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FOSS LDAP Virtual Directory Software (update)

posted 06-04-2012 at 02:01

After doing a little more research on FOSS Virtual Directories following my previous post on the topic I would feel guilty if I didn't make one addition and one correction. I've also wanted to write about the ascension and probable descension of scripting languages for a long time now, so this is my chance.

ldapjs is a JavaScript LDAP server and client implementation based on the node.js framework. It's new enough that it didn't show up on my radar last time, but is quickly getting it's well deserved Google juice.

Penrose isn't as defunct as I thought it was. Having a closer look, it's suffered from changing hands a lot. Red Hat got it with a company they purchased, Identyx, and the codebase and project material has shifted from being hosted on to github to (with mirrors of certain parts on and sourceforce). Even though there haven't been updates to the codebase in a longtime, the wiki is still updated and the google group is still active. Red Hat still mentions it in some promotional material.

I feel the same way about Node.js as I do about MMA, I really like it but everytime it comes up I feel like I have to defend it or explain myself. So let me start by saying my feelings about Node.js, and the ascension of scripting languages over the last 10-15 years in general, are similar to Paul Tyma's. Like Paul points out, if you're growing something that's approaching Facebook size or Twitter size, you will likely need more code in strongly-typed compiled languages to keep it healthy at that eminence. If I have a difference with Paul in that regard, it would only be that I'd consider those kinds of situations luxury problems. At the risk of sounding too self-effacing, that's probably because Paul is a better programmer than me, a better entrepreneur than me and a better project manager than me. What I mean by that is when people like him are involved in making something, it's very likely that it will win in a big way, and those efficiencies will almost certainly matter. I'm not there yet, but when I finally write something that makes me rich or famous, and it needs to be more efficient to make me more rich or more famous, I will happily rewrite all of it in C if needs be. The disadvantage of strongly-typed languages, in my experience, is that it takes longer to write and maintain code in them than in one of the en vogue scripting languages (e.g. Python, Ruby, PHP, Perl or JavaScript). Win or lose, if you don't win big enough that those efficiencies matter, it's likely just time that you've wasted.

Like Paul alluded to, I'd tend to think that as we move away from "rotational media" to the faster solid state kinds, the disadvantages of scripting languages will become more more pronounced. Then again, a lot of things will have to change along with that. It's still a fairly recent development that file systems are aware of and optimize for solid state media. And, you know, somehow I think when the number of commits in JavaScript surpasses the number of commits in C, it's going to be like when Facebook traffic surpassed MySpace. Like it or not, it's sticking around for awhile.

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