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  • Gravatar Mac Address Book Support Updated for Snow Leopard

    Because the bundle somehow didn't work for snow leopard, now it does, and you can get it here. of course :-). So basically, your mac adressbook is now able to get the gravatars again.. hrhr-

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  • Google Docs Privacy, Latex knowledge, project update

    Hey! I haven't been writing here in a while, so let's have some updates.

    First of all, I noticed something Techcrunch was also writing about some time ago, that google doesn't protect embedded images in private documents in _any_ way. So basically, everything you upload there can be treated as public.

    Next thing, latex, the typesetting system, seems to be stuck in a time where character encodings where something rather bizarre, and for that reason has it's share of problems with it. There are packages, like utf8 and utf8x to work around this issue, but it's not perfect. What I've experienced, a strange error message telling me that

    Package inputenc Error: Unicode char u8:  not set up for use with LaTeX.

    And my way to get around it was to simply add the packages ucs besides utf8 to the preamble..

    usepackage{ucs}
    usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}

    and everything is working fine now. great.

    Last topic today is a project update. What's going on?

    • A virtual keyboard for android with some nice effects, I'm doing this one together with Marc Seeger.
    • I just participated in the foundation of the Google Technology Usergroup Neckar-Alb ( A region in southern germany around Stuttgart ), and we hope to be able to provide the community here with some cool events in the future! If you want to participate or are just curious, be sure to check out our twitter.
    • I'm currently also writing a paper on distributed contact management, a really interesting field, stay tuned on that one.
    • Some hacking involved, but nothing releasable actually.

    If you want some nice reading, I can really recommend two papers: the first one is on API design, and some kind of a .NET-rant, it's called "API Design Matters" and is written by Michi Henning. The other one was written by Marc Seeger and is a practical overview of available Key-Value stores ( applause for NoSQL ). Get it on his blog.

    The next weekend I'm going to spend in Hamburg, really looking forward!

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  • Finally: Wordpress Benchmark

    So, there are no real benchmarks of a Wordpress running in the wild available ( couldn't believe it either.. ). So I got my ab and gnuplot friends and created one. The reason why I'm doing this that while developing ( or forking, to be honest, marc's work ) i was curious what php can achieve. The answer is, as you will see, very sad.

    I ran the benchmarks on two different machines. One of them is a xen-based virtual machine with 4gb of RAM and a dedicated CPU. The MySQL server runs on a seperate VM on the same physical device. The first graph shows the results at a concurrency level of 2, the second one a concurrency level of 5.

    test1_s
    test2_sThe second run was performed on the machine where this blog is hosted. All benchmarks are running against Wordpress' index.php, to not allow caching to falsify the results. The machine is also a virtual machine, enough RAM, slow cpu though. Please keep in mind that most people are using that kind of machines for their blogging, because dedicated machines are not exactly.. cheap. Anyhow, concurrency level 2. I didn't bother to check what level 5 would have changed, because the time taken for the first one was already 20 minutes.

    test1_m

    For the sake of being mean to all PHP-lovers, I included a bench of an Rails-Application served from the very same VM as the first benchmarks. Of course, you can't compare Rails to PHP. But still interesting, I think.

    test1_k

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  • Why filenames and folders matter. not.

    Just read a satirical post in a german magazine, concerning the different kinds of file-sorting on desktop machines. Unfortunately, the article is unable to figure out the core evil, that is, the ultimate need to store everything in files and folders.

    Honestly, try to remember the last time you tried to find a web page using, for example, the open directory project. I tried to remember that fact really hard, but as far as I'm concerned, I've been fine with the google search on top of my browser for the last years ( at least the years stored in my flawless built-in brain ).

    The fact emerging is that with an ever rising size of storage media and a subsequent increased information density, it's close to impossible to manage files in a single hierarchy. And yes, Operating Systems should abandon the concept, at least for users. Of course, some kind of unique identification and retrieval path is necessary at least for applications to work, but not for users to find their files.

    Are you using spotlight, Mac's built-in search, or Google Desktop or some other desktop search? You should. You'll never want to get back to actually looking for a file, it's so much more handy to just find it by searching for some text it contains.

    And oh yeah, this idea is nothing really new, at least not, if you've heard about grep. It's a utility available on all POSIX-compliant systems that simply searches for a given string or regular expression in an arbitrary number of files.

    Once again, please make computers for people, not for anyone else.

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  • Erlang-Slides

    Alright, the slides are in german, so for the rest: sorry. I did this presentation for an interesting course at my university called "trending programming languages", so if you like to learn a bit about erlang, go right ahead and read it.

    Erlang-Presentation

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