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Permanent link to archive for Monday, March 17, 2003. Monday, March 17, 2003

Scott Love tells the story of outliners. 

We're going to start the transition to the new backend server for, now, at approx 2PM Pacific. Some things won't work at first. The three-hour queue will get flushed this one time. The changes file may not update for a few minutes. And it may take some time for the DNS change to percolate. But the backend will be faster when all this is done.  

Update on the upgrade. The DNS remap has been done, the new server is taking pings. Next change, the new home page for is in place. The first update it shows was at 1:51 Pacific. Next change, we're now bridging RPC calls to the old server to the new server, so that until the DNS change fully percolates the pings should still be registered. Note that this is the slow server, if your pings go through this route, you'll still see timeout errors until the mapping is complete. Lawrence tested the ping-site-forms, and they appear to work. So far everything appears to work.  

According to BBC and NYT, war in Iraq is imminent. Bush will speak at 8PM Eastern. British cabinet minister resigns.  

Tim Bray says XML is too hard for programmers. 

More pictures from the cross-country drive. 

David Davies is keeping a list of RSS search engines. 

I asked David to keep it in OPML so I could link it in to the directory that I maintain, and he obliged. Now when he updates his list my directory will update, within one hour of his update, sometimes sooner. 

I made good progress on the move of the backend of, until I noticed that the performance of the new machine was going to hell. I sighed aloud and started turning things off so I could figure out what the root of the problem was. Well, it turns out some idiot at is crawling the Radio discussion group with a huge number of simultaneous threads. The new performance suckage has nothing to do with my new code. I turned him off every way I know how to, now we just have to wait for whoever it is to ratchet down his or her crawler and stop abusing our server. 

Andy Edmonds has a neat Mozilla tool for with a twist. It only shows weblogs that are in the browser's history database, so it shows you sites which have updated that you have already visited. Very clever way to add prefs to the huge number of sites in changes.xml. (Andy sends a postscript, it can also be configured to work off your favorites, not just history.) 

I saw a comment on a weblog last night (sorry I don't remember which one) wishing that the ping-server in could be federated. It can be. UserLand distributes the server app for no charge. It can run inside either Frontier or Radio. So the minimum cost to federate is $39.95. And you get a lot of other back-end services at no extra charge. In the meantime due to a change in Movable Type, people are seeing more timeout errors when pinging (but the errors don't prevent the pings from working). This is because the back-end is running on a way overloaded machine that isn't too fast to begin with. So instead of driving to Boston today, I'm going to stay one more day in NY and move the back-end app to a faster server. I'll need help from Lawrence on this.  

BTW, in this context a service can be "federated" if more than one server can run the software. Apache, IIS, Manila, Movable Type are all designed to be federated. When Blogger licensed its software to Globo in Brazil last year, it was federated (before that it had not been federated). Originally the backend for Radio was not federated, because it's easier to develop something that's not, but around this time last year we lifted it up, and made it easy to install and easy to configure, so it can work on any number of servers.  

Werbach: "Forget what you think about Microsoft in the operating system or PC application market. In telecom today, they are the good guys." 

Rafe Colburn explains why Algol-like languages are far superior to Perl for working on large scale, multi-programmer, long-term projects. I'd go further. If you use an outliner to edit your source code, his multi-line Java example shrinks down to one line, just like his Perl example. If you don't program in an outliner I'm sure you have no idea what I just said. If you do, you're probably chortling and guffawing and pointing at the screen saying "See what I said."  

Adrian Holovaty reviews Web NCAA bracket interfaces. 

NY Times: "Laura Bush has nothing on her public or personal schedule for the coming week, when a war might well start. Her press secretary, Noelia Rodriguez, says that Mrs. Bush, in fact, has nothing on her schedule until much later in the spring -- a signal, perhaps, of when the White House expects a war in Iraq to be over." 


Last update: Monday, March 17, 2003 at 2:58 PM Eastern.

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