Four short links: 9 July 2009

  1. Ten Rules That Govern Groups — valuable lessons for all who would create or use social software, each backed up with pointers to the social science study about that lesson. Groups breed competition: While co-operation within group members is generally not so much of a problem, co-operation between groups can be hellish. People may be individually co-operative, but once put in a ‘them-and-us’ situation, rapidly become remarkably adversarial. (via Mind Hacks)
  2. Yahoo! TrafficServer Proposal — Yahoo! want to open source their TrafficServer product, an HTTP/1.1 caching proxy server. Alpha geeks who worked with it are excited at the prospect. It has a plugin architecture that means it can cache NNTP, RTSP, and other non-HTTP protocols.
  3. App Engine ConclusionsI’ve reluctantly concluded that I don’t like it. I want to like it, since it’s a great poster child for Python. And there are some bright spots, like the dirt-simple integration with google accounts. But it’s so very very primitive in so many ways. Not just the missing features, or the “you can use any web framework you like, as long as it’s django” attitude, but primarily a lot of the existing API is just so very primitive.
  4. Microsoft HohmSign up with Hohm and we’ll provide you with a home energy report and energy-saving recommendations tailored to your home. Wesabe for power at the moment, with interesting possibilities ahead should Microsoft partner with smartmetering utility companies the way Google Powermeter does. This is notable because this is a web app launched by Microsoft, with no connection to Windows or other Microsoft properties beyond requiring a “Live ID” to login. For commentary, see Microsoft Hohm Gets Green Light for Launch and PC Mag. (via Freaklabs)
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  • Re: App Engine Conclusions

    Posting here as Ellis has disabled comments on his blog. All he says is true also in the Java world.
    However, he needs to respond to how he would build scalable systems with today’s options. Amazon EC2 instead? He derides DataStore as a database solution with some reasonable arguments. In another thread he also derides CouchDB so I assume he would not like Amazon’s SimpleDB either. But building huge systems with a relational DB is also going to cause problems as scaling of set operations has limits.

    If we use the analogy of Nick Carr’s “Big Switch” for cloud operations, he is complaining that Edison only gives him one voltage level and only in DC current, but he really needs different DC voltages for different machines and sometimes AC and oh, can I have mechanical power too, but then fails to explain how all those steam powered electric generators are going to scale across new business.

    Google really does need to respond to the limitations they have imposed in a better way, but developers really need to wrap their heads around different approaches, much like using REST approaches became the common way to reference web resources.