Do you remember when Web applications were CGI scripts? You had that cheeky bit of Perl that would be exec’d away. It was a haven for the lazy among us. What if you didn’t close the DB connection down perfectly? Didn’t matter. Use too much memory? Who cares. The process would die in seconds!
I then remember the real Web 2.0, when mod_perl and the like came about (yah yah there was NSAPI/ISAPI which I had to deal with too) and you realized that all of that bad programming now came at a price. The applications would be sitting on the server for a long time, so you could share a lot, but if you were sloppy you could cause bad things. Now you have to audit the code and gets thing right (as well as working around mod_perl bugs, but that is another story!)
The same has happened with the world of Ajax. Applications that used to be pages that would be refreshed are now replaced by sites like Gmail that sit in a browser tab all day long. If your application does something a little bad now, it can be noticed.
This is where the post that Ben just made on a new
memory tool for the Web comes in. As we write Bespin and other Web applications we feel the pain where we wish certain items weren’t as much of a black box as they are now in the browser. A first bite is memory, and being able to get some visibility into the heap, or see when the garbage collector is kicking in and how long it is taking.
What other tools like this would you like to see as you write long living Ajax applications in the browser? We are all ears!