Slow for a day or two

March 3, 2008

BookMooch will be running slowly for about 24h, while I reindex the book search feature.

When I was having stability problems in the fall, I turned off “adding new books to the search” and so now there are 3 months of books that were added and not already in BookMooch, that aren’t searchable.

I believe I’ve fixed the problems from back then, and I’ve rewritten the search (again) so it’s time for me to reindex everything, so that all the new books are in the search, and also so that newly added books make their way into the search right away.

This also means that for the next day or two, when you search for something you’ll get a much smaller number of hits, because the database isn’t fully reindexed yet.


Update: the reindexing is now complete (as of Tuesday March 4th).

There are about 1.7 million book titles in the BookMooch database, which are broken down more-or-less as:

– 500,000 titles available for mooching
– 1 million titles on wishlists
– 200,000 titles on save-for-later

This represents about 8 gigs of textual data.

So every time you search for something, you can realize that quite a lot of work is going on behind-the-scenes to make all that mooching work right! That’s one of the things I love about working on BM, it’s a great combination of social issues, and serious technology challenges.

BM is reindexing now (midnight, March 5th), and it looks to me like the bug is gone.

Hopefully, search results will go back to normal now, over the next 24h as all the books get reindexed. I’ll keep looking at the “Doctor Who” search results (grin).

The comments everyone left me were really helpful in finding the problem. Especially helpful is giving the URL to an available book that obviously should be in the search results, and a search URL that nonetheless doesn’t have that book.

The reindexing ran into a problem, filling the entire disk, so I’ve put it on hold for now, until I can sit and watch and see what’s going on.

So… searching is not yet working right, sorry!

35 Responses to “Slow for a day or two”

  1. Delania said

    Just like the old days lol. I hadn’t realized how spoiled I’d become to the “faster” bookmooch. Thanks for everything, John =)

  2. Taneli T said

    Yes! I’m so happy the search feature is becoming functional again. Thanks in advance for the hard work you’ve done for it.

  3. Cat H said

    With all the hard work you put into this site, it is constantly improving (just when you thought that wasn’t possible). Thanks for the great venue for us book lovers!

  4. Thank you John! I really appreciate BookMooch and your continued improvements.


  5. Peggy T said

    I’m so excited about this!
    A fully functional search soon!! Whoopee!
    Thanks Moochly!!

  6. Can’t find the “contact us” info right now, maybe because you’re working on the website. I recently mailed out a bunch of books to BookMooch people, along with an eight pound box of books to my sister who has a debilitating back injury and can’t get out much. I received in the mail today a form to fill out from a post office near her that my mailing label became detached from the box I sent her, even though I thoroughly taped it round and round the box! I am so upset she didn’t get the box and hope they will find it and deliver it to her, but the chances are not good. Here’s my point – the post office says to include the TO and FROM information INSIDE the package. Thought I would pass this tip along, sure wish I would have thought of it. Please post this!

  7. Dawn said

    I’m already loving the search index items that have updated already. Squee!

  8. Greg said

    Whilst this is very exciting it seems that not everything is updating as it should.

    For example look at the following results:

    The results produced have been changing (loosing and adding results) since you started the re indexing. A few days ago there were at least 100 results.

  9. re: Dr Who

    Try clicking “show all”, ie:

    I suspect that a few days ago with the old search none of the books were available, and so BM was showing you all books, not just the available ones.


  10. Judy Denning said

    I am very new to BookMooch and am absolutely delighted to have found this site. My life has taken a turn to the joyous after a lot of misery. Thank you for all the work you do to run this for us.

  11. Tanya Book said

    Thank you for this site. My roommate and I are moving and cannot take our entire library with us so we are giving away many of our books. Glad to know the speed is back.

  12. Matt said

    Something’s funky with the indexing.

    Searching on “Patrick O’Brian” only brings up one copy of Post Captain.

    Searching on “Aubrey” brings up several Master and Commanders and a The Commodore by Patrick O’Brian.

    Searching on “Far Side of the World” brings up nothing. It seems to me that recently there were quite a number of copies of that book up for mooch, and it seems unlikely that they’re all just gone now.

  13. Matt said

    I doubt you really need more examples demonstrating the problem, but just in case I’ll also mention that searching on “Master” fails to bring up the copies of “Master and Commander” that are on the system. They can be located with the search function using “Aubrey” as mentioned above.

  14. Matt said

    Going back to the Doctor Who search example Greg gave above, this user:

    has at least 15 books with Doctor Who in the title in his inventory, yet the search Greg gave, , finds only seven books with Doctor Who in the title on all of Bookmooch.

  15. Amy said

    Not sure if this is where I should leave this but oh well here goes. I have been trying to use the site for 2-3 days on and off. I can usually log in but the next link I click or page that loads is just a bunch of letters and numbers. I checked with a few other moochers by my regular email and 1 said yes it worked fine for her and the other had the same issues I did. This happened 1 other time a month or 2 ago could you please let us know when this will be fixed, and why does this happen? THANK YOU.

  16. amberlianne said

    Also having issues with words like “in” and “of” — searched “Chronicles of Amber” and got nothing, then searched “Chronicles Amber” and got a bunch of stuff (same type of issue a few times in a row).

    Just because I know you have nothing else to do than make this site even more perfect for us nitpickers. 🙂

    You rock.

  17. Greg said

    –> Dr Who

    No there were a lot of available books. For example now look at the inventory of freelunch:

    These book are not showing up in search although they have been there for some time.

  18. EJ said

    The Same thing is happening to me. “Robert Barnard” bringing up three copies available, and “Barnard” bringing about 20+ available from the same author. I still love BookMooch though. It just makes me stay on the site longer investigating!!! Great!!

  19. Winna said

    I recently searched Esperanza Rising on BookMooch but only one copy comes up. And tonight when I tried doing it again, around 11 copies were available excluding the one from the first search. It’s a little confusing, especially if we had mooched for a more beat up copy thinking it’s the only one available.

    Still, I love BM.

  20. I’ve looked at the problem, and you’re right, it’s absolutely there.

    I think I’ve got a solution, but that will mean reindexing (again), and so I will kick that off around 12pm pacific time today.


  21. irisin said

    I’m glad this thread told me I’m not going insane. Suddenly I can’t find any authors that I used to browse by first and last name. Or vice versa. Not even with “+” added. Not even when CLICKING on their name on a book I had bookmarked. Woe! *dramatically sad*

  22. Matt said

    Thanks John. Hope it works — good luck.

  23. tracy said

    This is Off Topic, but I am curious what the Friends feature is for. I haven’t been able to find a reason for it yet. I have a couple of friends, but I am not sure why they asked to friend me or what benefit there may or may not be to having friends. Sorry if this is a bad place to ask this question.

  24. Dale said

    6PM here in eastern Canada and I can’t access anything on the site at all so I will try again later. Keep up the hard work

  25. amberlianne said

    Are we completely down, then, until the reindexing is done? But what about my addiction?!?!?! **shakes**

    Thanks for getting on that one pretty much instantly.

  26. Theresa said

    Thanks John for the wonderful way to share books!!
    I am addicted!! You keep improving all the time!! just when I think it is perfect, it gets better!!
    You are the best!!!!

  27. Tracy, I was wondering the same thing because I am new to the site. I have one friend now and it’s because we exchanged personal emails and hit it off. She is kind of a pen-pal now, and asked me to be a friend on this site. Made me feel good! It’s just for fun as far as I know.

  28. amberlianne said

    So… now searches are returning either nothing at all or only one book. Example: A search for “Harlequin” brought up only one book, and a search for “romance” brought up about twelve.

    I know there are WAY more romance novels than that. Some people have hundreds or thousands of them alone.

  29. Matt said

    I assume the indexing is still running, so the site will show few/no hits for a while. The last reindex process seems to have taken about a day to run.

  30. RoseAnn said

    Thank-you John…You are doing a wonderful job. I have set up a few data bases as well as one website, so I do appreciate all the work that you do for us so that all that STUFF works “behind the scenes”!

  31. amberlianne said

    Yeah, that was my bad for not looking at what time it started. Thanks, Matt.

  32. BM is reindexing now, and it looks to me like the bug is gone.

    Hopefully, search results will go back to normal now, over the next 24h as all the books get reindexed.

    The comments above were really helpful in finding the problem. Especially helpful is giving the URL to an available book that obviously should be in the search results, and a search URL that nonetheless doesn’t have that book.


  33. Stephanie said

    I think the “friend” feature is useful for keeping track of what books your friends are giving away. That way I don’t have to remember to search for them every time, I can just every now and then look at what they are offering, in case they have something I’m interested in that I hadn’t thought to put on my wishlist.

  34. aletta t said

    Thank you john for keeping us informed and all the hard work that goes into making this site happen,continued success in the updating and perfecting of site, my prayer as i sit with books to add to my inventory is that we all appreciate all the hard work that goes into making this available to a large literary community, lets grab some celery, a cup of hot earl grey, breath as we relax thru this. luv ya all… aletta

  35. Yaya said

    please fic it soon, cos I’m waiting for updates I just mooched 😦

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