Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Queues

Its that time of year again, Holiday’s are coming fast, and for me and other geeks we get to play with some new gadgets that we couldn’t get to all year. In the office I also use this time of year to try new things and experiment a bit because the last week in December and early January is usually a perfect time to do this for me. There’ve been some major new releases of OSS apps that I am planning to install and work with ontop of Zend Server in 2010. As my regular readers know, in the past I have already written about Zend Server and how it can significantly improve performance and identify problems in some popular OSS apps like Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress, SugarCRM and Magento.

At the holiday break I will take the latest beta released versions of phpBB 3.0x & Magento 1.4x and experiment with Zend Server’s Job Queue. When you work on a PHP project from scratch its easy to implement new capabilities, but with existing code bases like phpBB and Magento there seemed to be some very obvious places to use Job Queue and enhance performance. If you’re not familiar with Queueing, we had a good webinar this past month from Shahar the lead engineer on this. For places in the project with long-running tasks, such as order processing, catalog importing/exporting, content indexing or sending an email just to name a few obvious ones. These tasks can unnecessarily load your web server and increase application response times for the end user because the processes are sequential. Zend Server 5 beta features Job Queue support, enabling you to offload the execution of such tasks to a parallel request, or even to a different server when needed. I’m going to keep it simple and parallelize a lot of long running tasks in these projects. We have a draft of the API online already, you can find the whitepaper here for Job Queue if you want to experiment along with me.

As far as getting ready for the holiday’s, I’m am still having a hard time finding one last gift for my young nephew (who I know will be an aspiring developer/entrepreneur some day), I wanted to get him a collection of stuffed Open Source mascots as inspiration when he gets older. I already have the uber rare Mozilla, ElePHPant, Tux, but am missing and cant find a Mysql Sakila dolphin but I know some folks have a bunch like this guy in the photo, so am willing to trade PHP Elephpants for one or two and complete my stuffed animal LAMP stack. Contact me if you have any spare ones, and have a happy holiday.