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A Little MySpace History 101

Let it be stated that for the record, I am not a MySpace fan...I do have an account, but it's mostly for entertainment type purposes.  Yay, moving onwards.

MySpace is kind of a neat study for web application developers (and .Net developers in particular seeing as the site is written in's horrifically busy, and it's more transactional than almost any other site of its size (think about your large news sites...95% read-only scenario. MySpace is much more write intensive).  I saw this article float by on DotNetKicks earlier and thought it was kind of interesting...a high level history of MySpace along with some of the obstacles they've had to overcome due to their wild growth.

I still think it's pretty cool (no matter how horrible the site actually is) that the world's busiest website runs entirely on Microsoft technologies.  I wonder how well it'd perform if they did a complete rewrite using the latest practices/patterns/etc.

Posted Sat, Jan 27 2007 3:40 AM by Jayson Knight
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Sara wrote re: A Little MySpace History 101
on Sun, Jan 28 2007 1:15 PM

I thought myspace was written in coldfusion using the fusebox framework. At least the front end is and appears so. I've used this framework before and when you look at some of the urls, it appears as though they use it.

Jayson Knight wrote re: A Little MySpace History 101
on Sun, Jan 28 2007 3:13 PM

Sara, they started out w/ CF but quickly outgrew it (I'm not saying that CF doesn't scale well, I actually don't know much about CF) and switched to .Net, however they use extensive URL rewriting to maintain their old URL structure. There are quite a few pages over there w/ ASPX extensions as of late though, and all of it is  under the hood.

The MySpace guys gave an interesting talk at last year's Mix'06 conference during the keynote: it starts about 20 minutes in.

Sara wrote re: A Little MySpace History 101
on Sun, Jan 28 2007 9:19 PM

Talk about pain in the ass to maintain.

Jayson Knight wrote re: A Little MySpace History 101
on Sun, Jan 28 2007 9:59 PM

I agree, and I wish they'd just go ahead and say "backwards compatibility be damned." They could actually keep the underlying URLs the same as the old CF ones, and then just have them forwarded to regular (shorter) aspx ones. Very simple to do with a small httpHandler...I've done it on several sites before if the URLs had to change.

That being said, they most definitely have their hands full as is. They will have to bite the bullet at some point though and rewrite IMO. You can only apply so many bandaids!

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