First Thoughts On

So I finally got through to the manuscript viewer on I tried all day yesterday and got the same problem as everyone else...the server connections were too high. So now that I can see everything, here are my first thoughts:

  1. We will start with the thing that was obvious to all of us who showed up yesterday: you need to plan for high server volume if you have expect a spike in traffic from a media blitz.
  2. Design-wise I think the site is beautiful.
  3. Looks like they did the whole thing using a css-based and not table-based layout strategy. That’s impressive, because using css for layout is painful though it is the way to go when you can do it.
  4. I was hoping the manuscript viewer would be more like the one found at It works nice, looks nice, and is done with a cool technology (Silverlight). On first try this one looked nice but wasn’t working well for Firefox 3.

Perhaps more later. Off to work!


Patrick Gardella 2008-07-25 02:46:55

Its notoriously difficult to predict the traffic from any event. I work for a major TV network, and do these kinds of things all the time. Some will generate 1 Tbps while others you barely notice. You just never know. We always prepare for the worst, and go way, way, overboard.

This site is hosted at Univeristy of Leipzig, which should have more than enough bandwidth, I’d expect.

I’m both a PC geek and a TC geek :)


Eric 2008-07-25 03:00:36

So you’re a developer? What platform do you develop on?

I attended a local techie event about a year ago that was about Amazon’s services and how they could be used to handle things like this. You could use their S3 for instance disk space, or their computing cloud (I think) if you needed a bunch of new webservers to handle some load. I thought it was a brilliant idea. You see traffic spiking, quick, spin up another 30 webservers and shut them down in a couple days when the traffic returns to normal.

Of course, back then they only did Linux hosting, and I’m a .NET developer (and their site is run on ASP.NET, which I forgot to mention), so the ability to spin up Linux web servers wouldn’t do me much good (unless I moved it to Mono, but that’s another topic...).

According to the error message they were limiting usage to 100 concurrent users at a time, which seemed a little low, despite the fact that they were using lots of images. But I guess we would have to know how they have their infrastructure setup to know why that was the case.

And thanks for dropping by!