Awasu » Awasu 3.1.1.alpha1 released
Saturday 23rd September 2017 1:25 PM [Awasu News]

And the Awasu juggernaut just keeps on a-rollin' on... 🙂

If we were ever to adopt the WordPress practice of naming releases after people, the 3.1.1.alpha1 release would surely be called "Jacek". He's a data analyst in Europe who has been pushing Awasu into territories far beyond where it had gone before, particularly wrt its search engine. To be honest, I was impressed that Awasu held up as well as it did, but even I would have to admit that it was a bit sluggish and crashy when under load, and so we've been working closely together over the past few months, sorting all these issues out.

A lot of the improvements relate to search, both in how the search index gets updated, as well as how search results are generated. In one case, I managed to speed up the code by 50 times, which made preparing search results significantly faster ::-): It's rare to get this kind of a win, so yes, I was definitely jumping around the room, pumping my fist in the air :jig: And since that bit of code is used elsewhere in Awasu, those operations will be noticeably snappier as well.

The other area that received attention was shutting down Awasu, which was prone to stalling or crashing. You might think that this is a funny thing to be focusing on, but startup and shutdown are often the fiddliest parts of a program. Large programs are split up into separate modules that do different things, and so while the program is starting and module A is coming up, it might need a service provided by module B, so you need to bring that up before module A. Except that module B needs a service provided by module A :wall: , so you need to partially bring up module A, just enough so that module B can start, then go back and finish bringing up module A. Sigh...

At least during startup, you're in a known state i.e. nothing. During shutdown, literally anything could be happening at that time e.g. the part of Awasu that updates channels finishes updating a feed at just the wrong time, and it wants to notify the database module that it needs to store some new content, except that the database module has already shutdown, or is half-way through shutdown, and Awasu gets confused. It's very easy to have problems with this kind of thing going on, and it's very difficult to debug since it's so dependent on what's happening at that exact moment 🙁

But things are much better now - I haven't received a crash report for, oh, at least a few days now (joking!) - and Awasu shuts down much quicker and much more reliably now.

Not that you would ever want to shut Awasu down, of course... 😀

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