Scala and Lift Podcast

June 18th, 2009  |  Published in column, functional programming, podcast, web  |  Bookmark on

Scala and Lift — Functional Recipes for the Web” (PDF) co-authored with Debasish Ghosh, is now also available as a podcast.

New Functional Web Podcast

May 20th, 2009  |  Published in column, functional programming, podcast, REST, web  |  Bookmark on

IEEE Computing Now is now featuring a new podcast of my first Functional Web column from the March/April issue of Internet Computing. That was the first issue of this new column, so it’s an introduction to the main topic of the column and what future editions will cover. It describes why I think functional programming languages are making a comeback, briefly compares them to current popular languages, explains why I believe they work well for web development, and describes some of the technologies and ideas future columns will explore.

New “Functional Web” column: Scala and Lift

May 5th, 2009  |  Published in column, functional programming, web  |  Bookmark on

The May/June issue of my Internet Computing column, “The Functional Web,” is now available. This one’s called “Scala and Lift — Functional Recipes for the Web” (PDF) and I had the great fortune of writing it together with Debasish Ghosh.

I’ve admired Debasish’s blog for awhile now, as he’s always exploring interesting angles and features of different functional programming languages and techniques. I emailed Debasish completely out of the blue and asked if he’d be interested in writing something together, and he jumped right in.

If you ever get a chance to work with Debasish, I highly encourage it. He made the whole task quite easy because he cranked out the first draft so quickly, and as we iteratively edited the column, he turned each draft around literally overnight. He and I live on opposite sides of the world, which worked out well because it allowed one of us to write and edit while the other slept. Meeting deadlines is key to delivering this column on time for each issue of IC, and so I really appreciated Debasish’s attention to our schedule. The fact that he writes well, as you can see in his blog, didn’t hurt at all either. :-)

Given their collective richness, it’s hard to cover both Scala and Lift in a single column, but I think we managed to describe the important issues and features. As always, if you have any feedback on this column, post it here in a comment or email me.

Welcome to “The Functional Web”

March 19th, 2009  |  Published in column, functional programming, web  |  Bookmark on

A couple months ago I wrote that my Internet Computing column, “Toward Integration,” was going to end. Indeed it did, but I’m very pleased to report that I’ve replaced it with a whole new column entitled “The Functional Web.”

The inaugural column is imaginatively titled “Welcome to ‘The Functional Web'” and it provides the background for what I plan to cover in the column going forward. All signs indicate that functional languages are garnering significant interest these days. At QCon last week, for example, it seemed like everyone was talking about them, and Real World Haskell didn’t just win a Jolt Award for nothing. Most of my work these days involves web development with Erlang, and given my general interest in functional programming, the combination of these two areas seemed like the perfect direction for a new column.

If you’re a functional programmer working in the web space and have a knack for writing, drop me an email. If you’ve got a good proposal, I’d be happy to either co-author something with you or have you serve as a guest columnist for an issue.

Finally, I’d like to thank the readers of “Toward Integration” very much for sticking with me for the past seven years. That’s a long time, but rest assured your many positive comments and your feedback kept me going — I deeply appreciate it. I really hope you’ll join me for “The Functional Web” and that you’ll keep that excellent feedback coming — it’s going to be interesting and I guarantee we’re all going to learn a few things along the way.

New Year’s Integration Resolutions

January 7th, 2009  |  Published in column, integration  |  Bookmark on

My first Internet Computing column of 2009 is now available. It’s entitled “New Year’s Integration Resolutions” and it offers advice pertaining to areas of integration and distributed systems where over the years I’ve seen various companies and individuals, including myself at times, repeat the same common mistakes. I give the advice in the form of some suggested new year’s resolutions, hence the title.

Something to note about this column is that it completes 7 years of “Toward Integration.” That’s a long time, trust me. :-) Two years ago I stopped working on middleware and integration as a full-time role, so it doesn’t really feel right anymore for me to still be doling out advice on those topics, and I’ve definitely used up all the residual topics I had left. What this means is that this is the final “Toward Integration” column you’ll ever see.

Whether that’s good news or bad news depends, of course, on whether you liked or disliked “Toward Integration.” :-) I generally received positive feedback over the years on all the columns, but I know there are some out there who disagreed with some of them. That’s perfectly normal, of course. Regardless of which camp you fall in, if you ever sent me considered feedback on any of the columns, I really appreciate it.

But then again, I should be clear that it’s not truly the end; I’ll be starting a new column on a new topic in the magazine’s next issue. I don’t yet have a new title for the column, and in fact it may not be as focused as “Toward Integration” generally was. But I’ll need to come up with a new title soon, since I have only about two weeks left before I have to submit the first issue of the new column to my editor.