached (also used by Slashdot, Wikipedia, Meetup – handles 100,000 queries/second at peaks with a 90-93% hit rate). It all started as a "college hobby project"!
Update (somewhat related): Adam Bosworth: Where have all the good databases gone.
05/30/07 update: A bunch of presentations on scaling websites: twitter, Flickr, Bloglines, Vox and more., Inside Myspace.com, What powers Curse Gaming.
08/24/07 update: High scalability blog.

15 Dec

What Is XMLHttpRequest?

Drew McLellan:

"By using JavaScript, a web page can make requests to a web server and get responses in the background. The user stays on the same page, and generally has no idea that script running on the page might be requesting pages (using GET) or sending data (using POST) off to a server behind the scenes. […]
Say that you have a couple of select lists on your page, and in a drill-down style the user’s selection in the first list determines the options available in the second. […] By utilising XML HTTP to fetch the options for the second list behind the scenes, you not only make the experience a little more slick for the user (no page reloads), but you also reduce the load on the server as it doesn’t have to rebuild that page. […] Another neat trick you can perform using this technology is using the server to perform any tricky processes that have until now been left to the client."

02/10/05 update: by the same author: Very Dynamic Web Interfaces.
03/24/05 update: Dynamic Web Apps and the Uncanny XMLHttpRequest Object!, XMLHttpRequest Usability Guidelines.

11 Dec

Proof That Microsoft Lost It

I’m setting up a Shuttle mini PC for friends. Of course I don’t bother to buy a floppy drive, who needs these things anymore? Well, a freshly bought Windows XP OEM CD ROM, that’s who. You can’t install a third party driver (in this case, a SATA PCI board because I bought the wrong Shuttle reference without SATA onboard – thanks Shuttle for using ambiguous product references) from a CD ROM. How fucking pathetic is that?
Thanks for nothing Microsoft for forcing me to a) shut down my own PC to get the only floppy drive left in the house, b) put it in the Shuttle to install the damn driver, c) remove it from the Shuttle, and d) put it back in my own PC. I appreciate the waste of time because you’re too busy fixing holes in your product and working on Cairo 2008. I can’t imagine how mad I’d have been I didn’t own a floppy drive at all. (Robert Scoble, you’re welcome to report this to whomever is in charge of blowing the heavy layer of dust off of Windows XP – someone should tell Steve Ballmer that’s what you currently have for sale.)

05 Dec

What is Phanfare?

Phanfare:

"maintains your ad-free, branding-free, photo albums on the web using its groundbreaking auto-synchronizing Phanfare Photo software. Instead of having to manipulate a slow and clunky web interface, you interact with our zippy local application on your PC. Everything happens quickly and effortlessly, locally, on your computer. In the background, while you work, we keep your website up to date. Your friends and family access your pictures via the web, while you manage the albums through the reponsive Phanfare Photo application. It’s the best of both worlds."

Seems an interesting proposal for $9 a month. Like Flickr, it supports customized URLs but goes one step beyond with the ability to use your own domain name. Phanfare is a .Net app, I heard about it on BeyondVC.