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acme (189)

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Leon Brocard (aka acme) is an orange-loving Perl eurohacker with many varied contributions to the Perl community, including the GraphViz module on the CPAN. YAPC::Europe was all his fault. He is still looking for a Perl Monger group he can start which begins with the letter 'D'.

Journal of acme (189)

Tuesday April 03, 2007
05:28 AM


[ #32887 ]
Google's Sawzall paper mentions "protocol buffers":

Although originally conceived for defining the messages communicated between servers, Google’s protocol buffers are also used to describe the format of permanent records stored on disk. They serve a purpose similar to XML, but have a much denser, binary representation, which is in turn often wrapped by an additional compression layer for even greater density.

... which always intrigued me. Facebook has just released Thrift, which appears to fill the same niche: "a software framework for scalable cross-language services development. It combines a powerful software stack with a code generation engine to build services that work efficiently and seamlessly between C++, Java, Python, PHP, and Ruby". From the interesting whitepaper:

Thrift is a software library and set of code-generation tools developed at Facebook to expedite development and implementation of efficient and scalable backend services. Its primary goal is to enable efficient and reliable communication across programming languages by abstracting the portions of each language that tend to require the most customization into a common library that is implemented in each language. Specifically, Thrift allows developers to define data types and service interfaces in a single language-neutral file and generate all the necessary code to build RPC clients and servers.

Now who wants to add Perl support?

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  • Sounds a lot like what we used for our backend work in my previous job. Nice to see companies opening up a little. I shudder to think of the number of hours wasted reverse engineering the aim protocol when a simple language independent description is available to those on the inside.