Joe Stump @ MySQL

Listening to Joe Stump from Digg.com talk about SOA and MySQL and some PHP.  One key thing he’s repeating is using a service layer to access data asynchronously.  His advice right now is to group data requests at the top of a user request, do them asynchronously, and then use the data in the rendering when it comes back.  Services_Digg_Request is some code he’s written and published as a PEAR package to demonstrate a technique to help bundle your data requests asynchronously.  The package does a lot of low level socket management to various data endpoints that you want to requests data from (HTTP-only services I believe).

Haven’t ‘dugg’ in to the code too much but the approach seems reasonable.  He’s using the lovely __get() magic methods, which I’m really not a fan of, but perhaps that’s nitpicking a bit.  :)

In discussing HTTP layer requests, he suggests not using Apache, but lighthttpd or nginx instead.

DBSlayer and Gearman were discussed in a bit of detail.  DBSlayer is too tightly coupled to MySQL for Joe’s taste.  Gearman looks cool, but no documentation right now.  Joe and someone from Yahoo are working on a PHP client package for Gearman.  Big issue right now: queue isn’t persistent.  Restarting gearman means that you’ll lose work.  There’s an undocumented workaround – contact Joe for more info.

Other suggestions:

  • run SOA requests in parallel
  • bundle your logic in endpoints to have an endpoint do multiple things
  • keep junior guys away from low-level service writing
  • build in intelligent caching strategies in to your services layer

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