The Room Do I dare disturb the universe?

Thumb A Modern Perl Iphone Application

Yuval has been posting several entries about KiokuDB and I thought I’d give a chance to talk about how we had used for an application currently on sale in the iPhone store.

Thumb-Rate is a social app that allows you to simply vote up or down on things in real life. It’s not a complicated, and the source code clocks in at 3791 lines of perl including the Makefile.PL. The basic architecture is a classic three tier webapp, Catalyst, TT2, and a object store. In addition to this because we are hoping to have to handle massive throngs of users (calling all THRONGS!), we have setup a work queue to offline the database writes, and a memcached instance to serve data from the front end.

The big places we found easy wins were if you’re going to use a simple persistant object storage, Kioku basically defines that. We have had no significant technical issues. There are some hiccups because Kioku is a new project and some of the moving pieces need polish (Search::GIN made one of our developers want to Find::VODKA). The biggest debate really is are you going to need to do OLTP or OLAP, your storage choice should reflect your needs.

We also used Catalyst::Controller::REST to feed both the iphone client (via JSON) and the web front end (via Rendered TT2). There were some more hiccups here, but at this point I was no longer the primary developer. The one bit of pain I recall from this is that WebKit is broken for XML.

I’m happy with the toolset we’ve pulled together and I think that everybody involved will agree that it’s no worse than your typically web application, and in some places it is a solid improvement.