July 30th, 2004


OSCON, ... Persist-RSS, ..., Solaris 10

Wow, haven't updated in a while.

I've been spending all week at OSCON. On both Monday and Tuesday I attended two 4 hour sessions (4 total). Notably these included spam fighting (Matt Sergeant) and Perl6::Rules (Damian Conway).

Damian's keynote the following day (Tuesday night, actually) was amazing. The game of life, Perl, linguistics, Klingon, Perl 6, thermodynamics, .... then a Perl game of life program to demonstrate a property of therodynamics, written in Klingon. (wtf!?) We were just dying. That guy never gives a dull presentation.

My presentation on LiveJournal went wonderfully. Got a bunch of good questions, feedback, and complements afterwards. We did a BoF that night on memcached and load balancing related stuff.

After that (still wednesday night) we did the big Stonehenge party. Open Bar. Lots of cool people. Great times. Thanks, Stonehenge!

Thursday morning, little hungover, skipped the keynote. Good talks about qpsmtpd (the mod_perl of smtpd servers!), the kernel, parrot, etc.

Tonight was especially cool. Did an RSS BoF that Jeremy Zawodny put on about scaling RSS distribution, etc. Some good ideas came out of that. (The main problems are doing non-centralized distribution and efficient update notifications (not client polling)). Ignoring the peer-peer distribution problem (which would require signing, etc), I want to take Perlbal ideas and provide a specialized HTTP service for all users where you could do a GET on http://persist-feed.livejournal.com/users/brad/{rss|atom} and you'd get an XML doc (Atom or RSS) from the time you specified in If-Modified-Since, then the HTTP connection would just stay open until there's a new feed, in which case you'd get a new HTTP chunk (well, a true "chunk" if HTTP/1.1 or just more data in 1.0). Then internally we'd keep track of who's subscribed and send messages to Perlbal when people post new stuff, which would send them new HTTP messages. That'd basically solve the notification problems.... just get everybody's desktop news aggregators to hold upon connections forever and use SAX (event-based) XML parsers.

But what fucking blew my mind tonight was the Solaris 10 BoF. Wow. I can't wait to play with it. I doubt we'll use it in production, but just using DTrace to do performance analysis would be wonderful. Their filesystem (ZFS) and zoning looks incredible too.