wotreplays.org: The Chinese New Year Event – A not-entirely-post mortem
So the other day I’m doing my usual “look at forums, read posts” thing and see that an event is planned for the Chinese New Year; it involves uploading your replay for a chance to win a Type 59. And I figured you know, judging from those clan 7v7 events that have been taking place for a few weekends, it should all be okay, and it totally slipped my mind.
Then a clanmate reminded me that the event was on, and had been going on for the past 15 minutes. The upload queue at that point was 30 replays waiting for processing, which didn’t concern me overly much, but that quickly turned into a sense of terrible “uh oh” when the queue went past 100, then past 200, and wiggled it’s merry way up to 653 replays pending processing.
My thought process at that point can be summarized as “Oh shit…”
The reason the queue grows is that wotreplays.org has a rather unique way of dealing with replays, instead of yanking out only the battle result (which most other sites do), it actually parses the entire replay; that means unpacking it, decrypting it, and “replaying” the entire battle start to finish to extract interesting data. That’s how the battle viewer actually gets the data that lets it know what tank goes where. That’s how equipment and ammo loadouts are gotten, and it’s also how a lot of the internal features work due to them relying on data that’s actually not available in a battle result.
And it handles them one at a time. That’s always been a sore point but given my rather limited spare time I haven’t had a chance to work on that – but faced with a rather inevitable deluge of “jesus christ what are you doing you ” I put up a real quick and dirty parallel processing hack so it now does them 16 at a time. Which is causing the server to slow-roast itself…
That aside, a few other things have come up during this rather interesting event; the most annoying being the people (well, 2…) who found their way to my inbox and decided to rant and rave at me for having a “shitty slow” site. I’d like to take this time to remind everyone that I’m doing this by myself, funded by myself, on a single server, in my spare time. It does bother me that people may miss their shot at a Type 59, but at the same time, getting shat on isn’t really something that motivates me to fix everything as quick as I can so that this event can have a happy ending.
Proper post-mortem post will follow later…