November 17, 2009 - Perseverance pays off

Imagine having a web server that stores your objects and data just like a live app. Imagine being able to write in the same language on the server and on the client. Something this awesome has been a long time coming, but it’s finally here!

I’ve of course been playing with Persevere and absolutely loving it. Part of the big delay with ‘the Chaos remake’ has been the complexity of creating a robust way to get data from the clients to the server, and for the server to remember that data and be able to process it in the same way. Well now, thanks to this fantastic piece of kit, I can do all of that. Each server instance is a live JavaScript interpreter, with its own persistent object storage database – i.e. objects created are both accessible at any time, and saved.

What does this mean? Well, with the help of haXe (another brilliant tool) I can now write the code for the remake in one language, and ‘compile’ various parts of it to different platforms. I can write most of the game logic and other critical stuff and then have it work the same on the server as it does if it was just running on your own machine – and Persevere will make sure that it acts in that same ‘in-memory’ persistent way.

There are other projects on the go which I’m going to use as testbeds for Persevere – it’s not without possible issues, scalability being the big one at the moment, as one of my projects may end up being quite heavily used (one hopes anyway) and Java (the underlying tech behind Persevere) may not be up to that kind of task.

I can see Persevere being just the beginning of a whole paradigm shift for many parts of the internet into persistent object-based servers – it certainly doesn’t make sense with rich web apps to have to jump through all the current hoops and endure the inefficiences that go with the current ‘single shot’ model of web languages. Bring it on!

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