Posts tagged with ‘developers’

In college I sort of aimlessly played. I read what I wanted and tinkered with my computer, I made little websites for my own amusement, I slept late and skipped class, and though sometimes I saw myself as an intellectual-at-large in the style of Will Hunting, I was basically just irresponsible. It’s only because of an exogenous miracle that, when I graduated in 2009 with a 2.9 GPA and entered a famously bad job market, I didn’t end up in privileged limbo — in Brooklyn, say, on my parents’ dime. In fact, I was among the most employable young men in the world

James Somers, Are Coders Worth It?, Aeon Magazine.

FJP: An excellent, nicely designed, long read on values, career decisions and coding.

Let's Pause for a Moment and Praise Tumblr's Engineers →

We’re on Tumblr. If you’re reading this you’re (probably) on Tumblr.

And if you’re on Tumblr and we’re on Tumblr we have a shared history of great times, fun people and… unfortunate downtimes.

These don’t happen as much as they used to in our neck of the woods.

And that’s because Tumblr is scaling… everywhere.

As in, it gets 15 billion page views a month, has a peak rate of 40 thousand requests per second, collects more or less three terabytes of new content a day, all running on approximately one thousand servers.

And they’re doing this with about 20 engineers.

If you’re a geek, a friend of a geek, or simply sympathetic (and/or empathetic) to geeks that build platforms and keep them running so that the rest of us can do what we do, read High Scalability’s article on Tumblr’s architecture, its goals, and the hurdles it’s facing as it tries to reach those goals.

In it, Blake Matheny, Tumblr’s Distributed Systems Engineer, guides us through stats, software, hardware, architecture and lessons learned.

It’s mesmerizing, in a geeky sort of way.

In the meantime, it’s Valentines tomorrow. Consider sending the Tumblr crew a slew of hugs and kisses.

HTML5 Please: Use the new and shiny responsibly
Divya Manian and friends created a search-based reference guide called HTML5 Please. Enter a tag, class or query into the search field and you’re returned information about cross browser support and usage.
For example:

<canvas>: Canvas is definitely good to go for modern browsers. If you want to support Internet Explorer 8 and below, FlashCanvas provides a good polyfill.
border-image: Make sure to use all the right prefixes (-o-, -webkit-, -ms-, -moz-). Additionally, border-image.com may help. You should let this fall back to either a normal solid border or no border at all, depending on whether a border is essential for readability. We recommend that you avoid polyfills.

You can read about the project, the people behind it and the tools they used to create HTML5 Please on Divya’s blog.

HTML5 Please: Use the new and shiny responsibly

Divya Manian and friends created a search-based reference guide called HTML5 Please. Enter a tag, class or query into the search field and you’re returned information about cross browser support and usage.

For example:

<canvas>: Canvas is definitely good to go for modern browsers. If you want to support Internet Explorer 8 and below, FlashCanvas provides a good polyfill.

border-image: Make sure to use all the right prefixes (-o-, -webkit-, -ms-, -moz-). Additionally, border-image.com may help. You should let this fall back to either a normal solid border or no border at all, depending on whether a border is essential for readability. We recommend that you avoid polyfills.

You can read about the project, the people behind it and the tools they used to create HTML5 Please on Divya’s blog.

Following The Guardian's Hack Day →

What happens when you stick a news organization’s developers in a room and say have at it?

You can find out by following The Guardian’s ”digital development team as they spend a Hack Day working on prototypes of potential new developments for the Guardian.”

Current update: if (Shearer.got_manager_job == true) { watch("MOTD") } else { sleep() }

When Developers Attack?

When Google launched Search Plus Your World it integrated social search into its results.

The big problem, as critics pointed out, was that social meant Google+ posts from your circles of friends and acquaintances. This diminished the integrity of search results as posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks that might be much more relevant to the original query were ignored.

Google’s response was that Twitter and Facebook don’t give the search engine access to their data so they moved forward with what they could do, namely include Google+ results.

But last weekend developers from Facebook, Twitter and Myspace got together for a hackathon to demonstrate that Google’s excuse is just that, an excuse that isn’t really true. In doing so, they created a site called Focus on the User that includes bookmarklets for Safari, Chrome and Firefox that expands Google search to include other social networks.

The video above gives background to all this and shows how its done.

ZDNet explains things further:

Over the weekend, Blake Ross, Facebook’s product director and co-founder of Firefox, worked with Facebook engineers Tom Occhino and Marshall Roch to demonstrate how evil Google’s newly launched Search plus Your World (SPYW) feature really is, and created a “proof of concept” showing how it should really work. His team got some help from Twitter engineers, Myspace engineers, and consulted other social networks as well to really make sure the message hits home: SPYW should surface results from all social networks, not just Google+.

By leveraging Google’s own algorithms, the group built a bookmarklet called “don’t be evil” (a jab at Google’s informal motto) and released it on a new website named Focus on the User…

…So, how does it work? If Google’s search engine decides that it’s relevant to surface a Google+ page in response to a query where Google+ content is hardcoded, the tool searches Google for the name of the Google+ page and identifies the social profiles within the first ten pages of Google’s search results (top 100 results). The ones Google ranks highest, regardless of what social network they are from, replace the previous results that would only be from Google+.

To be clear: the tool not only reorders the search engine results, but also the results of the promotional Google+ boxes on the right side of the results, as well as the autocomplete results that feature Google+ accounts when you type into the search box. In Google language these three are known as: People & Pages results, Google+ Sitelinks, and Google+ Suggestions In Autocomplete.

Focus on the User can be found here. The “Don’t be Evil” Bookmarklet is available on the site’s home page.

Developers on Google, Apple, Mobile & Social →

A few weeks ago Appcelerator and IDC surveyed over 2,000 developers about their mobile priorities, Google and Apple’s consolidation of mobile, and the integration of social into mobile apps. The results have been released in the 2011 Appcelerator/IDC Mobile Developer Report. 

Some key takeaways:

  • Two-thirds of respondents believe that Google can catch up to Facebook in social with Google+. When asked why, 68% of developers say that leveraging Google’s assets (eg: Search, YouTube, Maps, etc) trumps Facebook’s social graph lead. 49% say that Google shows more innovation than Facebook with new Google+ features like circles, sparks, hangouts, etc.
  • While Google+ may be the future, today 83% of developers using social in their apps say they use or are planning to use Facebook this year. Twitter is second at 73%, followed closely by Google+ (when API is released) at 72%, LinkedIn at 30%, and Foursquare at 23%.
  • When asked what social capabilities are most important in their apps, developers said that features that encourage repeat usage and offer fresh content are more important than location checkins and photo sharing. In order of priority, developers use social for: notifications (52%), status updates (49%), login/identity (44%), messaging (38%), news (35%), location sharing (32%), photo sharing (31%), and friend requests (26%).
  • With relatively few new product announcements this past quarter, platform priorities haven’t changed significantly. iPhone remains tops as 91% say they are ‘very interested’ in developing for the device. iPad is number two at 88%, Android pulled up a couple points with Android phone interest climbing to 87% from 85% last quarter and Android Tablets rose back to Q1 levels to 74%. We added HTML5 mobile web as a new option to rank this quarter, which comes in fifth at 66%. The second tier remains the same: Windows Phone (30%), BlackBerry phones (28%), BlackBerry Playbook (20%), HP TouchPad (18%), HP Palm Pre/Pixi (12%), Symbian (7%), and MeeGo (5%) rounding out the list. The new addition of mobile web in the middle of the pack suggests developers are seeing the increasing requirement for both a mobile app and mobile website, though the former continues to be the number one priority.

The report is available for download here.

Move Over Tote Bag, There's a Tablet in Town →

Forget getting irrelevant swag with your newspaper subscription.

Via Adweek:

Publishers, desperate to prop up their legacy print business, have been scrambling to put their content on tablet devices. Now the Philadelphia Inquirer and its sibling Philadelphia Daily News are making what may be the boldest tablet push yet.

On July 11, the two papers plan to announce a pilot program under which they will sell Android tablets with their content already built in at a discount. Icons on the tablets’ home screen will take users to digital replicas of both newspapers as well as a separate Inquirer app and Philly.com, the papers’ online hub.

And here’s something for Philly-based news hackers:

[Greg] Osberg, a former worldwide publisher of Newsweek [and current CEO and publisher of Philadelphia Media Network], has made it his mission to speed the digital revolution at the Philly papers, which last year became the latest newspapers to go through bankruptcy. To that end, he’ll also be announcing an incubator program that’ll embed tech startups at the company to help it develop digital products. Later this fall, Philly.com will introduce paid, premium content on the site, and a hyperlocal news channel.

Now It Can be Told 

A time-lapse video shows 48 hours in the life of an indie developer working on a game called Retro/Grade.

Run Time - 1:16.

H/T: Ars Technica.