26. September 2014 17:46
As I wrote before the conference I was glad to see some good speakers on the Microsoft track. So of course I prioritized a couple of these sessions, and went to Mads Torgersens C# talk and to Mads Kristensen talking about tooling in ASP.NET. Well technically Thorgersens talk was on the architecture track, but you get the point.
The new world after Roslyn
The C# talk went a bit more into writing analyzers and codefixes than what I had seen before, so that was quite interesting and one of the very concretely usefull takeaways. The idea is that writing an analyzer is just like working with any object model. No more magic, so writing extentions is becomming something any developer can do and no longer reserved for the minority with too much time on their hands. Torgersen also demoed some of the new language features that I blogged about earlier, but on top of that let slide that primary constructors probably won't make it into the language for the final release in the comming version. The reason is that they want to do more and look at providing recordtypes as well as pattern matching - and want to make sure that they get it right. These are two great features that I miss from F# on a daily basis, so I was glad to hear this. I also aired the idea of make shorthands for stuff like factory methods, which could also reduce some of the boilerplate code that I see a lot. More...
25. September 2014 15:21
At other conferences I have attended the last year or so, distribution and concurrency have been hot topics, coupled with functional programming and immutability which leands itself well to these kinds of problems. Todays program has certainly been no exception - at least for the talks I ended up picking.
The right Elixir for concurrent fault tolerant systems
In the afternoon I ended up sticking with the bleeding edge track, which has been really interesting. First off was a talk on Idioms of distributed applications with Elixir by Jose Valim, who wrote the language. In his talk Jose went over the idioms of Erlang, which is what Elixir is built on top of. He did a good job at presenting why light weight processes that are allowed to fail fast and recreated by supervisors makes it possible to build fault tolerant distributed systems that are easier to understand and run faster than other paradigmes often based on handeling exceptions via try catch blocks.
25. September 2014 09:59
So first day of GOTO in Copenhagen has kicked off, with a somewhat provocative talk entitled "Does the browser have a future?" by Tim Bray - the farther of XML. His initial point was that the browser being declared dead hardly is a new thing since this also happened on the frontpage of Wired magazine in both 1997 and 2010.
A backend detour
Tim went on a detour to cover how this is the golden era of backend development, where life is good because you have few interfaces and testing is easy because it is machines talking to machines. He went over how Erlang, Clojure and Scala are popular but probably not the answer, where he was more optimistic about Go. This should hardly be a surprise, because he has been working at google for a number of years until quite recently. He did however make some good points about having a simple way to work with asyncronicity in a simple language. In the same way he made a short argument that it is also the golden era of persistence, with big companies using NoSQL solutions like Cassandra that enables them to build huge systems that scale with relative ease.
9. September 2014 14:23
Sorry, but I can't help myself when a pun like this comes up. A couple of weeks ago Microsoft released previews of two new databases on Azure, called Azure Search and Azure DocumentDB. These two services make the storage story on Azure much more complete, for the needs of many a software developer. At least from my experience, they close a significant gap, where I have often gone "outside Azure", for something that would seem obvious for them to offer.
I have mostly been looking at DocumentDB, because it is more general purpose and because it is completely new - where Azure Search is built on top of Elastic Search. Having played a bit with the preview I am pretty excited to see how DocumentDB will progress. Certainly more than Ayende, who was quick to jump on the bashwagon - but of course he would hardly be doing his work if he didn't. As I wrote on twitter, I am excited about the idea, although I also feel that it has quite a bit of way to go before I would use it for production software.
As it turnes out, that tweet was read by the team building DocumentDB, so shortly after I was contacted and have been writing to them about my two cents on the subject. Suffice to say, that I like their openness and most of the answers that I am getting about where they are going. I was especially happy to hear that the preview version is limited with reguard to request sizes, and that performance is a key area of focus, so they will be looking at the feedback that they get on this.
From this experience I encourage everyone to give the team feedback. It can become a very good database, but as with a lot of projects, they need feedback.