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Slowness, Unreliability, and Errors are Pervasive to Facebook

Facebook (FB) is already part of life for millions of individuals across the globe. It's already among the Internet giants like Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Amazon, & e-Bay. It has evolved as both a social interaction tool & a real-time communication tool (many Yahoo & MSN messenger users have switched to FB because of the chat feature). Unfortunately, most users will agree that FB is nowhere close the standards set by Google, YouTube, & Amazon when it comes to responsiveness, reliability, & availability. Personally, I have experienced extremely slow page loading, many error messages, not allowing me to login or post messages, and show only subset of postings by others. Hence, I don’t depend on FB to contact others & have a low appreciation as a useful service.
FB seems to be relying on extensive JavaScript & extended variants of MySQL, PHP, & Memcached. It's understandable that FB has to handle so much data, users, & their relationships. Unfortunately, heir underlying architecture seems to be not scalable. MySQL & PHP may be extended only to a certain extent. May be FB needs to look into completely new approaches like what Google (MapReduce, GFS) & Amazon (Dynamo) have done. Alternatively, many poorly written 3rd partly applications are breaking FB than making it. I don't have a solution for these problems, but I feel this is a good opportunity for research in handling large-scale data objects in a multi-user interaction based distributed environment.


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