New server for Advogato

Posted 17 Feb 2004 at 07:33 UTC by advogato Share This

Thanks to Manish Singh and the Berkeley XCF for the new machine that hosts advogato.org. Hopefully, the switchover should be transparent for most of you, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were some small glitches such as losing cookies. If you need your account info restored, email Raph and he'll respond (he's been pretty flaky about this stuff recently).

The new machine is a dual P3 1.2GHz with 512M of memory, so it's a nice upgrade from the old one, but still not exactly an intimidating box. We should see a good improvement in responsiveness. If you want to see more, Manish tells me that any nice hardware donation would be appreciated, but an Opteron box would be supercool, if you happen to have one lying around.

For the curious, when Advogato was moved off wilber.gimp.org, it was serving almost 100,000 raw hits a day, all of which are generated dynamically from xml (except for the logo image). Of course, a goodly fraction of those are either spider crawls or RSS feeds, but it's still an impressive flow, especially considering what a lazy slacker bum Raph has been about maintaining the site. He isn't going to get any less busy any time soon, so he needs to start thinking about transferring the routine maintenance of the site to a cabal.

Thanks again to everybody in our community, who help keep this a thriving place in cyberspace. We've seen a lot go by in the more than 3 years since Advogato first launched, including the Linux / dotcom IPO boom and the subsequent tanking, and the site has just kept plugging away the whole time, keeping people in touch with each other. I think that's something to be proud of.


weird bottlenecks and patches, posted 17 Feb 2004 at 15:28 UTC by pphaneuf » (Journeyer)

I always wondered what was causing the slow response times when displaying articles? Because, as I remember, I could go around on user pages snappily, go to the recent diary entries pretty quickly, have the main page quick enough, but two things were always glacially slow: posting diary entries and fetching articles.

Posting diary entries, I could somewhat understand (although the slowness for the preview was dubious, it could be explained by saturated disk I/O writing the diarybackup file). But displaying articles? Was it just disk I/O saturation as well?

What kind of machine was the old server anyway? Doing anything else? I think it has gimp.org, but that site was fairly snappy, so it sounds like some bottleneck in the mod_virgule code...

Speaking of which, my permalink patch from March 2003 (almost a year ago) still isn't in CVS, much less on Advogato itself! Where should I send this for maximum effect?

..., posted 17 Feb 2004 at 21:49 UTC by madhatter » (Journeyer)

lets hear it for a return of Advogato's number!

yes it's a bottleneck in the mod_virgule code, posted 20 Feb 2004 at 08:55 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

there's a global lock on access to the XML files in the directory structure (which is laid out hierarchically and automatically a bit like exim4-daemon-heavy and ftp.debian.org).

every web page access checks sets and releases the global access. this is fine for everything like ordinary access.

however, there's a cron job run every fifteen minutes to access http://advogato.org/tmetric/ which does a recalculation of the trust metrics.

this now takes about... what's the usual delay.... well over a minute.

so the site becomes totally inaccessible for that period of time, every fifteen minutes, or longer if someone constantly tries to refresh on the above-mentioned page.

regarding patches and development: advogato is unlikely to be improved until raph, who i respect enormously, relinquishes control of the site's maintenance.

Global lock, eh?, posted 20 Feb 2004 at 14:59 UTC by pphaneuf » (Journeyer)

I didn't have much time to look at the code (other than for my "permalink in recent diary log" patch), but I went over the file structure, and it seems to me that most of this could be done using atomic operations on the Unix filesystem (think Maildir), without any locks. Maybe not all, but a great deal could.

I would have a closer look at the code, but knowing the current probabilities of this being of any use (since my 10 lines patch from a year ago still isn't anywhere), I'm not too excited...

Even if my patch doesn't get on Advogato, if only it'd get to CVS, so that I know that someday it could get on Advogato (as opposed to being lost in a spam filled mailbox), that'd be at least something!

Permalink patch, posted 23 Feb 2004 at 15:35 UTC by gary » (Master)

Funny you should mention a permalink patch, because the other day I made a patch that adds permalinks and editboxes to the recentlog, and permalinks to articles and Nick-style projects. That's now in CVS, so it'll appear here whenever raph does an update.

Advagota is so much usable now, posted 1 Mar 2004 at 15:18 UTC by gheet » (Apprentice)

Thank you for those who have moved advagoato to the new server and those who made the improvement, I find that it is so much more responsive:) I used to never been able to click on the people link without getting a timeout error. Now, the response is GREAT. Keep it the good work!

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!

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