Web Frameworking

It seems to be the wrong time to be reading such things, but over on InfoQ there’s a nice article introducing web development of RESTful services using Erlang and the Yaws high performance web server.

I say “the wrong time” as this week has kicked off the “Advancing with Rails” course by David A. Black of Ruby Power and Light fame. The course is fairly advanced in terms of required rails knowledge so it’s a bit of a baptism by fire for me and a few others having never written any Ruby before.

Rails is proving moderately easy to pick up but as I’ve remarked to a couple of people, it doesn’t seem any easier coding with Rails than with Perl. Perhaps it’s because I’ve never done it before but I reckon it’s a lot harder spending my time figuring out what the heck DHH meant something to do than it is doing it myself.

Even though it’s nowhere near as mature, I do reckon my ClearPress framework has a lot going for it – it’s pretty feature-complete in terms of ORM, views and templating ( TT2 ). It has similar convention over configuration features meaning it’s not designed for plugging in other alternative layers but it is absolutely possible to do (and I suspect without as much effort as is required in Rails). I still need to iron out some wrinkles in the autogenerated code from the application builder and provide some default authorisation and authentication mechanisms, some of which may come in the next release. But in the meantime it’s easy to add these features, which is exactly what we’ve done for the new sequencing run tracking app, NPG to tie it to the WTSI website single sign on (MySQL and LDAP under the hood).