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Tell HN: Planned Maintenance Jan 23 1-5 AM PST
91 points by kogir on Jan 23, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 54 comments
During the maintenance window the site will be intermittently available, with varying degrees of responsiveness.

Tweaking our storage configuration a bit.

Whoah, new noticeboard feature. I like it! It harmonizes with my topcolor.

I object to labeling "Tweaking our storage configuration a bit" as "details", though. ;)

I'm sure there will be an extremely detailed postmortem. "Tell HN: We Tweaked our Storage"

And an inane comment thread wherein people bitch either for or against any decisions made.

Getting in early?

Just like the rest of the Internets.

I don't know if that's a noticeboard feature or someone just stuck the notice in the html template for now :P

How would you propose implementing a noticeboard feature?

Sites that do user notices on a regular basis often create a system where small bits of text go into a DB along with start & end times for display, the admin who posted it (for auditing purposes), countries where it's visible, etc. There's an ACL for who's authorized to post new notices. Then the main site template has a section that's shown only when there's an active notice and automatically disappears when the notice is stale.

All this is probably overkill for a site like HN. However, think about things like tsunami warnings on the Google homepage. These get shown only in a certain geographical location, they need to be approved by multiple people, and they need to get pushed out to tens of thousands of servers, all within minutes of the alert coming in. There's a lot of complexity that can go into even a simple feature.

GitLab has this feature, but it's called Broadcast.

tomato, tomato.

If something looks new on HN it probably isn't. I mean just look at the page source; it's tables. I take that back: don't look at the page source.

I love the page source! It's educational in its simplicity and confident in its austerity. I've used it as a learning guide in the past, when I was starting to code simple projects.


The html doesn't necessarily have to reflect the source code. pg and kogir have mentioned making changes to it now and then.

I guess that's what broke my favorite HN Android App.


Is that new, or is it the same thing PG et al use to ask YC applicants questions about their applications?

Really? I thought email is used for that.

I promise to do a post-mortem (with details), but from my perspective the issues that began on Jan 6th are ongoing. It's all I've been working on since then.

Once I get a break I'll write a blog post about it, and try the Matasano/Square and Stripe CTFs :)

While you're tweaking things, mind increasing the font size? I typically zoom in, but then the up arrows get pixelated. Such problems!

As do I. In fact, one of my favourite Firefox add-ons is called NoSquint, which remembers your zoom setting on a per-site basis. For me, Hacker News is constantly at 150%, and wikipedia is 180%.

As for the arrows being pixelated, rather than having higher resolution images, shouldn't the images be replaced with unicode?

▲ ▲

▼ ▼

Doesn't Firefox remember your zoom settings on a per-site basis out of the box?

Yep: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/font-size-and-zoom-incr...

NoSquint only seems to be useful if you want to adjust the global zoom level.

After playing with the extension for a moment, there's one key feature that'll probably make me keep it installed: per-site configuration of text-zoom vs. full browser-zoom. Firefox's "Zoom Text Only" is a global setting, but the extension permits it on a per-site basis.

It also puts the current zoom level in the status bar, which I find useful.

I think the answer to your question is yes, but at the risk of being downvoted, you might get a nasty reality check if you view source and do a find on the string "table."

It's possible to tweak it yourself. If you're in Chrome, save this gist to hn.user.js, edit to taste, and drop the file on the extensions page.


Check out the "HackerNew" Chrome extension. It's a much nicer look and interaction, IMO.

You could use a user stylesheet to change the font size without scaling the arrows.

I think sort of statement is pg's secret intention / reasoning behind keeping HN the same: hackers will make it work for themselves (e.g., via custom stylesheet etc.).

The problem with that reasoning is that it only applies to desktop. It's mobile where reading HN is painful, and that's exactly where I can't use custom stylesheets, at least not without installing a new browser.

There's several great apps though ;)

The arrows do become higher-res at 200%, if you're having serious readability issues.

Or you could do something with Stylish or the like.

So what's PST? Why can't we all use UTC/GMT+/-x so we all understand?

I guess most folks do know the difference between their own local timezone and UTC. That would have really saved me a couple of seconds to find out the difference between PST and UTC first.

0900Z - 1300Z

Furthermore, those "timezone" labels are inherently ambiguous. Either use the UTC offset (UTC-8) or the zoneinfo name (America/Los_Angeles).

> or the zoneinfo name (America/Los_Angeles).

Although it'd usually give me some idea, I wouldn't know what the offset of LA is.

It does seem to be a standard format though: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tz_database_time_zones

I'm sure you can find PST in a standard somewhere too, but the point is that by using UTC+x everyone can instantly determine their local time.

Okay quick quiz: What time is it currently in Europe/Zaporozhye? ... Time up! Alright next question. What time is it currently in UTC-3? ... Time up! Final question: What time is it currently in the GST timezone? ... Time up!

All of them used standard formats. Which one was the easiest?

For easy conversion to your own local time: http://localtime.io/#?d=Jan%2023%201-5%20AM%20PST

Thank you for spending so much time on this. We appreciate it.

How much karma do we need to change the color of the announcements bar?

What kind of storage requirements does HN have? I would expect everything to fit snuggly in 32GB of ram.

What, no zero downtime DB deployments?

HN doesn't have a DB.

It clearly has a DB, even if it is a simple filesystem store. DB != RDBMS.

pg actually just types the text of the page in when you request it. This system increases the average page generation time, but also increases civility.

This "planned maintenance" is just a cover for a quick nap.

Joke's on him. Hundreds of people have him enclosed.

Are these redesigned backup or improving recovery speed related changes by any chance?

I can't believe they're finally fixing the pagination bugs! Super excited.

Good luck!

And may the Source be with you.

good luck, it's a commendable thing that you're doing.

good luck

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