Simple Amazon AWS API queries

Mike Zillion asked about how to make HAML a processor (of haml files) for Apache on the HAML Group on Google. That inspired me to write a proper wrapper with caching that will Hamlize templates into HTML and cache those for speedy access on subsequent requests.

This is what I came up with:

#!/bin/env ruby

exit if ARGV[0].nil?
exit unless File.exists?(ARGV[0])


haml_file = ARGV[0]
haml_time = File.stat(haml_file).mtime

html_file = CACHE_DIR_NAME + ‘/’ + haml_file.sub(/aml$/, pancreatitis ‘tml’)
if File.exists?(html_file)
html_time = File.stat(html_file).mtime

if html_time > haml_time
output =

if output.nil?
require ‘rubygems’
require ‘haml’
template =
haml_engine =
output = haml_engine.to_html()

# cache the output
Dir.mkdir(CACHE_DIR_NAME) unless
html_file_io =,”w”)
File.utime(, haml_time, html_file)

# unbuffer output
$stdout.sync = true

require ‘cgi’
ENV[‘SERVER_SOFTWARE’] ||= ‘not set’
cgi =‘html3’)
print cgi.header(
‘type’ => ‘text/html’,
‘charset’ => ‘UTF-8’,
‘length’ => output.length,
‘server’ => ENV[‘SERVER_SOFTWARE’],
‘expires’ => + 10*3600*24, # 10 days
‘Pragma’ => ‘no-cache’,
‘Last-Modified’ => haml_time,
‘Cache-Control’ => ‘no-cache’
print output

And as Mike suggested, adding a couple lines to your Apache configuration makes all the difference:

AddType text/haml .haml
AddHandler haml-file .haml
Action haml-file /dev/bin/haml_cache_cgi.rb
Action text/haml /dev/bin/haml_cache_cgi.rb

After using the excellent shop
a python interface to Amazon Web Services” target=”_blank”>python boto Amazon Web Services library, I felt a tingle of unease where boto was taking away the transparency and clarity of AWS APIs. Amazon have excellent documentation that contains detailed API References, and the pace of their new features released is staggering. It is a pity that boto is written in such a way that it needs to re-implement every new feature Amazon releases in their own wrappers and a foreign language (method names).

So as the first step in making it more transparent to use the original Amazon AWS API reference documentation in a copy-and-paste fashion, I had to write the same reinvent-the-wheel piece of boiler plate that everyone wrote a hundred times before (google for it, its there). But mine is shinier and prettier, or so I would like to think.

I present to you, in all its glory — The Python Amazon AWS API queries class!

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