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Showing entries 1 to 22

Displaying posts with tag: web services (reset)

RESTful PHP Web Services – reviewed
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I’ve been using a lot of RESTful services these days and have been waiting for a good book that is dedicated to the topic. I recently received a copy of ‘RESTful PHP Web Services’, which does a successful job of outlining proven concepts in current web technology. If you want to learn the methods for creating and consuming RESTful services then you will find many examples in this book. From the architectural plans to well thought out code samples, the book covers a lot of ground in a relatively quick read.

The first chapter gives the reader a quick introduction to RESTful services and the most common PHP frameworks in use at the time of writing. I particularly enjoyed the section on the Zend framework due to

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I’m Offering Pro-Bono Consulting
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I started my company about a year ago, but I’ve been doing consulting for a long time. In fact, my first job in the IT industry was working for a consulting firm. Before that, starting as far back as grade school, I was involved in a lot of volunteer civic and community service activities. I admire companies who get involved in their communities, or even outside of their communities, wherever help is needed.

As part of my business plan, I’ve put in place a policy of accepting one pro-bono consulting project per year. So far, I haven’t gotten any requests for free consulting work, so here’s my public shout out to let you know what types of services are available:

1. Speaking or Training. My specialties are things like advanced Linux administration and SQL, but I’m perfectly capable of delivering

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2009: Waiting to Exhale
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Lots of blogs list a bunch of stuff that happened in the year just past, and I have done a year-in-review post before, but in looking back at posts on this blog and elsewhere, what strikes me most is not the big achievements that took place in technology in 2008, but rather the questions that remain unanswered. So much got started in 2008 — I’m really excited to see what happens with it all in 2009!

Cloud Computing

Technically, the various utility or ‘cloud’ computing initiatives started prior to 2008, but in my observation, they gained more traction in 2008 than at any other time. At the beginning of 2008, I was using Amazon’s S3, and testing to expand into more wide use of EC2 during my time as Technology Director for AddThis.com (pre-buyout). I was also investigating tons of other technologies that take different approaches to

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Help me pick a new feed reader
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I’ve been using Google Reader since it was created. I really love the *idea* of Google Reader. I like that scrolling through the posts marks them as read. I like that you can toggle between list and expanded views of the posts. I like that you can search within a feed or across all feeds (though selecting multiple specific feeds would be great).

All of that said, I’d like to explore other avenues, because I don’t like that there’s, like, zero flexibility in how the Google Reader interface is configured. My problem starts with large fonts…

I use relatively large fonts. If you increase the font twice up from the default size in firefox on a mac (using the cmd-+ keystroke, twice), and you have more than just a couple of feeds, you wind up with this really horrible side pane with the bottom half of it requiring a scroll bar, and

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I’m a Top 25 Geek Blogger… for some value of “Top”
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I’m not someone who wakes up every day and looks at how my blog is ranked by all of the various services. I check out my WordPress stats, but that’s really about it. However, someone went and did some of the work for me, and they’ve decided that, of the blogs that they read or that were suggested to them, this blog ranks #20 in a listing of 25.

I’m really flattered, but wonder if it’s an indicator that this is a quality blog, or that they should aim higher in their blog reading ;-P  Either way, listing 25 bloggers in a flattering way is a fantastic marketing technique, because most of us are probably egomaniacal enough to say “Hey! Look!” and link back to the list on *your* blog, resulting in lots of traffic. Kudos, and thanks Mobile Maven!

Sustained IO on EBS == No Bueno
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I have a small EC2 instance running with a 25GB EBS volume attached. It has a database on it that I need to manipulate by doing things like dropping indexes and creating new ones. This is on rather large (multi-GB, millions of rows) tables. After running one DROP INDEX operation that ran all day without finishing, I killed it and tried to see what was going on. Here’s the results of the first 10 minutes of testing:

-bash-3.2# dd if=/dev/zero of=/vol/128.txt bs=128k count=1000
1000+0 records in
1000+0 records out
131072000 bytes (131 MB) copied, 0.818328 seconds, 160 MB/s

This looks great. I’d love to get 160MB/s all the time. But wait! There’s more!

-bash-3.2# dd if=/dev/zero of=/vol/128.txt bs=128k count=100000
dd: writing `/vol/128.txt': No space left on device
86729+0 records in
86728+0 records out
11367641088 bytes (11 GB) copied,
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More Adventures in Amazon EC2 (and EBS)
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Short Version: You can find a fantastic video here about bundling customized AMIs and registering them with Amazon so that you can launch as many instances of your new AMI as you want. The video is so good that I don’t bother writing out the steps to do the bundling (it would be pretty darn long). These are some notes about launching an AMI, customizing it, and mounting an EBS volume to it (the video linked above doesn’t cover EBS). Also, check out the ElasticFox tool which is a very good GUI for doing simple EC2 operations. Nice if you’re just getting started or doing some simple tests.

There are two ways you can go about creating a custom machine image (AMI) for use with Amazon EC2: You can create an image locally by

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PyWorks Conference Schedule Posted
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Hi all,

The schedule for PyWorks has been posted! I’m really excited about three things:

1) there are some really cool talks that I’m looking forward to attending. There are a couple of sysadmin-related talks, AppEngine, TurboGears, Django, and an area I’ve been especially slow to move into: testing (I know, shame on me). There’s lots more so be sure to check it out.

2) the conference scheduling process is over

3) I get to meet a lot of people face-to-face that I’ve worked with in the past on Python Magazine developing articles, or interacted with on IRC, etc. One thing I like about conferences surrounding open source technologies is you get to thank people face-to-face for the

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Why I Don’t Write Book Reviews
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I have a lot of interaction with publishing types. I write a lot, and I edit some, and I do tech reviews and stuff for some publishers, and I co-authored a book, and I’ve worked on two magazines, and a newspaper, and I’m generally fascinated by the technical book market and stuff like that. I’m also someone who is lucky enough that his job is also his hobby. I work in technology, and am always doing something technology related at home in my spare time. Needless to say, I read tons upon tons of technical books.

I almost never post book reviews, in spite of the fact that I read all of these books. Why? Well, to be honest, I couldn’t tell you. It just hasn’t occurred to me to write a book review. Could be because I don’t really value book reviews too much myself I guess. I mean, if there’s a really obvious consensus across a huge

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The promise of Drizzle
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I got to actually speak to Brian Aker for maybe a total of 5 minutes after his micro-presentation about Drizzle, which took place at the Sun booth at OSCON 2008. I was a bit nervous to ask what questions I had out loud, because the things I had wondered about were things I really didn’t see too much discussion about out in the intarweb. I’m happy to report that, if Brian Aker is to be considered any kind of authority (hint: he is), my ideas are not completely ridiculous, so maybe I’ll start talking a bit more about them.

UPDATE: lest anyone get the wrong idea, Brian Aker did, in fact, state that views are not on the short list of priority items for Drizzle, but he did say that views are one of the features he finds most useful, and that they’d probably

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Day 1 of OSCON Begins, and More Tips for Conference-goers
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I got an early start. Too early. But I’m from the west coast, so my body thinks I slept in. I wandered around a bit, took a few pics which you can see at my Flickr OSCON set, and I discovered a couple of things that might be of interest:

  • The starbucks in the conference center charges over $2 for a small cup of joe. There’s a starbucks right across the street (you can see it from the breakfast area - seriously, it’s 5 seconds away), and they charge less than $2 for a medium (grande). That’s less than I pay at home.
  • The ATM outside the starbucks charges $3 for cash. I’ll report back when I find a cheaper one, but most places seem to take plastic here.
  • Every computer involved in this conference, from registration to the
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Useful stuff - 2008 - first half
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Having a Google account is sometimes useful in ways you hadn’t planned for. For example, at a few different employers I’ve been at, I’ve had to prepare for reviews by providing a list of accomplishments to my supervisor. One decent tool for generating this list is email, though it can take some time. Another useful tool is the Web History feature of your Google account.

Though this isn’t necessarily indicative of everything I’ve accomplished in the first half of 2008 per se, it’s definitely indicative of the types of things I’ve generally been into so far this year, and it’s interesting to look back. What does your Web History say?

  • Gearman - this is used by some rather large web sites, notably Digg. It reminds me a little of having Torque and Maui, but geared toward
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Cloud computing hype overload
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I’ve been working with what I used to call “utility computing” tools for about 6-9 months. However, for about the past 2 months, I’ve been seeing the term “cloud computing” all over the place, and there is so much buzz surrounding it that it’s reaching that magical point best described using Alan Greenspan’s words: “Irrational Exuberance”.

When Alan Greenspan used those words to describe the attitudes of investors toward the markets, what he was basically saying was that there were people who didn’t really know what they were doing, putting more money than they ought, into things they knew relatively little about. Further, he was saying that the decisions people were making with regards to where to put their money were a) bad, or at least b) not based on sound reasoning, or the ‘facts on the

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Plug-ins: isn?t there a better way?
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If there’s one thing that bothers me about using a ready-made solution like wordpress for my blog, it’s plug-ins. I hate software plug-ins. The first question every support engineer for any software product that supports plugins asks in response to a trouble report is “are you using any plugins?” And when you say “yep, I’m using plugins!” the reply from support is to disable them immediately and see if the trouble goes away. That’s a problem.

What’s worse, if the plugins are maintained by a third party (often the case), there’s no telling whether or not they’ll exist when the next version of the base software is released, or whether they’ll be

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Why should I pay for this AWS design decision?
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I was writing a utility in Python (using boto) to test/play with Amazon’s SQS service. As boto isn’t particularly well documented where SQS specifically is concerned, I also plan to post some examples (either here or on Linuxlaboratory.org, or both). When I had some trouble getting a message that was sent to a queue, I went to the Amazon documentation, and found this little gem in the Amazon Web Services FAQ

I am sure that my queue has messages, but a call to ReceiveMessage returned none. What could be the problem?

Due to the distributed nature of the queue, a weighted random set of machines is sampled on a ReceiveMessage call. That means only the messages on the sampled machines are

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High Performance MySQL on Safari!
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All right! In the past, some books seem to be delayed in getting into O’Reilly’s Safari site, but on the day that Baron announces the book’s arrival, I find that I’m able to access it in Safari right now! Sweet!

addthis_url = 'http%3A%2F%2Fwww.protocolostomy.com%2F2008%2F06%2F20%2Fhigh-performance-mysql-on-safari%2F'; addthis_title = 'High+Performance+MySQL+on+Safari%21'; addthis_pub = 'jonesy';
Simple S3 Log Archival
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UPDATE: if anyone knows of a non-broken syntax highlighting plugin for wordpress that supports bash or some other shell syntax, let me know :-/

Apache logs, database backups, etc., on busy web sites, can get large. If you rotate logs or perform backups regularly, they can get large and numerous, and as we all know, large * numerous = expensive, or rapidly filling disk partitions, or both.

Amazon’s S3 service, along with a simple downloadable suite of tools, and a shell script or two can ease your life considerably. Here’s one way to do it:

  • Get an Amazon Web Services account by going to the AWS website.
  • Download the ‘aws’ command line tool from here and install it.
  • Write a couple of shell scripts, and schedule them using cron.
  • Once you have

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    Multisourced Production Infrastructure: History, and a stab at the Future
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    Startups are pretty fascinating. I work for a startup, and one of my good friends works for another startup. I’ve also worked for 2 other startups, one during the first “bubble”, and another one a few years later. Oh my, how the world of web startups has changed in that time!

    1999: You must have funding

    The first startup I was ever involved in was a web startup. It was an online retailer. They were starting from nothing. My friend (a former coworker from an earlier job) had saved for years to get this idea off the ground. He was able to get a few servers, some PCs for the developers he hired, and he got the cheapest office space in all of NYC (but it still managed to be a really cool space, in a way that only NYC can pull off), and he hosted every single service required to run the web site in-house. If

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    Is this thing on?
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    Since the recovery from my recent outage, I’ve noticed that none of the normal feed sites where my posts normally show up caught the last post, so this is a test post to see what’s going on, if it was a temporary glitch, or what.

    If you didn’t see the post linked above, please read it if you’re happy with your web host. I’m looking for a new one :-/

    addthis_url = 'http%3A%2F%2Fwww.protocolostomy.com%2F2008%2F04%2F16%2Fis-this-thing-on%2F'; addthis_title = 'Is+this+thing+on%3F'; addthis_pub = 'jonesy';
    Need a new web host
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    Ok, this blog is currently hosted by 1and1.com, and I think that needs to change, which is sad, because up until recently, I’ve been pretty happy with the performance. However, I recently had an issue, and some things came to light about my package that I wasn’t aware of.

    First of all, the maximum time a process can run is about 6 seconds. Second of all, the maximum number of processes you can have running at once is 12. When I asked if this was a limitation of my *package*, the answer I got was that it was a limitation of all shared hosting accounts.

    This blog started throwing 500 errors some time yesterday. I called support late last night and some lady said that she was running a tool that should fix my issue, and to call back in 30 minutes if the problem persists. Well, I’m sick as a dog, and it was late, so I went to bed. This morning, the problem was

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    Affero GPL Discussion Draft Version 1
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    I’m surprised to see so little being said about the First Discussion draft of the Affero GPL v3. I see only 9 comments as of 9PM PDT 6/13. That’s not very many.

    Perhaps the reason is that the only difference is the single paragraph in Section 13 which states:

    Notwithstanding any other provision of this License, if you modify the Program, your modified version must give all users interacting with it remotely through a computer network (if your version supports such interaction) an opportunity to receive the Corresponding Source of your version by providing access to copy the Corresponding Source from a network server at no charge.

    Fabrizio here seems bullish on the new license and goes on to say:

    Bottom line: if GPL v3 and AGPL v3 are exactly the

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    Zend Framework, IP, and Big Company Lawyers
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    IP Concerns are very real; I’ve had a couple of customers bring them up in the past. It boils down to trust; It doesn’t matter if you and a thriving community have written the best code in the world; without someone to vouch that all proper measures were taken, there is an increased risk associated with your project.

    This is the second time I’ve heard IP as one of the motivations behind the Zend Framework.. The first time was from David, and now there’s this line from Wez.

    I never used to think about clean IP. I knew that some organizations, such as the Apache Foundation, make committers sign contributor license agreements, but as I am not an ASF contributor, it

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    Showing entries 1 to 22

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