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Tell HN: Sorry I broke the server
159 points by dang on Feb 15, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 64 comments
Experimenting with some code this evening and got so into it, I didn't notice that I broke story submission for two hours. Argh!

Sorry everyone.

Edit: While you're here... you can now view the comments you've upvoted by clicking on "saved comments" in your profile. It works like "saved stories". Thanks to porker for the suggestion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9050374.

Where there's people working there are bound to be mistakes. Don't sweat it, this is a free service after all and the service level for a non-advertising supported free service is absolutely incredible. I'd be more than happy to pay for HN as it is, you guys are doing a better job than most paid services when it comes to customer support, uptime and courtesy combined.

Hacker News is most definitely supported by ads. Perhaps you just don't realize it.


Sure, and Harvard is supported by ads, you just don't realize it.

(sell an education->create wealthy people->ask them to contribute->get endowment whose returns account for the largest source of its operating revenue[1])

but I find your semantics frankly ridiculous. yes hacker news belongs to ycombinator. but you can't just use the word ad however you want. No, not everything's an ad, and in particular you can't 'buy' a job ad on HN. It's not a good description of the situation.

[1] http://www.harvard.edu/about-harvard/harvard-glance/endowmen... "The endowment remains the largest source of revenue supporting the University budget."

I'm fairly certain those companies don't pay for those job listings.

Just because they give them out for free (to a very small specific group of companies) doesn't mean they don't have value.

Oh yes they certainly have value - but Those job listings aren't ads that pay for servers and bandwidth for hacker news.

Depends how you look at it.

Whether that value directly pays for servers or intangibly-or-directly increases their own startups' value doesn't seem like an important distinction.

Well, they are YC companies so they pay YC with a pretty significant portion of their equity.

Are you the same switz from #r/GlobalOffensive?

Seriously. I use HN as my "am I connected to the internet?" check, as it always loads instantly even when Google takes a while.

I personally use : http://perdu.com (up since 1998) Which translate into:

Lost on the Internet? Don't worry, we will help * <----- you are here

What fast IP do you use when you suspect you're connected to the internet but can't resolve DNS? I'm looking for a good non-Google IP (because China)

Level3's DNS is easy to remember at Or is that Verizon's?

You should only use or if you're an actual Level3 customer. While they do respond to public requests, they're not intended for public use, unlike Google's and servers.


Level3's VP says they're public.

(They go up to too, I think.)

Interesting. I seen to remember that at one point the reverse lookup for one of the 4.2.2.x addresses was "dont-steal-service-etc.somebody". I just send an ICMP ping when I need an IP to check a connection. I also seem to recall reading that the 4.2.2.x resolvers were multi-homed, but in both cases my memory could be faulty.

Or google's at and ?

I still ping the IP address of my college's DNS server, all these years later. Muscle memory dies hard.

I'd love to see their stats. They have basically 0 content and I hit them 10 times a day.

Hah, glad it's not just me. It's also the thing I hit if I'm trying to think of what I was doing/am idle for a moment... typing 'news.' just seems to flow from my fingers if they're unoccupied.

There used to be a race between Google news (news.google.com) and Hacker News to be the top suggestion for me, hacker news has pulled away to a strong lead recently.

Ctrl-T, N, Enter :/

same here, I visit this site so much that only typing 'N' does the job.

Ditto. Done with catching up on other stuff? CMD-T n enter. When it's perpetual tab gets closed, that is.

Yep, same for me. I'll be staring at the screen in thought, then up pops a Hacker News tab.

I have this habit too and it's deeply disturbing. Actively fighting it!

Why fight it? Visiting a technological/intellectual inspiration source definitely goes in my list of positive habits.

For me, because it can consume my entire workday. Has done that today, really.

I use HN because I can never trust whether anymore whether Google is really loading from a remote source or is just doing some aggressive caching magic (or whether Chrome just has the Google homepage baked in now).

In terms of uptime, HN has been hosted on a single server (until recently... I saw mention of a failover server). If you are just looking for a lightweight site to load, example.com is great.

Might want to spread that out over a few sites. Any one can go down.

Alexa's top 10 sites is usually a pretty good set.

it's perhaps worth remembering the service isn't 100% altruistic... though I agree it is indeed awesome and I'd probably be happy to pay for it too.

Could you give some good examples of 100% altruistic?

These are probably debatable, but I'd suggest Wikipedia and Archive.org would come close.

groklaw.net was close enough for me.

Saved comments throws an error trying to view page 2 of saved comments.

(change the below to your own ID ofc.)


Actually, it looks like page 2 of saved stories also breaks? Is it just finding something not cached and the site is currently broken for non-cached content?

Thanks! We were trying to track down an error message we were seeing, and you found it.

That's ok - you did it while I was asleep :)

I seem to remember that last year there was talk of re-doing the markup for HN so that it would be more mobile-friendly. What came of that idea?

We've been working on it lately and don't expect it to take too much longer, so stay tuned.

Great, thanks!

And I missed it in code review and testing. Sorry!

And now I'm doubling down. HN is once again running an entirely new HTTP pipeline.

Please let us know if you run into any issues, especially related to cookies and logging in/out.

When is the responsive style sheet coming :)?

Oh lord, I hope it will not force some annoyingly huge text on us. I am perfectly happy with the site as it is, works well with text-reflow.

As a fierce advocate for information density on Hacker News I can pretty well guarantee you it will never have annoyingly huge text.

Thank you!

Agreed. I am free to zoom around and scroll through as much as I want right now and makes it very easy for me to use the site. Just take a look at Craigslist to see how terrible it cn be to have no ability to view all content.

"Saved Comments" is valuable and long wished-for, thanks for adding the feature!

Will it be possible to extract these as JSON, e.g. via the API?

Good idea. The API doesn't support all the lists (edit: and logged-in state) properly yet, and when we fix that, it should be natural to include both variants of /saved.

"Stories submitted per time" seems like one of the five-ish metrics that you should always keep an eye on while making any changes in production, coming back to your desk after a coffee break, or coming in to the office in the morning.

If it is not trivial to look at these metrics (ideally you just glance up to a dashboard monitor), it would probably be a good idea to throw that together.

All of this is to say nothing of proper alerting to go with monitoring, but I mention the above because its by far easier to set up and you get a lot of bang for the buck.

All of _that_ said, thanks to dang any anybody else working on making HN better.

Nice to see test-driven development at the height of its powers. :-)

I love how ironic your account name is in this context :)

Ah, you clearly need a proper review process!

Just joking - thanks for the work you guys put in, this is definitely one of the most interesting place on the web :)

If only there was some way to quickly get told when production hiccups... And if only there was some way to prove each feature works automatically... :-)

You were experimenting with code on the production server? If not, do you have automated tests?

I noticed saved stories but why are comments showing up twice on the account page.

It's the comments you've upvoted, as opposed to those you've posted. I just changed the label to make that clearer.


It'll be interesting to see whether this has an effect on the nature of upvoting. If saved comments were slightly more structured, rather than just one big list, I could imagine them comprising some sort of 'personal knowledgebase'. In turn, that might decrease the amount of 'I agree with that' opinion upvoting, in favour of 'that's useful information'. Whether that's to be encouraged is, of course, a personal opinion.

Interesting point. HN mostly is a collection of lists. You might almost call it a list processor.

What a brilliant idea! A "List Processor"!

Oh, wait...

Curious what effect this will have on comment upvotes.

Easily done! :)

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