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Never stop Grokking

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I've been silent on this blog for a while, and the main reason for that is boomerang. It's taken a few months to get it ready for a public release, and I'm quite pleased with the way it's come out.

As many of you know, I've worked with the Exceptional Performance team at Yahoo! for over two years, and during this time, I've done a lot of work with measuring and analysing the performance of all of Yahoo!'s websites (yes, all). There are several tens of thousands of page types, and probably hundreds of thousands of unique URLs that could show up on a yahoo.com domain. This throws up some very interesting problems that I'm not sure I'd have had the chance to work with anywhere else.

I learnt a lot about scaling cheap hardware to meet the needs of this system, and also a lot about how each of these thousands of pages worked to improve their performance.

The measurement tool that we use has turned into boomerang. It's primarily a beaconing framework, so isn't restricted to performance data, but the core plugins that come packaged with it only do performance measurement.

I'll write more in later posts about what you can do with boomerang, but for now, go get it from github.com/yahoo/boomerang. Fork it, use it, patch it, tell us what you think of it.

There's also documentation along with the source code, or you can have a look at my personal copy of them — frequently, but not automatically updated.

I announced it at Velocity 2010, and they made a video of my talk.


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