April 22nd, 2009


Thoughts on moving to Cloud Computing

I see three stages in the adoption and the evolution of the adoption of cloud computing:

1. Taking an existing application, and transferring it as is into a cloud provider. This is "forklifting".

2. Taking an application, and wrapping it up in cloud based provisioning and backup. This is the business space that RightScale and Zmanda help with.

3. Developing applications that implictly assume they are running in a cloud environment. I see a lot of talk of this, but not all that many running yet. But very soon they are going to be everywhere.

Wonderfully amusing code comment, about Adobe PSD format


                 // At this point, I'd like to take a moment to speak to you about the Adobe PSD format.
                 // PSD is not a good format. PSD is not even a bad format. Calling it such would be an
                 // insult to other bad formats, such as PCX or JPEG. No, PSD is an abysmal format. Having
                 // worked on this code for several weeks now, my hate for PSD has grown to a raging fire
                 // that burns with the fierce passion of a million suns.
                 // If there are two different ways of doing something, PSD will do both, in different
                 // places. It will then make up three more ways no sane human would think of, and do those
                 // too. PSD makes inconsistency an art form. Why, for instance, did it suddenly decide
                 // that *these* particular chunks should be aligned to four bytes, and that this alignement
                 // should *not* be included in the size? Other chunks in other places are either unaligned,
                 // or aligned with the alignment included in the size. Here, though, it is not included.
                 // Either one of these three behaviours would be fine. A sane format would pick one. PSD,
                 // of course, uses all three, and more.
                 // Trying to get data out of a PSD file is like trying to find something in the attic of
                 // your eccentric old uncle who died in a freak freshwater shark attack on his 58th
                 // birthday. That last detail may not be important for the purposes of the simile, but
                 // at this point I am spending a lot of time imagining amusing fates for the people
                 // responsible for this Rube Goldberg of a file format.
                 // Earlier, I tried to get a hold of the latest specs for the PSD file format. To do this,
                 // I had to apply to them for permission to apply to them to have them consider sending
                 // me this sacred tome. This would have involved faxing them a copy of some document or
                 // other, probably signed in blood. I can only imagine that they make this process so
                 // difficult because they are intensely ashamed of having created this abomination. I
                 // was naturally not gullible enough to go through with this procedure, but if I had done
                 // so, I would have printed out every single page of the spec, and set them all on fire.
                 // Were it within my power, I would gather every single copy of those specs, and launch
                 // them on a spaceship directly into the sun.
                 // PSD is not my favourite file format.