Hi,

I'm fiddling with a little personal client/server project (still in the
"toy" stage), mainly to get somewhat better at a few different things
simultaneously.

The first draft of the server is going to be Ruby 1.8, using a pstore for
backing.  The first shot at the client is in Java 1.4, using Eclipse and SWT
(which I'm also learning).

I'm at the point where I need to settle on a communication strategy.  (As a
WebObjects techie for the past few years, this kind of stuff all happened
automagically for me.)  Looking through the Pickaxe book and some of the
whitepapers up on java.sun.com, I find myself wondering whether HTTP or
socket-level would be a better payoff, ultimately.

For now, the communications can be XML-ish plaintext, i.e.

-- From client
<login_request>
    <username>dan</username>
    <password>fido</password>
</login_request>

-- From server
<login_response>
    <status>OK</status>
    <session_key>1aBwhateverfoo</session_key>
</login_response>

But I also find myself wondering if it wouldn't be possible to occasionally
pass Java objects across the wire and have them stored in the Ruby pstore
(using, I guess, some magic with Array#pack...?)

So, to anyone with more network programming experience in both Ruby and
Java, my question is: if you were in my position, which approach would you
take?  Or, maybe more appropriately, what kinds of questions should I be
asking myself to help make the determination?

Thanks!

-- dan