Posts Tagged: Google App Engine

A Small Complaint about Google App Engine

My one big/small complaint about Google App Engine has been the documentation, as for a long time it was very sparse and even more very abstract. The nice folk at Google App Engine have worked to beef up the documentation and I greatly appreciate it, but most of the code examples are either still too abstract or too simple.
Now that I am many python files into a complex application, I have been trying to refactor some of the code to reflect a one-to-many relationship database relationship and my four hour frustration today was that the example code given for database/datastore model relationships in the Google App Engine Python docs works in the interactive python console but when one translates it to one’s models the code does not work.
It has been my experience all the way along that the code examples in the docs are either very basic and don’t reflect dynamic datastore usage or that they are very abstract. I have found that it is good to read the docs for the theory of how it should work and then go look at an example of actual working production code from the samples to see how it really works and then spend multiple hours to make the theory work to your code based on how the implementation of the theory worked for someone else.
My experience in PHP is that the code works as advertised. My biggest frustration(s) with PHP is the (1) danged punctuation ({;}); plus a few more ;;;;, which leads to debugging purgatory, and (2) that in reading the various docs and the blogs out there one has no real idea what really are best practices in PHP right now as there is so much cruft code, old code, and competing code examples on the net.
Python is so beautiful and clean without the punctuation nightmares of PHP, but it is so difficult to transliterate abstracted Python code examples for Google App Engine’s webapp & datastore written by ethereal Python engineer ninjas and then try to figure out how to make it work for those of us who have not ascended to the level of deity but still have our feet on the ground while we scratch our heads or pull out hair in frustration in our attempts to ‘correctly’ solve problems rather than hack away.

Exhausted in a Bad Way, but a Few Posts I Owe Y’all

After months of going going going, it has all caught up with me this week and I am exhausted in a bad way. I am off to bed soon. Yes, shocker, before midnight.
But I have a few posts I would like to write and by writing them now it will remind me to do so in the next few days:
1) Voice Mail Transcriptions: Spinvox vs. Ribbit vs. Google Voice

My quote for the week in an email: “I have had Google Voice for months now. The transcriptions suck pustulated monkey butt. “

2) My Final Final Wrap up to the Nokia Booklet 3G. Somehow I was prescient in all my moaning about the evils of Windows 7 Starter and how I wished wished hoped against hope that Nokia would partner with a linux distro to put a proper OS on the Booklet, and on Monday Morning, Feb 15, 2010, OPK & Intel answered my prayers to the mobile deities: MeeGo.
3) A few assumes that there will be at least three things in my list but I have forgotten the third due to tiredness, so instead I will delight you with this link from the New York Times on how the seafaring history of humans has been pushed back another 60,000+ years if not more:
On Crete, New Evidence of Very Ancient Mariners
Go read it.
Plus a small lament:
Oh, Google App Engine, why oh why did you wait until only the last few weeks to get semi-decent docs? Oh the agony you could have spared by putting those up months ago.

Nokia Booklet 3G : Day 3 : I Can Haz Ubuntu

Wed 01.27.10 – #37 the Nokia Booklet and I are not only back on speaking terms, but with great affection. Thanks to Andrew Currie and Steve Rowlands who recommended Wubi as a fast and very painless way to get Ubuntu Linux running on a netbook without harming the original Windows install, as of this morning, I now have a working dual boot of Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10 on the Nokia Booklet.
And when it is time to ship #37 back to WOMWorld/Nokia, all I have to do is log into the Windows side of the install, go to the control panel and uninstall Wubi in the normal Windows fashion and the whole Ubuntu side will be gone. The machine will then return as it came.
The best part for me, is rather than spending the next 11 days of my trial period struggling with Windows and ultimately disliking the Booklet, I get to spend it enjoying the Booklet, use it as a mini-laptop, and being able to evaluate it as the lovely piece of hardware that it is.
Once Andrew got Ubuntu working on his trial Booklet, #38, via Wubi, he announced mid-day that he had uninstalled Wubi and was on to try Jolicloud. It appears that Andrew is going to test every possible way to set the Booklet free of the confines of Windows. Good on him.
Now that #37, my trial Booklet, is free, I am going to go deeper and see what the capacity of the Booklet is now that it has been set free. Many of the reviews of the Nokia Booklet 3G is the surprise or disappointment on the part of the user on how under powered the Booklet supposedly is in terms of RAM (1 GB) or in terms of the Intel Atom processor. Today as the Booklet wizzed along happily a good speeds under Ubuntu, it hit me that the Booklet may be ‘underpowered’ for an inefficient hog like Windows, but the Booklet was a speedy little fellow(ess) under Ubuntu.
For a mini-laptop, does it need to have bigger laptop sized RAM & processor or does it really need a better, freer, more open Operating System that is more efficient with the hardware it has?
Point in case, the Booklet allegedly has a multitouch touchpad, but for the life of me I could not get the two finger scrolling to work under the Windows OS, but in the Ubuntu side the touchpad is by far more responsive and is really fast at multitouch. Same hardware, different OSes.


Google I/O 2009, Day 2

Google I/O 2009, Day 2
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N95.

Here is my transcription of two sessions from Day 2, 05.28.09, of the Google I/O 2009. Per my usual, the following is a combination of live quotes from the speaker, notes off the slides, some paraphrase and a few of my own asides.
So far, Brett Slatkin’s Offline Processing on App Engine: A Look Ahead has been my favorite of the day. Lunch conversation with Prashant and Bastian was delightful.


Google Wave Announced

Google Wave Announced
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N95.

Thur 05.28.09 – Google I/O keynote was Lars Rassmussen, Stephanie Hannon, and Jans Rassmussen giving a demonstration on the new Google Wave that is currently in development and the team is inviting the attendees of Google I/O to participate in developing the product and open source code before public release.


Google I/O 2009, Day 1

Here is my transcription of two sessions from Day 1, 05.27.09, of the Google I/O 2009. Per my usual, the following is a combination of live quotes from the speaker, notes off the slides, some paraphrase and a few of my own asides.
Chris Nesiadek’s presentation on Android’s Interaction Design was my favorite of the day.


Off to Google I/O

Off to Google I/O
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N95.

Wed 05.27.08 – Due to my plane being an hour late, I may miss the first session on how to code for Android. Even if late, I am looking forward to the Google App Engine and Android sessions today and tomorrow.