The Riak key-value database: I like it

The Riak key-value database: I like it

(Note: This is a writeup I did a few years ago when evaluating Riak KV as a possible data store for a high-traffic CMS. At the time, the product was called simply “Riak”. Apologies for anything else that has become out of date that I missed. Also please pardon the stiff tone! My audience included execs who we wanted to convince to finance our mad scientist data architecture ideas.) Riak is a horizontally scalable, fault-tolerant, distributed, key/value store.

Quora questions I've seen enough of

I really do like Quora (you may have seen my SadQuora tweets, a side effect of the time I spend there). But when somebody asked, “What are the most annoying types of questions on Quora?” I couldn’t resist. Maybe it’s just my feed, but I see things like these a lot: I’m 23 years old, am I too old to learn programming? If a self-driving car had to either hit and kill a cow in the left lane, or hit and kill a horse in the right lane, which would it choose?


A little-known bit of trivia about our book, Python Web Development with Django: we wrote the manuscript in Markdown. I think it was my idea. One of the major motivations for using a text-based format – versus the unfortunate de facto standard, Microsoft Word – was integration with good developer tools and workflow. Our manuscript and all our project code was in a Subversion repo, so each author always had the latest updates.

The iPhone keyboard doesn't suck

This began as a quick reply to a discussion on the Well about a recent posting from John Gruber which links to a hit list from Crackberry.com about the iPhone. Gruber focuses just on the keyboard issue, about which I found I had this to say: With the built-in spelling correction, I can type close to 30wpm on my iPt keyboard. This is faster than I ever was with Graffiti, which I used for about 8 years and was pretty good at if I say so.

Book news: Rough Cuts and Amazon

Just in time for Pycon, material from our new book is now available on the Safari “Rough Cuts” service. If you’re a Safari subscriber, or decide to become one to get access to our draft chapters, please check it out and let us know what you think! Reader comments are incredibly important to us. We have a title now – Python Web Development with Django – and we’re even listed on Amazon.

A little something I've been working on

The latest This Week in Django podcast, out today, has an interview with me. I really enjoyed talking with Michael and Brian, and hope I didn’t come off sounding too dorky (or long-winded – I haven’t yet listened to the show, but based on the timestamps in the show notes I could probably use an edit!). I think they do a very good job with the show, and in fact I think that the structure Michael came up with – Tracking Trunk, Branching & Merging, Community Catchup, Tip of the Week – is one that other open source projects would do well to emulate in their news missives.

The Django Book

Congratulations to Adrian and Jacob on the launch of their GFDL-licensed book on Django. From the Django blog: This is a pre-release, which means we’re actively looking for comments, typo fixes, corrections and other suggestions from readers like you, all around the world. We’ll try to incorporate your suggestions into the final product, which will be published by Apress early next year. Amazon.com is accepting preorders for the print edition, and the number of preorders so far has been astounding.