Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 11:50 AM

River4 needs debugging

River4 is pretty solid software, but it needs more attention to get it all the way.

What's going wrong

I've been seeing some new, not good, behavior on my River4 installation in the last month or so. First it started going deaf, not responding to HTTP requests, causing my serverMonitor app to send emails saying the server was down. I'd get 20 or 30 of these a day. And the new items would take longer to show up after this started happening. It seemed as if the server was thrashing. Some operation that used to be quick was now taking a long time.

A new instance

So I decided to create a new instance on Heroku that read the same lists, and let it run for a while (a week or so). It was running smoothly so I just switched domains, and shut the old one down. It was gratifying how easy this was to do. That was a couple of weeks ago.

Now the new instance is starting to misbehave.

Sometimes it renders one of the river files with just items from one feed. It corrects itself on the next run. It's annoying, it should be found and fixed, whatever is causing this, but I can live with it.

Then a couple of days ago, it stopped finding new items in feeds, for five hours. I rebooted the server, and that fixed it. Until it happened again this morning. Last new item in all my rivers was at approx 3AM. A reboot of the server seems to have cured it.

Help trap the problems?

I'm very focused right now on shipping a new end-user product, so I can't detour to figure out what's going on here.

If anyone has the time to trap these problems, I'd be happy to try to fix them, once I can swing back around to River4. Probably within a few weeks.

I am sharing my subscription lists so other people can run a test setup with the same feeds as mine. It's possible that I'm pushing River4 harder than anyone else. So maybe I'm seeing problems you all will be seeing soon. Or maybe you are already seeing them?


Here's my rivers page, so you can see what I'm reading.

I've zipped up my current set of subscription lists.

Discuss on the River4 list.

Last built: Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 10:21 AM

By Dave Winer, Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 11:50 AM. Only steal from the best.