October has been another quiet month for featureannounce news. We've made a lot of improvements to the site's backend and we've added a bunch of hardware (detailed below), but we haven't made a lot of visible changes to the site. One thing we have changed is the fact that communities can now be renamed, using the Account Renaming Service. Another change is the fact that you can add comments to your user picture icons through the Edit User Pictures page, which will show up on your User Pictures page.
Also, a new feature that went live last night is the "Quote" button on all "Post a Comment" pages. Simply highlight text you'd like to quote with your mouse (or other input device), press the "Quote" button on the comment page, and the text will appear in the comment text box with the proper HTML quotation tags. We're adding optional display support for our S2 styles to show your comment quotes in cool and interesting ways.
In hardware news, we've setup and racked two out of four of our new 64 bit servers. We've run into a few production snags with MySQL, but we've been working with MySQL's support team to fix them and have made a lot of progress during the past week. In the meantime we're rearranging users between optimized clusters and switching from using MyISAM tables to InnoDB tables. Rearranging users is a slow process, but it's all we can do while we wait for the new servers to be put into production. We've also been working hard on our Perl load balancer, all of which is helping to speed up the site.
During this past month we've been making preparations to stop using our content delivery network system (Akamai) and serve everything ourselves. This meant moving all phoneposts, user picture icons, and all sorts of static files onto our new storage servers using MogileFS. The same storage servers are being used to host FotoBilder pictures, and things have been running smoothly.
Speaking of FotoBilder, November will be dedicated to bringing FotoBilder up to production quality and releasing our photo hosting service for paid users. This will include full technical support, the ability to purchase more space on our storage servers, and adding more web servers to speed everything up. We'd like to thank all the beta testers that have been helping us so far.
We hope you all have a great November, and a Happy Halloween!