Saturday, August 02, 2008

So What's the Deal With ... ?

  • ... those tech videos where the topic sounds interesting but I have to watch 3 guys chat about it in real time for 45 minutes? Like I have nothing better to do than watch people talk? Give me the slide deck, the bullets, a transcript, something I can scan through and read, since I know it's going to take me 4 minutes max to sort through the content.
  • ... 10gen and the folks that want to write yet another server computing platform ... in JavaScript, and then compete with Google using their $1.5 million in VC? Ever since Douglas Crockford schooled me in the true nature of JavaScript, I've had little bad to say about the language. But why yet another platform for server-side computing? 10gen's argument that Google's AppEngine is too closed and locks apps in seems like a stretch: you can run Python/Django apps on AppEngine ... or somewhere else. Yes, the Google data API is their own, but it's simpler than a relational database API -- if you really need to use Google's data API over your own data store, it won't be hard to set up. There's also Rails, which is open and has the advantage (over 10gen) of being well known already ... If you don't think Rails can work as a cloud platform, talk to Heroku.
  • ... Symbian's S60 emulator triggering DEP faults, so that Windows has to kill it? I can imagine how one might, when writing an emulator, run afoul of DEP ... But this is my first run-in with an app fatally triggering it, and I've already used Microsoft's device emulators, Palm's emulators, VMWare, and Sun's xVM VirtualBox (a VM is not the same as an emulator ... but some parts of the VM function via emulation) ... and had no problems.
  • ... all the enmity toward Windows from the Rails guys? First, Ruby and Rails run fine on Windows, there's no need for all the "we specifically won't say anything about working on Windows, I mean, if you're crazy enough to want to do that" stuff that keeps popping up in otherwise respectable books. Second, many (most?) of the top Rails hackers are so young, they probably don't even remember Microsoft's real "bad old days." Yes, Microsoft has done some shady things worth complaining about. The fact that IE 7 doesn't render your CSS the way you wanted is not one of them.
  • ... those posts where an unknown wantrepreneur with no valley connections or financing seeks a successful, experienced, genius hacker to build his mediocre but top secret idea for equity only? The posts crop up constantly on craigslist and all the SF tech meetup mailing lists. If this kind of post represents your thought process, why not just skip step 1 and 2, and post for people to send you a burlap sack full of cash?


jd said...

Have you tried the 10gen sdk? Did it work well?

Anonymous said...

10gen site indicates it is going to support RoR.

Adam said...

the 10gen sdk is for real, I have no issue with that at all...

regarding RoR ... here's the thing: I love RoR and I firmly believe that over time we will see it run very fast and have easy to use deployment configuration *that*performs*very*well* (it already has easy deployment that somewhat performs). ... but meanwhile, there are intrinsic issues (lack of a proper spec; dedicated VMs not fully mature; other VMs [JVM for JRuby] having their own integration overhead) that make this a hard problem. Heroku seems to be handling the elastic-resources side of the problem, which may prove enough for most apps (i.e. new VM not immediately required). ActiveRecord could be moved to wrap a non-RDBMS at the expense of losing some working API ... but then it won't be true upload-and-run RoR like Heroku has. This is a tricky problem... I'll wait and see. If it works for RoR, I'll eat me words and buy the Union Square Venture guys all a beer!