Simon Willison’s Weblog

Thursday, 23rd February 2012

Is Microsoft’s platform prohibitively expensive for large scale web deployment? Would licensing costs have killed Twitter/Facebook early?

I would argue that the cost of the Microsoft stack is a lot more than just the license fees.

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What’s the best way to learn how to scale web applications?

Read “Building Scalable Websites” by Cal Henderson. It’s a few years old now but still very relevant—it basically covers everything he learnt the hard way scaling Flickr. It’s a really fun read, too.

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What is the best advice your father ever gave you?

It’s a small thing, but the piece of advice I turn to most often is “When travelling, the only things you really need are money, your passport and the address of where you’re going”. Makes travelling a lot less stressful, since I can just think “got those three” and know that anything else I’ve forgotten doesn’t really matter that much.

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Which sites do a good job of guiding first time users?

The Twitter sign up process is fascinating, and constantly evolves. I create a new Twitter account every six months or so just to see what their latest iteration looks like.

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2012 » February