Monthly Archives: March 2008

Companies Mastering Buzzwords

I still cannot figure out how I’ve got on this page, but the title and the first paragraph have caught my eyes:

X launches latest on-demand CRM release; Pushes social networking

X on Tuesday released its latest on demand CRM effort–X CRM On Demand Release 15–with the primary new feature being social networking capabilities.

I paused for a moment and then my brain got overheated: maybe CRM doesn’t mean what I know, maybe social networking capabilities is not exactly what I imagine, or maybe it is just a CRM that allows my customers to connect to each other and share their complaints about the provided services.

Well, I was wrong! CRM does mean what I knew (Customer Relationship Management), social networking is about interacting people (agreed there is no clear definition for it), and the announcement is not about customers sharing their complaints “playlists” or preferences. But then, what is this announcement about?

The lead component of X CRM’s new social capabilities is a new feature called ‘Sticky Notes’. This allows a user to mark any object — for example an account in a given salesperson’s portfolio — with a comment and then subscribe to the message stream related to that object. Team members can then follow and participate in the conversation around that object, which is all co-ordinated within new functionality called the ‘Message Center’. They don’t have to go into the application or call up the account itself. The Sticky Notes conversation stream can also be exposed as a portlet or gadget and embedded in an external home page such as iGoogle or MyYahoo!.

I had to pause again and ask myself if the meanings of collaboration tools and workflows have changed overnight. But I don’t think this really happened and this is just an example of how marketing departments of the large companies are mastering buzzwords and sending out subliminal messages (NB: to be read BS).

Posted by: Alex Popescu (aka the_mindstorm)

Please don’t ask me about the company name. A quick search will reveal its name 😉


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Extensive list of Amazon services resources


Backups on S3

Amazon S3 Resources

Amazon SimpleDB Resources

Amazon S3 Tips & Tricks

CNAME + domain name

You can create a CNAME record off your domain and point it to, creating a branded URL to your S3 bucket. Your bucket name must also match the CNAME + domain name.
So, you could create a CNAME record named “S3” and point it to Then, create a bucket called “” in your S3 account and place all your static stuff there. Then, when you create the reference in your code you can use “”.

Virtual Hosting of Buckets

Virtual Hosting of Buckets

Past issues

S3 was designed for occasionally sharing large files, not “often sharing” small files. Ping times can be over a second, sometimes 2. It is great for 80 meg files every once in a while, but not for 15k PINGs 100,000 times a day.

S3 still seems to have some problems with speed. When serving greater than 60,000 hits per day, the images load VERY slowly. Except on days where it’s so slow it’s not even loading. We like the idea of s3, but we switched back to hosting our own images on after too many speed issues. Also, about 1 in 100 loads fail randomly.

Amazon Services Code




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Challenge: which Javascript library is the best

Lately, I’ve been looking again at the Javascript generic libraries market. And it looks like instead of stabilizing, more and more solutions are available. I do like having options, but at the time you have to pick one things are becoming much more complex. This remembers me of the status of web frameworks in the Java land, and I guess everyone agrees that things are quite messy there.

So, what criteria are you using when picking the solution to be used in your project? Is it your existing knowledge? Is it the quality of the documentation? Is it the maturity of the project?

I have gathered together a list of major libraries. They are listed here in alphabetic order for the moment, but if you start providing pros and cons about them the list will evolve to reflect your feedback. So keep the comments pouring!

  1. jQuery (+9/-0)
  2. Ext JS (+5/-2)
  3. mootools (+3/-0)
  4. mochikit (+2/-0)
  5. prototype (+2/-0)
  6. dojo (+1/-0)
  7. qooXdoo (+0/-0)
  8. Rico (+0/-0)

I will start by saying that I am aware of the quantity of (electronic) ink that have been used covering this subject on the blogosphere so far, but if you help me out with comments/details/opinions (subjective opinions are welcome too 😉 ), I am willing to put together a list of pros and cons for each of the above listed libraries.

Posted by: Alex Popescu (aka the_mindstorm)

Update 2008-03-20 12:46: You may wonder why ExtJS with +5/-2 is currently ranked before the mootools with +3/-0. Thing is that one of the -1s is about their licensing model, and as nobody here is a lawyer, we are currently awaiting for more details.

Posted by: Alex Popescu (aka the_mindstorm)


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QCon London 2008

Yes, it is again that time of the year that brings us QCon London. This second edition has started today at Queen Elizabeth Conference Center and will host quite a few interesting tracks, like The Cloud as the New Middleware Platform, the very interesting Solution Track, Banking: Complex high volume/low latency architectures, as well as the usual suspects (Agile, Java, etc.).
An innovation we are bringing in this year, is the open interviews track. Hopefully, you already know the InfoQ interviews. But this year, instead of having just the interviewer and the interviewee in the room, audience will be allowed in room and invited to take part to the interview by asking questions. There will be 2 cameras filming out, so this is your easiest chance to see yourself published on InfoQ ;-).

Posted by: Alex Popescu (aka the_mindstorm)

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All this Twitter ?!?

I’ll start by saying that I loved reading about Twitter story, history and architecture. It looks like those guys have been through a lot :-).
However, I must confess that I still don’t get it… I know a lot of people talking about it (still, I’m not sure they are using it), I’m hearing that a lot of people are using it, but I still don’t get it. I’m wondering if somebody would be able to explain it to me (man, doesn’t this sound really stupid? :)).

Posted by: Alex Popescu (aka the_mindstorm)


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