(Note: This is a writeup I did a few years ago when evaluating Riak KV as a possible data store for a high-traffic CMS. At the time, the product was called simply “Riak”. Naturally, other details may be out of date as well.) Riak is a distributed, key/value store written in Erlang. It is open source but supported by a commercial company, Basho. Its design is based on an Amazon creation called Dynamo, which is described in a 200-page paper published by Amazon.
The creator of Rails has a nice aphorism in his blog today about the ever-elusive general-purpose CMS: The more expensive it is to create fresh software, the more appealing the mirage of generalization will appear. Of course, many religious wars in software architecture (including the one between Rails and J2EE) seem to boil down to differing attitudes toward generalization, so maybe the apparent wisdom here is itself a mirage. But it rings true for me.
Humor services provider The Onion has moved the back-end of their extensive, and presumably extremely high-traffic, website to Drupal as of August 30th. It’s not clear what they were using before, but I believe it was homebuilt PHP stuff. I’ll miss playing with their old remotely exploitable headline-generating script, but this seems like a good move. One of the developers has posted an interesting overview of the redesign process. It’s a nice feather in the cap of the Drupal community to have a prominent and busy site adopt their software.
A List Apart, the website for people who design websites, relaunched this past Tuesday (they like Tuesdays) with a lovely new design and, at least as interesting to me, a completely new back-end powered by Ruby on Rails. Check out that stupendous live comment preview! Designer Jason Santa Maria, CSS ninja Eric Meyer and CMS maker Dan Benjamin have all done great work. Zeldman also includes a capsule history and colophon.