Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Eclipse Wiki gets a kick in the butt

Matt just finished work on the Eclipse Wiki. The goal was to make it much faster, as it was badly suffering lately. Here's what he did:

- move it to a separate web cluster. It's no longer fighting for CPU cycles with CVS, SVN and other large services.
- move it to a separate IP address, so we can make Wiki bandwidth and responses high priority.
- enable APC PHP caching.
- enable mod_gzip to make transfers smaller (and faster).
- upgrade to the latest MediaWiki release.
- move it off NFS. The Wiki uploads are still on NFS, but the PHP files themselves are local.

Access times have drastically reduced. I was seeing 20+ second access times before, whereas most access times occur within one second now.


New Downloads page

The second most controversial page on www.eclipse.org just got a major overhaul today -- the main Downloads page.

Its last redesign was done sometime in early 2005, when I introduced the smart mirrors system. It was given a new look when the purple Phoenix skin was introduced later that year, and it hasn't been redesigned since.

As time went on, more and more people wanted more content on that page. Today's design, using the tabbed view, allows lots of content to be front-and-center without too much clutter.

Thanks to everyone who tested the page, and who provided valuable feedback. Props to Nathan for actually doing all the work.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Linux users love their Eclipse

I'm reading the latest issue of my favourite Linux rag and I see a lot of references to Eclipse. Again.

- LJ Index, their monthly 'top 20', where they feature interesting statistics on all things computer-related. This month, they compare the number of files, directories and lines of code in the Linux Kernel, gcc, KDE4, GNOME, X Window and ... Eclipse 3.4

- Flip a page, and there's a short article about the Ganymede release. "Eclipse sets the bar pretty high."

- Talend's Open Profiler adorns the New Products page

- A page over I read that Protecode is offering a free one-year subscription to anyone working actively on an Eclipse project.

Cool stuff.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Keeping an eye on website performance

As reported, our Wiki's performance has been suffering lately, but the problem was intermittent. As these types of problems are hard to catch, I wrote a small shell script that would log the time it takes to log into the wiki and access a page as an authenticated user. In true MythBuster style, there's also a control value -- how long it takes to pull the home page from www.eclipse.org, which we never get complaints about.


while [ 1 = 1 ]; do

# Log in and save cookies
A=$(date +%s)

wget -q --no-check-certificate --delete-after --save-cookies=cookies.txt \
--post-data=wpName=mylogin@eclipse.org\&wpPassword=mypass\&wpDomain=bugs.eclipse.org \

B=$(date +%s)
let DIFF=B-A

# Get a page as an authenticated user
wget -q --no-check-certificate --delete-after \
--header="Accept-encoding: gzip,deflate"--load-cookies=cookies.txt \

C=$(date +%s)
let DIFF2=C-B

wget -q --delete-after --header="Accept-encoding: gzip,deflate" http://www.eclipse.org/
D=$(date +%s)
let DIFF3=D-C

echo "$NOW: Login: $DIFF Access page: $DIFF2 www home: $DIFF3"

sleep 300s

By running this for a few days from a computer some 3500km away, I was able to determine that the problem wasn't with the actual Wiki software or servers, but with our PIX firewall that was throttling incoming connections. Establishing a connection could take up to 40 seconds during peak times.

Now the Wiki is now much happier, but we still have some tricks up our sleeve to make things better. Matt will be moving the Wiki to an isolated cluster soon (it is currently sharing the CVS/downloads cluster) and configure the PHP engine to use APC.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Equinox is Standardized

The Equinox project just moved to the new top level RT project. In the process we migrated their groups structure to the standardized groups layout (from bug 198541) and added a website component. Thanks to Tom Watson for taking the time to help me get this move right and for the excellent wiki page laying out the new locations. Life is so much easier as an adminsitrator of these standardized projects. That means we get to spend more time helping you get your stuff done.

More migrations are coming to a neighborhood near you. :)