View RSS Feed


Why Basenotes is rubbish lately

Rating: 7 votes, 3.14 average.
AKA - where are the marketplace bits in the directory, AKA - why is it offline for hours at a time, AKA - why do I have to log into see the review now, AKA - why is something happening that is really quite annoying...

Anybody that visits the site often will have come across an occasion in the last few months where the site unavailable. This is frustrating for us, so we guess it must be frustrating for you too. Here's what is happening.

The main culprit is the scripts that run the directory. These were coded by myself (based heavily on an application called flattext) back in 2001. I'm a self-taught perl coder, so I kind of made it up as I went along.

How the script works is that when you look at the page for Angel, it looks through 11,000 fragrances to find the stuff to do with Angel. It then looks through 30,000 reviews to find the Angel ones. For those of you who know anything about coding, to have to do this everytime someone looks at a page is pretty inefficient. So why did I write it like this? Well, back in 2001 we had 900 fragrances to look through, and about 300 reviews. Plus we had around 100-200 visitors a day, so there wasn't too much strain.

Over December we were getting about 130,000 page views a day. So the server was getting a bit of a kicking due to my bad coding.

I first thought we might start getting problems last February, and so began recoding six years worth of code. By the middle of the year it was becoming apparent something wasn't working, as we were crashing fairly regularly. Traffic had been increasing regularly after winning a major industry award in Canada, and being featured in the NYT. Being not overly technical, I thought the problem was due to my then hosts.

I then took the decision to move hosting to a different company, paying for a slightly more high-tech server. This started off well, until we started getting busier over the holiday period.

The culprit, as I now know, was not the hosting, but my old code. And since then various measures have been put in place to try and minimise the crashes.

As I said, I'm recoding the whole thing to make it more efficient. I don't know how much longer it will take. In the meantime, the directory will have to come down again until it is resolved (I can't work properly on the code unless I can access the site).

The other option is to pay for more powerful machines to run the site on. The quote we received from our hosts (and others) is about the same as what I pay for my house rent each month, which is just too much right now.

We're entering our eighth year online, and ideally would like Basenotes to grow into something really special. We've got some really great ideas we just haven't been able to implement as throughout 2007 we spent the whole time just trying to keep things ticking over.

I'll keep you informed as to progress.
Behind the Scenes


Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst ... 2 3 4
  1. Gus's Avatar
    What can I say? Only for tinkering with Perl scripts you deserve the highest award, let alone for all the love and dedication you put into this wonderful site. Keep the good work, it's been some years and I hope I keep coming around a lot more.
  2. peach's Avatar
    i look forward to browsing your site easily again. in all honesty it' not very enjoyable today. google searches are crap compared to what you have been offering.
  3. Kranque's Avatar
    "...would like Basenotes to grow into something really special."

    That happened long ago! Keep up the good work, and thanks for the update.
  4. micci's Avatar
    Hey Grant,

    I totally understand what you must be going through....I'm in tech myself though not development so I totally know that no matter how hard you try at times technology seems to have a life of its own....especially when it just won't work. Take heart you are doing a great job.
    All the best Thanks

  5. fredricktoo's Avatar
    have you availed yourself of the "random fragrance" feature? it's an afternoon of fun let me tell you.
  6. h_len's Avatar
    Thank you thank you thank you.
    Coding is sooooo hard work! (I know...)

    Good luck! This site is the best.
  7. thisbekevinn's Avatar
    good luck on coding and everything.
    i know to keep this site up must be very expensive
    i'll become a member ASAP, once some paypal stuff confirms
  8. ironpusher's Avatar
    You have a great site here. I recommend it to any friends who want to make an informed decision on fragrance purchases. Keep up the good work!!
  9. Annikin06's Avatar
    Good job. Thanks for the explanation
  10. Foxfollower's Avatar
    I'll put up with whatever you need to do. I so greatly appreciate this site and all those who contribute such exhausting efforts.


  11. Mimi Gardenia's Avatar
    Thank you Grant - you are doing great ! It is all very appreciated - I can only imagine what a headache all the recoding is for you . The thought of all the work that you have had to do makes my toes curl .
  12. perfumista's Avatar
    Thank you Grant, we all love the you.
  13. Habanitta's Avatar
    Thank you and good luck with coding - whatever it means! ;)
  14. Naitch's Avatar
    Thanks for this info. I wondered what was going on, as the site has been down quite a bit lately.
  15. pdxtony's Avatar
    Hey guy,
    Just a thought and no insult meant but... have you looked into having the site programming professionally done? As you admit your a self taught perl programmer even talented amateurs are still not professionals that understand all the in and outs of accomplishing tasks. I understand there are costs but if you have 100K plus hits a day if you put a direct funding donations link up to cover the cost (once they give you a firm quote) Ill bet you get the amount you need in a month.
    Just a thought, great site though especially considering its all you!!!
  16. serafina's Avatar
    I cannot believe basenotes proper is back. I have been so sad without it. I hated the new basenotes and decided not to come again so it was only by accident, i found out. So thrilled, thank you.
Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst ... 2 3 4

Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000