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Saturday, August 23, 2003

Home Stretch on the Book

I'm on the home stretch now for "Tapestry in Action". Manning wants the final version by the end of this month (Aug 2003) ... I'm reconciling all the references to listings, tables and figures, and exporting my ugly diagrams from Visio into TIFF, which is what the production people need. Pretty much, a gruesome, crushing process.

The last set of reviews were pretty positive, except for Ryan Cox who was, like, 95% positive, but really didn't like a few aspects of the book ... didn't like the Hangman example app, didn't like the sidebars and warnings, didn't like the deep investigation of the Virtual Library application. This is part of the process ... about fifteen different people have reviewed some or all of the book, and they disagree wildly. Mind Bridge, Geoff Longman, Greg Burd and Dave Buck think the book is aces, and they are my real target audience so I'm not exactly worried.

Attack Struts! Don't mention Struts! Compare it to Servlets! Don't mention Servlets! More sequence diagrams! Avoid UML! Keep it short! Go in-depth! ... it's maddening. Tapestry is just so big ... and yet, so simple at the core of it. The same little trick repeatedly endlessly, and the only way I know to demonstrate that is to show that same trick again and again and again.

I just had to take a break, so I did some more work on HiveMind. I've added the concept of different "service models" for services; the existing ones are singleton and deferred. Singleton is a singleton service, created at first reference. Deferred is based on some work I did last week; the service creation is deferred; a proxy is created to stand in for the actual service until a service method is invoked.

The new service model is threaded. This is something new and neat; it bypasses the multi-threading problem by allowing each thread to have its own dedicated instance of the service. That is, the proxy will construct an instance of the service that is bound to the current thread (ah, the magic of ThreadLocal). From that point on, any time that thread invokes a service method, it is directed to that thread's service instance. Same proxy passed to a different thread will get a different service instance ... I actually test this as part of the unit test suite.

There's now a service, ThreadEventNotifier, that is used to inform objects when the thread is "cleaned up" (i.e., the end of the request cycle in a servlet or Tapestry app).

I suspect in the future, I'll add additional service models; for instance, one like threaded, but using a pool of service instances ... and maybe one like threaded, but permanently attached to the thread once created.

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