Friday, April 28, 2006

"You look a lot cooler on the website...."

Last night's London CFUG had a good detailed introduction to Model-Glue and Reactor from Mark Drew, and a good-as-ever beer session in the pub afterwards. I'm intrigued by Model-Glue, and I'm tempted to give it a go on a medium-size project that I'm prototyping at the moment.

However, at the moment I'm unsure as to how well it will scale in terms of project size - with one central XML file controlling your config, is that going to turn in to a real headache when you have 500+ events and four developers working on it at the same time?

I had similar concerns about Mach-ii also, until me-old-mucker Martin Laine told me how he was managing this complexity in a cunning way: they split the XML file into several smaller, section-specific segments, which were held in the subdirectories of the project. They then set up an event gateway on the dev server watching these directories for changes, and whenever a file changes, the gateway aggregates all the segmented files into the root mach-ii.xml.

Very cunning - but it still feels to me like a kludge. Surely there is (or should be) a way of doing this within the framework itself?

Most memorable line of last night, however, came from Kola Oyedeji and Mark when, after nattering over several pints, m'colleague Neil Roberts must have told them my name for the first time, as they turned to me and said something to the effect of :

"Oh you're the Instant Badger guy?! I read your blog all the time!"

Cue me feeling warm and fuzzy - then it was followed with the immortal line :

"I didn't recognise you - you look a lot cooler in your photo on the website!"

Hah! You've got to laugh. It's true, of course... I look a fair bit geekier in RealLife™ when i'm wearing specs instead of contacts (or shades).

I thought there was only one thing to do with that line -

Blog it!
Blog it HARD!

Hence this post. Hi guys :)

By the way - that photo in my profile box was taken in June 2004, in the middle of an interminably long queue for the Louvre in Paris. We were sandwiched inbetween a gaggle of rather small nuns behind me, and a couple of young French lesbians who were not exactly being discreet with their affections -

I have never felt more like Father Jack in my life....


Qasim Rasheed said...

In order to manager, large ModelGlue or Mach-II xml files, I have found the following blog post to be quite useful.

Alistair Davidson said...

Qasim: That's a very useful link, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Yep you definitely look cooler in the photo! ;-)

Regarding the mach-ii workaround noted above that does sound like a kludge. I handle this by having sub applications in different folders but having all applications have the same application name to share application listeners etc. which are held in the application scope.

You can also use XML entities.

Sorry we couldn't escort you guys to the station ;-)


Alistair Davidson said...

Kola :

It's not surprising, really - I generally feel a lot cooler in the middle of a blazing hot summers weekend in Paris with my girlfriend, compared to the back room of a pub in Angel after a long day at work, a 2hr presentation, and several beers ;)

I've heard of the multiple sub-applications workaround too - and I still can't make my mind up as to whether it's a desirable structure or another kludge. Depends what kind of mood I'm in...

Bru said...

I must say, my dear colleague, that the tiny little note on the lesbian couple got my attention far more than your avatar in the sidebar :)

Alistair Davidson said...

Of course! :) In the light of my recent ramblings I thought it would be an interesting experiment to see what effect the phrase "young French lesbians" would have on the AdSense ads at the bottom. So it's all in the name of science. Honest!

Sadly Google seems to have overlooked it. I think a prolonged period of further experimentation is called for. Now where's that grant application form .....?