Sunday, March 30, 2008


Really digging Markaby and the potential it has to more easily create html in Ruby. Try to work in some Markaby along with your Erb in Rails. (Markaby is included in Camping microframework I believe... the code is very clean). Currently, I believe the latest version is 0.5 as of this writing. You can install it with a simple:

bash-3.2$ sudo gem install markaby

Read all about it:

html do
head do
title action_name
stylesheet_link_tag 'scaffold'

body do
p flash[:notice], :style => "color: green"
self << @content_for_layout end end

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Google and IPv6

This is a bit of a blast from the past, but I have been wondering what is brewing with IPv6....

(for your reference:

It turns out that on "On March 12th, 2008, Google launched an IPv6 version of, the most visited page on the Internet, under an alternative host name ( -- however that site is a dead link now.

...interesting to keep an eye on, and become familiar with if you're looking ahead...

UPDATE (3/30/08): try this inside your terminal:

bash-3.2$ traceroute6 -n

Thanks to Derek Morr for his comment straightening me out. :) Incidentally, he has some informative reads:

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ruby on JavaScript

I wasn't expecting anything like this until Screaming Monkey... and while that is a different animal, this is very damn cool! Ruby running inside script tags running on browser's JS engine, also running on Flash...available NOW!:

here's the source:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Zettabyte File System (ZFS) : no limits

OpenSolaris …(and Solaris 10) implements ZFS filesystem as of c 2005/2006… ZFS is a 128-bit file system... … to give you an idea of the capability limitations of a 128-bit file system (hint: there are none):

-If a billion computers each filled a billion individual file systems per second, the time required to reach the limit of the overall system would be almost 1,000 times the estimated age of the universe.

- Project leader Bonwick said, "Populating 128-bit file systems would exceed the quantum limits of earth-based storage. You couldn't fill a 128-bit storage pool without boiling the oceans."[2] Later he clarified:

Although we'd all like Moore's Law to continue forever, quantum mechanics imposes some fundamental limits on the computation rate and information capacity of any physical device. In particular, it has been shown that 1 kilogram of matter confined to 1 liter of space can perform at most 1051 operations per second on at most 1031 bits of information [see Seth Lloyd, "Ultimate physical limits to computation." Nature 406, 1047-1054 (2000)]. A fully populated 128-bit storage pool would contain 2128 blocks = 2137 bytes = 2140 bits; therefore the minimum mass required to hold the bits would be (2140 bits) / (1031 bits/kg) = 136 billion kg.
To operate at the 1031 bits/kg limit, however, the entire mass of the computer must be in the form of pure energy. By E=mc², the rest energy of 136 billion kg is 1.2x1028 J. The mass of the oceans is about 1.4x1021 kg. It takes about 4,000 J to raise the temperature of 1 kg of water by 1 degree Celsius, and thus about 400,000 J to heat 1 kg of water from freezing to boiling. The latent heat of vaporization adds another 2 million J/kg. Thus the energy required to boil the oceans is about 2.4x106 J/kg * 1.4x1021 kg = 3.4x1027 J. Thus, fully populating a 128-bit storage pool would, literally, require more energy than boiling the oceans.[10]

ZFS read/write libraries are available on Mac OS X Leopard (which ported ZFS to the Mac in 2007)… but it has to be installed by hand from the binaries. Sponsored by Google’s Summer of Code, there is work being done on a port of ZFS to Linux due out in 2008. There have been bugs, but it is used in enterprise offerings and has distinct advantages…

Unix is technically the king.

(btw, Roy Fielding was/is on the OpenSolaris Community Advisory Board members as of 2005/2006)

Joyent's Cloud offering is enticing

…ZFS… Zpool… Solaris…. Zones……………Joyent is capitalizing on all of it… my Ruby amigos keep me informed (thanks Riggs!)… some of the Joyent plans look sweet, and they also have the ability to more readily hardware load balance (if the need arises eventually), static IP (dynamic IP only with EC2)… non-stateless deployments (EC2 deployments are stateless and a bit patchy having to hook into S3), … Joyent runs all of this off Sun Solaris (lover and dear friend of open source). Can also vertically scale a bit easier if the database needs it.

This might be the route I go with expandable Cloud deployments – the Accelerator instead of the Elastic Compute Cloud… more affordable, and has some other advantages…

Has been about 8-9 mos of research in the making with EC2, and the Joyent stuff looks surprisingly, even better

Tuesday, March 25, 2008



  • GET,
  • POST,
  • PUT,
  • HEAD,
grok on!

Roy Fielding

Roy Fielding ...father of REST

All serious web developers and engineers should give this a read:

Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures

"REST is not an architecture, it’s a set of design criteria. REST is very general. It leaves a lot of open space, which practioners have seeded with folklore”(1)

For more specifics on an architecture utilizing REST… I point you to Leonard Richardson and Sam Ruby’s book (1) “RESTful Web Services” (O’Reilly). Incredible read, paradigm-changing insightful.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

John Lilly objects to iTunes install options

I disagree with John Lilly. I understand why he objects, but I find that smart move on Apple’s part, not anything other than that. You have the ability to opt out. It’s not a breach of trust. They should use their market share in iTunes to their advantage. FF is in a position where they cannot distribute their browser as easily... but it’s fair. FireFox has done a great job teaming up with Google and distributing FireFox through those channels.

Apple ++
Firefox - -

The browsers are getting very competitive, which is a great thing. The standards baseline is improving and technology is advancing.

But I’d rather not see these two fight -- their market share is still not big enough to fight like this, among themselves. They should still be fighting IE to push standards, not each other for the 'scraps'. I would find that more inspiring.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

gem install right_aws

RightScale has a set of amazon AWS gems they have written... trying them out...

mark-holtons-computer:~ holtonma$ sudo gem install right_aws
Install required dependency right_http_connection? [Yn] Y
Successfully installed right_aws-1.6.0
Successfully installed right_http_connection-1.2.1
Installing ri documentation for right_aws-1.6.0...
Installing ri documentation for right_http_connection-1.2.1...
Installing RDoc documentation for right_aws-1.6.0...
Installing RDoc documentation for right_http_connection-1.2.1...