By using this website, you agree to our privacy policy [ Ok ]

Distributed Patterns Are Useless?!

by Abdur-Rahmaan Janhangeer

So, Soumen Sarkar has been calling the book “Patterns of Distributed Systems” by Unmesh Joshi useless, especially the pattern part.

I think this is a gross misstatement coming from someone who has been long enough in the tech industry. Software patterns might be useless, but, I bet Soumen, you did not read the book.

First of all, this book does a wonderful job surveying how the opensource world is doing distributed programming. This survey by itself is more than useful. If you are into system design, this is one thing the author saves you from doing. It provides a foundational catalog of projects and techniques that you need to be aware of.

Secondly, the book explores the techniques used by these projects. They are not useless, Soumen, these patterns. You see a living proof of how they are used by products used by thousands of people.

Thirdly, just because academia/research points out faults in these techniques does not mean they are useless. Kafka has let’s say some faults, but this does not render Kafka useless. Kafka can maybe amend those in upcoming releases. Now as for the view that we should only use vetted systems, this is a bit unwise as vetted is only until unvetted. We can only wait till the end of time to be sure that something was indeed solid.

Fourthly, as to the view that the content is good but this knowledge is incomplete, incomplete to the point of being useless. Throwing statements in the sense of: Try building something out of it or You read the book now what can you do? I’d say that for people in OpenSource, even this ‘incomplete’ knowledge as you call it is very useful. This book gives you an excellent toolset to x-ray OpenSource projects. When you contribute to OpenSource projects, the first step is to understand what’s going on. If the project deals with the distributed, this book allows you to get an instant idea of what’s going on. In the case the project developed improved techniques then, you have a sense of what and where they optimized. Even if you are reading papers. Even when you are building your own systems.

This book is an excellent resource, despite the take of cosplay trolls.