now running on a low energy intel atom powered server

I recently upgraded my bytemark VM to one of their low energy intel atom powered dedicated servers. Because of an AJAX based mapping tool on one of the sites I host, my VM struggled with only 400mb of RAM (mainly because of lots of simultaneous mysql connections under heavy use), but CPU bottlenecks were never an issue. The 2GB of RAM as well as dedicated RAID1 disks (therefore not competing with other servers for disk I/O like with a VM) has made the site perform much better under “pressure”. I’m saying this cautiously as the site hasn’t exactly been slashdotted yet, and I don’t want people to see it as a challenge!

Architen Landrell site launched

arhciten landrell website screengrab

Netsight have been so busy recently that we haven’t updated our portfolio for a while, but I wanted to mention this site, as it gave us an excuse to experiment with some nice visual features such as scriptaculous effects, flash galleries etc. The site has a plone back end for Content Management, but the front end was built from the ground up, so is a nice example of a “non-ploney” plone-based site. It helps that Architen had some excellent photography to use on the site – all maintained by themselves via plone including image resizing and cropping for the portfolio pages.

For more details on the project see the write-up here

Mobile web and AJAX

I tried out a friends pocket pc (or is it windows mobile now?) smartphone recently – a cool little device with a slide out QWERTY keyboard (I think it was a variation of this htc device). It also had wifi support so I thought I would try to blog from it. However, he hadn’t got opera installed and the wordpress gui completely failed to work in pocket internet explorer. I’m sure there is a solution to this, but I was disappointed that the wordpress online admin didn’t gracefully degrade.

This is something to consider when designing web apps – whilst AJAX could potentially be used to provide huge usability enhancements to people using mobile web devices with small screens – the majority of people are going to be using windows mobile with pocket internet explorer – your app should work with no javascript support at all. and then be progressively enhanced with AJAX as a seperate consideration.

JSON – JavaScript Object Notation

Another abbreviation(?)/buzzword that i’ve been hearing for months but I have only just understood what it is. From All in the Head (Drew Mclellan’s blog):-

if you’re not familiar, JavaScript Object Notation is a method of describing data structures such as arrays and objects and their contents in plain text. On receiving a chunk of JSON you can eval() it to recreate the data structure within your script

Read more about JSON here