June 02, 2009

TweetStats Down More than 24 Hours As Twitter Attacks Cache Issues

TweetStats: Closed Since Sunday Afternoon

On Sunday, we mentioned Twitter had run into a bug that masked the display of third party clients on the service, erroneously reporting all updates as coming from "Web", whether they were, or if they were instead from the mobile interface or any of the growing array of applications that interact with the microblogging leader. Now into Tuesday, the bug hasn't yet been fixed, and in the meantime, popular statistics tracker TweetStats has been shut down - incapable of operating correctly with bad data pouring in.

Twitter's API team is telling developers that the "from Web" issue is the result of large growth in the company's database, thanks to a recent increase in API developers and their registering applications to work with OAuth. The database object reportedly grew to a size incapable of being cached, dramatically impacting performance.

Still a small company, rather than push for Twitter's engineers to come in over the weekend to resolve the issue, the company said they chose the "quick solution", opting to "disable source parameters", according to postings on their Twitter API forum here.

Initial guidance was that the issue would be resolved "likely early in June 1 workday" (sic), but more issues have cropped up. The company followed up with a second note saying, "Due to problems with other *critical* code we've had to delay deployment of this fix until tomorrow."

TweetStats Reports The Trouble Sunday

TweetStats shut down mid-day Sunday after the issue had impacted the statistics gathering service dramatically. And while Twitter has again offered a new date of resolution, the developer, Damon Cortesi, has said he'll find a way to get rebooted, with or without help from Twitter.

TweetStats Hopes for Best, But Prepares...

He noted late Monday night, "If not fixed tomorrow AM, will re-open and deal with the consequences."

Jesse Stay has more around the details of the API issue here: Where is Twitter’s Emergency Response System?