FOWA day 2

Fear and Coding

aka Getting through the tough times

The future's dark (good times for Ninjas?)

Yes, we're talking finance again.

"Running on several times the amount of money that actually exists".

Between the hurricane and the flood.

How to get through it?


Work even harder - not a good time for workers or employers to fail.

No large capital expenditures.

Avoid waterfalls! Can't guarantee long-term projects; we need NOW.
Get with Agile.
Prioritise features; code flexibly.

Avoid expensive licences (Oracle?) - Use OSS.

Get in the cloud. (but is it ready yet? What level should we be using? API, Host, App?)
'Ware Lock-In!

Become part of the conversation - IM will fracture; create your own and track what's being said.


What's needed?

Regulatory Technology (Banks may need new tech to handle inevitable new govt reg'ns).

Think about essentials - cost-saving sites on basics. Trade sites?

Legacy servicing (if re-builds aren't getting the OK)

Telecoms: we're all hooked on our phones, we won't be getting rid of them.

iPhone: Cheap apps * 10 Million users= turnover!
(better go read that book)

Build something for you - it's easiest to evaluate your results & satisfy the market!

(spend project looking promising)

Fear vernture capitalists!
Terms and need for cash will get tougher


Avoid technology religion - spread skills.
Be designer *and* developer.

"If you're a designer and don't think you can code, you're wrong".

Uh, I beg to differ. Most developers who think they can code, can't

"Learn PHP from the WordPress code". Please, no-one do this, that code's terrible.

Contribute to OSS - it's a great networking / credibility move.

Publish! (for the same reason)

Be findable on google!

(I should probably put my name on this blog then...)

IE, hire people who are community active. Tim, I always try to, but frankly there aren't enough if you're not in a big-name company.

NB: All of the above also apply even without a depression.

PS: Network, Network, Network!

Cloud Computing / Salesforce

Hosted / shared system.

It's another sales presentation. Glad I missed it last night.
Dynamic app modification.

"Cloud computing: I don't have to worry about scaling." Uh, WHAT?
This might be useful for Sales and HR guys, but it;s boring the arse off the devs & designers.


OpenID doesn't work so well on the desktop.

Userame / password (twitter model, email) ain't a good plan.

GMail account == google health, google checkout.

Password anitpattern (passwords are not confetti)

Check video for sequence

Central access control - revoke access per-site. Yay!

Friendfeed (again): Uses API key similar to EVE: Revoke is revoke-all.

OAuth is Authorisation, not Authentication.

XRDS is updated form of YADIS.

Services (as defined by Yadis) are swappable.

Portable Contacts: provides open standard for contact sharing. Supported by Plaxo.


IP issues?

See: OnePassword for iPhone


200 million blogs - 200 million views.

Twitter gives astounding reactions (certainly does!)

Firehose of content: Friends are the filter.

ASIDE: We face a firehose of content in our daily lives too. Definite tone of "how to cope" at this fowa. See also new beta work.
Risk: hear only what you want to hear, Narrowing of experience.

Filters can still flood.

How do we define relevace? Interest to all, interest to those I know, importance to 1 person (personal)?

Topic clustering; comments, 'I like this'; Global importance.
reccomend by 2 or more friends - increase accuracy.

Realtime Friend Feed coming soon.

Scalability - Can't really change schema on multi-million row tables.
memcached to MySQL, stateless, replicated DBs

The comment problem - comment where and to whom?

API for getting comments *from* FF - but you still have to hunt & pull, and I'm sure it's not an open API.

"It's interesting that so many talks at #fowa end up being about collaborative filtering, recommendations and basically social science - robertgaal (Robert Gaal)"


I can' tblog this, if I tried to keep up with Andrew my pingers would combust.


"Scaling is a nice problem to have" - until you have it!

"Solving Sandy's Problem" - target audience is self - known audience.

Scaling reactively = ARGH!

"We're synchronous. That's hard."

Page persistence time: 2.5 hours.

*no* site content.

"We didn't have a DB server - we still don't need what we do have".

Start simple - use OSS tech, don't try and write it all yourself/at once.
Based on GAIM, but extracting /replacing the UI layer.

Turn on; 597 Diggs, servers melt.
Didn't scale before it was needed (known risk). You're probably guessing the wrong ones.

Effectively running 100's to 1000's of gaim instances.

Bottleneck: Not CPU, not memory: tools (Strace, gdb etc) showed gaim bug (double-free).

Don't prematurely optimise.
Posted by parsingphase, 2008-10-10 10:12

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