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Shane O'Sullivan's technical blog… really ties the room together

Archive for July, 2009

Quitting Register365.com hosting forever

Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on July 22, 2009

For those who come to this blog for Dojo/Ajax discussions, this is a rant I had to get off my chest, so feel free to skip.

For the past year, I hosted my Dojo powered search engine, Chofter.com, with an Irish host (I’m in Dublin, Ireland) called Register365.ie. They were, and still claim to be, the largest hosting provider in the country, so I thought they were a safe bet.

The hosting solution came with some nice tools, and easily installed applications like WordPress, so I thought I’d made a good choice.

How wrong I was.  Register365.com have to be the least reliable web host I have ever come across.  My website would inexplicably go down multiple times every week!!  Each time I complained ( and I complained often), I was told that routine maintenance was being performed on the server.

How often do these machines have to be restarted?  I know other hosts that only restart a couple of times a year, or even less, and these outages are announced weeks in advance.  With Register365 I never knew when the site would be available and when it wouldn’t.

To top it all off, a few times when my site was down, I went to raise a support ticket and the entire register365.com site was down!  If they can’t even keep their own site up and running,  I doubt they put much effort into the uptime of my little website.

So…. based on the recommendation of a work colleague, I’ve switched over to an English host, Bytemark.co.uk, which actually publish the uptime of their servers – my colleagues site last went down for a scheduled kernel upgrade about 8 months ago for a few minutes.  Register365 refused to offer any guarantee of availability when I questioned them about it on the phone, even though on their main page they have an image declaring they give “maximum uptime”, whatever that means.  They also refused to turn on something as simple and basic as resource compression for JavaScript and CSS files, with no reason given.  Now that I have my own hosted Ubuntu install, I can set it up however I like.

register365

Anyway, I’m hoping the availability for chofter.com will be improved by this move.  The DNS is being transferred at this very moment, and should hopefully be complete very soon.

If there’s something to be learned, it’s that expecting quality of service from an Irish organisation is a very risky step, even from a company as prominent as this one. So often in this country I see “shoddy workmanship”, to borrow a phrase, with no apology or attempt to rectify the matter, and certainly with no one accepting the blame.  The IT sector is unfortunately not immune to this irritating Irish trait.

Stay far away from register365!

Posted in chofter | Tagged: | 12 Comments »

Review of ‘Learning Dojo’ book

Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on July 18, 2009

I was recently requested by the publishers of the book ‘Learning Dojo‘ by Dojo community regular Peter Svensson.  They very kindly provided a copy of the book, and after reading it, here follows the review that I posted on Amazon.co.uk.

This books should suit those who are either just starting out using Dojo, or those who are thinking of picking it up and want a good overview of what Dojo offers.

It spends quite some time explaining how the Dojo community works, why it is organised like it is etc. Experienced users of Dojo can of course just skip these pages, but it seemed a little unnecessary for people who just want to know how to get something done.

There were a number of English language errors, , which are forgivable, however there are also a number of badly formatted code examples in the earlier chapters which are hard to read.

As the book goes on it gets better, with some very good and comprehensive chapters covering dojo.data, Dijit Form controls and Layout widgets. Theres a decent amount of coverage of the Grid widget, but given than it’s such a massive component, it would have been nice to have much more coverage – still, it would take four or five chapters to cover it completely, so it’s understandable.

It also has a nice description of Dojo’s Django Templating Language (dojox.dtl), which is a brilliant templating language that should get much more attention.

So, while this book wouldn’t suitable for someone looking purely for a reference guide (the official Dojo documentation is good for that, as well as the DojoCampus Explorer, dojocampus.org/explorer), after reading it from front to back you should have a pretty comprehensive overview of what Dojo is about, but if you are already familiar with Dojo it might not be as useful.

Posted in Ajax, Dojo | 2 Comments »

 
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