There were a few here that I wanted to do a whole piece about, but I just gotta clear some space on these decks. Today we have pushing and pulling and queueing and Ruby.next and Java hate and PHP-vs.-Rails. What’s not to like?
Atom and Pushing and Pulling and Buffering · Start with Mike Herrick’s Pub/Sub vs. Atom & AtomPub?, which has lots of useful links. I thought Bill de hÓra’s Rates of decay: XMPP Push, HTTP Pull was especially interesting on the “Push” side of the equation.
But they’re both missing an important point, I think. There are two problems with Push that don’t arise in Pull: First, what happens when the other end gets overrun, and you don’t want to lose things? And second, what happens when all of a sudden you have a huge number of clients wanting to be pushed to? This is important, because Push is what you’d like in a lot of apps. So it doesn’t seem that important to me whether you push with XMPP or something else.
The obvious solution is a buffer, which would probably take the form of a message queue, for example AMQP. Assuming it’s reliable and performant, this should solve both the receiver-overrun problem and the many-receivers problem. I’ve been expecting message-queuing to heat up since late 2003.
Ruby.next · Over at Eigenclass, Changes in Ruby 1.9 is a snapshot of the long-under-construction next generation of the language, to be released as Ruby 2.0 whenever the 1.9 development version is considered finished. Important stuff.
Ruby these days is a delta not a river, with a lot of individual stream, fortunately still well-connected with each other. Another stream, of course, is JRuby, which just released 1.0.1 (and check Charles’ Jython pointer too).
Russ Disses Java · Russ Beattie, that is, in Java needs an overhaul. Well, yeah, a lot of people whine about the same things that Russ does, and actually he’s got some constructive suggestions.
Look, I work every day on evangelizing Ruby and other dynamic languages, both inside and outside Sun. But let’s get real: Java still remains by far the largest development ecosystem, and the selection and quality of libraries put pretty well any other language’s to shame, and it’s really fucking fast, and has superb tooling, and we know how to run it securely, and it’s Open-Source. So, if you want to move the state of the art along, a smart idea would be to work with, not against, Java.
Web Frameworks · Terry Chay, in Simple prescriptions and making choices, says a whole lot of really smart things about Rails and PHP and so on, and disses both Joel Spolsky and Paul Graham entertainingly (Hey, I’m a big fan of both of ’em); it’s worth reading.
I flatly disagree with one of his statements: “The PHP world doesn’t need to take advice on how to run their community from the Rails world. As crazy as PHP is (and it is pretty crazy), it’s very clear which is the more mature language and community.” Well, there’s more to life than maturity, and I’d have to say the Ruby & Rails communities have something to teach pretty well every other online community I know, in terms of open-ness, friendliness, and constructiveness. Definitely including PHP.
But the rest, well, it’s just full of good stuff. For example: “Can you build WordPress in Rails?” is the wrong question. You’ll have to read the piece to learn the right one.