Sunday, July 12, 2009

Download Website Redesign

What is a great software like Sage worth without the ability to get your hands on? Nothing!

That's why it is important to provide a good download! Fast downloads a dependent on your location and that of the server. For example this means that a European Server works better in Europe (alghough that's not really true, some European servers also work very well in the US).

Until last week there was one heavily used dedicated download link and the possibility to alternatively choose a mirror. That has changed in a way where the dedicated primary download link is replaced by an overview of all mirrors. Now, everyone is "forced" to choose the download option that suits best! The second reason is, that the main server got slow since most oft the downloads happened from there and i.e. only few of the European users downloaded from the French mirror.

Additionally to the redesign, I contacted several server admins and extended the list of mirrors. Now, Europe is covered by serveral mirrors, also Russia, and what's still missing is South America and Central-South Asia. I'm still waiting for answers from server admins over there.

Now some numbers from the last two weeks, comparing Mondays to Fridays.

Jun 29th - Jul 3rd:

1. www.sagemath.org 53.48%
2. www.sagemath.fr 8.44%
3. sage.math.washington.edu 7.70%
4. modular.math.jmu.edu 7.57%
5. sagemath.org 4.84%
6. modular.fas.harvard.edu 3.88%
7. www.cecm.sfu.ca 2.33%
8. ftp.kaist.ac.kr 2.11%
9. echidna.maths.usyd.edu.au 2.02%
10. ftp.sh.cvut.cz 1.99%
As you can see, since *sagemath.org and sage.math are behind the same network, far more than half of the activity happend on the primary server. The week before it was even above 70%!

Now the numbers after the redesign:

Jul 6th - Jul 10th:

1. modular.fas.harvard.edu 17.69%
2. mirror.switch.ch 14.98%
3. www.sagemath.fr 14.22%
4. sage.math.washington.edu 11.74%
5. www.sagemath.org 9.32%
6. modular.math.jmu.edu 8.95%
7. ftp.riken.jp 4.65%
8. www.cecm.sfu.ca 4.07%
9. freethemes.mirror.aarnet.edu.au 3.50%
10. ftp.sh.cvut.cz 3.13%

Numbers massively differ after the redesign. Nearly only 20% of the activity on the main server is left, everything has moved to the other servers. Top server is located in Boston, but immediately followed by two servers in Europe: Switzerland and France. Also, the countries of the clients fit to the mirror locations. So, they actually choose and understand what to do ;) I'll probably post about the 4.1 release and the distribution around the world of Sage downloads in my next posting.

My next project is to find an easy way to detect if a server is updated or lags behind. Then, I want that this script updates the website automatically and thus the chances of hitting an outdated or broken server are very low. I hope that's not too difficult.

Happy downloading, Harald