Monday, May 13, 2013
A week after the release of PgLife, the site is averaging thirty active users. (I define an active user as an ip address that has viewed the site for at least five minutes during the past hour.) I consider that a success. Since the release of PgLife, I have increased the content update interval and added an About page explaining the site's purpose, which also includes the active user count.
The site uses ajax, Perl, Procmail rules, and Apache to collect and deliver dynamic content. Recent improvements in the Postgres mailing list archive feature set have made linking to emails much simpler.
PgLife was my first attempt at a dynamic website, and I learned a few things. First, I learned the value of having an alert file that can force a browser reload to push fixes and improvements to the browser. Second, I used the same file to allow pushing of news alerts to users, e.g. 9.3 Beta1. Third, I learned the importance of controlling browser and server caching and revalidation when using dynamic content.
I have always wanted a dashboard that shows current Postgres activity, and PgLife meets that need for me, and thankfully others. I am very fortunate that much of the Postgres activity is recorded in a way that makes external processing easy, and I know some people are working to make more content available, which will eventually be added to PgLife.