Simon Willison’s Weblog

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Wednesday, 27th October 2010

Using MySQL as a NoSQL—A story for exceeding 750,000 qps on a commodity server. Very interesting approach: much of the speed difference between MySQL/InnoDB and memcached is due to the overhead involved in parsing and processing SQL, so the team at DeNA wrote their own MySQL plugin, HandlerSocket, which exposes a NoSQL-style network protocol for directly calling the low level MySQL storage engine APIs—resulting in a 7.5x performance increase.

# 11:10 pm / mysql, nosql, scaling, recovered

Bees with machine guns! Low-cost, distributed load-testing using EC2. Great name for a useful project—Bees with machine guns is a Fabric script which fires up a bunch of EC2 instances, uses them to load test a website and then spins them back down again.

# 11:04 pm / ec2, fabric, performance, scaling, recovered, load-testing

What is the best way to integrate MongoDB with Django?

Personally, I just “import pymongo” and start calling the regular Python API—no need for any special treatment to get it working with Django.

[... 41 words]

What are all the advantages of jQuery?

jQuery’s API is astonishingly well designed. It’s extremely consistent once you learn its rules (e.g. methods often take one argument to read a value and two arguments to set one, e.g. .css(), .attr(), .width(), .height()) and its functionality is so complete that the last few major releases of the library have hardly added any new methods at all.

[... 166 words]

Why does Python load imported modules separately for different files, unlike C or PHP? Isn’t that inefficient in terms of memory usage?

It doesn’t—you’re misunderstanding how Python’s module system works. If two different places have “import os” in them, the os module is only imported and executed once—it’s cached in the sys.modules dictionary so you can see it happen if you want to. The key thing to understand is that “import os” attaches the os module to the “os” symbol within the current file’s scope, loading it only if it hasn’t been loaded already.

[... 104 words]

What is the best lightweight jQuery tooltip plugin? Why?

Last time I went looking, I was very impressed by qTip: http://craigsworks.com/projects/...

[... 28 words]

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