[erlang-questions] Erlang web servers challenge

Ulf Wiger ulf.wiger@REDACTED
Fri Jul 8 16:44:37 CEST 2011

The great thing about Open Source is that people *may* help you out if you are able to pose a challenge that they find interesting enough. The key is *may*, though. If people don't bite, there is no point in chiding them for not helping you (for free).

As it now stands, several very knowledgeable people have taken their precious time to challenge the premises of the experiment. This is also extremely valuable help, which would carry a pretty hefty price tag, if you should seek it through traditional consulting services (probably from the same type of people). If you decide to go ahead with your experiment (with or without community assistance), you are now better prepared for the kind of answers people will be looking for.

At this point in my career, I care little for micro-benchmarks, unless they have been exactly tailored to answer the specific questions I have for my next project. Every sizeable project should start with identifying the critical challenges, based on your problem, non-functional requirements, choice of main technology, architecture, hardware, environmental restrictions, etc. 

Even then, one must be ruthlessly honest when evaluating the results (as well as the challenges themselves!), since it is so easy to stack the experiments, and apply wishful thinking to the results, so that you can forge ahead with the solutions you wanted to try out in the first place. 

Having said this, I invite anyone who goes through that kind of exercise to share their results. Not only will it help you evaluate the experiment honestly; it will increase the store of experiments that can be copied and tailored to the specific challenges of the next project.

Ulf W

On 6 Jul 2011, at 22:55, Amy Lear wrote:

> On Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 12:47 PM, Zabrane Mickael <zabrane3@REDACTED> wrote:
>> Le 6 juil. 2011 à 21:38, Jon Watte a écrit :
>>> Another ambiguous part of the problem as stated:
>>> The way the question is worded, I could write a TCP server that accepts a connection, then spits out a static blob of text consisting of static HTTP headers and the contents of the file -- I don't even need to parse the request, because this file is the only thing that the server will serve.
>> Funny analysis, but that's a toy web server. In the challenge list, I asked for a real web server instead (I've cited Misultin, Yaws ...).
> A toy web server for a toy benchmark. Seems like a perfect match.
> Again: You need to define your objectives here, or we're not going to
> get anywhere. If your objective is simply "I want to test webservers
> according to arbitrary criteria that are not up for discussion", then
> I think we're done here.
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Ulf Wiger, CTO, Erlang Solutions, Ltd.

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