"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

State

Dan Creswell writing again, about "state" this time...

Maintenance of state is a shared responsibility for a system. We should seek to place that responsibility in appropriate places at appropriate times and be much more aware of responsibility boundaries and when it’s appropriate, share that responsibility amongst components.

Generally we consider TCP to be responsible for ensuring that state makes it to the other end of the connection. One hands some data to the TCP layer and we expect that it will ensure the data reaches the recipient. But is this true? What happens if we suffer a power outage before TCP transmits the data? When the machine restarts, is TCP going to restart and resend all that unsent data? Clearly not, whoever delegated responsibility to TCP for this data will now need to take steps to recover the situation.

Minimalism

Dan Creswell writes about the various directions Javaspaces could be taken...

I’m a minimalist, I like my JavaSpaces nice and simple and I like being able to construct cleanly layered frameworks on top of JavaSpaces. This allows me to have nicely separated responsibilities at each layer leading to (IMHO) better, more understandable, more maintainable design in my systems. I also like to avoid building such layers on top of JavaSpaces if there’s something out there already that can do the job better in a specific scenario.

How Far The Browser

I've not done anything with Flex yet. Some co-workers have. It seems kind of nice relative to the current state of Ajax or the Java/C#-based "rich clients".

Web browsers really suck when you look back at their history. They've been around too long to be so bad.

More Erlang

Over on Lambda the Ultimate a growing thread on concurrency, Erlang, Lisp, and such. The thread centers around another successul use of Erlang in the real world, the online game "Vendetta Online"...

The new erlang based system is now in production. For those who haven't been following, we ran into problems with our existing Lisp-based system (named "Deliverator") which handles high-level AI behaviour.. large groups of NPCs, large battles and the like. Over the last couple of months, we've been in the process of migrating to a much more scalable architecture (named "Kourier") based on Erlang, an elegant distributed-programming platform.
Concurrently, a new book by Joe Armstrong is in the works (available now as a beta PDF) published by Pragmatic Programmers. The table of contents looks good. I bought the PDF but who knows when I'll have time to dig into it. There is an older book online that's pretty good, but somewhat out of date, "Erlang in Real Time".

The original book, "Concurrent Programming in Erlang", is a smaller effort, fine for beginning, but the two mentioned above get into more details required for building complete systems.

call-with-current-continuation and java

Fuzzy sent a link to this piece on adding continuations to Java, more or less. The article mentions a potential JSR, but from reading through it, I'd expect a good bit of experience should be racked up before that would be practical. Apparently the implementation works now but plays some tricks to do so.

Continuations have been incorporated into several Web application frameworks, including RIFE and WebWork. In this interview with Artima, RIFE project founder Geert Bevin discusses how continuations can simplify complex workflows, and how they are implemented in RIFE.

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About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.