Mon, 09 Jun 2003

Aaaargh!

I know I shouldn't complain. Sourceforge provides valuable services to the geek public, for free, but their infrastructure is so broken! Their public CVS servers are almost impossible to access -- sometimes it seems like it's a contest to see how many times you can see the "cvs [login aborted]: recv() from server cvs.sourceforge.net: Connection reset by peer" message in a single day. I use a number of very actively updated programs, so I like to stay in sync with the development (CVS) versions of quite a few of them, and, for any Sourceforge hosted project, this above error message (or something very much like it) is a (painfully) regular sight.

If the instability of SF's infrastructure only affected the 0.01% of people who "need" to keep source trees in sync, that would be one thing. I'd still whine about it, but it certainly isn't something that would affect a measurable portion of even the general computing public. The problem is that, increasingly, even ordinary software projects with a general end-user audience are hosted with Sourceforge, and their file mirroring system is very, very broken. Sourceforge mirrors their content with several organizations, geographically spread around the computing world. This is good, because it distributes the bandwidth load across several large "pipes", rather than requiring Sourceforge to bear the expense of many ungodly huge net connections on its own. For this reason, they don't provide direct links to binaries for hosted projects. Instead, files are distributed via HTTP redirect links to the various mirror sites. Unfortunately, their mirroring process is unreliable and it will often serve up redirect links to mirror sites that have not received the files yet. Many times you'll find yourself presented with a list of 10 mirrors for a new file release, only to get 404 link errors on the first 6 or 7 or 8 links you click. What is the logical end-user response to this? "These open-source projects are always so unpolished. They can't even provide working download links for their software."

But, I know, it's free, and if I can't provide something better I should just shut up. But damn.

:: 21:40
:: /tech/computers/web/rants | [+]
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