Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Random slow page loading and timeouts resolve!

It took me 2 weeks, but I finally solved a issue that was causing slow page loading and timeouts during peak hours.  This issue caused mininum impact (1-2 minutes) to myVidster, which was the reason why it took so long to resolved.  Being the only developer forces you to prioritize tasks and this was not a critical issue.

By default Apache rotates its logs every 2 hours.  When this happens it issues a graceful restart to the Apache service.  During peak traffic, the Apache service can take a few minutes to catch up to users requests causing slow page loading and timeouts.  I did not notice this because graceful restarts does not reset the server uptime when monitoring the Apache server status page.  It was not notice till I drive into the Apache error_log and saw that the graceful restarts were happening in 2 hour intervals.

As with most issues, a simple Google searched reveal the solution.  Enabling Apache's Piped Logs resolved Apache's need to perform a graceful restart to rotate the logs.  I also made a few tweaks to the logging service to reduce the amount of useless and redundant data that was being logged.

For the end user, this should resolve the periods of slow page loading and timeouts that has been occurring during peak hours.  As always I continue my efforts to make myVidster an enjoyable social experience.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Making myVidster more social!

The two most requested features that I get from users are more integration with social networks like Facebook and Twitter and a mobile app.  While the idea of building a mobile app is worthwhile, there are a lot of technical barriers and could easily take months to develop.  For now I am going to hold off on building a mobile app and continue my work on the myVidster site.

Social Network Linking (Beta)
Users can connect their social network accounts (Facebook/Twitter) to myVidster so that other users in your social networks can find and follow you. myVidster will automatically find other users in your social networks that are using myVidster as well!  Also out of curiosity myVidster will not auto post to your social networks.  This feature is in beta, please provide feedback and report any issues.

Profile Photos
After you have linked your social network account(s) to myVidster you can use your profile photos for your myVidster profile photo.  The reasoning behind using the user's social network profile photo instead of allowing users to upload a photo is to reduce redundancy.  myVidster directly links to the photo from your social network so that if you decide to change it (which most people do regularly) you will not have to updated your photo on myVidster.

Social Sharing
The social sharing buttons have been available on myVidster for some time.  Recently I have made a few updates to make them more useful.  When you bookmark a video, the confirmation page now gives you the option to share your video bookmark with your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc).  Before you would bookmark the video then navigate to the video bookmark page to do this.  I have also added the tumblr share button.

The last few weeks have been busy and I am continuing my work with improving site performance (expect faster page load speed during peak hours) and solving issues.  Well its time to have another cup of coffee and back to work!