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Cloudburst - What "Client Server" Grew Up Into

Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window. ~ Steve Wozniak

Computing is not about computers any more. It is about living. ~ Nicholas Negroponte

At this point in the countdown, it seems appropriate to say to the crew of Discovery -- good luck, have a safe flight and to say once again 'Godspeed John Glenn' ~ Scott Carpenter

I grew up in the era of The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, and I think it's in spite of this mindset that information systems have come as far as they have. Computers won't replace human thought, and that leaves us with the yin and yang of computers as tattletales and spies VERSUS computers as creation and communication tools.

I'm going to side with the creative Miller Puckette's of this world and write a bit today about what the computer - minus tennis shoes, minus client-server, minus "the Internet changes everything!" has evolved into. Back in 2008 I had the privilege of designing an application (the revolutionary Sales Sonar by Innovadex) that employed many of the latest developments in the web delivery stack: Amazon AWS, Ruby on Rails v2.x, nginx, thin, mysql, JQuery, god, haproxy, Google Maps and more. Today I'm going to list out the soul of a 2013 new machine, secure in the knowledge that this genie too shall be surpassed, but equally sure that there will be fun to be had in building a platform of the latest pieces.

Here's where we begin -- I've written about many of the pieces here before, and in 2013 AFAIK the killer environment has/does the following:

  • Web deployed - Everything connects through the 'web
  • Handheld - Never trust a computer bigger than a Whopper
  • Cloud based - Nothing like the ability to spin up dozens of servers when we need them
  • Big Data'd - Lots of the data will unstructured, and we'll want to ETL it with Hadoop
  • Data'd - Our mySQL branch MariaDB will handle routine data chores
  • Git'd - Git is de rigeur now, more and in different ways than Subversion was then
  • Scrumban'd - JIRA is very popular, but for friendliness and flexibility I'm going to give the nod to VersionOne
  • Ruby'd - this is still my favorite language, and with Ruby 2 and Rails 4 new vistas (like embedded applications are possible
  • Handheld - here we'll use two othogonal tools: RubyMotion and Phonegap
  • Automatically deployed - Chef and Puppet are worthy candidates, but we're going to go lighter and faster with Ansible

I'll have lots more tools as people weigh in on their favorites (and slam the unworthy), but this gives us a start so let's kick the tire, light the fire and see how this new platform flies!

Godspeed Scott Carpenter - May 1, 1925 - October 10, 2013