Couple of interesting posts on Twitter scaling issues.

Twitter starting a conversation with the community, and some speculation about the issues. It’s not the writing it’s the “view my page which collates from multiple other users” which is the issue.

If that’s the case I wonder what an Erlangish solution would be. There’s no real reason for the Twitter *database* to be centralized at all. (In this sense, Winer’s thoughts on total decentralization are apt.) Could you not have multiple nodes, each with it’s own database of some users. These nodes are going to have to talk to each other only when someone pulls a page out.

You could also, presumably, in the extreme case have entirely separate servers for different users, and only integrate the overview of all people being followed “at the glass” in the browser or RIA client.

Mind Traffic Control roll-out continues.

Nothing spectacular in terms of numbers, but friends are making interesting comments and suggestions; and some strangers are discovering it via the Twitter announcement.

Eikeon pointed to twemes as a place to search for the #tag #MTC on Twitter.

Good chat with Folknology. He’s encouraging me to open up the data. Hence I did CSV export of your tasks. Al, likes RSS/Atom but I still need to find out whether feed-readers can do the required Google login to get at a non-public feed.

Rup3rt weighed in with a number of comments starting :

Wow an invisible list machine almost like a gumball/toy dispenser …

and continuing

I like to see what is ahead but it is good with the delegation – I can line up things for the estagiarios. This is great for non-negotiables like driving instructions, recipes.

* The font for “This task was delegated to you .. may report the sender for blacklisting and delete this task” is a bit big

* I would like a difficult autoaddress (1gg23ff3d3reedd@mindtrafficcontrol.appspot.com) to delegate tasks by email and maybe I could get other tasklists to feed into MTC using this (to just top it up with priority1 or todotoday tasks)

* Maybe paste a list of (line break delimited) tasks that are automatically added

* Maybe show in a widget

* Maybe show total number of tasks

* How would time estimates of task duration fit in? It could be a diversion to see “You have 13 hours of traffic to negotiate”)

Good suggestions. I’ll be interested to know what everyone else thinks.

But here are some initial thoughts :

Font issue, yep. Mailing tasks in to Mind Traffic Control would be great; a very useful addition. But I’m not yet sure I can do it on the Google Application Engine.

I might be able to do it using another hosting service but that’s introducing a lot of new complexity into the system : running two different hosting services, writing scripts on the old-skool one to pass emails it receives into MTC in some way, being responsible for security (how do I stop spammers mailing tasks to you via the system?) etc. Going to take a while to figure that one out.

Importing other formats and / or entering multi-line, multi-task lists is easier and more likely to appear soon. I’ll definitely go for the multi-line input box in the short-term future. I’d be interested to hear what formats readers currently use for to-do lists so that I can import them. I immediately think OPML, of course. But are there others?

Widgets … actually I’ve been playing with OpenSocial and Orkut Widgets for my other GAE project. It’s cute … but I’m not yet sure what I’d put in a MTC widget.

Task counts and time estimates I’m ambivalent on. I don’t want to make MTC a paranoia inducing space where you arrive on the front page to be presented with something saying “Welcome to Mind Traffic Control. You have 280 outstanding tasks”. On the other hand, I see that people would like some sort of overall measure of what they have to do. More thinking on this.

Finally, there’s a couple of issues of “philosophy”, particularly why I’m resistant to letting you flag tasks with “priorities” but leaving that for the next post when I’ll be more coherent.