Architecture Chat 16

Quite a good turnout, with well over a table full (I didn't take an official count, but I'm guessing around 12 or more) including Alex James and Keith (who we hadn't seen for a while) and two newcomers from Olympic Software, which was great - we always like to see fresh faces and ideas.

I talked very briefly about Castle Project RC3 - I suggested it was a week or two away from getting out the door, but in fact - It's out as of about an hour ago! (11:30am) - the website and documentation is still in the process of being updated, but the installer and binaries/source are all here.

I was going to run through some of the changes I like in RC3 - but the conversation got steered away before I got warmed up - but it's well worth checking out, if you haven't been keeping an eye on the trunk and the changes that have been going in.

At any rate - this is the culmination of a huge amount of work from many of the Castle contributors, I think it even has a 2 line patch of my own in there somewhere :P ... great work guys!

- talked about PLINQ getting closer, and the fact that parallelization is a very hot topic of late, with a few noting that the last MSDN mag was almost entirely focused on this subject.

On a tangent, Erlang cropped, not too many of us have had exposure to the language details, but Keith had done some spelunking and gave us a quick rundown of how it all hangs together, definitely something to keep an eye on - Andrew Peter's even called
it his "Language of the year".

I brought up the MediaDefender debacle that's been unravelling over the last
week or so since their huge mail leak.  Not only are the inner workings of this organisation pretty unprofessional and certainly bordering on unethical for a corporation, but it highlights the risk most organisations run - the source of the leak being one employee who automatically forwarded all his work email to a gmail account, who then used the exact same credentials elsewhere.

Keith gave us some insight into LUA, including why it doesn't make an attractive language to port to .Net, and why it's so much easier to embed in a C++ based project as opposed to something like Ruby, which just seem to be designed for that purpose, especially with it's "out of the box" set of global variables.

I asked the question "What web load testing apps do you use" - and the answer was generally, we don't!... I've been reviewing WebLOAD - which looks quite good, especially because the load machines can be deployed on a non Microsoft machine, such as Linux, making it easier to span a number of load machines out on something like Amazons elastic cloud (EC2), or low-cost machines without the hassle of O/S licensing.

We then moved onto talking about high-scale load testing, i.e. simulating a million simultaneous requests - somebody suggested that maybe you could hire whoever's pulling the strings on the Storm BotNet - though I'm not sure they're into self-promotion ;o)

We talked about social networking applications, and leveraging social networking platforms with API's such as face book, this has been a popular topic over the last couple of months, including:

  • Finding the killer app(s) that could leverage an API like face book's, and making money out of it.
  • Bad habits encouraged by these platforms, such as requesting your email account username and password to "email your friends".

Alex James brought up the great series of posts that Rowan Simpson has been making lately - not everyone knew who Rowan was... so hopefully they should know now ;o) the posts walk through, the Trade me manifesto, and then drills into:
Over lunch we talked about many things, mostly non-IT related, but some things that did come up, including that the Mac OS isn't going to have a NZ Daylight savings time update before Daylight savings actually kicks in, though it's not really a problem.

Some things that got mentioned which I didn't quite catch the details of:

  • Metabase (I'm not sure I got the name right - couldn't find a link, but apparently it's a game / game development platform, in alpha development at the moment, where all game assets have an associated URL, and maybe an RSS Feed??) - Alex James suggested it might be interesting to combine something like that with a web based data storage platform, such as freebase, developed by Metaweb Tech.
  • Jason K (Knowles?) - who apparently supports the Idea of every user having there own domain, to cement their various web identities together, and where all their data is held by them in one place. - can anyone throw me the correct name and url?

Written on September 21, 2007