When is a Service also a Resource

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Monday, November 27. 2006 in Programming

Ignoring for the moment the potential "issues" of various competing projects, Sanjiva's post describing his view on, basically, how to expose a service as a resource is interesting.
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Performance tuning

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Monday, November 20. 2006 in Programming

While checking out a suggested patch for Telaen, I noticed a lot of places where the code does a regex check instead of a more simple string comparison. This is done when checking for the response back from the POP3 server and is looking for a response that starts with '+OK'. Using 'ereg' (Telaen is written in PHP) seemed overkill to me, plus I made the assumption that doing a simple 'substr' and comparison would be faster as well. But would it? Since this check is only done after sending the POP3 server a command, it's done pretty rarely, most of the time spent is in disk and network I/O. I did some profiling and, in typical cases, the difference was pretty much in-the-noise, but in cases with lots of small Email messages, there really was a small but noticable difference. Of course, even so, if the "faster" code wasn't any clearer, then I doubt I would even have made the change... but, IMO, this change did make the code more easily read, but mostly due to that nasty little '+' in there, which could trip people up in the regex. Kernighan and Pike are right.
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So Simple It's Scary

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Friday, November 17. 2006 in Programming

This would be even funnier if it wasn't so true.
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The Java News

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Tuesday, November 14. 2006 in Open Source

Much is being made of Sun's decision (finally) of open sourcing Java, and I find myself happy and pleased about it, but not super excited by it. I mean, had it been done a few years ago, I don't think there would have been a dry eye in the house, and that people would have been jumping up and down in enthusiasm. But a "real" free Java is hardly new news anymore (note: Harmony is no longer in incubation, we graduated it last month (Oct 2006)). The excitement is over the trend, and in the hopes of even better cooperation within the free Java community. Certainly this opens doors that had previously been tightly closed. Much is also being said about Sun's decision to go with GPLv2, and many people were hoping that other open source communities would be jumping all over Sun for that decision. I think they are disappointed that, for the most part, communities are agreeing that, despite what license they like, the choice of license was Sun's to make, and that GPLv2 is a fine enough license, thank you very much. Yes, a free Java will help Java, the language. But I still believe that the success of Java (the language) is not so much to do with the language design itself (certainly, various scripting languages such as Ruby and Python avoid some of those warts and are, from a language-design PoV, "better") but rather the robustness of the JVM itself, as well as the "universal" availability of it. But I also expect to see other languages get a substantial kickup now that a "free" JVM is available for them to use.
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SOA != ESB

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Monday, November 13. 2006 in Programming

IMO, SOA runs the very real danger of being so overhyped that it dies a horrible and untimely death. Not so much because it's a "technology" that doesn't meet the hype, but rather it's a definition defined several different ways, and a horrible, but widely held, interpretation of the term, can easily be the killing stroke. Of course, one danger is that people think of SOA as a technology, but it's not; it's a mindset, an ideology. Unfortunately, either SOA advocates don't make that clear (which confuses people) or else try to actively avoid saying it (which makes people think they are being sneaky). I've found that most places that do a better job at defining what SOA is, and isn't, are those that are promoting REST... if you want to know SOA, google REST. Another problem is that too many places associate the theology of SOA with a bus-centric implementation (ESB) (or some other specific implementation), so if the implementation sucks, then so does SOA itself. This is, of course, unfair to SOA and to the many ESB and non-ESB implementations that do do it right. And finally, SOA itself doesn't require, IMO, a "centric" approach at all... at least not when you consider what is core to SOA. But again, sometimes that isn't made clear, and people are afraid that an environment that is SOA "compliant" cannot at the same time be lightweight. People want simple. But of course, that is starting to sound more like REST (real REST, not just HTTP+POX) than SOA at all, so I'll stop there.
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