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An Inside Look At eBay's Technology

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the APIs-for-free dept.

Businesses 84

endychavez writes with a CIO Insight profile giving a look inside eBay and its technology platform. The company has 40,000 outside developers working to increase its value and efficiency. From the article: "'They are way ahead of other companies' in terms of supporting developers, says one application builder... 'This a new wave of business,' says [another developer's marketing director]. 'eBay is a supplier, a marketing channel and a competitor. It's a weird arrangement.' ... 'If you can't split it, you can't scale it,' says Eric Billingsley, head of eBay Research Labs. 'We've made ourselves masters of virtualization.' ... eBay is able to publish a new version of its site every two weeks, adding 100,000 lines of code, all while in use."

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Punctuation Overuse! (-1, Offtopic)

Clazzy (958719) | more than 7 years ago | (#17457936)

William Shatner would be proud.

The whole operation is fueled by... (4, Funny)

bealzabobs_youruncle (971430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17457978)

a huge furnace that burns large piles of money, explaining the ever increasing fee structure.

Re:The whole operation is fueled by... (2, Funny)

Pope (17780) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458160)

With frequent JavaScript injections that slow the entire site loading and rendering, on Safari at least.

Re:The whole operation is fueled by... (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458370)

I guess this answers the question about 40,000 developers at 40,000 keyboards... they give the million monkeys a run for their money.

Poste Secondus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17457980)

I am the second poster. I am almighty. Mod me down, and you lose a modpoint. That is why I posted this.

My time at eBay as a seller wasn't like that (0, Redundant)

saskboy (600063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17457982)

Mr. Lister wasn't bad, but eBay's Turbo Lister is a blight on the history of application programming. While the site is generally well maintained, the support apps leave something to be desired, or they did anyway three years ago when I was still involved in using them. TL was the model of how NOT to design an application, in so many ways. Bloated file sizes, db corruption, copy/paste broken in the WYSIWYG editor. The list could go on and on.

And Ebay never used to tell customers when it expected to correct site programming errors.

Re:My time at eBay as a seller wasn't like that (1)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458118)

So far TL2 is much better than the previous attempts. Unfortunately the site itself has gone to shit with all the powersellers category flooding.

Re:My time at eBay as a seller wasn't like that (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458670)

3 years ago? They've rewritten the site 78 times since then! They've added 7.8 million lines of code! Get with the program, man!

Re:My time at eBay as a seller wasn't like that (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17472434)

Once again, a moderator who doesn't like me, mods the second post in a discussion as "redundant". Brilliant observation - may you burn in meta-mod hell.

Feedback: Negative - Has poor moderation skills.

100'000 lines of code every fortnight? (4, Insightful)

arevos (659374) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458020)

The result: eBay is able to publish a new version of its site every two weeks, adding 100,000 lines of code, all while in use.

Why would eBay need to add that quantity of code every fortnight? It doesn't strike me as an indicator of very efficient programming.

40,000 developers with 100,000 lines of new code.. (4, Funny)

jasonhamilton (673330) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458218)

That means 2.5 lines of code per developer every two weeks!

Fun and games aside, what's the big deal with upgrading a live site? I write software that builds and packages itself and then deploys it's own code to itself in production while it's running. No issues here...

Re:40,000 developers with 100,000 lines of new cod (2, Interesting)

sottitron (923868) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458272)

Yes, but do you have millions of people connected while you do that? And do you have millions of database trasnsactions and to-the-second sensitive activities going on while you roll out your code live?

Re:40,000 developers with 100,000 lines of new cod (2, Interesting)

jasonhamilton (673330) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458428)

Just a few thousand people, but it does involve millions of dollars in work for a company in the top 15 of the fortune 500.

Re:40,000 developers with 100,000 lines of new cod (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458588)

eBay is merely 458th on the 2006 Fortune 500 list. It's not the top performer it would have you believe. It is likely, however, in the top five when it comes to poor customer service.

Re:40,000 developers with 100,000 lines of new cod (2, Informative)

simm1701 (835424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17459766)

I think poor is a gross over statement of their service level.

That their phone number is a closely gaurded secret gives you an inkling to their thoughts on the whole thing.

And just try to get into their offices to speak to someone!!! I tried once in order to deliver papers I had picked up from the local court - they wouldn't even let me in the building or send someone to the door to take receipt of the papers!! (Richmond upon thames offices, fairly well hidden but I used to walk past them daily on the way to work)

Re:40,000 developers with 100,000 lines of new cod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17461682)

That sounds alien to me - when did you visit Richmond last? I've attended quite a few meetings there since mid last year and they have always had at least the reception open to the public, regardless of what your intentions are.

Re:40,000 developers with 100,000 lines of new cod (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#17462812)

Ah, no. Maybe I didn't phrase that well. I completely agree with you. I meant that eBay is most certainly in the bottom 5 of the league of Customer Service. In fact probably the only company in my experience that proves worse customer service is Paypal, owned of course by eBay.

Re:40,000 developers with 100,000 lines of new cod (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465186)

Considering that it is a JMS multi-tiered app, sure - this is simple to do. That's what decoupling buys you. Try this with EJBs for example, and you're, well, clusterfucked wouldn't begin to describe it.

Disclaimer: Like all good /.ers, I haven't RTFA for this post, just running on the last bit of info I read on eBay and their structure. However, since I just mentioned I didn't RTFA, I guess I'm not a good /.er!:)

Re:40,000 developers with 100,000 lines of new cod (1)

zero_offset (200586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17492238)

One system I wrote and now update and maintain has several thousand simultaneous internal users and typically around 100,000 public users on it at any given moment spread throughout about 95 countries, and it transfers over $100 billion in securities each year. We update it live once a month, and sometimes as often as once a week. I don't have millions of simultaneous users, but the dollar value and associated risk of each transaction is substantially higher.

The earlier poster is correct -- there isn't anything all that out of the ordinary about it.

Re:40,000 developers with 100,000 lines of new cod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17460446)

Wrong.

40,000 are OUT SIDE developers. They are affiliates. eBay has 11,600 full time employees in total:
        http://finance.yahoo.com/q/pr?s=EBAY [yahoo.com]

Which includes thousands of customer support people, operations, HR, finance... Don't forget it also includes both PayPal, Skype, shopping.com, rent.com, kijiji...

The total eBay site developers are less than 1000.

The 40,000 figure is for *independent* developers (1)

arevos (659374) | more than 7 years ago | (#17461146)

It's part of a growing community of some 40,000 independent developers, all building products using eBay's own application programming interfaces, or APIs--the connection points that let a program share data and respond to requests from other software. These applications are tailor-made to work seamlessly with eBay's core computing platform. eBay provides its APIs to the developers for free; its cost is limited to maintaining the code and providing some support resources for the developers.

This would appear to suggest that these are developers independent of eBay and not employed by them. On the other hand:

The result: eBay is able to publish a new version of its site every two weeks, adding 100,000 lines of code, all while in use. The system is never taken off-line for upgrades or maintenance.

It doesn't sound as if the 100,000 lines of code are from the 40,000 independent developers. Creating an application to interface with the eBay API doesn't seem to equate to publishing "a new version of its site". Of course, it's possible that the article has made a mistake.

Re:40,000 developers with 100,000 lines of new cod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17461776)

what's the big deal with upgrading a live site?

eBay has millions of visitors every day. So eBay's architecture [nyud.net] is complex and it would be a nightmare if any error happens.

I write software that builds and packages itself and then deploys it's own code to itself in production while it's running. No issues here...

Since the website is developed for few thousand visitors the architecture will be simple even if it involves multi million dollar transactions. Probably you will host your website in a single server and the upgrade process will be replacing the files in that server. But that is not the case with eBay.

Re:100'000 lines of code every fortnight? (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458242)

I guess you could go bid on a few thousand lines of code to verify it's efficiency.

Re:100'000 lines of code every fortnight? (1)

Monkeyman334 (205694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458944)

I guess you could go bid on a few thousand lines of code to verify it's efficiency. ...? dumb.

Re:100'000 lines of code every fortnight? (1)

824981 (1008263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17469256)

Whatever ebay is doing it's working. We recently added a listing for advertising space on www.dLook.com.au. The rate at which Google indexed these listings was fantastic to say the least. With 2 days of posting the www.dLook.com.au listing, Google had it indexed on over 30 pages.

Listing fees (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458028)

Have they managed to invent code yet that will actually allow them to insert a new item without it costing them money? Maybe then they'd be able to drop a listing fee for the privilege of serving some a customized HTML page to their visitors.

Re:Listing fees (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458222)

Have they managed to invent code yet that will actually allow them to insert a new item without it costing them money? Maybe then they'd be able to drop a listing fee for the privilege of serving some a customized HTML page to their visitors.

Just in time for the rate hikes that are going into effect on January 30th, 2007! Thanks Mr. Cobb!

An important part of any business strategy is the regular evaluation of pricing structure. From time to time, we make pricing changes to correct unhealthy dynamics in the eBay marketplace, as was the case last July. Typically, however, we make changes on an annual basis at the beginning of the year.

Today, I'm here to tell you about fee adjustments for eBay.com and eBay Motors which go into effect on January 30, 2007.

Let me say that, while we believe these changes are modest, we consider any changes that may impact our sellers with great care. These adjustments are the result of careful analysis and we believe they're the right thing to do to keep the marketplace strong for our eBay.com and eBay Motors sellers.

Core Listing Fees: Auction-Style & Fixed Price*
Fee Type Item Price New Fee Current Fee
Insertion Fee Starting Price:
$1.00 - $9.99 $0.40 $0.35
Final Value Fee Selling Price:
$25.01 - $1000.00 3.25% 3%
*Does not impact Store Inventory Listings.

eBay Motors Vehicles Fees
The fees listed above will also apply to Parts & Accessories.
Fee Type New Fee Current Fee
Motorcycles & Powersports
Transaction Services Fee $40 $30
Cars & Trucks, Other
Vehicles & Trailers
Transaction Services Fee $50 $40
Motors Reserve Fee 0.1% of reserve price
($5 minimum,
$10 maximum) $5

Re:Listing fees (1)

sottitron (923868) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458336)

I think what you are talking about is called Yahoo! Auctions and the problem is nobody will see the item you are listing.

Re:Listing fees (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458804)

Oh, you mean like gunbroker.com ? No listing fees for simple listings, they make their money on sale prices. No sale, no fee to GB.

A++++++++ (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17458062)

A+++++++ good article, would read again

Re:A++++++++ (1)

Sun Rider (623563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475620)

In a few days you'll have a chance.

eBay vs. WoW (2, Funny)

Tabernaque86 (1046808) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458106)

eBay is able to publish a new version of its site every two weeks, adding 100,000 lines of code, all while in use.
What, no Patch Tuesdays?

Re:eBay vs. WoW (4, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458234)

What, no Patch Tuesdays?

Nope, they have Patch-Every-Other Tuesdays instead.

Maximum bid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17458142)

And still if you are winning an auction you can't raise your maximum bid without raising your current bid... :-)

A new site every 2 weeks? (2, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458152)

"eBay is able to publish a new version of its site every two weeks"

Can someone tell me why this is viewed as a good thing?

Re:A new site every 2 weeks? (0)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458570)

Can someone tell me why this is viewed as a good thing?
Because it allows fast reactions to changes.

Re:A new site every 2 weeks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17459264)

Because it allows fast reactions to changes.

I would hardly call adding 100k lines of code to a project a "fast reaction" Okay maybe it is a fast reaction like a drunk driver being able to miss a telephone poll, but really he shouldn't of been behind the wheel in the first place. Likewise with having to add 50k lines of code a week just to keep up with the competition.

40,000 developers?? (3, Funny)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458164)

Do these guys know that you can use stuff like CGI to make dynamic web sites, with databases? With 40,000 developers, and 100,000 lines of code every two weeks, somebody should tell them that they don't have to code each and every single page by hand...

Re:40,000 developers?? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458914)

RTA. 40k developers means the independent third party developers that use and develop using eBay's API.

Fourty THOUSAND Developers? (3, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458186)

Apologies for the caps and for the swearing, but what the fuck?

Want to improve eBay's efficiency? Ditch 39,500 of those developers.

Or by developers do they mean "people who have downloaded the API docs"?

Re:Fourty THOUSAND Developers? (3, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17461332)

Or by developers do they mean "people who have downloaded the API docs"?

They're outside developers, so I'm pretty sure thats what they mean.

Re:Fourty THOUSAND Developers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17470814)

Or 40,000 monkeys toiling away on typewriters, outside...

Re:Fourty THOUSAND Developers? (1)

dipskinny (768437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17469186)

Yes, these are OUTSIDE developers who have downloaded the API docs.
Some developers, like http://unwiredbuyer.com/ [unwiredbuyer.com] , have even built useful buyer-oriented applications. There are a whole bunch of outside developers listed on the eBay website: http://solutions.ebay.com/ [ebay.com]

Re:Fourty THOUSAND Developers? (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17472750)

But 95% of them have probably never written a single line of eBay related code. The article speaks of them like they are actively working on eBay's behalf. In reality, most of the them really aren't developers, and the rest are all coding for their own self interest.

Gee, I wonder why you singled out that particular developer in your post?

Re:Fourty THOUSAND Developers? (1)

dipskinny (768437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476166)

95% is probably in the ballpark. Still, 5% is 2000 developers working on eBay's behalf (and their own of course), not bad.
re: unwiredbuyer, I have nothing to do with them. I just remember their name from the O'Reilly/eBay developer contest which was announced at ETech '06.

in other ebay news (4, Insightful)

asv108 (141455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458246)

Ebay announced a signifigant price increase [imageshack.us] . Since online auctions are a natural monopoly, I guess we will continue to see these types of price increases until people finally get fed up enough to start listing items elsewhere.

Re:in other ebay news (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458418)

I hadn't heard about the latest fee increase. The trouble is I don't think customers want to yet use other methods for searching for goods, everyone still looks at eBay, even when many of the best sellers have moved on to either their own sites, or other auction pages. It's unfortunate the market giant is so unfair.

If only eBay valued their customers - the sellers, more than they value a giant PR spin machine.

Re:in other ebay news (3, Informative)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458560)

I'm not bothered about the price hike, I'll just pass on the cost to the buyer as "shipping"

Re:in other ebay news (1)

daveo0331 (469843) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465332)

And because of your higher "shipping costs", your items won't sell for as much money -- basic economics. Of course, Ebay doesn't charge final value fees on shipping costs, so you will in theory save a little money that way.

Re:in other ebay news (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 7 years ago | (#17459180)

Since online auctions are a natural monopoly, I guess we will continue to see these types of price increases until people finally get fed up enough to start listing items elsewhere. - I don't see what is so 'natural' about EBay's monopoly. Is it that only EBay can allow posting auctions on EBay? Pffft, please, you can have your own auction. With black jack and hookers. In fact forget the auction. And the black jack. Seriously though, it's inflation. As EBay's expenses rise (for example as the salaries of employees go up, as prices for bandwidth or other services go up,) so do prices. This is totally normal.

Do you even know what a "natural monopoly" is? (3, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#17459606)

A natural monopoly is a monopoly that comes to exist all on it's own, and can usually be predicted far in advance. It will exist even in spite of competition.

eBay is a natural monopoly because a dominant online auction has a self-reinforcing properties. It's not simple for a buyer to switch to another auction site, because it will not have many listings, so they won't find what they want to buy. And it's not simple for a seller to switch to another site, because no one goes there to buy things (because there are no sellers), so you don't sell anything.

It's a huge catch-22 situation. These kinds of monopolies usually take drastic change to break - some huge event that will cause a critical mass of buyers and sellers to move to another site. As long as eBays price increases stay small and incremental, it is unlikely this will occur.

Re:Do you even know what a "natural monopoly" is? (1, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 7 years ago | (#17460450)

Ooh, please. A natural monopoly happens when only a specific firm can survive in the long run in a niche industry, for example when it is only possible to survive in a niche industry due to the scale (like what Canadian bank check storage company Symcor is doing by growing in a declining industry by the means of buying out the smaller firms in this industry.)

This does not apply to EBay. There are tons and tons and tons of auction sites on line, there are various stores and trading places and billboards. EBay is only important due to its popularity, but it is most certainly not the only auction that will survive in the long run and new ones will be created.

Re:Do you even know what a "natural monopoly" is? (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463098)

Very true. Also add that although eBay's popularity and resources make it powerful, they also make it vulnerable. A company that size - clearly uberbloated with developers, for one - has huge communication chains and responds incredibly slowly to new ideas.

A small startup with the right idea at the right time can turn on a dime to react to innovation and new markets.

Google is an obvious example - who would have thought in 1996 that Altavista or Yahoo or Excite or... yeah, can't even remember the names of others now... would have been decimated by a couple of post grad students and a bit of funding.

There's nothing to stop this sort of thing toppling eBay - and bear in mind not many people hated Altavista, they just didn't need it. Some people surely do hate eBay, so there's a clear market for the next big thing.

Re:Do you even know what a "natural monopoly" is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466692)

Search engines are a completly different beast. You can easily list your page on 1000 search engines without spending a penny. Try doing that with auctions and still make money...

Re:Do you even know what a "natural monopoly" is? (1)

Profound (50789) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467596)

The most important thing about auctions is competition. Thus:

for buyers - number of listings
for sellers - number of buyers

There are many other eBay knockoffs, some that have had enormous media advertising blitzes and some charge no fees at all, but eBay has continued to be by far the most popular, simply because it is the most popular.

I guess this breaks down to, eBay is will continue to be the most popular because it is the most popular. I don't see how that cycle will be broken, and I don't think eBay's problems and fees are sufficently bad to cause people to switch while they are still making money or buying good stuff of eBay.

Re:in other ebay news (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17460684)

I just messaged all my recent buyers and sellers with my email address and told them that I am closing my ebay account. And ask them to do the same and pass on the message.

The only way to get off the ebay crack is to get everyone else off it too.

Yea its gonna hurt me, but its better than the alternative.

And yes I did cancel my account, though ebay has a 180 day wait... Blah.
Sadly it will cancel my half.com account too, which I actually like.

So they've got stacks of developers (2, Informative)

Xargle (165143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458260)

...and loads of money. Yet last time I looked the site went offline every Friday "for maintenance". Please, ebay, teach us your highly innovative processes!

Explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17458398)

When they say "developers", they're talking about the number of people that register for API access tokens. The number of people that go on to get their API applications certified would be more interesting (eBay requires certification to increase the query limits on your app.)

Ebay Insecurity and Haboring Scams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17458400)

Their primary focus should be on fixing their insecurity because it's a haven for scams and hijacked accounts and the coverage protection for using their PayPal payment system has been lowered to $1000 (that means if you buy a $5000 item and you get scammed, which will very likely happen on Ebay, you're out $4000). Add to that the non-existent customer service, the rude canned emails when you point out obvious scams that they should be able to flag on their own and the greed with the ever increasing fees I'm looking forward to dumping Ebay/PayPal for a Google solution.

Not 40K eBay-employed developers (4, Informative)

Lord Grey (463613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458420)

From TFA:
... part of a growing community of some 40,000 independent developers, all building products using eBay's own application programming interfaces ...

In other words, that count represents the total number of people worldwide writing code that interfaces with eBay. That's very different than 40K developers working for eBay.

Poor EBay (1)

FlatCatInASlatVat (828700) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458434)

They have a profit of $1B/year and they are worried that their investors are not going to be happy?!

----------

All your Bays are belo... Oh, never mind.

awesome productivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17458522)

40,000 developers, and 100,000 lines of code every two weeks = 1.25 lines of code per week per developer.. sounds like a decent place to work!

Poor priorities (4, Insightful)

AnalogDiehard (199128) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458732)

All those developers, while little is done to combat fraud on ebay.

Re:Poor priorities (1)

Soham (772377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17485486)

Like Auctions, Fraud is also "natural", in the sense that when a system runs mainly on "faith", it s unavoidable. What is impressive about eBay is, that fraud happens on only a fraction of millions of items that are listed at any given time. But we only hear about that fraction, we don't hear about the millions and millions of transactions which have happened flawlesly. I'm willing to bet that the percent of fraudulant transactions on eBay is comparable to that of brick and mortar businesses.

Too bad... (2, Insightful)

crossmr (957846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17458834)

"'They are way ahead of other companies' in terms of supporting developers, says one application builder... 'This a new wave of business,' says [another developer's marketing director]. 'eBay is a supplier, a marketing channel and a competitor. It's a weird arrangement.'

Too bad they didn't support the people who buy merchandise through the site that well.

40,000 developers? (1)

hairykrishna (740240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17459144)

Having been a regular eBay user for a while I can't get away from an image of a huge room housing 40,000 loudly screaming chimpanzees banging away at their terminals. Oh, and some dude in the room next door swimming in his Scrooge McDuck style money pit while laughing manically....

Monkeys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17459304)

40'000 developers... somehow there has to be a typing monkeys joke in there...

Re:Monkeys (1)

sparkane (145547) | more than 7 years ago | (#17461814)

Your comment number was 17459304. You're looking for comment number 17459144 [slashdot.org] .

A look??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17459482)


Theres no pictures!

Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17459708)

Shame that in 100,000 lines of code no one has been able to make a little button to stop "Buy it Now" sales appearing on my search results. I came here for a auction.

And Also... (1)

dwalsh (87765) | more than 7 years ago | (#17460296)

The company has 40,000 outside developers working to increase its value and efficiency.
Plus they have maybe 40,000 sellers and users decreasing its value and efficiency by selling counterfeit goods, selling at a low price with ridiculous postages fees, using stolen credit cards and other blatant fraud.

I attended a meeting some time back... (1)

Utopia (149375) | more than 7 years ago | (#17460474)

someone claimed that Slate.com is able to published 100000 pages within a matter of seconds.

Mis-Labelled (3, Insightful)

Spinlock_1977 (777598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17460542)

If you think this article will tell you what hardware and OS's they're running on you'll be disappointed. It's mostly web 2.0 fluff spared any useful details.

Cottage Industry (1)

6ame633k (921453) | more than 7 years ago | (#17461716)

I reckon it's like the cottage industry that grew up around I-pods, you're not going to invent the Ipod (or Ebay) so why not just make be-jeweled holders or kickass speakers and skim some revenue off the top?

Ebays in a win-win sitch as they get site & product expansion without really having to pay for it. I wonder if they own part of the IP at the end of the day.

I've noticed a similar Open API peripheral strategy with other sites - like FLICKR and even Myspace to a lessor extent. Flickr has a few apps that are really fun like the calender or DVD maker - but they are obviously done by 3rd party devs and Flicker even solicits devs for new ideas.

Posting Anon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17461818)

Where I currently work we are located in a colo with one of Ebay's newer server farm build outs. It's quite a humbling thing. Every network and power cord is the exact proper length, the racks are all spotless. But the most impressive thing is all the fiber, we are talking 10-14 a rack, are *just the right length*. The fiber? Damn.

The company has 40,000 outside developers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17462042)

The company has 40,000 outside developers working...
... and not one tester!

I'll Never Forgive CIO Insight (1)

localman (111171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17462318)

They interviewed me a couple months back and despite several emails that included my full sigunature and my full name, they totally flubbed it in the article. My name is Jonathan Field, and somehow they got my name as Jon Athan. Page after page of things like "Athan says this" and "according to Athan's development philosophy".

Back at the office they made me new "Jon Athan" buisiness cards as a joke.

Bitches. ;)

eBay in MY time zone? (1)

Equis (723653) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463048)

Hey eBay... How 'bout spending some time to allow me to display listing times in MY time zone? Thanks.

I cry BS!!!, I scream FOUL. (1)

gamekeeper (793336) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464470)

I used to work at e-bay. They are masters of NOT VERY MUCH. Their QA support is a shamble. The treatment of employees is delporeable. Their culture is incapable of Human compassion. They berate, intimidate, and exasaberate their collegues into submission. That is how the work gets done.. They say that 1 out of every 10 employees is a millionarre on paper and really dont need to work, but do because they have nothing better to do (stated in their own words), unfortunately that carries over to how they treat others and how they are treated themselves. Unfortunately its a vicious cycle that is only quenched by greed and money (not money paid to the individual or credit, but paid to the "greater cause".) I hope this culture has changed for the better, if so I stand corrected and profusely apologize for my (would be) incorrect rebuttal and retract it as such. In my opinion, its like FRY's, how much can we push people to give us what we want, and how much can we treat them like nothing before we have to get rid of them before they find better treatment elsewhere and get rid of us.. This may or may not be on the subject of the article, but When I see e-bay and masters and innovation used in the same context, I have to stand up and say something.. To verify, approach an e-bay employee and ask them. I have nothing personal against any specific people at e-bay, and I do wish all of them and their families well into the new year..

Steve Ballmer...... sorry..... (1)

obsidianpoet (978026) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466616)

Developers! Developers! Developers!!!!! Sorry...... I had to..... :)

When are they going to change... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466780)

...those horrible 1994-vintage non-antialiased bitmap font buttons on their navbar?

WTF is the point of using images for navigation if they look worse than the text they're replacing? Is the whole thing some kind of cherished throwback?

2.5 lines a week of code per developer (1)

dindi (78034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17468148)

100.000 lines a week, 40.000 developers makes it 2.5 lines of code every week (or was it 2 weeks?)

Hmm... we should all work for Ebay, I can shell out that many lines, provided, those lines are not as long as a whole book.

Is it really adding new lines? (1)

ScorpFromHell (837952) | more than 7 years ago | (#17470602)

Or does that count include the modified lines of code too? Something is really phishy.
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