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Epio /, X-desktops, Ubuntu, App Engine

posted Nov 27, 2011, 6:43 AM by Sami Lehtinen   [ updated Mar 25, 2015, 10:41 AM ]
  • Ubuntu 11.04 -> 11.10 distribution upgrade didn't go too well. Gnome is now somehow messed up. I can't see any menus, even if applications start that are specified to be stared after logging in. I'm currently using XFCE because Unity is horrible and Gnome Shell doesn't seem to be working at all due previously mentioned reasons.
  • Due playing with desktop environments, I decided to try pretty many of those out. I tried Unity, Gnome Shell, Gnome Classic, XFCE, LXDE, KDE. After testing I liked XFCE best, but if I would re-install my system, I probably would choose LXDE. It's simple, fast, and does what's required. KDE is too full of eye candy, which isn't beneficial at all, it just makes system slower.
  • After playing with these different X desktops, I thought that wow, this X is actually more complex and dynamic that I previously thought about. Many software engineers write apps that aren't flexible enough. It's always good to use modules which and apis that can be attached to any other module. So any small part of complex whole can be replaced with different module without breaking the system.
  • Last week I created support app nslookup for and deployed at Epio ( Unfortunately after that I found out a very bad thing. When ever WSGI application instance dies, restarting it takes about 20 seconds. It's way way too much for simple DNS web-service, like this nslookup app I wrote. No, you can't use it. It requires authentication to server you. But you can still check out the nslookup application front page (, which I made application to server without authentication. I also made it to serve robots.txt to prevent bot requests. I have been talking about this issue with admins, and they acknowledge it. For 11 USD/month you can get your application to run permanently. But hey, that's much more than el-cheapo VPS server costs. So I won't be opting for that in this case. In comparison I can say that Google App Engine launches simple Python instances in less than one seconds.
  • In upcoming weeks, I'll be writing small post about how's multi-layered caching and simple data store are working. I have been using it as my PaaS practice application. Simple applications are good for practice. Because it's very easy to refactor even whole application if required.