We've been having server troubles since Lifehacker covered the application. A rush of over 5,000 users have brought the server costs skyrocketing. Throughout the dilemma, I've been slapping band-aids on the problem, raising server quotas and getting creative with memcache to try and stay afloat, waiting for the Channel API from Google.
Today, that API landed. Sort of.
Moishe Lettvin just emailed me, letting me know that our application had been selected (largely thanks to the recommendation from Michael Davidson) for extremely early access to the API. Unfortunately, Google wants to load-test the API, and wants to roll it out to smaller apps before larger ones.
Fortunately, we already have a separate server for this kind of thing-- the development server, used by our brave beta-testers. I've been given the go-ahead to expand that group up to 50 people to test the CPU usage and get a reliable idea of the effect this will have on our quotas. I'm expecting a dramatic decrease, but could be wrong.
So here's what's going to happen. We have a group of beta-testers right now, but there's still about 40 slots in the beta available for people to use. Send an email to paddy at android 2 cloud dot org, and if there's still a spot left, I'll invite you to the beta group, and you can help test the new server software, and will hopefully take some strain off the main server. As a perk, delivery from this test server will be almost instantaneous. No more 15 second delay because you sent the link at just the wrong time. The new API makes everything lightning fast. To quote Google, "the expected latency of delivering messages is on the order of 100ms". So a tenth of a second after you send a link, it opens on your browser.
Moishe has assured me that as the API gets its legs under it, and as Google is able to handle the load, the main server will get consideration for early access, as well. Which is really exciting; server woes may soon be coming to a close, and features that have been left out as I struggled to downsize the load on the server can be added.