Dienstag, 15. Juli 2014

Google App Annoyance - aka Engine

Together with the missing support for the Servlet 3.0 specification in Google App Engine (and, yes, there are still too many situations were this specification level ist not available) we are reading from Google for their App Engine that classpath scanning is an issue on that platform and that this is one of the reasons that kept them from supporting this version of the servlet specification.
What I didn't read from Google is, that they noticed that the Servlet 3.0 version is (arguably) one of the most important steps since Java came to the web. There is no major framework in the Java world anymore not doing any classpath scanning right now. The mentioned Springframework I'm using is just one example.
After some five years of work with the Google App Engine and Java as the only language in use, I changed my mind and don't consider the App Engine as one of the first choices in cloud platforms for the Java world anymore.
And this is really just because of these two small issues.
Like very many others I'm using the Springframework - with component scan and thus with classpath scanning. Any first request to an instance take ages. But "first requests" are common in the cloud, where instances need to be shut down and brought up depending on load. And the cloud is what Google App Engine is about, isn't it?
I invested quite some effort to learn how to be fast on the first request while still using the Springframework and even developed my own stripped down, minimalistic Dependency Injection environment for the application setup (dinistiq) to only have the features I'm using at hand. But this all didn't help to make the end user experience satisfying. Things feel slow.
So in the end this all gave the push for Tangram to support that many new platforms, use the CI Features and Repositories at cloudbees, enjoy the command line access of OpenShift. This brought options of different frameworks and I learned much about cloud deployment and operation scenarios. So in that respect we should be thankful for the Google App Engine weakness.
But it still is the source of some level of complexity and number of artifacts flying around in what I call my dynamic web application framework Tangram. Also this currently renders Google App Engine the second best cloud platform for Java while still having great web based monitoring tools.

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