Spray is a great library for building http api’s with Scala. Just like Play! it’s built with Akka and provides numerous low and high level tools for http servers and clients. It puts Akka and Scala’s asynchronous programming model first for high performance, composable application development.
If you read this blog you know I’ve just returned from six months of travels around Asia, documented on our tumblr, The Great Big Adventure with photos on Flickr. Even though my camera doesn’t have a GPS, I realized toward the second half of the trip I could mark GPS waypoints and write a program to link that data later. I decided to write this little app in Scala, a language I’ve been learning since my return. The app is still a work in progress, but instead of one long post I’ll spread it out as I go along.
A few weeks ago I returned from a six month trip around Asia. I didn’t have a computer while abroad, but I was able to catch up on several tech books I never had time for previously. Reading about programming without actually programming was an interesting and rewarding circumstance. It provided a unique mental model: it was no longer about “how you do this” but about “why would you do this”. Accomplishment of a task via implementation was not an end goal. The end goal was simply absorbing information; once read, it didn’t need to be applied. It only needed to be reasoned about and hypothetically applied under a specific situation (which I usually did on a trek or on a beach). Before I would have been eager to try it out, hacking away, but without a computer, I couldn’t. It was liberating. Given a problem, and a set of constraints, what’s the ideal solution? I realize this is somewhat of an ivory-tower mentality, however, I also realized some of the best software has emerged from an idealism to solve problems in an opinionated way. Sometimes we are too consumed by the here-and-now we fail to step back for the bigger picture. Conversely, we hold onto our ideals and fail to adapt to changing circumstances.
I recently gave a talk on SPDY, the new protocol which will serve as the foundation for HTTP 2.0. SPDY introduces some interesting features to solve current limitations with how HTTP 1.1 sits on top of TCP. Check out the deck for a high-level overview, with links..
When making a choice in the tech world there are two wide-spread approaches: “What’s better, X or Y?” and “Should I use xyz?”. The “or” debate is always an entertaining topic usually ending in an absurdly hilarious flame war. The “Should I use xyz?” is a subtler, more prevalent question in the tech community leading to an extensive amount of discourse. Fairly rational, usually with some good insight, but still a time consuming task. I’ve fallen victim to both approaches when exploring a technology decision. What I realized is I’m asking the wrong question. There are only two things I should ask: