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Saturday, May 03, 2008

The end of techno-totalitarianism

According to TechCrunch, Twitter has plans to abandon Ruby on Rails after two years of scalability issues. Slashdot makes reference to a revealing denial from Evan Williams:

FWIW: Twitter currently has no plans to abandon RoR. Lots of our code is not in RoR, already, though. Maybe that's why people are confused.

What Twitter is discovering is a dimension of what Brooks argued a long time ago: There's no Silver Bullet. And today's growing complexity seems to be handled by Twitter just as Brooks suggested: growing organically through incremental development. Nowadays adding a trend that was a tabu for many (starting with me!): a solid codebase doesn't have to be homogeneous, that is just a techno-totalitarianism.

We must learn to architect over heterogeneous OSs, frameworks, languages and applications. I'm not saying there isn't a price to pay for it, just saying that other than the price tag it comes with great opportunities, we just have to figure out where to draw the line.

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Development Catharsis :: Copyright 2006 Mário Romano