Referring to Referers

Leoville went down earlier today for a few hours. It was out yesterday for about an hour, too. I contacted my excellent web host, Nacio, and they brought it back. Here's what they said...

We have noticed that 2 IP addresses are consistently opening and not closing connections to your website: 12.xx.xx.xxx and 172.xx.xx.xxx. On average, each IP will have 60 open TCP sessions on a 24/7 basis. Are you familiar with these IPs? If not, we may look in to blocking them, as their irregular activity may be part of the problem.

Also, we have been monitoring the disk usage on your site. Currently you are using 1.5GB total--roughly 1.4GB being your discussion board. As you are on a shared webserver--geared toward smaller 40 - 80MB sites--we were hoping that you could remove some content from your site. Would 500MB be sufficient, or do you need more?

I asked them to block the two IP addresses and that's seemed to help. I'm going to have to cut back on the disk usage, too. Obviously the boards have gotten way out of control. I'm pruning messages older than 90 days and I'll probably cut the max file size to 50kb. Sorry to have to do that, but I really would like to keep this site running!

On another note, I've been playing with Dave Winer's new Radio blogging software and I have to say it's wonderful. I'm sticking with Movable Type, but for anyone who wants to create their own web site without having to struggle with the tech this is it. It finally fulfills the web's promise to be the people's publishing platform. You can read the temporary blog I set up to play with it at weblogs.com. It literally took me 10 minutes to get it up and running. And it's free for 30 days - $40 for a year including the web hosting. If you've been thinking about blogging try Radio.

While playing with Radio, I noticed that the link to referrers is misspelled on the admin page. No blame to Dave Winer for this. The misspelling dates back to the original HTTP spec which also misspells referrers as "referers."

This ancient error caused me endless confusion when I was writing my own Perl referers routine (it's running on Leoville now. To see the most recent 20 referring pages click here). The program failed at first because I kept spelling referrers correctly. It took me a while to figure out where I was going wrong.

But the misspelling poses an interesting problem. Do you perpetuate it, as Dave has done, in public, or do you continue to spell it correctly while using the non-traditional spelling inside your programs? I chose the latter route on the front page of Leoville, but I might be in the minority.

In fact, this is exactly how a language evolves. I suppose, in time, "referers" will become the correct spelling, all thanks to a small spelling error at the W3C. Even though programmers are notoriously bad spellers, I can't think of another instance where a misspelling has become enshrined in a spec. Can you?

And you can bet I spell checked this post before submitting it.