Archive for April, 2008

The geek is not idle

The geekblog hasn’t been updated, but the geek has not been lazing. We’ve been looking at:

ExtJS –[JSON over HTTP]–> Apache/Lighttpd –[FastCGI/HTTP]–> Mongrel/Thin/etc -> Ruby on Rails –[WebService]–> Java –[etc]–> etc

Why? Because:

  1. We have a set of Java API that we’d like to expose, even to other languages, as a service.
  2. We previously use Mongrel, Rails with JRuby, as we want to invoke Java from within, as well as use JDBC. This restricts us to pure-Ruby libraries or those that has a JRuby port.
  3. Most servers and cluster options are written for Unix. We need an easier Windows solution to run a ruby-server cluster. The cluster is necessary as Rails is single threaded.
  4. We previously had PrototypeJS (came with Rails) implementing a “rich client” on the client side, and communicated in a mixture of data and presentation. We struggled with many features, including drag and drop, resizable layouts, split panes, spinners, trees (plus lazy loading, icons), toolbars (plus icons, dropdowns, disabling highlight), tables (plus sorting, selection, multi-select, column hiding, pagination), tabs, right-clicks, and more. All these seem to be handled by ExtJS. At the same time it allows easy customization by extension and even hooks. This was important as the given widgets may not fit requirements.

This is all interesting to the geek, maybe because it looks like an ‘architecture’.