Thursday, December 27, 2007

GFS - Google File System : Introduction

Google File System (GFS) is a proprietary distributed file system developed by Google for its own use.



GFS is optimized for Google's core data storage needs, web searching, which can generate enormous amounts of data that needs to be retained; Google File System grew out of an earlier Google effort, "BigFiles", developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in the early days of Google, while it was still located in Stanford. The data is stored persistently, in very large, even multiple gigabyte-sized files which are only extremely rarely deleted, overwritten, or shrunk; files are usually appended to or read. It is also designed and optimized to run on Google's computing clusters, the nodes of which consist of cheap, "commodity" computers, which means precautions must be taken against the high failure rate of individual nodes and the subsequent data loss. Other design decisions select for high data throughputs, even when it comes at the cost of latency.

The nodes are divided into two types: Master nodes and Chunkservers. Chunkservers store the data files, with each individual file broken up into fixed size chunks (hence the name) of about 64 megabytes, similar to clusters or sectors in regular file systems. Each chunk is assigned a unique 64-bit label, and logical mappings of files to constituent chunks are maintained. Each chunk is replicated a fixed number of times throughout the network, the default being three, but even more for high demand files like executables.

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An introduction to Google Analytics



Google Analytics (GA) is a free service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about the visitors to a website. Its main highlight is that a webmaster can optimize his AdWords advertisement and marketing campaigns through the use of GA's analysis of where the visitors came from, how long they stayed on the website and their geographical position.

Users can define and track conversions, or goals. Goals might include sales, lead generation, viewing a specific page, or downloading a particular file. By using this tool, marketers can determine which ads are performing, and which are not, as well as find unexpected sources of quality visitors.

Google's service was modeled upon Urchin Software Corporation's analytics system, Urchin on Demand (Google acquired Urchin Software Corp. in April 2005). Google still sells the standalone installable Urchin software through a network of value-added resellers; Urchin customers complained that support for and development of the standalone product languished after the Google acquisition, although a new release entered beta testing in October 2007 [1]. The system also brings ideas from Adaptive Path, whose product, Measure Map, was acquired and renamed to Google Analytics in 2006.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Information Architecture for Web Developers

A high level overview of information architecture for web developers presented at Web Directions South in Sydney, Australia 28 September 2006.



Information architecture (IA) is the art and science of expressing a model or concept for information. Information architecture is used in library systems, web development, user interactions, database development, programming, technical writing, enterprise architecture, critical system software design and other activities that require expressions of complex systems. Information architecture has somewhat different meanings in these different branches of what might be called IS and/or IT architecture. Most definitions have common qualities: a structural design of shared environments, methods of organizing and labeling websites, intranets, and online communities, and ways of bringing the principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.

Information architecture is defined by the Information Architecture Institute as:

  1. The structural design of shared information environments.
  2. The art and science of organizing and labeling web sites, intranets, online communities and software to support findability and usability.
  3. An emerging community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.

The term information architecture describes a specialized skill set which relates to the interpretation of information and expression of distinctions between signs and systems of signs. It has some degree of origin in the library sciences. Many library schools teach information architecture.

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An introduction to Web 2.0: The User Role

A short introduction to web 2.0, with special attention to the importance of the user role.



In studying and/or promoting web-technology, the phrase Web 2.0 can refer to a perceived second generation of web-based communities and hosted services — such as social-networking sites, wikis, and folksonomies — which aim to facilitate creativity, collaboration, and sharing between users. The term gained currency following the first O'Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004. Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to any technical specifications, but to changes in the ways software developers and end-users use webs. According to Tim O'Reilly,


"Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the Internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform."


Some technology experts, notably Tim Berners-Lee, have questioned whether one can use the term in a meaningful way, since many of the technology components of "Web 2.0" have existed since the early days of the Web.

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Introduction to Python |




Python is a high-level programming language first released by Guido van Rossum in 1991. Python is designed around a philosophy which emphasizes readability and the importance of programmer effort over computer effort. Python core syntax and semantics are minimalist, while the standard library is large and comprehensive.

Python is a multi-paradigm programming language (primarily functional, object oriented and imperative) which has a fully dynamic type system and uses automatic memory management; it is thus similar to Perl, Ruby, Scheme, and Tcl.

The language has an open, community-based development model managed by the non-profit Python Software Foundation. While various parts of the language have formal specifications and standards, the language as a whole is not formally specified. The de facto standard for the language is the CPython implementation.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Writing Pluggable Software

"How to write pluggable software" presented by Tatsuhiko Miyagawa at YAPC::Asia 2007 in Tokyo on April 5th 2007.



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Perl 5.10



Perl is a dynamic programming language created by Larry Wall and first released in 1987. Perl borrows features from a variety of other languages including C, shell scripting (sh), AWK, sed and Lisp.

Structurally, Perl is based on the brace-delimited block style of AWK and C, and was widely adopted for its strengths in text processing and lack of the arbitrary limitations of many scripting languages at the time.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Automating Yum Updates with Cron

I discuss the command line option to make yum run without user intervention. I also discuss cron, giving you an example and a tutorial to introduce you to one of the Unix Administrators best friend.



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Fast Linux Shell Commands Intro

A fast overview of the output of several common linux shell commands: whoami, pwd, uname, ls, df, free, whois, whereis, and locate). Technical details: created with xvidcap (in mpeg2 format), converted to dv with mencoder so it could be edited in Kino. The audio was recorded separately with "record", and the two merged in kino.



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Announcing Oracle Database 11g



Oracle Database (commonly referred to as Oracle RDBMS or simply as Oracle), a relational database management system (RDBMS) software product released by Oracle Corporation, has become a major feature of database computing.

Larry Ellison and his friends and former co-workers Bob Miner and Ed Oates started the consultancy Software Development Laboratories (SDL) in 1977. SDL developed the original version of the Oracle software. The name Oracle comes from the code-name of a CIA-funded project Ellison had worked on while previously employed by Ampex.

Many widespread computing platforms have come to use the Oracle database software extensively.

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Common Mistakes in Oracle PL/SQL Programming

Quest for a one-hour Webcast featuring guest speaker, Steven Feuerstein, as he examines common mistakes in Oracle PL/SQL programming. Learn how to correct mistakes to improve the maintainability and performance of your application.

This Webcast will also demonstrate CodeXpert — a powerful feature available within Toad® that will help you avoid common mistakes and ensure you implement PL/SQL best practices in your daily activities.




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