Friday, February 3rd, 2006

Ironing out the kinks

Update: By twiddling something, LibraryThing helper database guy, Austin Swinney (profile), appears to have fixed the character issue. (The sort order is still Swedish—literally—but that’s close to correct and I’ll change it the next downtime.) I’m not sure what’s happened to changes made in the last day. Can people send me problem instances?

So, LibraryThing got a new server. It’s a good deal faster than the previous one. Although there have been some slow-downs while I did work—when I can, I prefer to leave the site up—average speed has increased substantially for most users. I’ve also turned back on some of the features I dimmed, eg., book-by-book recommendations. Yesterday some books were getting confused—thinking they were other books—but the problem was resolved.*

Here are some kinks I’m working through:

  • Accents and foreign scripts have been affected. The server move also involved an upgrade from MySQL 4.1 to MySQL 5, and I’m still straightening out the character-set changes. For what it’s worth, it would probably be better if you didn’t try to fix errors yourself, since they’ll just become errors again when I fix the system.
  • The library-suggestion page is still down. I’m going to bring it back based on a different, better algorithm, which also says WHY a book is being suggested.

My next update will be to get the book/work issue resolved. This will go hand-in-hand with a redesign of the book-info pages. Here is a nonfunctioning sample for Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Look at how many different editions (covers) people have!

*For techies, crc32 in PHP is dependent on system architecture, so the move from a 32- to a 64-bit machine changed all my work numbers. Arg!

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