Way last fall, I took my old LifeSaver app and re-wrote it to store histories in Google App Engine back-end as opposed to the SD card, mostly because lots of modern phones don’t have SD cards. Then I had an attack of fear about deploying it, then I went on a world tour and got sick and took vacation and got distracted. I just published LifeSaver 2.0.
No Fear · The fear, of course, was of being the proprietor of a cloud database containing highly personal information. Lots of people had ideas on how to solve this, so I eventually picked the easiest: The data gets erased after an hour or so; see the Retention and Privacy write-up.
I am keeping records of how many personal histories were uploaded and downloaded, by how many unique users, but I’m irreversibly hashing the user IDs, so I think people are safe from prying eyes.
More Fear · I’m still a little worried. I’ve never actually run a production app on App Engine before. And I have to say, if there’s an Idiot’s Guide to How GAE Billing Works, I haven’t found it; there is scope for some more tutorial material.
I took the precaution of signing up for a paid account and authorizing a few bucks a day worth of spending. I honestly haven’t the faintest idea how this is going to work out; if anything interesting crops up, I’ll report back.
Conclusions · Still preliminary of course, but then all conclusions are.
I like writing Ruby code so much more than Java code.
I’m not sure of how applicable Google App Engine is in the wider universe of Web apps, but its RESTful API surface and key/value datastore are pretty well a perfect match for this one.
This will have been worth doing if only because I got AERC out of it.