How simple is simple? (from MongoDB to Elasticsearch)

IT must be easy, oh yeah. After years of courses and university and everything else, just because they were put together by the brightest educational minds you should be able in a second to program this new web application, integrate external web services, add a new GUI and adapt your friend’s broken Excel import, all while cleaning up grandma’s computer for the hundredth time. Even kids are to be taught programming, so it can’t be much in it right? How MANY times I heard this told in various ways “it can’t be so difficult”… Everybody has challenging jobs but as soon these involve computers everything should become a breeze, somehow. When did we get into this???

Trouble

But I digress. So, first a bit of context: I thought it would be big time I followed my own thinking from a month ago (see “Proof of concept, with a concept”) and actually migrate the proof of concept code from “Ractive.js and vert.x integration over the event bus” to use Elasticsearch. Continue reading

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Proof of concept, with a concept

One problem I have when trying new technologies is actually seeing them in realistic situations – which translates to having a real use case for them. Think about this: when you build a “hello world” application you actually couldn’t be further away from the real world! I guess that’s why nobody calls it “hello real world” anyway… The whole experience you get from the proof of concept is just random installation trivia if you’re not using it to prove a point. That’s why it’s called “proof of concept” – it should have a concept, silly. Continue reading

Ractive.js and vert.x integration over the event bus

Recently I ran into Ractive.js which seemed like something doing exactly what I’d expect from a client side (browser that is) framework – fetch its own data and create nice web pages with that without getting me from the beginning too deep into JavaScript programming. Nota bene: I’m not a JS programmer and Angular or Ember just scare the s* out of me, plus I have strong moderate opinions against massive JavaScript framework programming so Ractive seemed like a convenient compromise. But would I be able to use it? In a vert.x project? Maybe I should try just that… Continue reading

Switching web programming paradigms with vert.x

When I first combined the Internet and programming it was the second half of the 90’s and all I knew was Java applets. Oh, there was also CGI but I somehow managed to skip over it. The approach was then quite natural: write small programs which will run in the browser and grab data from other programs – run in either other browsers or on the server. Or on other servers. I’m not saying the idea was easy and I only got that far before I moved on to other professional areas. Later when I came back to the web, things had settled differently: you had a servlet specification, a multitiered application to support them, big servers and everything was clear. Of course there was some bit of fight over technologies, gradual improvements here and there but the model was there already. Continue reading

Vert.x instead of servlets, time for something new

Why

How old are dear servlets? 15 years you say? Hm, maybe it would be time to check on alternative technologies, not because servlets would be necessarily bad but just to check whether new times brought also new concepts forward. And you bet they did – look at Node.js, it‘s quite popular nowadays. JavaScript aside, Node.js has a different way of working – a reactor pattern, not at least a very good way to use the multicore facilities of today’s machines. Node.js is actually not alone in this league – the very popular Nginx (yes, the one stealing Apache web server’s crown) works apparently the same way. But if you want to replace your servlets Java web application, you’ll HAVE to try vert.x. Cool, multithreading without writing yourself threads! NOTE: Worth mentioning here: vert.x can do a lot of stuff and a web application is only one of its possible uses. Continue reading