It’s a few days now since Booko was brought to its knees by an enormous (by Booko standards) spike in traffic. It’s an exciting way to have your web project fail – a massive number of users who are trying to use your site. Traffic’s dropped off to a fair degree, but is still far above pre-spike levels which is great.
The largest problem was the method the price grabber used to find books which need to have their prices looked up. It worked fine with just a few users, but didn’t scale at all well. This was fixed pretty quickly – it was making the site unusable – prices just weren’t getting looked up. The next bug was in the code which calculates the price of the books in the cart – this was doing great big table scans which was running the machine out of memory – it was a pretty simple fix once I’d identified it. It was disabled for a few days while I fixed and tested it. It’s now back in action. There have been a number of performance fixes too which should speed up the site.