October 26th, 2003

Friends page via POP3

I had a simple but great idea just now in the shower (where all great ideas come, for some reason...)

Why not provide the friends page via POP3? I always talk about IMAP, but IMAP is a bitch to implement, and there aren't many good clients anyway. But tons of people can check POP... via webmail, via Hiptop Sidekicks / other phones, you name it.

I think it'd actually hit the server less, too, since clients would cache things they already have.

It's been ages since I did work with POP, but I remember the protocol is trivial. I'm not sure if I'd support the "delete from server" or not. There are a few minor complications, but pretty simple.

Adding this to mental wishlist.

Review request

whitaker just finished a huge honkin' patch which completes the memcaching of the friends pages. (woohoo!)

Previously we were only memcaching clustered stuff (loading people's entries), but Whitaker added support to memcache everything, including all the global (non-clustered) queries, like finding a user's friends and colors, finding when they last updated, etc.

If you know Perl and got a few minutes, please review:


Also, warning: this is the first patch where we've been unable to keep the non-memcached version as fast as before. (Well, we could've, but it would've involved massively parallel codepaths, one of which would've bitrot.) So if you're running a loaded LiveJournal-based site and plan to upgrade to this code, be sure you're using memcached.

Whitaker and I have spent quite some time reviewing this, and Whitaker's done a bunch of testing, but it won't go live for a number of days, probably. When it does, though, we expect some impressive performance improvements.