It Scales to Hell and Back

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2008-04-14 Print this article Print

Meanwhile, the Appcelerator technology combines RIA and SOA (service-oriented architecture) and enables developers to build Web applications without the need for JavaScript or player-based plug-ins, the company said. Indeed, Web applications can be implemented on Java, PHP, Ruby, .Net, Python and Perl.

However, Appcelerator for App Engine runs on Python, the scripting language currently supported by App Engine. As Google expands support to other languages, Appcelerator for App Engine will, too, the company said.

"The launch of Google App Engine is an exciting moment for software developers and will unquestionably be a benefit to the open-source Appcelerator community," said Jeff Haynie, co-founder and CEO of Appcelerator, in a statement. "Our platform enables developers to create rich Internet applications without regard for the back-end necessary for deployment, and App Engine is guided by the same philosophy -- remove the need for developers to deal with the server side and allow them to put together outstanding software."

Meanwhile, Alex Russell, creator of the Dojo Toolkit and director of research and development at SitePen, of Palo Alto, Calif., said he believes Google has a true hit on its hands with Google App Engine. Russell, who used to work at JotSpot, which Google acquired in October of 2006, said "they've done a lot in regard to the data model that I haven't seen anywhere else."

In addition, "they picked a good language for it: Python," Russell said. "Its infrastructure is a Python shell. It looks a lot like Django, except it scales to hell and back," he added. Django is a Python-based Web application framework.

In addition, the Google App Engine "data model makes migration simple; it's designed without constraints," Russell said.

Moreover, Russell said he believes with Google App Engine, Google "just made MySQL obsolete."

With a differing view of the Google news, Tim Bray, director of Web technologies at Sun Microsystems, called developers who opt to use Google App Engine "sharecroppers."

In a blog post on April 9, Bray quoted from a description of the technology on the Google App Engine site and followed the quote with: "... and now you're a sharecropper on the Google plantation."

He added: "What a devil's bargain; Google will make your identity pain go away and qualify a high proportion of the world's Internet users to use your app. But you're gonna be on the plantation forever; deal with it."

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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