June 4th, 2008


Where I am, what I am doing.

I'm in Cambridge Massachusetts, near Harvard, going to have dinner with friends in about an hour, I hope. It's commencement week, so the area is full of smug graduating seniors, and even smugger parents. This was not the best week to travel to Boston on a gig.

The current gig, SQL stored procedures, and XPath

The client wants me to grind out a couple of hundred SQL stored procedures over the next handful of weeks. The app developers have given me a list of sprocs that they want, with parem and return values. The database designer has given me graphics of the schema he is designing. The idea is so the PHP app developers never have to know the schema or even how to do a SELECT, but they dont want to use any of the existing PHP ORMs, or to write an interface layer in PHP or Perl. This seems like a good idea at first glance, and a terrible idea on closer look. SQL stored procedures are not happy things to work with, and MySQL's implementation is, as they say, amusing. At least I talked the app developers out of handing me the params as XML strings, since as amusing as our sproc implementation is, our XPath implementation is even more so.

Federated Twitter replacement

Everyone complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

Twitter's IM interface is down still. Twitter's DBs are overloaded. Twitter has been having scaling and growing pains since day zero.

"Micro blogging" (i hate that term) has been proven to be a useful application.

At all the various young turk alpha geek events I've been to, Twitter has been a matter of much discussion.

One of the main points of that discussion is how simple in concept it is, and how simple it would be, in theory, to federate distribute it, pretty much exactly the same way that the web or email is.

"The web" doesnt "go down". "Email" doesnt go down. A site might crash, an email server might go bad. But, the web as a whole, and email as a whole, just doesn't stop working.

You dont need to get an account on "The Web" to run a web browser. You dont get an account on "Email" to send and receive email messages.

Twittering can be the same way.

It's not even really hard to do.

If nobody else beats me to it, I intend to be the person to do it.

Ask me how... :)