Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Rails is re-inventing the wheel

In recent years, there has been a surge in web applications. To support the growing market, frameworks have developed around scripting languages for developing web applications fast. Of those Ruby on Rails seems to be the most mature. Django, the most advanced Python framework for web applications is yet to come at par with it.

Be it Django or Ruby on Rails, both follow a model-view-controller architecture to web applications. Now, many web applications using these frameworks follow 'skinny controllers, fat models'. As a result the models become home to a lot of business logic. Models are intended to serve only as an abstraction to the database. They are meant to be 'models of data'. Also, when the application grows huge, we run into issues of scalability and we resort to techniques like sharding. Now, there are of course multiple ways of sharding and you need to decide what suits you better. Here, I list a few ways for Rails applications.
Now, sometimes the sharding logic also creeps into the models. Obviously objects of model classes do not have a single purpose any more. Over time, the model classes obviously become too complicated. It becomes difficult to maintain and debug. The Rails community is becoming increasingly aware of these issues. There are multiple ways in which developers are trying to move business logic away from models. Here I list of couple of those ways.
Looking at the overall scenario reminds me of building N-tier applications using Java Enterprise Edition. The sharding logic and details of data fetching can be a tier below models and the business logic can be a tier above it. ' seems to me developers using web frameworks like Django and Rails are just re-inventing the wheel. Also, Java has optimized garbage collection which can be tuned to various needs. In Ruby garbage collection seems to be a big issue, though good work in the area is coming in the next version.

So much in the name of innovation, eh? In case my ideas seem to waver from reality do point me in the right direction.

Update: You can follow the discussion on Hacker News on the topic.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Rails time formats

During programming, I do tend to forget the various time formats available in Rails. Also, there are so many options available that a simple typo like capitalizing (or not) changes meaning. It is best that this part be always tested properly.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Apple Magic Mouse with Dell Latitude E6520

Recently, I found some free time at office and my colleague's Apple magic mouse was lying on my table. It sure is a cool device. So, I thought why not connect it to linux and see how it works. So, I turned on the bluetooth daemon on my system with the following command.

systemctl start bluetooth

I use Bluedevil. So, I clicked on the tray icon and ran a scan for bluetooth devices in range. The pairing key required is 0000. Initially the mouse pointer movement was too fast and scroll was too slow. So, I changed the configuration using this blog.

It is cool, indeed. However, I found it difficult for regular use because I am not used to it and it is a touch mouse unlike other mice. When I am moving the mouse, I have to make sure my index finger is not touching the surface, else there is unwanted scrolling.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Enjoying writing

Recently while waiting for a flight at Mumbai domestic airport, I decided to write down my thoughts. Of late, I have been writing on some keyboard mostly but this time I was writing with a pen and I actually enjoyed doing it. So, I write  about writing only. This is what I wrote:

Is it possible to write with this pen?
Well not completely impossible. Also I realize the benefit of writing with a thick pen. With a thick pen, you tend to write each letter well while with a thin pen, you write a letter away [especially the letters towards the end of word]. [It] Reminds me of a friend who recently advised me to try a thick pen and I have to admit I am really loving this experience. At school, I hated writing with a thick pen because it slowed me down. However, now that its not my writing speed by my writing that I care about, I think I will use this thick pen more often.

Compared typing on a keyboard, while penning down the flow of thoughts was better. I liked it and decided to do it more often.