P16: a blog by Matt Kangas home archive
29 Apr 2008

Diving head-first into Google App Engine

(If it looks like a turbine, do I want to dive in??)

le googley turbine

I've previously mentioned how much I like the idea of Google App Engine. It's a neat model for web service hosting, and it promises to be really cheap. But considering that it's brand-new and unproven, I was happy to sit on the sidelines and let the rest of the market help shake out the bugs. Certainly, I wouldn't recommend it to any client just yet.

But I just found out that Google is hosting a hack-a-thon in their New York office next Wednesday. It's a free, all-day event. Hmm! So I signed up. I haven't gotten my App Engine trial account yet, but I can probably fix that onsite.

As luck would have it, I have been cobbling together a new personal site project this last month. I was using PHP with Kohana and CouchDB -- none of which are usable in the GAE environment. I'll have to rewrite in Python using Google's own datastore. But aside from this one-time cost, my project seems like a good fit for the App Engine environment -- especially since the hosting is free for now.

Two major GAE limitations which will bite me:

I absolutely need these for my project. But... phooey, I'm just going to dive right in anyway. Worst case, I can run a standalone image-resizer thingy on Amazon or maybe Slicehost until Google sorts this out. Plus it will be fun to beat some Googlers up about this next week. :)