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$Id: NEWS,v 1.14 2008/10/03 12:00:57 ianmacd Exp $
It's now possible to have Ruby/AWS use a user configuration file with a name
other than .amazonrc. This is achieved by defining $AMAZONRCFILE. If left
undefined, the default of .amazonrc is used.
Locations other than $HOME were not being checked for .amazonrc. This bug has
now been fixed.
$AMAZONRCDIR is now searched for .amazonrc before $HOME and the other
directories. This allows a user-defined location to be used for the user
configuration file.
There is a new top-level class of exception for Ruby/AWS, Amazon::AmazonError.
Most non-operational exceptions, such as Amazon::AWS::HTTPError,
Amazon::Config::ConfigError, Amazon::AWS::Search::Request::AccessKeyIdError,
Amazon::AWS::Search::Request::LocaleError and
Amazon::AWS::ShoppingCart::CartError are now immediate subclasses of
AmazonError. Previously, they were subclasses of StandardError.
Amazon::AWS::Error::AWSError was previously a class that generated exceptions,
but it's now simply a container class derived from AmazonError. All
operational exceptions -- the ones whose class is dynamically created when AWS
returns an error -- are now subclasses of AWSError. Previously, they were
immediate subclasses of StandardError.
This has the advantage of allowing all of the exceptions resulting from
operational errors to be caught by rescuing just the container class,
The version of the Amazon AWS API requested when performing operations is now
2008-08-19. This is the latest at the time of writing.
The exception class Amazon::Config::ConfigError was mysteriously not defined. now accepts an optional argument, config_str, which may
contain the string equivalent of a config file's contents. When config_str is
not nil (nil is the default), this string is read instead of /etc/amazonrc and
~/.amazonrc. This addition is really just to aid unit-testing of the
Amazon::Config class, as never needs to be called by user
Config file lines may now contain leading whitespace.
The Amazon::AWS::MAX_PAGES constant has gone, replaced by the PAGINATION hash.
Only ItemSearch should use ItemPage to page through results up to MAX_PAGES
when ALL_PAGES has been requested, but the same approach was attempted for all
types of operation.
Each operation has its own pagination parameter and its own maximum number of
pages that can be fetched. This is now stored in the Amazon::AWS::PAGINATION
Note that ItemLookup has three possible pagination parameters: OfferPage,
VariationPage and ReviewPage. Ruby/AWS uses OfferPage for the purposes of
Operations that do not explicitly provide a pagination parameter (or, at
least, those for which there isn't one listed in the AWS Developer's Guide)
use ItemPage and pagination up to page 400. This is likely to throw an
exception, as such operations almost certainly don't support multiple results
The exception class Amazon::AWS::HTTPError was not actually defined, which
caused an error when an attempt was made to raise it.
If you're using Windows, %HOME% typically isn't defined. Therefore, the
following sequence of paths is now searched for your .amazonrc configuration
Choose one of these at your convenience.
The Ruby/AWS gem has been renamed ruby-aaws (from ruby-aws) to avoid a
namespace clash with another project. This clash prevented remote installation
of the gem.
The version of the Amazon AWS API requested when performing operations is now
2008-06-26. This is the latest at the time of writing.
A new method, Amazon::AWS::ShoppingCart::Cart#cart_get, has been added, to
allow the retrieval of an existing shopping-cart from AWS. This is necessary
when the original Cart object no longer exists.
A bug in Amazon::AWS::ShoppingCart::Cart#cart_modify has been fixed, which
caused carts with no items in their active section to raise an exception.
YAML.aws_load has been removed. Its functionality is available directly from
Amazon::AWS::AWSObject.yaml_load and it wasn't logical or necessary to
duplicate that in the YAML class itself. There was no corresponding
Marshal.aws_load method, but if there had been, that, too, would have been
Ruby/AWS is finally available as a RubyGems package and can be found here:
The enclosed Rakefile can be used to build the gem from scratch. First make
sure you have rake and rubygems installed, and then simply type 'rake' in the
top level directory of the archive. The gem will be generated and placed in
the ./pkg subdirectory, from where you can 'sudo gem install' it.
This is my first gem, so bear with me. It appears to work properly, but I
offer no guarantees. One thing that doesn't currently work is installing the
package with gem's -t option to run the supplied unit tests.
More information about RubyGems can be found here:
Serialisation, e.g. with Marshal and YAML, has been a problem until now.
This is because subclasses of Amazon::AWS::AWSObject are created as needed
when XML responses from AWS are parsed. Whilst there is no problem dumping
objects instantiated from such classes, the difficulty arises when later
loading and attempting to reinstantiate them in a new process, because the
dynamic classes from which they were spawned no longer exist.
The solution to the problem comes in the form of the new methods
Amazon::AWS::AWSObject.load and Amazon::AWS::AWSObject.yaml_load. Use these as
alternatives to Marshal.load and YAML.load, respectively.
This release mostly features refinements to the support for remote
The 'Save For Later' area of remote shopping-carts is now implemented.
Cart#cart_modify now takes an extra parameter, save_for_later. If true, items
are moved from the active to the Save For Later area of the cart. If false,
they are moved in the opposite direction.
In both cases, the quantity parameter is ignored, because attempting to pass
it through to AWS results in an error, even though the AWS documentation
claims this can be done to move partial quantities from one area of the cart
to the other.
Cart objects now have a @saved_for_later_items attribute, aliased to
@saved_items and @saved. Take your pick.
@cart_items is now set to [] when is called. Previously, it wasn't set
until Cart#cart_create was used, at which time it was set to nil.
@saved_for_later_items is also set to [] by
Cart#include? now also returns true if the item being queried is in the Save
For Later area of the cart. Previously, only the active area was inspected.
New methods, Cart#active? and Cart#saved_for_later? (alias Cart#saved?),
return whether or not an item is present in a particular area of the cart. If
the item is present, its CartItemId is returned; otherwise 'false'.
A bug that caused shopping-cart transactions to use the cache if one was
requested has been fixed. Shopping-carts should never use the cache under any
Request objects can now have their @cache attribute assigned to. A Cache
object may be directly assigned to it, or you may assign the value 'true'. If
@cache is set to 'true', a Cache object will automatically be assigned to it
the next time @cache is referenced. This is most useful when one wishes to
switch from using no cache to using one, or vice versa.
Cache#flush_expired invariably threw an exception. This bug has been fixed.
Geolocation of users by host and IP address now raises an
Amazon::Locale::GeoError exception if the host or IP address is unresolvable.
There's a new Ruby/AWS mailing-list for discussion of the development and
usage of this library:
The version of the Amazon AWS API requested when performing operations is now
2008-04-07. This is the latest at the time of writing.
Remote shopping-carts are now implemented. See the Amazon::AWS::ShoppingCart
module and the Amazon::AWS::ShoppingCart::Cart class in
./amazon/aws/shoppingcart.rb for more details.
Basically, the new methods are, Cart#cart_create, Cart#cart_add,
Cart#cart_modify and Cart#cart_clear. There's also Cart#each for iterating
over the items in a cart.
This adds the following AWS operations to the list of those supported:
It's currently not possible to update a wishlist at purchase time by referring
to the item's ListItemId when adding it to a cart.
It's also currently not possible to add items to the 'Saved For Later' section
of the cart.
A new iterator method, AWSObject#each, yields each |property, value| of the
The AWSObject and AWSArray classes have received a few new helper methods that
should make AWSObject and single element AWSArray objects behave more akin to
strings when they are being compared with strings, matched against regexes,
An otherwise undocumented method, AWSObject#kernel, provides unnested (i.e.
top level) AWSObject objects with a shortcut reference to the data most likely
of interest to the user.
For example, if a top level AWSObject is formed as the result of an
ItemSearch, one might normally refer to the items returned with something like
AWSObject#kernel allows the same data to be referred to as follows:
The path to the data is programatically determined, so this method only works
for top level AWSObject objects created by a class of operation whose name can
be used to derive the path. This is why this method is not documented.
When searches are performed, greater efforts are now made to determine whether
Amazon returned any errors. In particular, batch operations and
MultipleOperations may return errors at different locations in the XML tree
than normal operations.
A bug that materialised only when using an HTTP proxy has been fixed.
In previous versions, only 5 types of operation were supported:
This version supports all remaining non-shopping-cart operations:
Examples of each of these can be found in ./examples/
It is hoped that shopping-carts will make their debut in the next release of
One can now use a Symbol for search indices and hash keys when instantiating
operation objects and response group objects.
For example:
is = 'Books', { 'Title' => 'Ruby' } )
rg = 'Large' )
can now be written like this:
is = :Books, { :Title => 'Ruby' } )
rg = :Large )
It's up to you which form you use. The Symbol form saves one character. :-)
AWSObject#to_s has been improved to provide something better looking. There's
still room for improvement, though.
AWSObject#to_i has been added. This allows, for example, AWSObjects to be used
with the %d format specifier in formatted strings. It's up to you, though, to
know when an AWSObject can be expected to contain a String that's usable as an
Objects of a class whose name matches AWSObject::.*Image typically have a @url
attribute that points to the URL of the image in question. Such objects now
have a #get method, which can be used to retrieve the image in question. This
method takes a single parameter, an integer precentage, which causes the
retrieved image to be overlayed with a discount icon.
Various compatibility fixes were made to allow Ruby/AWS to work under Ruby
1.9. The use of Ruby/AWS with this version is still not recommended, however.
For one thing, Ruby 1.9 seems to use #inspect in places that Ruby 1.8 used
Version 0.1.0 of Ruby/AWS has undergone fundamental changes from the previous,
very crude versions, 0.0.1 and 0.0.2.
For one thing, the AWS XML parser has been completely rewritten. In this new
version, classes are dynamically generated as required, based on the elements
present in the XML pages returned by AWS.
Previous versions of Ruby/AWS (and also Ruby/Amazon), manually defined most
of these classes, based on Amazon's developer documentation and examination of
AWS XML reponses. This time-consuming, unwieldy and unnecessary approach was
largely the result of my own lack of aptitude with the Ruby REXML library.
While these manually defined classes accounted for much of the data returned
by AWS, a smaller section of the data was, nevertheless, dynamically converted
to Ruby data structures. This mix of manually and automatically treated
objects led to inconsistencies in the Ruby representation of the hierarchical
XML structure. This meant that it was not quite possible to look at an AWS XML
response and reliably determine how the resulting Ruby data structure would
That inconsistency has been ironed out in version 0.1.0. As of now,
_everything_ is dynamically generated from the AWS XML response. All manual
class definitions have been removed and all classes are now defined at the
time they first need to be instantiated.
This has the following advantages:
- Changes in the structure of AWS XML responses will not break Ruby/AWS. They
may break user code (if, for example, you depend on the presence of a piece
of data that later disappears from AWS responses [and even this should not
happen, because AWS v4 has a versioned API]), but they will not break the
library. The library will always create whichever classes are needed to
represent any given XML structure returned by AWS.
- Changes in the structure of AWS XML that results in new data being
included in responses will automatically cause said data to be made
available via Ruby/AWS. If, for example, Amazon starts to return data about
the duration of each CD in their catalogue, perhaps using a <Duration> tag,
foo.duration would automatically start to return that property.
- It should be faster, but I haven't verified this.
Multiple operations are now supported.
Geolocation of locale is now working.
Documentation in this version has been radically improved, but is still