Monday, March 22, 2010

Auto Pagination And Shared Network Resources

Many of you who publish blogs have home computers, connected to the Internet. If you don't live alone, you probably share the use of your computer, or your Internet access. Even those who live alone may share resources occasionally.

It's possible that, if you own your computer and provide your Internet access, you recognise two truths about computer and Internet use:
  1. Network resources have a cost. Neither your computer, nor your Internet service, is free. You (or somebody) had to buy your computer, at one time. Somebody pays your ISP a monthly fee, so you can surf the Internet.
  2. Network resources are shared. You may have a problem downloading the latest blockbuster movie, while your roommate is listening to his / her favourite Internet radio station. You may notice that it takes 2 - 3 times as long to download a movie in the evening, as it does very late at night. If your household shares a computer (I believe this is still not uncommon), you may have to wait to use YouTube, while somebody else is reading email.

Believe it or not, the same limitations apply to Blogger and Google resources. There are millions of Blogger blogs, all sharing a handful of servers. At any time, your blog may be shared on a server, and a network, that is also sharing a few thousand other Blogger blogs. The servers and the network, are not free, and they are shared.

Since resources are not free, they are limited in availability. Not everybody maintains a second computer, to use when the first goes down. Nor do many bloggers have "dual WAN" Internet access - so if the phone line goes down, you can switch to cable based Internet. Or FIOS, if you're so lucky.

Google, believe it or not, is subject to some limitations. They do not manage their resources as tightly as I manage mine - from researching custom domain designs, I can tell you that. However, even Google does not have infinite network resources - there are limits, and those limits can be exceeded.

If your blogs main page display is 10 times the size of most blogs (and I've seen some that are 100 times the normal size), your blog will use the resources allocated to 9 other blogs, when it's being served to your readers. This is called peak resource use, and it's a problem. Blogger can plan for average use of servers, and the network, a lot easier than they can plan peak use.

If your blog is topical - for instance a school blog that may be accessed by 20 - 30 students simultaneously - and it uses 10 times as much resources, as other blogs, to serve its main page, your blog can possibly take over an entire server or network segment, temporarily. This could even be part of the cause of the occasional
Error 500 Server Error
that we see, from time to time.

Blogger doesn't want to prevent you from enjoying your blog, nor are they going to prevent your readers from accessing it. All that they do is take the archive or main page display, and serve it in segments. This helps your blog coexist with the thousands of other blogs, when it's being served.

You don't have to do anything extraordinary, either. Just design your main page so it doesn't require half the blog to be displayed at once. Alternatively, accept the need to use shared resources, politely. Remember - the life that you save may be your own.

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1 comment:

CredCris said...

ok, um ótimo final de semana a todos