> From: Avi Bryant [mailto:avi / beta4.com]
> james / rubyxml.com wrote:
>
> <being able to push code updates to a live application>
>
> > Maybe this is getting too far a field, but I'm curious why this is
> > essential for web development.  Most languages do not have
> this feature,
> > yet they are used daily for web development.   Is this mostly
> a matter of
> > deployment, where one would prefer not to have to stop and restart an
> > application to change the in-memory code image?
>
> Ok, so "essential" was a little too strong.  Make it "extremely nice".
>
> Deployment is definitely a big part of it - I don't generally work on
> large scale, publically accessible web apps a-la Slashdot, but rather
> on specialized in-house applications or services with small numbers of
> clients.  If someone runs into a problem, they'll call me, and it's a
> world of difference to be able to write, test, and deploy a fix with
> the client still on the phone, than to have to take down the app or
> ask them to restart what they're doing.  There are examples in the
> Smalltalk world of web applications with uptimes of over a year, with
> development progressing all the while (to make myself perfectly clear:
> a single process, running for a year, with code updates being
> continually fed into it); in the Lisp world, Paul Graham talks about
> doing very similar things for ViaWeb.


OK, the sense I was getting from the thread was that the Smalltalk/Squeak
IDE offered stuff beyond what be available for Ruby in the foreseeable
future.  While trying to add real-time process updates to an IDE may be a
bit of a task, we might pull this idea out and just think about a separate
tool that can take source files and apply them to a running process.  A
running script might listen on a port or watch a file for instructions,
pulling in new source and integrating it into itself.


James

> Cheers,
> Avi
>