'Then you win.' Archives

The New “Application Server”  14

Cat.: Then you win.
03. October 2005

I haven’t had as much time to follow the press as I’d like but they seem to be catching on at a frantic pace. Phil Wainewright (of Loosely Coupled fame) has an article up on ZDNet entitled How AJAX kills the Application Server:

An unnoticed side-effect of implementing rich internet application platforms — whether they’re AJAX or anything else — is that this ‘client-service’ architecture eliminates the need for an application server to connect the Web client to back-end resources. Sure, if you’re a company like Zimbra implementing a new resource at the back-end, in its case an email server, then obviously that server is a new addition. But it’s still devolving more processing to the client, so it requires far less horsepower than it would to deliver the same functionality to a wholly web-based client.

The new “Application Server” is a web server, a dynamic language, and templating.

I also like how we’ve decided to call this setup “rich internet application platforms”. Personally, I think “The Web” is a better term, but you can call it “Sponge Bob Square Pants” for all I care. Let’s get on with it.

The industry is realizing that there are very few business applications that you cannot build with this basic set of components. What’s more is that all that is needed to transform the basic setup into an integration platform is to stop thinking about the web as a bunch of “pages” and start using HTTP for what it’s worth.

People everywhere are asking themselves what this mess of crap of technology they’ve accumulated is really doing for them. It’s about time.

The secret to winning is not losing  5

Cat.: Then you win.
23. September 2005

This is what extremely powerful looks like. This is what extremely powerful is like.

Bill Gates: less code is only metric  21

Cat.: Then you win.
20. September 2005

Gates had this to say in a recent interview with Jon Udell.

“There’s only really one metric to me for future software development, which is — do you write less code to get the same thing done?”

I’d be lying if I said that didn’t put an immediate grin on my face.

I personally don’t get that feeling from Microsoft’s present toolset but I’m interested in understanding this situation better. I’ve been impressed by their ability to resist being sucked into much of the Enterprise hype that seemed to drive J2EE to bloatedness, but “less code” as the metric for innovation in development tools and methodology? Is there really a strong concious regard for simplifying things in Microsoft’s developer culture?

I’ve had this in draft for a few days because I wanted to talk a bit about the false assumption that GUI = simplicity (not saying that’s what is going on here but it is a falacy MS has subscribed to in the past). But now Michael Champion, who is one of the very few reasons I have left to respect MS’ technology, is beating up on us for a comment.

So bravo to Gates and all that but is it true and does Gates’ personal view on simplicity trickle down into the trenches at MS?

Via Tim.

Parachutes  0

Cat.: Then you win.
30. August 2005

“I laugh the laugh of a third world designer.” A gem from James Governor.

Control-Space  19

Cat.: Talk, Then you win.
29. August 2005

Tim Bray warms up to Ruby, and had this to say about the value of static typing:

“Call me hidebound and conservative, but I think that ‘optimizing code’ and ‘helping IDEs’ (and it’s a whole lot more than just ‘tooltip help’) are awfully damn important. In particular, as James Strachan has often argued, the combination of a good modern IDE and a statically typed language mean that you hardly ever have to type out a full method or variable name, and even though you might have to write more lines of Java than you would in Ruby, you might get the code written just as fast.”

Yes you might get the code written just as fast. And in truth you can really bomb through Java code in a tool like IDEA. But after you ship, you will have more code to deal with, you will have more tools in the chain, you will have more technology to deal with. All that extra stuff and surface area is not neccessarily a good thing. And there’s no guarantee the system logic will be as flexible as the one written in some other language. “But my refactoring IDE will help me deal with all that” - yes, and this is what we might call a self-fulfiling prophecy ;)

On the other hand the most common non-idiosyncratic compliant I hear about Python is not being able to know what a function takes or returns without jumping out to the function source. This sounds trite, but it appears to really drive people to distraction - I suspect it has something to do with breaking flow.

But if this is the sole argument left against dynamic typing (and it appears to be, along with the human resources), then the dynamic camp have come a long way . Komodo and Eclipse PyDev shows what you can do in terms of autocomplete; not nearly as good as the features provided by IDEA and Eclipse java, but which might be good enough.