Category Archives: links

Cloud Computing Coverage End of 2008

Here is a short list of links that I have found interesting about the cloud computing during December (the list is by no means complete and most probably more links will be added later). The end of year is usually the time for checking how your last year predictions have worked and to throw out new predictions for the year to come.

So, let’s start with a couple of predictions:

Another interesting reads for me were Microsoft miss the ship(ping container) and definitely this post talking about Capegemini trying to convince companies to move to the Amazon cloud.

For now, I’ll finish with the AWS migration blueprint article.

If you are interested in cloud computing you can start visiting DailyCloud: the daily coverage of the cloud computing market. The DailyCloud, which is still in early beta, synthezises the content, links and social stream on cloud computing and its adjacent topics: SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, HaaS, grid computing, virtualization, data centers.

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All About Microsoft Azure

I have just published a long coverage article about Microsoft Azure: All About Microsoft Azure. Even if the title is in Romanian, most of the article can be useful for English readers.

Microsoft Azure

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Python, Unicode and UTF8

I’ve thought of putting together a short list of links as a reference on how to handle Unicode, UTF8 in Python.

Before jumping to Python resources, you should also read Joel’s article on Unicode and Character sets (before going forward you need to be sure that Unicode and UTF8 are clear).

Python, Unicode and UTF8

You can read about unicode in the newer versions 2.6 and 3.0 respectively.

Python 3.0 has completely revamped Unicode usage and even if I don’t think there are many places where Py3k is in production, you should make sure that you read about these changes.

If you have other good links about Python, Unicode and UTF8 just drop a comment.

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Quick Python Reference

Python support for Internet Protocols

The documentation for the packages for Internet Protocol handling can be found at Internet Protocols and Support

  • urllib: This module provides a high-level interface for fetching data across the World Wide Web
  • urllib2: efines functions and classes which help in opening URLs (mostly HTTP) in a complex world — basic and digest authentication, redirections, cookies and more.
  • httplib: defines classes which implement the client side of the HTTP and HTTPS protocols. It is normally not used directly — the module urllib uses it to handle URLs that use HTTP and HTTPS.
  • urlparse: defines a standard interface to break URL strings up in components (addressing scheme, network location, path etc.), to combine the components back into a URL string, and to convert a “relative URL” to an absolute URL given a “base URL.”
  • cookielib: defines classes for automatic handling of HTTP cookies. It is useful for accessing web sites that require small pieces of data – cookies – to be set on the client machine by an HTTP response from a web server, and then returned to the server in later HTTP requests.
  • Cookie: defines classes for abstracting the concept of cookies, an HTTP state management mechanism. It supports both simple string-only cookies, and provides an abstraction for having any serializable data-type as cookie value.
  • uuid: provides immutable UUID objects (the UUID class) and the functions uuid1(), uuid3(), uuid4(), uuid5() for generating version 1, 3, 4, and 5 UUIDs as specified in RFC 4122.

urllib2 tricks

As far as I can tell urllib2 supports by default only GET and POST requests (ref). In order to be able to generate the other types of requests (PUT, DELETE, OPTION) I think you’ll need to extend urllib2.Request and override the get_method() method to return the type of request you want to make.

Special method names

A class can implement certain operations that are invoked by special syntax (such as arithmetic operations or subscripting and slicing) by defining methods with special names.This is Python’s approach to operator overloading, allowing classes to define their own behavior with respect to language operators.

Special method names

The How-To Guide for Descriptors defines descriptors, summarizes the protocol, and shows how descriptors are called.

classmethod and staticmethod

It’s still not very clear what is the difference between the @classmethod and @staticmethod (except the first parameter accepted by the annotated method — for @classmethod it is the class).

Future versions

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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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Discussions on Java7 new features

I’ve put together a list of links tracking some of the most discussed new features for Java7. So, here they are:

Extension methods


If you have more then please ping me about them, and I’ll update the post.

Posted by: Alex Popescu (aka the_mindstorm)

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MetaObject Protocol Reference Links

A first set of links about MetaObject Protocol (theory and different implementations including Lisp, Ruby, Python, etc.)

People have recommended also The Art of the Metaobject Protocol by G.Kiczales, but unfortunately I haven’t put my hands on it yet.

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Blogging for certification

Reading around I have found two very interesting blogs posting on different subjects for Java certification. Sriram Srinivasan is blogging on SCJP, while Ed Schepis is writting for SCEA. I will present here some of their entries:

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books [the must category]

I have updated the list of future readings – the must category. Here it is.

Later today I will complete the list with authors and corresponding links. (I wait you back [blink/]).

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