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SBlog - Philosophy, Spirit of the Challenge
Last updated at 1:43 am UTC on 17 January 2006
In putting together the challenge and talking with participants, here's some clarifications on the underlying philosophy and spirt of the challenge:

Jim Benson on a persistent back end data store
I'll back up here for a moment. Let's say that you took this as a basis to be a real weblog server, hundreds of thousands of users. One of my beefs with most of the Squeak demos is that they are 'toy' implementations, they outline some ideas but they don't really give the 'whole' answer of what happens when the application becomes serious. A lot of the time its not clear on how to make the ideas scale.

One of the slogans of the entire web app industry is 'scalable'. I start off with this little app, which can become a very large app by just throwing some more boxes and configuration software at it. In our example, "Living in the small" it's all Squeak with Komanche serving the static parts, Seaside handling the dynamic parts and web UI, and a simplistic persistencemechanism (SmartFileStream or some such) handling the back end data store.

In the "Living in the large version" you could image load balanced Apache actually serving the static content, Seaside handling the dynamic content and handling the web UI parts. Then you get to the back-end data store ...

So that's where the question sits, how do you go about designing something scalable for the data store? It seems a little much to expect that a simplistic mechanism is capable of sustaining a large community load. So the question that someone coming over from the other side will be, "How do I get this to scale?", along with the myriad questions such as "how do I do backups" and "do queries on... ". You know that song and dance.

Does the data store have to be transparently persistent? Not in my opinion. At the same time, it should be straightforward to put a different back end on the web log server. To me, it's not necessary to actaully build a bridge across the chasm, but it'd be nice to leave a bridge building kit on the close side of the precipice with some guide wires already in place.

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