Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Test instance of Factor HTTPD 0.80

I'm running a testing instance of Factor 0.80 on factorcode.org. You can access it via port 8889: http://factorcode.org:8889/.

There is a new responder of interest:

The help responder for browsing articles. The help responder uses some JavaScript to implement expandable outliners. Thanks to Chris Double for implementing the "AJAX" code that does the trick.

The browser responder has also been overhauled and now shows word documentation:

The help and browser responders still have a few wrinkles. Once they're sorted out, and if I'm happy with the stability of the test server, I will make it the primary server.

The web site has seen 10,000 hits over the last 10 days. To date I haven't had a single issue with the Factor HTTP server. It is not a huge load, but it looks like the server is working okay.

I should mention my workflow when writing web code in Factor. I develop web apps locally on my workstation. I have the jEdit plugin run a Factor instance. I start the HTTP server in this instance, and while working on a responder, reload the source files with a jEdit command and immediately test the changes.

When I'm ready, I copy a bootstrapped image with the HTTP server loaded to my Linode box. On the Linode server, the Factor HTTP server runs inside a detached 'screen' instance. I can log in to the server, run screen -r, and I'm looking at the Factor listener. I can reload code and inspect server objects, all without restarting or 'redeploying' anything.

Being able to reload code in a running server without downtime is important. Look at the Java situation:

Here's the situation. I have a project that runs in JBoss. In normal/non-debug JBoss takes about a minute to startup and get ready to receive requests. In debug mode we're talking 2.5-3 minutes to startup even when no debugger has been attached. Given the severe difference in startup time I tend not to run the server in debug mode until I really really need to debug something. But then if I need to make a change and restart the server (hot-deploy and redeploy do not cover nearly enough) it's frustratingly slow!

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