It was a dark and stormy night. The air was quiet. Too quiet. Yet stormy. Suddenly, a beep rang out from a bedside pager. The engineer woke up, grabbing a soda to sharpen his senses. Blogger was down. He needed to bring it back up.

When I get the chance to write my pulp story of a gritty Blogger engineer struggling to keep the site alive, I may look back on this past week as a prime source of choice dramatic fodder. Until then, I, like many of you, will look upon this past week with irritation, disappointment, and maybe even a bit of anger.

You need to look no further than our status blog or perhaps your own experiences to know that Blogger had a significant number of unplanned outages this last week (forgive me my euphemisms?) and a handful of planned ones to clean up from the unplanned ones. It’s been a Murphyesque cavalcade of power failures, fileserver trouble, and wonky network hardware, and I hope you’ll believe me when I say that the Blogger staff is even more sick of it than you are.

First up, our apologies. We really regret these outages, which were a nuisance (or worse) to you. The past week’s performance was not representative of the kind of service we want to provide for you.

More importantly, though, what are we doing to prevent this in the future? Some good news:
  • In the short term, we’re replacing quirky hardware and increasing our monitoring to stop problems before they start (forgive me my clich├ęs?). This afternoon’s planned outage did just such a thing.
  • In the long term, we’re developing a new version of Blogger with some great new features that is built on technology and hardware that has proven, Google-quality reliability. The current Blogger infrastructure is — albeit in a very Lincoln’s axe way — the same that Google acquired four years ago. Sure, we’ve built on it and expanded it significantly since then, but the truth is we’ve more than out-grown it. The new version is ground-up more scalable and less error-prone.
The news gets better: We foresaw the need for the long-term solution, well, a long time ago. Long enough ago that it’s almost done, and you can use it as the new version of Blogger in beta. If you can switch to it (see requirements) you really should. The new version of Blogger is better in almost* every way, including reliability. (It’s worth pointing out that none of this past week’s trouble affected the new version of Blogger or its blogs.)

It’s been a bad week for Blogger, and, as I hope you can tell, we’re not denying it. Instead, we have taken and will continue to take specific steps that make Blogger a more reliable, overall better service for you to use.

Oh, and as a final dogfoodish note, I’m pleased to point out that our status blog is now powered by the new version of Blogger. This means that we will be free of the Catch-22 of problems with the current version of Blogger preventing us from reporting about the problems with the current version of Blogger. (And we’ll fix that bug that makes it look like all the posts came from me. We’re on it.)

* The new version of Blogger is available only in English, which we will remedy very shortly. Also FTP publishing isn’t there yet, but that’s coming soon, too. Once these are in place, the new version will be better than the current version in every way.