Faster file viewing

We’ve just pushed an updated version of PythonAnywhere! The biggest change this time around is that browsing through directories in the “Files” tab is much quicker.

Some background: in the older version of PythonAnywhere, every time you browsed a directory, we launched a new process that ran inside your sandbox. This gave us great security pretty much for free – as the file view was running in your sandbox, it was certain that you couldn’t see anyone else’s files. The problem was that as more and more people started using PythonAnywhere (yay!) more and more processes were being launched, and it got slower and slower (boo!). So we’ve had to bite the bullet and code our own secure sandboxed file browser. The first cut of this, which just uses the new system for browsing directories, is what we’ve just released. We’re also working on using the same technique for viewing, saving and editing files – that’s coming soon.

There have also been a couple of minor tweaks: head and ping are now available from Bash consoles, and user web applications can now accept requests of 32kB, up from 4kB (which was too small for, in particular, web apps that wanted to use OpenID).

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