Category Archives: Updates

The April Fool’s joke that caused data migration headaches

On April 1, 2005, started getting a few strange bookmarks that looked like this:


Color bookmarks! If you posted something like color:FF0000,FFFFFF,0000FF in the URL field (instead of a normal URL), you’d get a little set of color swatches.

Joshua had quietly implemented this and saved a few colors, and friends noticed and started saving colors too. We watched the “recent” page as people discovered it and played with it. The popular page for the tag “color” started to get wonderful. Another example:


Color bookmarks were an April Fool’s joke, from a time when April Fool’s jokes on the web were possibly-believable fun things. I see it also as a gentle experiment in expanding what could “bookmark” and seeing how people responded. This was before the Yahoo! acquisition (October 2005) and a year before Twitter started. It wasn’t clear whether should only be for links, or whether the scope and ambition should expand. What else would people want to save and share? For example, should people be able to post short notes without an associated link? What kind of community management would that need, and what could go wrong? Twitter answered those questions later.

On April 2, 2005, Julia West wrote a blog post pointing out that color bookmarking was oddly off-brand, and also that “the color syntax in place of the URL is useless outside of the interface, botching RSS feeds and the importing of bookmarks into a user’s browser”. had a mailing list for users and team members, and John Resig expanded on her post with a detailed complaint and suggestion about the new color bookmarks:

I was reading a delicious RSS feed of one of my friends and saw a link to one of these new color: items, I clicked it (not thinking) and was immediately treated to an error message. Up until this point I had thought that this addition was amusing, and mildly interesting at best. Now I was just annoyed and very upset. Essentially, this URI will only work on delicious and will only ever have meaning to those who view this information on the delicious web site. This is a serious problem.

John’s post goes on to recommend a different URI for color bookmarks, with rigorous reasoning about the purposes and uses of URIs.

I love these posts because they’re a wonderful example of early people who loved the web, loved tools for the web that used structured data (such as in RSS feeds and APIs) to enable new things, built new things, and debated them with each other. It was a time of geotagging, microformats, the semantic web, and machine-readable ontologies for friendship.

What happened after April’s Fools Day? had a principle of not deleting user data, and some people were fond of color bookmarks, so the tiny undocumented feature stuck around.

Later at Yahoo!, spent a couple years preparing to become Delicious 2.0: a complete rewrite of the aging code, a major redesign, a massive data migration. The color bookmarks were still there, and we had to keep them. There was no way we could jettison the color bookmarks after years. So the backend and frontend engineers rebuilt what had been a tiny bit of Perl in the new enterprise-class PHP framework. The designer had to accommodate color bookmarks. But oh, the data migration — the color bookmarks caused many complications for data migration, and the team complained and fixed bugs in their Erlang. It was amazing that such a small thing had such an effect.

I believe color bookmarks finally died when AVOS rewrote the site in 2011.

Brief Site Maintenance Outage

Delicious will be experiencing a 5 minute maintenance outage taking place tonight at 8:00 p.m. PST. We are rebooting all of our databases and appreciate your patience.

Update: Some users experienced slowness until 4:00 a.m. PST.  Our provider was the cause of the outage. The whole site was up and down for the last hour. It was triggered by our scheduled DB maintenance combined with the service issue.

Update 7/21 11:31 p.m.: We have experienced brief downtime due to one of our databases. Delicious may have acted unusual for a 20 minute period between 10:30 p.m. PST and 10:50 p.m. PST. The database has now recovered.’

Update 7/23 5:16 p.m.: We will be experiencing another brief maintenance outage tonight at 9:00 p.m. PST for about 30 minutes.

If you experience any other issues or have any feedback, please contact us at

Site Maintenance

*Update:* The delicious API, feeds and previous are now working! We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced but are happy to announce that there should no longer be any issues. Please contact us at if you experience otherwise.

*Update:* We are expecting the delicious API, feeds and previous to be unavailable for an additional hour. Please stay tuned for more information.

*Update:* The delicious API, feeds, previous will be unavailable for the next hour while database migrations continue. This should dramatically reduce the partial site outages some users are experiencing.

*URGENT SITE MAINTENANCE:* Database will be upgraded at 11:30 a.m. PT due to a large spike, causing an outage of unknown duration. We will keep you updated with the duration of this outage shortly. Check in with our blog posts to see any new updates regarding this issue!

*Update:*  The exporting of links is now fixed. If you are still experiencing any issues with exporting please contact us at

*Update:* Some users were experiencing problems loading feeds from We have fixed the problem, but please contact us if you encounter any more issues there. Other users have seen errors where the “Rate limit has been exceeded”, we are currently investigating this issue.

*Update:* Service was restored after approximately 20 minutes of downtime. If you find features that are not working, please contact us at

***Databases are going down now for maintenance.  Problems logging in are expected over the next 30 minutes.***

**Update:** The importing and exporting of links will be temporarily unavailable until Tuesday. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and will keep you updated on the progress!

*Update:* We just had an executive meeting and our operations plan got a green light, we are going to go live tonight!

Delicious users,

We are currently in the process of moving our data center. The entire maintenance window is expected to be from Friday April 3rd at 8:00 p.m. PT until Saturday April 4th 9:00 a.m. PT. During this time you may experience interruptions when saving and retrieving links. We are anticipating a full site outage at some point during that window,  but we are expecting it to last less than 1 hour.

During the maintenance window, please try to minimize the number of links you save: they will appear in your saved links but there might be a delay when searching for them for up to  7 days. Any links saved before or after the window will appear immediately in searches.


Site Maintenance

Delicious will be experiencing maintenance at 7:00 p.m. PST today, Tuesday, February 24th 2015 as part of an ongoing series of upgrades over the next ten days. There should be no impact to users on and brief outages on lasting no more than ten minutes at a time. The maintenance window is expected to last one hour. 
If you have any questions or feedback please e-mail us at

Update 11:18 p.m. PST: we are starting the updates. There should be a brief impact to users over the next few minutes.

Planning for a Delicious future

2013 was a big year for us at Delicious. We relaunched the site from the ground up, built many brand new features, and have been blown away by the response to our Annual Reports project.  Our team also released a number of official apps for Delicious:

We are thrilled with the positive user feedback from our recently launched and refreshed apps. These apps are all built on a new platform our team has built to ensure stability and quality performance.

To that end, we’d like to give you more information about upcoming changes to Delicious to help it remain sustainable and free for the community.

Finding what makes Delicious tick?

Continue reading

Springing Forward at Delicious

We’ve been a little quiet on the blog recently, but after adding a number of new updates and features over the past few months, we wanted to break the silence and let you know what we’ve been working on.

One noticeable new feature is that you can now sign in via Twitter or Facebook. Login with a single click and immediately start adding links.

But that’s not the only benefit of connecting your social accounts. We can also automatically pull in links you’ve shared (or favorited on Twitter), meaning you’ll never have to dig through your feed to find a link again – they will all be waiting for you on your Delicious account, indexed and searchable. We’ve also introduced the Friend Finder to help you find and follow the people you know.

Another big community request was that we put the user who first saved a link back in the link details pane. We’re happy to report that this “first saver” attribution is now live and prominently displayed on every link added to the site.

We’ve also made these small improvements:

– Fixed bug where public tags were showing up in autocomplete when tagging.
– Put “Add to Delicious” button back on the Tools page so you can add it to your website and blog posts for readers to use.
– Shaved one second off load times across the site.
– Optimized the bookmarklet to load faster than ever.

These are just a few of the many enhancements currently in the works, so expect new features and fixes soon!

If you have any feedback about what we’ve released so far, or have suggestions for features you would like to see added in the future, please email us at We’d love to hear from you!

Big Update Coming to Delicious!

The holiday season has been especially busy here at Delicious. Mid-December we launched our official Delicious iPhone app and are thrilled with the positive feedback we’ve received so far… but now its time to start looking forward to the new year!

You may recall that last month we began previewing a new design for Delicious at Today, we are excited to introduce some major improvements to the demo site (more details below). This new design will be rolled out to the main Delicious site in early January.

Some of the new product features and notable improvements include:

  • An omnibox search bar to conveniently search across keywords, tags, usernames, your network and even tag bundles!
  • Enhanced profile pages with names and personal bios added to make it easier to find friends and create a personalized link-sharing network of your own.
  • Single-page viewing experience to speed up navigation across your links and to supercharge content discovery.
  • Keyboard shortcuts to get you where you want to go faster than ever.

Thanks to everyone who has submitted feedback on the new design! It’s still a work in progress, so please keep your comments and suggestions coming via the orange feedback button at the bottom of every page.

Until next year, Happy Holidays from all of us here at Delicious!