Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nitty gritty cleanup in the search for free email space

I think most people would be surprised how hard it is to make something look easy. Its just a simple utility to search for large emails and free up space ... isn't it?  That's certainly how it started!
We'll spare you the details, but the last few days have been lots of intensive work that most people will never see, truly sweating the inches. We hate failure (almost as much as we value privacy). We're a bit perfectionist that way. So we analyzed the logs looking for things that seemed out of place. For example,
  • Why is the log file still here after >24 hrs? Oh, a mailbox with >250,000 messages and it seems to be churning along just fine. Good.
  • A similar log file. It turns out our retries are out of whack in a vary rare scenario. A bug squashed
  • A smattering of truncated runs.  No clue as to what happened. But we realized we weren't capturing stack traces. Good, we'll get a trace next time.
What we enjoy the most, though, is working with people who have taken the time to tell us they had a problem. A couple, in particular, helped us track down some rare edge cases with Google Accounts and All Mail access, respectively. Last but not least, there was some UI polishing resulting in shiny new buttons, a nicer progress bar and some miscellaneous page cleanup. And there's a bit more to come that will better show where the free space has gone.
This website started as a favor for a friend that we thought it might be useful for a few other people. Thanks to those of you who have given us a try (and especially to those who donated beer money!). We're having a blast and hope you're enjoying it too.

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