[important] validator.w3.org overloaded

Dear all,

As many of you noticed, since the release of the Markup Validator's new 
version last week, the server validator.w3.org has had trouble honoring 
all validation requests in a reasonable time. This mail will try to 
summarize what we know, what we are doing to improve that situation, 
and what you too can do.

* Causes of the problem

In a nutshell: CPU load.

However not particularly slower than the previous versions, version 
0.7.0 of the validator introduces architectural changes that makes it 
easier to maintain and less bug-prone, but also a little heavier on the 
system. This means that in good conditions, the validator will run fast 
and smoothly, but when a lot (over 250) validation processes run at the 
exact same time, the server lacks CPU power, load skyrockets, and the 
system gets into a vicious circle of processes taking time to end, 
therefore being heavy on the system, etc, for approximately 10 hours a 
day on week days.

* What we are doing

We have been working very intensively around the clock (literally) to 
improve the situation, by:
- tweaking the system settings so that nothing hinders its primary 
- tracking broken scripts that are abusing the system
- preparing a 0.7.1 release with improved performance
- starting our next phase of development oriented toward 
modularization, and which should have direct (and positive) effects on 

* What you can do.

- be patient... Don't hit reload like crazy because validation results 
don't load.
- if you have batch scripts calling the validator, make sure they are 
set to sleep at the very least one or two seconds between requests.
- if you have batch scripts calling the validator, consider running 
them between 22:00 and 04:00 GMT, when the system load is very low.
- if you are a heavy user of the validator, such as a company or a web 
design agency, you may want to install the validator locally on your 
See: http://validator.w3.org/docs/install.html (there are also 
installation guides for Mac and Windows platforms)
- ... and you are of course welcome to help in the development of the 

Thank you all for your patience and cooperation.

Received on Monday, 15 August 2005 10:42:55 UTC