• The Fallacy of “Microservice Infrastructures”

    by  • 20 August 2015 • 0 Comments

    “Awesome, now, did someone remember to build a product?” The problem with these advanced, complex microservice infrastructure ideas is that they presume an impossible starting point: you have a large, senior operations team, big enough to operationalize and maintain all of these moving parts, and no product or existing infrastructure whatsoever. If you’re starting...

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    Storing date, time, and timezone for future events

    by  • 11 August 2015

    Tantek recently published a blog post encouraging developers to use UTC with timezone offsets for storing dates and times. There is, however, an unfortunate nuance his post doesn’t include, and so I’m pointing it out here. For “when did this happen?” and “what time is it now?”, UTC, or UTC+offset, is perfect. Past events...

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    An Object Caching Pattern for Django

    by  • 7 May 2015

    Increasingly I’ve been treating even RDBMSes like structured key-value stores. There are still foreign keys and relationships in there, but the access patterns are most commonly by some kind of “primary” key (not always the primary key on the table, but a natural one). Normally when I do something in more than two projects...

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    For the love of Email

    by  • 20 February 2015

    Email is the whipping technology of communications. Everyone wants to kill email. Email is also, for all its problems, fundamental to most modern business communication. While many teams rely more on real-time platforms like Slack or HipChat*, or even IRC, which definitely still has a posse, that only takes back a function that email...

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    Digging into “that” Python error

    by  • 15 February 2015

    I think this is my most popular tweet ever: >>> foo = (,) >>> foo += TypeError: 'tuple' object does not support item assignment >>> foo <<< (,) — James Socol (@jamessocol) February 12, 2015 I’ve known about this little quirk for a while, but I shared it because it still amuses me. It shocks and confuses...

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    Visualizing the 2015 SotU on TodaysMeet

    by  • 5 February 2015

    Now that you know how TodaysMeet works, here’s part 2: using the message queue architecture to build the SotU visualizations. TodaysMeet has a long history with political events. During the 2012 Presidential debates, I was at a stranger’s apartment—guest of a guest—half-listening (binders full of what did he say?) and using a hastily borrowed...

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    How TodaysMeet Works

    by  • 4 February 2015

    I want to write about TodaysMeet’s 2015 State of the Union site, but I realized I spent half the time on the existing architecture. So, this is part 1, and here is part 2! A little over two years ago, I set out to completely replace TodaysMeet’s platform. Then, over the past year, I’ve...

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    Testing with Django’s Cache

    by  • 6 December 2014

    I don’t love my solution to this problem, so I’m writing about it in hopes that someone has something better. When you run tests with Django, you get an isolated test database. This can be wiped out and the consistency makes life a lot easier when you are running tests locally in a dev...

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    Bounties and Tips

    by  • 11 November 2014

    Last week I wandered into the tip4commit fracas and a “helpful” commenter pointed out Bountysource, so I started asking some questions there. There must have been a few others doing the same thing because, to their credit, they started a discussion about it. Since then I’ve been thinking about money in open source and...

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    Biweekly-ish Update 07/Nov/2014

    by  • 7 November 2014

    My finger is mostly healed. I have a whole new terror of flaying. And Teacher Tools launched! I’ve been focused on getting the word out and answering questions from customers this week. I’ve also tried to come up for air, both taking a little downtime and catching up on pull reqs. Thanks to the...

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    Mozilla’s Secret Browser

    by  • 5 November 2014

    Disclaimers and Me A disclaimer: I used to work for Mozilla, but I don’t anymore. It’s been about a year and a half. I still maintain a couple of Python projects under the greater Mozilla FLOSS aegis. But otherwise, I’m just an enthusiastic Firefox user these days. Obviously I speak only for myself. Normally,...

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    Irregular Update, 24/Oct/2014

    by  • 24 October 2014

    Another update! Wow! The past two weeks have all been on TodaysMeet Teacher Tools except for the afternoon I spent dealing with a hurt finger (not exactly badly hurt but I still can’t really use my right index finger to type, it’s annoying). And at some point in there I shipped updates for POODLE...

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