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» Factors: Andre Johnson

One of the NFL's best receivers notched a -2.3% DVOA last year. Does a target-by-target breakdown show he was better than that?

29 Sep 2005

Diet Site

by Benjy Rose

First of all, it's great to see all your smiling server requests here. ALL of them. Even with the outage during our peak lunchtime hours, we had the highest one-day visit total ever on this site yesterday ... breaking the old mark by about 30%. Thus the outage.

Apparently, so many of you tried to come visit us at the same time that the server couldn't handle all the requests, stuck its fingers in its ears, and yelled "La la laaaa, I can't hear you!!! La la laaaa!!!" Essentially, it shut down. We got it back up and running, after migrating to a different server, and put the "Sorry, We're Closed" sign up for the afternoon.

Meanwhile, two things were going on concurrently: first and foremost, we're working on a major reworking of the code that drives FootballOutsiders.com. Without getting too technical, it will allow the server to handle more simultaneous requests without doing the finger-in-the-ear thing, which is good.

The second and more immediate action was the creation of FO Lite, which is what you see. Looks just like FootballOutsiders, but with some functionality taken away to decrease server load. Everything you've always wanted in a football web site ... and less. Consider this Diet Crystal FootballOutsiders...OK, don't. Really. We removed the "last commented by" links on all of the Ramblings and Extra Points postings, and no longer will you see the Most Recent Ramblings boxes or the Most Recently Commented Extra Points box. Removing those three items should allow the site to handle the influx of traffic a whole lot better than it did before. Once we get a handle on what the traffic will look like -- and once we've done our SuperOptimization Code Thingy -- we should be able to reintroduce those features back into their natural habitat ... a Studebaker.

Thanks for your patience during this exciting time of growth.

Posted by: Benjy Rose on 29 Sep 2005

54 comments, Last at 09 Oct 2005, 2:00pm by Sid

Comments

1
by Basilicus (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 1:59am

I'm a bit late on the congratulations-wagon, what with the signing up with Fox and all, but - well - congratulations. I've been very happy to see this site grow over the past year and a half. It's seriously given me a community of smart football fans, some of whom I've been in touch with outside of the site. Football is just a small part of life, but it's nice even in the small things to come back from a day of screaming 'experts' on the 24-hour news channels and things going wrong in the world to find a little enclave of people who appreciate being smart, creative, and honestly curious in their endeavors. So congratulations to FO, not just for continuing to grow, but also for keeping up the quality of articles and for attracting and maintaining a community of fans who enjoy discussion and learning from each other.

2
by peachy (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 2:08am

It might almost be a joke from the 'Simpsons' - you hook up with Fox, and BAM your server crashes...

3
by ThinkQuick (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 2:38am

I like the update. The site seems to load much faster after a link is clicked. I'll take a faster slimmed down site with great content over a bloated site any day.

4
by pcs (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 2:51am

whew. for a bit there i was terrified FO was going to come back with a flash intro.

5
by pcs (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 2:51am

whew. for a bit there i was terrified FO was going to come back with a flash intro.

6
by pcs (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 2:52am

or with a double-posting feature.

7
by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 3:47am

I'd like to echo Basilicus's comments. I know some really cool people from this website...and I'm so throwing next year's FO Fantasy League :)

8
by Doug (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 7:37am

Look into calling Akamai, or some such company. It was very annoying yesterday when I needed to see if Adam Viatieri was going to make the HOF, and the site was down!

9
by Andy (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 8:39am

Having the courtesy to let us know what happened shows a lot of class.

10
by Zac (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 8:46am

My live bookmark via Firefox stopped working. Does that have anything to do with the changes you guys made?

11
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 9:54am

I TOLD you Fox was evil

(they're taking all your names and IP addresses and sending them to John Roberts)

12
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 11:08am

Aaron:

I have to say, the fact that you're working so hard to keep this site up (and still replying to comments) even after now being SUPER FAMOUS (tm) shows a ton of dedication. That's why I love this place.

13
by Adam H (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 11:40am

Maybe it was all the posts Carl put on the TMQ thread that crashed the server.
Haha, couldn't resist.

14
by Jerry P. (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 12:06pm

"I TOLD you Fox was evil
(they’re taking all your names and IP addresses and sending them to John Roberts)"

Then it's a good thing I use The Onion Router. Page loads much faster under Tor with the lite version.

FOX should just hostify the site for you. They should have all the bandwidth and server power you need.

15
by kleph (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 12:32pm

so with this new high-profile gig and the ensuing popularity, are you the football insiders now?

16
by kleph (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 12:33pm

so with this new high-profile gig and the ensuing popularity, are you the football insiders now?

17
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 4:59pm

Jeez, Benjy, the site's like lightning now. My God. Good job!

18
by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 5:30pm

Hmm, this seems as good as any a place to ask this, in a thread about server issues.

About a month ago, whenever I tried going to Football Outsiders, I get between 2 and 5 error messages "A runtime error has occurred, do you wish to debug?". Today it is at an all time high 6, but only on the front page. This only happens when I use my work computer, not my laptop or home computer. Anyone know why?

19
by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 5:30pm

Hmm, this seems as good as any a place to ask this, in a thread about server issues.

About a month ago, whenever I tried going to Football Outsiders, I get between 2 and 5 error messages "A runtime error has occurred, do you wish to debug?". Today it is at an all time high 6, but only on the front page. This only happens when I use my work computer, not my laptop or home computer. Anyone know why?

20
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 5:36pm

Wait, you mean your browser crashes?

Smart money says it's Flash crashing the browser, or the browser's old.

21
by benjy (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 5:53pm

Pat, we don't use Flash on the site. Some of our advertisers might, though.

MJK, it might also be our advertisers doing something funky. The Amazon box has typically been a source of errors for some reason. If you'll hit Yes when it asks you to debug, and email me the results, it'll give me a better idea of what's going on. Please use the contact form (link at top of page) and choose Webmaster from the pulldown.

Or it could be user error. :-)

22
by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 6:00pm

Benjy: I meant the ads, actually. A lot of your advertisers tended to a few months ago. Less so recently.

On a separate note: after I actually post a comment, nothing reloads afterwards (I just get a blank page). Is this just me, or is this known? I'm using Firefox, just for information.

23
by JPS (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 6:01pm

I want to write the Fox Sports Website people to say THANK YOU for taking on FO, but I did not find an email link for them on their website.

24
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 6:58pm

The publicity from foxsports.com had a lot to do with it, I bet.

25
by Zac (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 7:49pm

I got the thing that Pat in #22 was speaking about when doing my post too. I think all the double posts are from that as well (hitting back probably resends the comment). I will try it in IE. If my posts show up double, it happened to me too. Otherwise it must just be a Mozilla thang (TM).

26
by Zac (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 7:50pm

Did get stuck, but no double post apparently. My address bar showed http://www.footballoutsiders.com/wordpress/wp-comments-post.php as the address.

27
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 7:56pm

RE: 18

This is caused by certain advertisements. If you're using IE, go to Tools -> Internet Options -> Advanced -> Disable script debugging

28
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 7:57pm

RE: 26

That's happened to me the last two times I posted. The post does go through, but I get stuck at the wordpress screen.

29
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 8:01pm

Oh yeah, the website clock is something like 18 minutes fast, too.

30
by ABW (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 8:26pm

Wow, as someone who has worked in server administration(thankfully no more), can I just say I really wish our users were these users? God damn, when my servers went down people were practically threatening me with physical harm and calling into question my competence. The patience that people are showing here is refreshing. Of course, I didn't get to send out a nice explanatory message either, just a generic "our servers will be back up soon", so maybe that's it.

Congrats to FO on all your success, and let me say thanks to Benjy for working so hard to keep this site up, and way to be patient to everyone else.

31
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 9:03pm

Jerry P:

If you read this, I installed tor and Privoxy. I'm having some problems with Privoxy, though. Getting error messages pretty frequently.
If you could e-mail me, I'd appreciate it. n y g [double-zero] at h0tmail (written in that format to avoid crawlers. [double-zero] should just be 00. Remove the spaces). Thanks

32
by PatsFan (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 9:40pm

Re: #26, #28

I had exactly the same thing happen. I it "Say it", saw my previewed post, then hit the Post button to post it, and got a completely blank screen with the URL that #26 mentioned sitting in my address bar. But the comment did get posted.

To Aaron and the gang: Congratulations! This is a great step for FO! I echo what others have said about hoping this leads to better analysis by the mainstream media. And that this site ends up doing a lot more than feeding your daughter :).

And while I absolutely understand why you had to simplify the site, here's a definite plug for following through with your plans to being back the "last commented" stuff and the "most recent" sidebars when you can.

33
by benjy (not verified) :: Thu, 09/29/2005 - 10:52pm

Yeah, it seems a couple things got mucked up over the last day or so, including comment posting and our RSS feed. Firefox doesn't seem to recognize it anymore, although if you hit the link directly (http://www.footballoutsiders.com/wordpress/wp-rss2.php), you'll see the right info.

Those are things we'll unfortunately have to live with until the Great Space Coder comes through and recodes this puppy....which will hopefully be soon.

34
by Sid (not verified) :: Fri, 09/30/2005 - 12:20am

benjy:

The wordpress bug also appears when I use IE 6. BTW, I have experienced these problems in the past, albeit rarely. Today, it's happening every time.

35
by Joey (not verified) :: Fri, 09/30/2005 - 2:44am

I also get the wordpress white screen after posting. Using Safari with Mac OS X. I've seen it occasionally before. I always assumed it was during heavy traffic times.

36
by Israel (not verified) :: Fri, 09/30/2005 - 6:19am

#28 - "And while I absolutely understand why you had to simplify the site, here’s a definite plug for following through with your plans to being back the “last commented� stuff ... when you can."

Amen to that.

37
by Cabbage (not verified) :: Fri, 09/30/2005 - 1:09pm

Excellent Muppets reference!

38
by Jerry (not verified) :: Fri, 09/30/2005 - 7:20pm

What Israel said in #36. (And PatsFan in #28.)

39
by rowdy (not verified) :: Fri, 09/30/2005 - 10:23pm

congratulations.

still don't like the site. do something so i can increase the font size. why so many bloggers are so in love with sans-serif fonts, for large blocks of text, boggles me.

try Georgia. if you exercise a little more discipline with the word count, and write more efficiently, the posts won't look huge.

or, keep everything the same and make it so i can option-plus without bouncing the text out of the thin white middle and onto the 80s check thing.

and one more time: congratulations! you guys now officially rock.

40
by Joey (not verified) :: Sat, 10/01/2005 - 3:26am

Benjy--
I just got the white "wordpress" screen again after hitting submit on a post again. Only this time, it didn't take my post. (It had been working before.) Mac OS X using the latest version of Safari.

41
by Joey (not verified) :: Sat, 10/01/2005 - 3:28am

Time-related, perhaps? I waited 30 seconds or so before backing out of the white screen for the post above and it worked. I bailed right away on the one that didn't take.

42
by Joey (not verified) :: Sat, 10/01/2005 - 3:35am

Benjy--
Odd... I can't get the Skip Bayless kicker article in Extra Points to take my post, regardless how long I wait at the white wordpress screen. It works fine here.

43
by benjy (not verified) :: Sat, 10/01/2005 - 3:45pm

Joey...I just posted a comment to the Skip The Kickers article, so it's still working (and I'm using Safari as well). Not sure what's up. Um....try again?

44
by Alan Milnes (not verified) :: Sun, 10/02/2005 - 1:23pm

Rowdy,

Use Firefox as your Browser - I just hit Ctrl and + and the text size increases ....

45
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 10/02/2005 - 2:08pm

RE: last post

On any page in Windows, you can hold down control and scroll up or down. That's how you increase/decrease text size in Windows. You don't need firefox for that.

46
by Alan Milnes (not verified) :: Mon, 10/03/2005 - 10:55am

Sid,

I've never heard of that - where do you find the scroll up and down buttons??

Cheers

47
by Paul (not verified) :: Mon, 10/03/2005 - 11:28am

Keep up the good work

48
by Paul (not verified) :: Mon, 10/03/2005 - 11:28am

Keep up the good work

49
by Miles (not verified) :: Wed, 10/05/2005 - 1:51am

Here's a simple way to save bandwidth and page hit overhead: fix the extra points navigation. If the RSS feed linked directly to articles.php insead of index.php, you'd save 1/3 of your resources.
If you visit an extra point from the RSS feed, there is no link to the external link. To get to the external link, the RSS reader 1st click)opens the article 2nd click)opens the home page 3rd click)opens the extra point article (again, but index.php turns into articles.pho), and opens the external link.

50
by benjy (not verified) :: Wed, 10/05/2005 - 10:39am

Miles -- you're absolutely correct. That's one of the things we're fixing while we're rewriting the code for the site. thanks...

51
by PatsFan (not verified) :: Thu, 10/06/2005 - 1:08am

Cool! The comment function just worked properly for me (i.e. brought me back to the article I commented on, rather than leaving the blank screen.)

52
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 10/06/2005 - 12:36pm

RE: 46

I was referring to the wheel on the mouse. If you hold control and scroll the wheel up, font size gets larger, and vice versa.

53
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 10/06/2005 - 12:38pm

RE: 51

Yeah, it's working properly again.

54
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 10/09/2005 - 2:00pm

Site clock is 22 minutes fast.