I met with the App Engine's team leads on Monday morning for an in-depth overview of the product, its features, and its limitations. Google has been working on the Google App Engine since at least March 2006 and has only just begun revealing some of its features.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Great summary about the Google App engine, by Niall Kennedy. He even provides some insights about the people behind it, and according to his first hand knowledge, this is just the beginning of what Google is rolling out:
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
It's a bugfix release and I had no big expectations when scanning through the release notes, but then I spotted this:
Thats huge, if you are interested in generating PNG images and don't wanna have dependencies on c-libraries (as you would have using my cairo wrapper erlycairo). Egd won't win any speed competition and has a limited feature set, but runs out of the box on any Erlang supported platform !--- percept-0.7 ------------------------------------------------------------
OTP-7162 Percept no longer depends on external c-libraries. The
graphical rendering is now done via erlang code.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
From the many blog posts about the Google App Engine, my favorite quote comes from Dave Winer:
Now, what Google announced is really exciting! I'm not kidding. It's even better than I hoped. Yes, it's only Python, but IBM's PC-DOS was only BASIC and Pascal when it first came out, and it didn't matter. Yeah, I preferred C, but I coded in Pascal because that's what you had to do to get an app running. What you're going to see here that you've never seen before is shrinkwrap net apps that scale that can be deployed by civillians. That's a mouthful, but that's what's coming. Why? Because here is a standardized platform that can be stamped out in the billions of units. Maybe Google can't do it, but the perception is that they can. Who is willing to stand up and say Google hasn't nailed scaling? What PCs did in the 80s, Google is doing now. PCs took the black magic out of owning a computer. Now Google is taking the black magic out of operating a scalable web app. Python is the new BASIC.There were also lots of negative thoughts, e.g. Donna Bogatin:
Google’s latest attempt at Internet shock and awe replays the by now traditional Google routine of “giving away” Web services under the guise of disinterested benevolence while the Web cheers the supposed Googley revolutionary Internet disruption and forecasts doom for existing players, such as Amazon, for this example.Generally people are comparing the App Engine with Amazon's AWS offerings and either seem to be interested in the one or the other. I think these two services can be combined for easy creating scalable web applications which go beyond what you can do with a limited amount of time and money, compared to the scenario where you would use just one of the services. Let me elaborate: For the simple, stateless stuff, for static and dynamic HTML pages and for persisting data, Google App Engine is perfect. For advanced stuff like Comet HTTP push, video streaming or batch processing, Amazon EC2 instances could be used on demand just for that.
In typical Google fashion, though, “free” comes at a very high price. In fact, the Google App Engine product unveiled by the high-flying corporation is in contention for the scariest Google move to date.
Not only do startups using Google App Engine unwittingly put control of their businesses in the sole discretionary hands of Eric Schmidt and company, unwitting consumer users of Google App Engine hosted services automatically “share” all of their personal, proprietary data with Google, whether they really want to or not.
Yesterday night Google launched App Engine, a highly scalable web application platform, which has the potential to become a game changer. I was lucky to grab a developer account, which is currently tied to several limitations:
- only 10000 developer accounts available
- applications have to be coded in Python
- only three applications per developer
- bandwidth, storage and CPU usage limitations
- no road map, no info about future pricing model
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Sunday, April 06, 2008
PostgreSQL is my favorite open source relational database. Some time ago I wrote some experimental code (currently unmaintained) for integrating it with erlyweb. The guys at Skype seem to like PostgreSQL as well. In regard to the current Google Skype takeover rumors (or was it just a 1st of April joke which went out of control ?) and to this article: Skype Plans for PostgreSQL to Scale to 1 Billion Users, I took a look at the Skype open source projects and found a few interesting ones related to PostgreSQL:
- PL/Proxy: Horizontal data partitioning, based on a hashed database field (for distributing large amount of data among several physical servers).
- SkyTools: DB cluster management software for replication, message queues, fail over and Python integration.
- PgBouncer: connection pooling.
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