random dabbling roundup

I seem to be in a phase where I play with lots of new software things without creating a whole lot in any of them.

Google App Engine is interesting due to the promise of getting massive distribution/scaling for ‘free’. I started trying to put together a Java application to try it out, but it just reminded me how I don’t mind the Java in my day job, but for spare time stuff it is pretty tedious. Fortunately I found appengine-jruby which is much more to my taste. It wraps up all the boring stuff with some simple Ruby tools and APIs.

So I tossed the Java app and started a Ruby version. Along the way I’ve been learning a bit about Sinatra haml and datamapper

Who knows if I’ll ever finish that though, since I keep finding other things I want to play with.

Google Chrome is proving impressively fast. I found a few annoying things though:

  • It draws its own window decorations so it doesn’t match other apps – there is an option to change this though.
  • Its shortcut for ‘quit’ is shift+ctrl+Q, when most apps on my desktop use ctrl+Q and I haven’t found a way to fix this.

‘Killing two birds with one stone’ I tried out Ubuntu VMBuilder to create a simple virtualized LAMP server and installed Gallery 3 Beta on it. Gallery 3 looks pretty slick with a modern AJAX UI. I currently run Gallery 2 so I’ll probably upgrade eventually, but not until version 3 supports uploading directly from F-Spot and/or Picasa.

Next up, a colleague pointed out the Google Go programming language so I want to look into that some more. It’ll probably turn out to be another solution looking for a problem, from my perspective, but it’s good to get ideas of what’s going on out there.

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