Insider: A Tech Update from the CTO

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Greetings, Insiders!

We let you know a few weeks back that we've brought a new tech team on board to build a new and improved Quiet Speculation. As part of that process, we've been making some major changes, which has at times led to our services being down or slow. We apologize – we understand your frustration! With that said, I'm here to answer some of your most frequently asked questions, as well as provide you some updates  on how we are actively addressing your concerns for QS 2.0.

Why Does the Site Sometimes Run Slowly?

We've been running multiple sites on same server. This hasn't always been a problem, but as Quiet Speculation and its other brands have grown, it began to strain the server's resources. If one site had a lot of activity or got overloaded, it had been affecting the other sites as well. To fix this, in the last week, we've migrated all our sites to independent servers, so there wont be any dependencies in the future.

Why Is Trader Tools Slow to Load My Search Queries?

As Kelly wrote about previously, QS began as a one-man project, and he was learning PHP as he went. Simply put, the original code was written inefficiently. It performs multiple callbacks – in layman’s terms, it's passing data back and forth multiple times for each search when it doesn't necessarily have to.

As future code evolves and more features are added, existing code will be consistently refactored to improve its efficiency. Most callbacks for reporting have been trimmed to one single call, decreasing the number of trips to the database when the server sends data. We are combing through the code – this is an iterative process, but is actively being improved. 

Why are Masterpieces and Promos Missing from Trader Tools?

The current version of Trader Tools relies on Gatherer IDs. Currently, no Gatherer IDs exist to differentiate Masterpieces and promos from their normal versions. QS's new database will no longer use Gatherer IDs for its primary keys. We will have an internal, centralized way to label these important cards. Watch out for these to be included in the new Trader Tools after our full Q4 refactor. 

Why are Prices Sometimes Missing or Wrong?

Usually, a missing or wrong price in Trader Tools is because the source data has been changed or is missing. For example: a store gives us access to its pricing data, but accidentally formats the name of a card differently or changes the path to finding it, and our parsers don’t automatically correlate those things. Data integrity issues usually stem from the source feed, such as a store's feed not updating. We try to stay on top of this so we can hunt down the source of the issue, but more importantly, we're rebuilding our parsers and working on standardizing the price feed from partners. 

When Are We Going to See Trader Tools 2.0?

The rebuild of Trader Tools will be finalized in quarter four of this year. 

Current Tech Updates

  • Slow site: Sites have been migrated to their own AWS instances. Databases have been migrated to AWS clusters to increase high availability and failover. 
  • Trader Tools queries:  Reports have been refactored into new API so that processing does not occur on the server and trips to database are minimized. 
  • Masterpiecess and promos: Database refactor is 75 percent complete.
Until next time,
Tyler Tyssedal
Chief Technical Officer | Quiet Speculation
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Tyler Tyssedal

Tyler Tyssedal is CTO at Quiet Speculation and a fan of Food Chain.

View More By Tyler Tyssedal

Posted in Announcement, Free Insider, Trader Tools

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One thought on “Insider: A Tech Update from the CTO

  1. Thank you Tyler for the update. When you state Q4 ’17 for TT do you mean full refactor available or improved TT with added features available later?

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