September 10th, 2003

  • evan

worky worky: userpics

It’s really interesting to me how much time we spend making new things work around old decisions. It seems we spend a good 50% of our dev time making migration scripts to slowly convert old data into a new format or redirects. I hadn’t really appreciated this before I started really working on LJ, and I don’t think many people external to LJ think about it either: there are many things that could be done in better ways, but we have data reaching back years and years that would take literally weeks to convert, depending on the transformation. (For example, the fundamental “user” database table used on LJ could use some modifications, but with 1.5 million rows, it’s not going to happen anytime soon.)

I don’t think better planning would help alleviate this much, either. While we do our best, it’s impossible to anticipate every way things will need to work in the future.

And now to the meat of this post: LJ’s userpics were slow, and, as usual, Brad had another scheme to make them fast.

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