Browsing Posts in APIs

Not quite sure how I came across this one exactly but I ended up going through some HTML source code and noted that amongst other things Twitter is using the Simple Storage Service (S3) from Amazon to host images. Used as an online storage web service; S3 allows for scalable online storage of a rather inordinate amount of data, running into Terrabytes. The service is charged on a Storage, Data Transfer and Requests tiered model and when you're talking about the sort of volume Twitter generates I guess it makes financial sense to use this service rather than fund your own hardware and bandwidth costs.

Looking at the details it seems fairly reasonable. For a 0.5 Terrabyte website, with 1TB of traffic p/month and a million requests p/day you'd run about ($60 + $170 + $300 respectively) $530 p/mnth running costs. On the surface this sounds alot, but compared to running your own servers and dealing with the associated bandwidth costs, this is pretty in-expensive.

There is a plethora of GUI based tools allowing almost FTP like interfaces with your data. It really absolves you from the cost-of-ownership and maintenance. I bet that's one seriously awesome looking data center !

Further Reading :

It's All About Web Services

Lesson to Self. Sorry folks, bunch of links to some useful stuff. I'll probably pontificate later :)

Useful Resources

HTML Verbs

CRUD - Create(POST), Retrieve(GET), Update(PUT) and Delete(DELETE)
More on CRUD


Simple Object Access Protocol


REpresentational State Transfer

WebDAV & Web Services

Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning

I ran across a little problem today where an application written for our website, and running the Google Maps API was 'causing the browser to crash, but as always with 'quirks'...  only in IE6!

After some time fiddling around on the internet and reading quite a few interesting articles about the stability of the Google Maps API within IE6 I found a few things listed as the most common causes : (

  • Script position. Make sure the Google Maps API script is called in either the head of your HTML or at the very end. Embedding within HTML should be avoided.
  • Make sure a valid doctype is declared. Remember the xmlns="" xmlns:v="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" attributes need to be added if you are presenting polylines in mapping applications
  • Ensure you have set a size for your google_map DIV
  • In your javascript make sure that the variable you assign new GMap2(); to is unique. Commonly it is assigned as var map = new GMap2(); make sure that variable is unique.
  • Good practice is to ensure your document W3C validates. Clean (X)HTML is a great place to start.

Other things to be aware of. In the script src tag Google passes the major script version into the query string. BUT... this can be, although not recommended, also be used to pass in minor version stamps too. i.e.

For a list of API Version Changes refer to this Google page.