For the past 2 years, every two or three months, at the Google London Engineering offices, on a Thursday, around 6:30pm, something happens.
That something is the London Open Source Jam!
OS Jam is a free for all, open to anyone, geek night where open source hackers get together to discuss a topic close to their hearts. Last week we hosted the 10th event. The topic was Performance and Scalability. The pizza was hot, the beer was cold and the 5 minute lightning talks came thick and fast.
Here's a summary of the talks:
- David Beaumont - What's in an API? - David talked about Java's CharSequence and Appendable APIs and use cases that can kill application performance. His takeaway message - Sometimes the standard APIs just don't fit. It's ok to roll your own.
- Tim Cox - Scalability in an ad serving system - Tim discussed the iterations his team went through when building a fault tolerant ad serving system. He concluded that sometimes scalability comes at the cost of precision.
- Zoe Slattery - Profiling PHP and Java with open source tools - Zoe discussed the tools she used to compare a PHP and Java implementation of Apache Lucene: XDebug for PHP and Eclipse TPTP for Java.
- Douglas Squirrel - 5 minutes of monitoring - The second in a fantastic series of mega lists. Everything Douglas' company monitors and why they do it.
- Manik Surtani - Publishing internal benchmarks? - Manik discussed the performance benchmarking framework he has built for JBoss Cache and put a question to the audience: Would it be useful if he published the benchmark results?
- John Ripley - Building software for small devices - John asks, can it be done on a small device? Decoding MP3s? Watching MPEG videos? Playing Doom? Will it blend? Yes it can. As long as you know the platform.
- Ade Oshineye - Beyond REST - 3 million HTTP requests for 6 thousand photos? Ade weighed in on the issues of RESTful architectures and suggested a few alternatives such as XMPP, the hanging GET, the never ending resource and HTTP callbacks.
- Simon Stewart - Perfomant Selenium tests - Don't write them! - Simon says you could you use Selenium RC or Selenium Grid, or maybe HTTP unit, or maybe you could write smaller, faster unit tests instead.
- Jonathan Chetwyn - Visual metaphors for missing images and static vs. dynamic content - Jonathan brought some questions to the table from his work on openicon.org
- Darren Hobbs - Caches! - Rip out all the caches and fix your architecture instead!