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Amazon web services - talk amongst yourselves

by Stegalex (Chaplain)
on Jun 03, 2003 at 02:00 UTC ( #262543=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Stegalex has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I am considering building a site based on Amazon Web Services whereby you can use either xml over http, SOAP, or xsl to access Amazon's product catalog and earn commissions on sales you generate.

Before I dive headfirst into this effort, I would like to hear from my fellow monks about their war stories about how well it has worked for them. Specifically:

  • How well does it work?
  • Should I go xml over http, soap, or xsl?
  • What Perl modules should I use?
  • How much affiliate revenue has it produced for you?
  • Anything else that I should know.

    There are no Perl samples with the Amazon sample kit so I am guessing that I am on my own to figure this whole thing out (which I don't mind because I know I can always count on you to provide lots of helpful advice).

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    • Comment on Amazon web services - talk amongst yourselves
  • Replies are listed 'Best First'.
    Boycott Amazon
    by PodMaster (Abbot) on Jun 03, 2003 at 03:26 UTC
      Got link? (very important -- here is one)

      I say forget it, and here is one reason.

      Should I go xml over http, soap, or xsl?
      Simple Object Access Protocol: (SOAP) A minimal set of conventions for invoking code using XML over HTTP.
      What Perl modules should I use? ... There are no Perl samples with the Amazon sample kit so ....
      for the first one, visit CPAN like How to RTFM says, and for the second one, you don't need any. SOAP is SOAP regardless of the implementation, so the API is the same, and it has to be documented (there is probably an article on SOAP at

      MJD says you can't just make shit up and expect the computer to know what you mean, retardo!
      I run a Win32 PPM repository for perl 5.6x+5.8x. I take requests.
      ** The Third rule of perl club is a statement of fact: pod is sexy.

    Re: Amazon web services - talk amongst yourselves
    by arthas (Hermit) on Jun 03, 2003 at 08:50 UTC
      Some monks replied you with a link to a page in which Dominus suggests to boycott Amazon. There are also other people around the net who share his point of view.

      However, you should also read Jeff Bezos' reply, which you can find in his open letter on patents. There's also an old Slashdot discussion around it. It turns out that maybe Amazon ain't that bad, but it's up to you to read and decide.

    Re: Amazon web services - talk amongst yourselves
    by Stegalex (Chaplain) on Jun 03, 2003 at 10:35 UTC
      Thanks for all your views and please accept my apologies for not being 100% up to speed on the XML/SOAP technologies - if I were 100% up to speed I wouldn't need to ask for your help and as for your recommendations to RTFM, I am a big proponent of this although sometimes it helps to have someone help you decide which M to RTFM. That's where you come in.

      As for your recommendation that I boycott Amazon, as a long time web retailer I can tell you that anyone who is willing to pay me 5% - 15% in commissions on each sale is giving away the store. It's very difficult to turn net profits that big let alone pay someone that much for generating a sale. I think I can forgive myself for going into business with Amazon. It's a survival strategy.
    Re: Amazon web services - talk amongst yourselves
    by jonnyfolk (Vicar) on Jun 03, 2003 at 03:30 UTC

      Before you go any further with this you should read Mark-Jason Dominus is Boycotting Amazon for a different view on Amazon.

      In the interest of balance, however, merlyn has a link to Amazon from his Perl Training page so the boycott is obviously not universally adopted by those in the Perl community.

      Update: added link to training page.

        Before you go any further with this you should read ..

        Boycotting anything is a matter of personal preference. Amazon came up with something new and innovative before any of their competitors that made their site and shopping experience unique.

        I can't help but think that Amazon have a right to protect themselves against a spate of Amazon-a-like clones appearing and eroding the market that they have successfully built for themselves. They came up with an idea, they implemented that idea, and hence they should have the right to protect that idea.

        People are, of course, entitled to their opinions. Implying that that opinion is that of the Perl community as a whole, which I think is the attempt here, despite the comment that merlyn isn't participating, is simply wrong.

        Kudos to Amazon for staying ahead of the pack.

        -- Foxcub

          Foxcub I have three granted patents to my name (none of them software). I know a great deal about the subject, about the burden of proof required concerning originality, and having successfully fought my way through the process three times as well as being unsuccessful on other occasions I fully see the dangers of a patent office willing to issue patents on matters which it patently fails to comprehend.

          That being said, I'm surprised that you saw in my comments an inference one way or the other - I had thought that my mention of Dominus on one side and merlyn on the other (by association only) would show that there are differing views and cannot find the phrase in my initial response which supports your implication.

          I feel that you have overstepped the mark in claiming that I have attempted to imply anything other than what I clearly stated, and trust that you will respond by pointing to the phrase which led you to make such an accusation in the first place

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