SunCEC2007 Day 2: 2nd breakout - Web 2.0 by Tim Bray

I start the summary about the breakout sessions i´ve attended today with the best one. Tim Bray talked about his insights into Web 2.0. It wasn´t really about the hype inherent to this meme. It was more about the technological side of the phenomenon and foremost to development of such applications as the nature of the Web 2.0 mandates, that certain key issues are addressed by the development framework. Tim Bray thinks, that there are for key issues to developers of Web 2.0: Scaleability, Time to market, Maintainability and Integration. Interestingly he doesn´t say “Java for all” becaus it´s simply not true. For example people opt for PHP because of Scaleability because of the default shared-nothing architecture of PHP application, and Time to market, as it´s easy to hack together an application. But the code is mostly unmaintainable, as Tim summarized it : “Bad SQL-Code, in Spagetti-PHP-Code in Spaghetti-HTML”. Ruby on Rails on the other side addresses Time-to-maket and maintainability, as code written for this framework tends to be more compact and by the fact that it´s difficult to evade unit testing. From the viewpoint of Tim, Ruby on Rails has the potential to get as big as Java is nowadays, once Ruby has solved it´s performance and scaleability problems. Out of this reasons, Sun works together with the community: Warm relationships with the developers, sponsoring of equipment, employment of top developers for the JRuby implementation and so on. The talk of Tim was a good example of the new agnostic-ness of Sun. Java is a good answer to many questiions, but not for all. Almost at the end of his presentation, he came up with the tagline that summarizes this position: “The network is the computer. The computer is heterogenious. Deal with it!” Tim was definitely the highlight of todays breakout sessions. I share his opinions.Programming languages are tools, not religions and we should handle them as tools: using the right tool for the given job.