Simon Willison’s Weblog

Thursday, 5th February 2009

Load Balancing in Amazon EC2 with HAProxy. Solid tutorial introduction to HAProxy. # 11:12 pm—python magazine. Jesse Noller has been sharing his articles originally published in Python Magazine. Topics include SSH programming with Paramiko, context managers and the with statement and an excellent explanation of Python’s threading support and the global interpreter lock. # 11:10 pm

Announcing the Article Search API. The most interesting API from the NYTimes yet—search against 2.8 million articles from 1981 until today using 35 searchable fields and get back detailed metadata as well as the first paragraph of the articles themselves. # 11:06 pm

Apache Qpid. A new open source AMQP message queue with implementations in C++ and Java, developed by engineers from Red Hat, IONA and JP Morgan Chase. Anyone tried this yet? Looks pretty good on paper. # 11:01 pm

A couple of years ago when I was working on a now defunct search engine, we were using ActiveMQ to pass messages between the frontend and the backend. The system was unreliable, flaky, and hard to debug. It delivered exactly none of the reliability queues promised. [...] More likely there’s something wrong with the whole design of network systems based on message queues, and we need to start developing alternatives.

Elliotte Rusty Harold # 10:53 pm

FireScope. Neat little Firefox / Firebug extension which adds a “Reference” tab showing documentation for the selected element from the comprehensive SitePoint Reference site. # 10:51 pm

Much like an oral agreement, publishing microformats is an informal agreement between you and (hopefully) a developer community that sets up a relationship with plenty of vagueness, inertial resistance to change, and potential landmines to step on. Would you create a real developer API without a TOS, agreement, or at the very least, guidelines? [...] are you prepared to announce all frontend markup changes? Does publishing a microformat without a special agreement mean that you are implicitly allowing comprehensive scraping of your web data?

Gordon Luk # 10:46 pm

Recreating the button. Fascinating article from Doug Bowman on the work that went in to creating custom CSS buttons for use across Google’s different applications, avoiding images to improve performance ensure they could be easily styled using just CSS. I’d love to see the Google Code team turn this in to a full open source release—the more sites using these buttons the more familiar they will become to users at large. # 9:50 pm

OSM needs new servers. OpenStreetMap need to raise £10,000 to buy a new API database server. # 7:27 pm

2009 » February