Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Running robots

The new Toyoto humanoid robot runs at 4mph. I hope they start programming the 3 laws into them.

I can imagine that scene in Star Wars I with all those robots on the hill.. :(

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Shopzilla site redo

Just watched a nice video from Philip Dixon (Shopzilla) about the performance gains when they redid their site.

The general philosophy is to refactor rather than rewrite. They had a mixed approach by slowly exposing more and more traffic (via load balancing) to the new infrastructure.

Something I didn't realize is the impact of serving static content from cookie-less domains. Sites like yahoo use (I always wondered why they did that!)

no such file to load -- builder

For my rails infrastructure, I used to use nginx talking to a mongrel cluster which was painful to figure out how to set it up. (This before the nginx module from Phusion Passenger)

I then switched to using apache which worked well, especially with the php files I also had to host (wordpress/drupal etc).

Last night I tried to go back to nginx.. bleeding edge nginx and Ruby Enterprise.
This was a whole load of pain. :( Google didn't seem helpful. WTF was going on?

Phusion Passenger worked fine with regular ruby (ruby 1.8.7) but when I tried using Ruby Enterprise I would get the following crypted error:

"no such file to load -- builder"

WTF was this all about? I spent all night hacking/slashing trying to get it to run.

It was obviously having a problem finding the 'builder' gem, but it was right there.. wasn't it?
# gem list
builder (2.1.2)

and that was the crux of the problem! REE uses its own gem command and its own location of gem packages.

# /opt/ruby-enterprise-1.8.6-20090610/bin/gem list
** builder not present **

AAARGGH! Apparently this is a good thing, not sure why.. but w-e.

# /opt/ruby-enterprise-1.8.6-20090610/bin/gem install builder

Heres some links for you.