Introducing Property Bazaar

After some weeks of late night working, I have finally put online my latest creation for all the world to see: propertybazaar.co.za*. It’s basically a site that provides a convenient search over many South African property listings.

I must say that I spent most of the time between learning the Google Cloud Platform and the App Engine framework and the Google Cloud Datastore APIs, none of which I used in the end. It was interesting learning though. Before, the GCP seemed to me like such an insurmountable mass of confusion. Now I am glad to say that I feel much more comfortable with it.

The disappointing part about App Engine is that the deployment, which I assume is based on Docker, is rather rigid. You get the advantage of scalable resources for your application, but local development, if you rely on Google Cloud components, is difficult to replicate, and deployment always takes quite a long time. In the end, it’s easier and more flexible to maintain your own machine.

I was also considering at one point falling back on my shared hosting account at DreamHost, but there I was disappointed to find that if you want to run Rails or Sinatra with Passenger, you are limited to their system-wide Ruby 1.8 installation (Whaaaaat?). So that was not an option. You can use RVM only if you use a virtual private server. Go figure.

Anyway, so you learn. And it was lots of fun to boot.

* There is a propertybazaar.com, which predates my first acquisition of the co.za domain by about 3 years; I abandoned my first attempt at Property Bazaar and was pleasantly surprised to find the domain up for grabs again. Some people don’t know what they’re missing.