CommunityOne 2007: Up the Stack

The last session of CommunityOne 2007 was titled Up the Stack. The main concern of this session was the whole software development stack, from the Operating System to the database and all the way to the web framework. For the most part, developers these days working on the next great Web 2.0 pay no heed to limitations and strengths of the OS.

This session dealt with performance and profiling considerations spanning the whole stack from using DTrace on Solaris to using caching in your application. Dtrace is dynamic tracing utility made available in Solaris that will help you discover bottlenecks in your application by analyzing the whole process.

Another session dealt with GlassFish. GlassFish is an enterprise ready Java EE 5 Application Server with easy management tools and clustering support. GlassFish supports RIFE, Rails, Struts, Wicket and just about every other Java web application framework under the sun, no pun intended.

Tim Bray of Sun moved up the stack and talked about web technologies such as PHP and Rails. Tim stated that PHP is easy to learn and quick to develop with. PHP has a share nothing architecture that is great for scaling but is historically known for the tons of security holes, SQL injection, and cross-site scripting attacks. Tim noted that some developers would trade the security of JEE for the speed of development of PHP to get first to market. Tim also mentioned that Don’t Repeat Yourself, Convention Over Configuration and the expressiveness of Ruby while talking about Rails. The Ruby programming language allows for Rapid Agile Development. The big knock against Rails is its lack luster performance and it’s multi-headed mongrel deployment story. PHP or Rails are a good solution for many of the CRUD applications that babysit a database.

The last session of the talked compared Ehcache and memcached. Memchached is said to be used in LiveJournal and Slashdot as well as many Ruby on Rails applications. Ehcache distributed peer-based caching in Java sync/async operations used in Spring and Hibernate.

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