On the line: 210111

InfoQ has become a pretty good resource of late for videos of conference presentations and talks, as well as interviews.

The collection and archives on InfoQ is worth browsing, but I wanted to highlight some really good videos that have shown up in the last week or so

Billy Newport (from IBM) presentation on NoSQL : In this talk, Newport contrasts the strengths and weaknesses of NoSQL databases with traditional relational databases based on his experience on actual customer systems using one or the other. I like how he addresses drawbacks of NoSQL which I don’t hear highlighted often enough – the lack of a central schema, for example, and the restriction to, essentially, by-key retrieval as opposed to ad-hoc search. He also points out limitations of relational systems at large scale, and how people are trying to get around this.

Cliff Click (Azul Systems) interview, on HotSpot JVM, pauseless garbage collection, and the Managed Runtime Project : In the 1990’s, Cliff Click was hired by Sun to help them write a new JIT for their JVM after Sun purchased a startup company that had developed a new, powerful Smalltalk VM called Strongtalk. Here, Cliff talks about the current work being done at his present company, Azul Systems, on “pauseless garbage collection” in Azul’s fork of HotSpot, Azul’s plans to give their enhancements back to the community, the problems some non-Java dynamic languages face on the JVM, and other topics.

Guy Steele presentation on language support for parallel programming : Guy Steele, co-creator of the Scheme programming language, talks about how a programming language might offer automatic support for parallel processing, including experimental work in that direction on the new language he’s been working on, Fortress. His talk starts with an unexpected, and truly masterful, review of a small program he wrote in assembly language around 40 years ago, which he reverse-engineered from punch cards he still had in a desk somewhere.

Stuart Halloway presentation on Clojure and Java interoperability : Stuary Halloway does a presentation on how Clojure interoperates with Java. I find Stuart to be a very good presenter: he moves along at a good clip, his slides presentations are readable and the content is helpful, and he has a pragmatic attitude about Clojure. Personally, I’ve found all his talks and slide decks useful in learning Clojure.

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