The curious story of RSS Reader InoReader unfolded in the most painful way possible this evening. The tool suffered a major outage a little after 6:15 pm Eastern Standard Time and, as of press time, hadn’t come back up. The very capable Google Reader alternative had been gaining attention and users after the shutdown of Google’s Reader on July 1st. I decided to look at what was going on, and the prospects for this great tool.
The InoReader site is based at a single IP address, 188.8.131.52, apparently running PHP and Apache. The site appears to have good registration on GoDaddy. When I did a basic ping, the server responded, telling me that the hosting situation is fine, and likely the software itself died.
So, I wondered, just who is the developer of this tool? Would knowing more about them, help me understand this problem? In the WHOIS record for inoreader.com, a Yordan Yordanov is listed as the registrant. Searching for this name and InoReader yielded a Google Groups conversation where Yordan appeared to talk about the project as if e was the sole developer. I dug deeper and found an email address for Yordan. With the email address, I searched for any other references or projects this person may have worked on. Then, I came across another domain registration, innologica.com – that had the site located in Sofia, Bulgaria. Based on that, it appeared as though Yordan works on InoReader from Bulgaria.
Bulgaria is significant because it sits in the Eastern European Summer Time Zone. At the approximate time, the site went down, it was 1:00 AM in Bulgaria. As I write this, it’s 10:15 Pm in Eastern Time and 5:15 AM in Bulgaria. I would expect Yordan is sound asleep while InoReader lays dead in the water for 4+ hours.
@InoReader *POKES* Your site is down!
— andtheSiameseChorus (@zaralynda) July 19, 2013
Why did InoReader go down? While it may not be fully explained until Yordan returns, it seems likely related to the newly released InoReader for Android. I have a suspicion that whatever interface Yordan developed for Android may have brought down Apache, or some other component of the server. Time will tell.
I consider InoReader the best of all Google Reader alternatives I’ve tested, but this time zone difference and downtime has me wondering if the tool is in trouble.
Update: It looks like someone involved with InoReader
came back mentions a month ago – that GoDaddy was down. That statement itself is hardly a surprise and could be related to this downtime. I wonder what would possess Yordan to choose GoDaddy as a hosting service?
Update 2: At about 11:20 PM Eastern Time – roughly 6:20 AM local Bulgaria time – InoReader came back up. It did not appear as though the feeds had been crawled during the downtime. The developer(s) have yet to offer details about the downtime.
Update 3: InoReader apologizes for the failure on Twitter:
Up again. Fixed the issue which happened right after midnight local time. Improving our alerts now.
Please accept our sincere apologies.
— Inoreader (@Inoreader) July 19, 2013