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Initial post: Oct 14, 2007 5:19:12 PM PDT
"You'll learn how to take the 'poor man's web technologies' - Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP or other scripting languages - and scale them to compete with established 'store bought' enterprise web technologies."

I'm an ASP.NET developer and have no great interest in LAMP, so given the description of the book, why would I want this? I firmly believe that ASP.NET web apps can be tailored to scale just as well as LAMP, so why the presumed bias?

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2008 11:46:15 AM PDT
Athaedrielle says:
If one wants to talk about 'next generation of web apps', would you use a proprietary example (no matter what it's benefits) that isn't easily (freely) available to everyone, and that is from a company with a history of rewriting it's world every few-several years (ask Visual Basic programmers how they felt about VB6 ".Net VB").

Next year MS may require a complete rewrite of everything you based your code on (they may not), but the point is -- that they can do it, and they have done it when they decided that the technology reached 'maturity' and wasn't bringing in enough revenue.

MS's focus is not to improve the web for users nor to make life easier for their programmers. As a business owned by its stockholders, it's core focus is on increasing the company's "valuation". VB6 (which I don't know and don't program in, I only read a great bit about how MS yanked the VB-carpet out from under a *large* dedicated group of VB6 users). They were left with nothing other than memories or the task of completely rewriting their apps. This is the 'nightmare' worst case that MS, foists off on their customers on a regular basis: "We've upgraded our tech. We've declared the tech that "works for you -- is ideal for you, and you've spent million investing in, is now obsolete. It will soon be unsupported. No bug fixes, no updates to adapt to changing web standards...you are screwed. You have no choice in the matter other than to move to the new technology that they've created -- you are forced into an expensive upgrade cycle that can bankrupt and kill your business. The worst part of using MS technology -- you have no option to support yourself. There is no option to obtain the source and maintain it until such time that your needs require 'evolving' to a new tech. Imagine if MS owned the electrical system -- every few to several years, they declare the old standard dead -- you have to update all the power-sockets in your house, all of your old appliances become worthless (or at best, might function sub-optionally with a converter -- but forget buying an upgrade to your sound-system or computer -- since all new computers use the new electrical standard making them incompatible with old equipment.

The same scenario is playing out in the WinXP vs. Vista arena. MS has created a new OS designed for hollywood, government and businesses -- to allow them to control and manage your computer (Digital Rights management). The DRM technology allows deleting 'expired' content off of your disk -- where expired can be anything from a song or movie rental (maybe reasonable), or a book you thought you purchased (because book has now been considered sensitive information by the government (unreasonable), to news-articles that have been censored and "respun" .. with the facts being changed -- literally allowing history to be "rewritten" with each new 'regime' change. It may be a great product for China, but one I will fight tooth and nail on my computer -- but to run all the "standard" programs, I WON'T HAVE A CHOICE. XP is planned for extinction by MS. Customers have no choice. We can't pick up the sources of XP and continue to support it "as is" -- we are forced to adopt external control of our computers -- even when that control is done by mistake.

Most recent example was NBC 'accidentally' turning on a do-not-allow-time-shifting flag on one of their widely watched TV series. Officially, it was a mistake. But anyone who owned a Windows-Media Center or WM-Based (as on Vista) media control center found the program was blanked out when they came home to watch it. It wasn't anything that was purposefully being protected like a live broadcast -- it truly was an accident, "this time". Nevertheless -- when such flags are turned on, features you rely on in your video recorder, or software programs can simply "stop functioning". Imagine websites being 'blocked' or online news-video or news sites being blocked, because they've been deemed "offensive" by a conservative government. Maybe sensitive news broadcasts or presidential speeches will no longer be recordable because they want to retain the right to re-release an edited copy with any mis-statements cleaned up.

The recent "accidental" test of overriding user-control of their device is only the tip of the DRM feature set. You can be sure that ASP.NET web apps will be fully DRM compliant -- if not now, then in future releases. Your web apps will be controllable by outside entities -- you host a blog with an unpleasant or politically embarrassing story? DRM in MS's web-serving applications may be able to target specific content -- *replacing* the content with the new "updated" version of things. Pictures of Tiananmen square's uprising would simply "disappear" off of any Microsoft-control machine.

Microsoft may provide a gold-plated development environment -- but it is still a guilded cage. Don't expect to retain control of your applications -- because MS's history shows they replace "MS-standards" periodically. Logically (or cynically), one can argue that they "must" do so on some periodic basis to force a complete software-repurchase and update cycle to maintain the company's bottom line. They are responsible to their stock holders 1st -- so of course, you are at the whim of MS's sofware update and licencsing schemes (remember the forced change to all businesses from the 'update-to-new-software' approach, where businesses could purchase upgrades on 'their' cycle/timeframe? Remember when MS found their schedule for an OS release delayed, so they unilaterally switched companies into annual software maintenance contracts with updates no longer being available? The list goes on...but I have finite time.

So of course it makes sense to use and write about software technology that won't simply 'vanish' overnight on a whim from MS. Even if LAMP becomes passé, users who want to continue using it will be able to -- and if it is important, will have the option to maintain the source themselves.

If only there was a 'law' requiring software vendors to release the sources of products they were no longer going to support -- it would greatly benefit users and society. I mean if the *company* that wrote it goes out of business or doesn't want to support the program, what skin is it off their back if customers have such a strong need for the "old stuff" that they are willing to support it themselves? I know I've had my share of being burned by SW companies that went out of business or stopped making software that was critical to my ops...I had no choice...I was screwed and had to settle for some poor substitute.
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Initial post:  Oct 14, 2007
Latest post:  May 28, 2008

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Building Scalable Web Sites: Building, Scaling, and Optimizing the Next Generation of Web Applications
Building Scalable Web Sites: Building, Scaling, and Optimizing the Next Generation of Web Applications by Cal Henderson (Paperback - May 26, 2006)
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