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I now have much better monitoring tools for who's accessing what on my static server, and as soon as we turned the corner on weblogs.com, changes.xml shot to the top of both the hits and bytes lists. In other words, it's getting the most hits and serving the most bytes.
I wanted to see if it was just a few people or lots of people accessing the file, so I wrote a script and let it run overnight. 232 different IP addresses accessed the file, the vast majority being good network citizens and accessing it only once an hour. But one application read the file 592 times in the ten hours it was running. And I didn't count 304 returns. Either the app didn't support it, or the file changed (it's rebuilt every five minutes).
Any application that reads more often than once an hour should be using shortChanges.xml (it contains the last five minutes of changes only).
There's another issue, some of these services are competitors of weblogs.com that don't provide a list of their changes. This is not cool. I've already communicated with one of these guys, as a test case. If they don't open up, what should I do? Reminds me of the open channel list we had on My.UserLand and the services that didn't reciprocate.