Friday, 23 December, 2011

A faster more stable Skrivr

Skrivr was put to the test a bit yesterday. The problem was that Skrivr's sync functionality did not handle the load well when a large number of visitors visited a site at the same time. Roger Byrne covered it very well in his post "Trying out Skrivr" [Update: Roger has removed his article]. It all came down to the way the browser checked with Dropbox every time it needed to render a page.

We quickly re-prioritized our development backlog and completely rebuilt the sync functionality.

Now every post on a Skrivr powered site is saved into a static html-file which is served to the site visitor when the browser makes a call. The Dropbox-sync (to see if there's been any changes to the files) happens in the background. This makes Skrivr much faster, and able to handle loads better.

This improvement also isolates the sync process, meaning that a Skrivr powered site will be viewable in the unlikely case that Dropbox would be unavailable.

We'll do some more testing before we release this improvement to all accounts.

Here is a side-by-side speed comparison. The new faster Skrivr is on the left.