Monday, July 26, 2004

Technorati and Software Development

Heavy users of the Technorati may have noticed today that the service is currently suffering from major issues, and not just of the garden variety we've all become accustomed to, either. The way in which Technorati's chosen to unveil its latest changes flies in the face of what I consider to be a fundamental law of web development: never use the same platform for developing and providing services if you can at all help it, in order to avoid causing service outages if any of the changes you implement screw things up.

I don't know what Technorati's cash flow situation is like, but I very much doubt that it can be so bad that the firm can't afford to acquire a few old machines to use for beta testing purposes, rather than rolling out breaking changes without warning and then scrambling to fix things (if they are even scrambling, that is). The sheer unreliability of the service is getting to be so irritating that I'm feeling more and more of a mind to put together a home-grown alternative of my own, by which I mean not an aggregator like the excellent Bloglines, but a spidering/indexing service which confines itself to weblogs alone, and is able to return both the numbers of links to a blog and the context in which a given link occurs.

One additional feature I'd like in my implementation should I get around to it is to do away with the whole link-aging thing used by Technorati: why should I care that a given link is more than X days old, as long as I'm able to search and sort links by age?

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It was a remarkable debut. Chinese search engine Baidu.com's shares sold in the United States for US$27 ($39) - then surged on day one to close at US$122.54 ($177.46).

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