I got prompted to update my Firefox 4 to Firefox 5 beta last week. New features include better standards support, speed improvements, better integration with Linux desktops, in-browser software channel selection and support for CSS animations. The final version of FF5 is expected to ship on June 21th.
Firefox 5 will probably not include one of the much discussed hidden features in Chrome 13; the possibility to hide the navigation bar, but Mozilla indeed is experimenting with that as well. I’ve got Mozillalabs Prospector’s Simplify Firefox add-on installed on my netbook and in that 1024X600 context the extra screen real estate is a huge advantage. On the other hand, on my 1440X900 work laptop screen I don’t need (or want) those measly extra pixels. Maybe hiding the navigation bar should be an option which is by default off on normal-sized screens and is automatically turned on for screens with a netbook-like resolution?
So what would a small-time web-tech blogger all of a sudden need Amazon EC2 or Google App Engine expertise for
? For his real job, that’s why! On Thursday, May 12th someone pretty high up in the company hierarchy decided we had to have a web application ready on the 19th. The catch: it had to be able to handle a shitload of traffic in only 2 days time. After consulting with a couple of specialists and reviewing our options, we decided to go for it with our existing web-development partner
. Because of available expertise and resources however, we decided to switch from J2EE to .Net and to deploy the application on Microsoft’s “platform as a service” offering, called Azure. In 5 days time (what weekend was that?), using a shared Google Docs spreadsheet as project hub (for bug-list, todo’s, translation strings and in document IM) the application was developed, tested and hammered upon with a huge load-test and on Wednesday-evening the final version was deployed on Azure. The most interesting technical tidbits (as designed by a smart and very motivated lead-developer
The application handled a huge amount of traffic the first two days. Due to circumstances the load was especially high on Thursday morning (with over 800 HTTP-requests/second), but performance and availability remained perfect. It was like walking on this fluffy cloud, really:
I’m all of a sudden developing a keen interest in Amazon EC2 & simpledb (or RDS), but Google AppEngine might be an acceptable alternative. Do contact me
if you have hands-on experience with webapps developed for and deployed on those platforms, or if you know someone who does. We could be in for a fun little project! :-)