Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 3 - reading day. Evan again and a newcomer : agentzh

Read the thing about modules guides and advanced modules guides from Evan Miller.
Still a lot of things I don't understand. And I'm not talking about the nitty-gritty details of implementation. I'm talking about overview of the thing. To me it looks like this thing is very complicated. I'm probably missing some of the high-level understanding. How I'm going to get this is still a mystery... But I keep hope.

As this was a "reading" day, I went to agentzh's presentation The state of the art of nginx.conf scripting. Not a lot of information helping me here. This is like a catalogue of modules developed by agentzh more than an explanation of how nginx works. But I am in awe at what he is doing. And I feel like I'm grabbing some of the nginx philosophy : it's an engine (hence the name, I guess) and if you want something done, get a module of your own. Even if this module is super-specific (like a module for tracking). It is probably not a very scalable approach to development for most people (a typical web application has hundreds if not thousands of "actions" : I wouldn't dare code all that as a module in nginx/C). However for something that must be highly-scalable (talking lots of request per seconds here) and has not a lot of business logic, this approach might be a true competitive advantage in situations where the technical cost of the transaction is a fair amount of the total transaction (I'm thinking post-crisis ad-serving here). Anyway, this is rambling so I'd better stop...

Read a bit about the configuration of nginx modules at nginx's wiki: nginx modules. It definitely reinforced the idea that nginx is all about modules development and you pretty much need one for anything in the kitchen sink.

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