Today sees the release of a new way for us to manage images on Folksy. It also marks the start of a bigger process to change the way the service is ‘architected’ (how the software is designed and how it works). This doesn’t provide any significant changes to your experience of the service but does make it more efficient to run and operate.
It’s taken most of the summer for us to get this in place but we believe it’s worth it. We believe it’s important to go the extra mile and not just “make do”. We’re building for the future.
Folksy is still predominantly an application that does everything through one piece of software. It is one ‘organ’. However, we’re starting to split Folksy out into separate ‘services’ where things like images are managed separately from say, billing. This modular way of ‘architecting’ online services (especially complex ones) means they are easier to manage and more efficient to develop, so you can work on one area of the service without affecting another area. This makes things easier to test and also de-bug and it’s an approach that is being adopted by more modern online services. So, going forward, to use the metaphor of the body, we’ll have a ‘brain’ that is the core application, that listens and responds to the ‘organs’ efficiently, rather than trying to manage all the needs of the body itself.
This is just the start and we’ll be looking to spin out other areas of the site into separate services going forward. It will make the development more efficient and the site more robust. It will also help us scale to cope with increased demand and provide a better service.
The upshot of the image item service work is that images will now be processed and managed much more quickly. So images are cropped and different sizes produced that we require to display – we have 5 different sizes across Folksy.
So, listing will be faster even at busy times (as we can now scale the image processing easily) giving you more time to focus on other things. In-page image processing is next, this means listing will be super fast as images will be processed in the background, as you choose them and not just when you go to save and “preview”.
A win. Now back to work…