Archive for February, 2008


Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

I monitor a few keywords on Twitter, and get instant notification on Jabber whenever someone mentions any of them. “OpenID” is one of those. Today, I got one notification which caught my attention, not just because it is in Chinese, but that I think it’s an important point:

jchristabelle: OpenID真的很難記,我又忘了我的。

which translates to:

OpenID is really hard to remember, I forgot mine again.

I have shared that sentiment before, when I tried to login to my Plaxo account and couldn’t for the life of me remember which one it was that I first used to associate my account. Granted that, in my case, I have many OpenID URIs because I’ve been so involved in the implementation. However, it is true that the OP:RP ratio is still too high (counting Blogger as a single RP rather than thousands of OpenID-ready spam blogs.)

I think it is inevitable that in future most users will have at least a handful of OpenID URIs. One can easily imagine getting one from each webmail/IM provider, personal i-name or domain name, social networks, etc. It may just be one of those annoyances we have to live with. Or maybe users will just remember the brands that stick, and click on the “Sign in with my Yahoo! ID” button instead.

I don’t have a solution here, just relaying the message.

p.s. Incidentally, geeks are of course still able to use URIs within their control (personal domain) to delegate to another OP (e.g. Yahoo) and switch OP at anytime while keeping the original URIs. For example, here’s what I use.

Memcached on Solaris

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

If you observe memcached exhibiting strange behavior while running under Solaris, you should try upgrading to the latest version of libevent.

I experienced a problem while testing my application on the excellent Joyent Facebook Accelerator, which runs Solaris Nevada snv_67 X86, has memcached 1.2.2 with libevent 1.3b2 installed by default.

My memcached usage is pretty low and I refresh the cache often to keep it from going stale, but somehow I still get lots of cache misses. By elimination, I ruled out the possibility of faults on the python memcache module, or memcached version (tried the latest 1.2.4 compiled against the libevent-1.3b2 and it still had the same problem.) When I connected my app to the memcached instance running on my FreeBSD box, though, the problem doesn’t exist.

Eventually, it turns out that memcached disconnects the client and all I got from the python memcache module was:

  File "/opt/local/lib/python2.5/site-packages/", line 846, in recv
    'read returned 0 length bytes' % ( len(buf), foo ))

Well, that’s another bug. The above foo should really be rlen, but fixing that only proved that memcached always disconnects the client after sending 66887 bytes in response to a get.

After some poking around (by inserting prints and running memcached in foreground mode), it was apparent to me that memcached was getting an error from libevent, so I upgraded libevent and problem was solved.

Hope this helps anyone who may run into the same problem (as I couldn’t find any clue in the googs.)

Haiku ads don’t work

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

Actually they do! I couldn’t resist but to click on the following when it showed up on my Gmail interface (even though I have heard of Woot before):

Woot’s Haiku Ad

This goes to show that when it comes to ads, creativity pays off.