[typo] Frustrating Dreamhost/Typo experience

Scott Laird scott at sigkill.org
Thu Aug 25 19:56:22 EDT 2005

On Aug 25, 2005, at 4:25 PM, Scott Hughes (list) wrote:
> Thanks for your response.  Oddly enough, I saw a ton of errors when  
> I ran "dispatch.fcgi" right after reading your email.  When I  
> switched terminals to compose this response, I couldn't get it to  
> display an error.  I remember that the error message (which was  
> repeated a lot) had something to do with a string conversion on a  
> Nil type, and the bottom of the stack referenced line 24 of  
> dispatch.fcgi.
> The last time it locked up on me, I tried running dispatch.fcgi  
> from the cmd-line (but, honestly, I had no expectation of how well  
> this should work) and noticed it generating these same errors for a  
> Nil type, but I saw that it was being generated when rendering the  
> content in my default.rhtml, specifically when it tried to credit  
> the "EditURI" at the top and (after I commented the EditURI out)  
> the validateCSS link at the bottom.  After commenting that second  
> link out, I got another error in a location other than my  
> default.rhtml, so I didn't track it down anymore.
> Also, after generating an error, the process would hang.  I had to  
> use Ctrl-C to end it.  I noticed just now that when I ran through  
> without errors, it exits normally.  Again, I had no expectation  
> about whether or not these processes should be "hanging around" or  
> not...  So, is it a problem that I see anywhere from 5-15 processes  
> running at a given time?  Keeping in mind that my site is low- 
> volume, so it isn't likely to have 15 simultaneous visitors.

One thing to look at is if Dreamhost will let you use static fcgi  
instead of dynamic fcgi (which is usually the default).

Dynamic fcgi starts and stops dispatch.fcgi depending on the load.

Static fcgi leaves displatch.fcgi running the whole time.

Surprisingly enough, static fcgi is vastly more efficient, because  
with dynamic fcgi the server usually ends up stopping and restarting  
batches of dispatch proceses every time there's a hit or two on the  
website.  Since starting Typo takes a lot of work, that means that  
dynamic fcgi ends up being a bit of a resource hog.

The only downside to static fcgi is that it usually needs to be  
configured with the web server, and I don't know if dreamhost lets  
you do that on your own.

The other thing you can do is turn down the number of dispatch  
processes that are running.  You should be fine with 2-3 processes;  
5-15 is too many, and a sure sign that dynamic fcgi is trying to kill  
your server for you :-).


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