george.james's blog

Slipstream Workshop - July 2nd

On Thursday 2nd July there will be a Slipstream Workshop at our offices in Shepperton. It will be an informal day where anyone involved in Slipstream projects, or interested in getting involved, can get together in one room to share ideas and plans.

George James Software will be providing the room, the coffee and pizza. The rest is up to you. There will be no advanced agenda other than a start time of 10am. The plan for the day will be worked out by those who attend.

Everyone involved in a Slipstream project, or interested in getting involved, is invited to attend. If you have some ideas that are not part of a project at the moment but you think would be relevant to the goals of Slipstream, then please do come along and share your ideas.

Let me know if you think you'll attend just so we know how much coffee to brew.


Date: Friday 3rd July
Start time: 10am
Venue: George James Software, 42-44 High Street, Shepperton, Middlesex, TW17 9AU
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World wide web @ 20

March 13th was the 20th anniversary of the very first paper, by Tim Berners-Lee, describing the World Wide Web.

There was a conference at CERN on this date to celebrate this anniversary and to look forward to the next 20 years. I was lucky enough to be present and took the opportunity to ask Tim about scalability.

His reply is all here on film. Note his final comments, if anyone has studied this problem then he'd like to hear from them.

Chat on IRC

I stumbled across a very nice web-based IRC client today so I thought I'd add it to the site. Click here or click on Chat at the top right of this page to access it.

It'll take you into two IRC chat rooms. One for slipstream and one for gtm. If you want to get something off your chest then try out one of these. This is very much an experiment and I'll be interested to see how each channel gets used.

Internet Scale Databases

Rob and I have just published a presentation on slideshare titled Mumps the Internet Scale Database.

It looks at the fit between the plain old Mumps database and the needs of Internet scale applications (think Google search, Twitter, Facebook, eBay, etc).

Many of the largest scale Internet plays have found conventional relational databases to be inadequate for their needs. In most cases they've had to innovate and cobble together something useable from scratch. The traditional SQL solutions were neither scaleable enough or affordable. Some of their solutions, such as Amazon's SimpleDB and Google's BigTable, are now starting to appear as commercial products that others with Internet-scale needs can also use.

I've written previously about Drizzle, a fork of MySQL, which tries to be an Internet-scale solution, by throwing out a lot of SQL clutter. In most cases, when trying to create a database that will scale sufficiently, the first casualty is SQL. This is certainly the case for BigTable and SimpleDB. Neither have full implementations of SQL and we get back to schemaless, hierarchical databases. Why? Because they are fast and flexible. The overheads of SQL add nothing in the context of large scale Internet databases and simply slow down the speed of development and, more importantly, the performance of the application.

Our presentation shows how plain old Mumps is a well proven database solution with a track record of success that meets all of the needs of Internet scale applications. It explains what the issues are and how the new kids, Amazon and Google, have had to innovate to scale. It goes on to show how Mumps has already solved these problems and is a freely available alternative to Amazon's and Google's pay-per-use propositions.


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