2 Minutes: Martin Tyler

Martin Tyler image

Martin Tyler has been a Chief Software Architect at Caplin since 1997. Next week Martin sits on the panel of Skillmatter’s London AJAX User Group Comet Panel (July 13th). Click here to register for the event.

Q: Firstly, the important stuff: iPhone, Blackberry or Android?

MT: iPhone 4 for me

Q: Biggest contribution to Caplin?

MT: I’ve had a hand in most things, but writing Liberator is probably the biggest single achievement.

Q: Favourite blog post you’ve written on Platformability?

MT: I’m not sure about ‘favourite’ but Why we don’t need HTML5 WebSocket gets a lot of hits.

Q: You’ve been blogging about Comet for some time. What has changed most about Comet since you first started blogging about it, and how does it better support Caplin’s core technology?

MT: I’m not sure that a huge amount has changed. Caplin and some others have been doing Comet for over 10 years, and over the last few years browsers have improved, new browsers have come along and Comet has had to keep up. This usually means variations on how the transports work – most Comet solutions will use slightly different techniques to give the best experience in each browser. WebSocket is meant to avoid all that, but it is such a long way off being ubiquitous all it does is add another tool to the box.

The biggest change is probably the number of Comet solutions out there, commercial and open source. For basic Comet, it is really a commodity now – unfortunately basic Comet doesn’t solve everyone’s requirements – they need performance, stability and more advanced features, which is where Comet vendors can add real value.

Q: What’s Google doing with Comet these days?

MT: There are a number of Google products that use Comet under the hood, they use it to get the job done and don’t really talk about it directly. I blogged recently about a few announcements and this year’s Google IO conference.

Google are a big part of WebSocket too. Google Chrome supports a version of WebSocket and they have done various demos of web applications using WebSocket.

Q: You’ve been doing a lot of work on benchmarking lately – tell us about that.

MT: I find benchmarking really interesting. Over the years I have benchmarked Liberator a number of times and we have a good set of tools and scripts that automate a lot of the process. The fun comes in analysing the results and looking for areas of improvement.

Until recently we’d only ever run up to 30,000 clients connected to a Liberator – but this time I decided to go further and tested 100,000. The main difficulty is actually the clients. Even with an optimised test client that makes multiple connections, running multiple instances across multiple machines, it is still hard to get high numbers. Liberator is barely breaking sweat at 100,000 clients receiving 1 update/sec each – but the client machines are starting to struggle since each is running thousands of clients – we need to beef up our test hardware to test further than 100,000 clients.

Q: In five sentences, tell us what a typical day in the life of an architect at Caplin is like….starting with your preferred breakfast in the Caplin kitchen.

MT: A bowl of Shreddies. The day usually consists of meetings, mainly internal, but often with customers or prospects. Interacting with the various product and project based development teams. Talking about new work, such as new or updating APIs and helping with planning and estimating new work. I don’t often do a lot of coding these days, but the recent benchmarking involved coding.

Q: Last computer you bought?

MT: A MacBook Pro 15” – great hardware.

Q: Do you tweet? If so, why?

MT: I got into twitter slowly. I don’t tweet about my lunch or how I am feeling – it’s usually more about techie stuff, or sport quite often. Why? It’s good to share, just not too much! @martintyler

Q: Who will win the World Cup?

MT: England already won the world cup… (The T20 Cricket World Cup!)

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