Microservices – the blind leading the blind

This is a reflection on our experiences with trying to build a micro-service architecture for Loadzen – our load testing platform, we started on this path about a year ago when there was even less documentation about how to go about things than there is today. Please note this post isn’t a how-to, or even assumes that we got anything right, it’s simply a report on our experiences and what we learnt.

When we decided to re-develop the Loadzen service, we switched modes, we decided to move towards a SOA-based design, influenced heavily by Erlang’s actor model and the emerging popularity of microservcies to build scalability and specificity into the heart of the webapp.

Using OpenCV, Python and Face.com for simple face recognition

I’ve been interested in computer vision for quite some time, and the opportunity to tinker with face detection (in an ongoing project to weaponise our beer fridge) was just the the thing to get to grips with the rather awesome bit of technology that is OpenCV.

An intro into the PyOfSauron image detection project in Python, using both OpenCV and the Face.com API to perform face detection and recognition.

Use Tornadio to create a websockets RabbitMQ bridge

If you want to enable real-time push notifications to your users, SocketIO is your friend, if you don’t like NodeJS running on your server, or like me you are a python fan, then this guide to Tornado and TornadIO will make it simple to set up an implementation on your system.

In this post we go further and show you how to plug your Tornado implementation into a RabbitMQ message queue, and show you how to publish into Tornado (and your web client) to enable real-time communications for your web users without being tied to a single platform.

EU Cookie Directive – How to fix your site with a minimum of fuss

As you may or may not know, the EU is introducing some new legislation that comes into effect on the 25th of May 2011 that will force website owners to expressly ask permission of their users to store a cookie on your site.

Now this is a little troubling, since anyone that is using Google Analytics will be storing a cookie on your machine just to know how well their site is performing! Unfortunately, a simple act as tracking your user behavior via a free, awesome service like GA will probably fall afoul of the ‘absolutely necessary’ clause that comes as part of the directive.

This post has one solution in nice, hacked together JavaScript :-)

Building mobile apps with Sencha Touch and Phonegap

I recently came into posesion of an Advent Vega android tablet – it’s a 2.2 tablet with a nice big screen and a very sweet price spot (£200). Having already installed a custom ROM and tweaked the settings to no end to get the tablet to behave how I like, I’ve been more and more interested in actually building mobile apps (actually, the fact that to flash a new ROM onto a virgin device requires you to set up the android SDK gets well on your way!).

This piost will describe how to go about building a fledgling andriod app without having to learn Java, but instead build the entire thing in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. What we won’t go though is all the intial stuff such as getting the JDK, installing the SDK and installing Eclipse – that is all nicely covered in Phonegap’s quick-start documentation.