Today, I am starting a new feature for this blog. I am calling it The REPL. It’s pretty much a link page of interesting reading I have done around the web in the last week (or, more than likely, since the last issue). Of course, this is not a new idea, but I still think there might be some value to it. I will try to avoid this becoming an echo chamber and instead I will try to focus on material that has got me thinking about software engineering.

The Circuit Breaker Pattern

Martin Fowler explains the circuit breaker pattern. Coincidentally at work, we have been discussing using something like this for building in fault tolerance in our interactions with other services. Netflix has a library (in java) for this sort of thing and has blogged about it’s use. Embracing that failure will happen and properly preparing for it turns how you design your code on its head.

Using Interactors To Clean Up Rails

The fellows at Grouper explain how they are using the interactor gem to extract business logic from controllers and models. Again, this is a pattern that we adopted at work not too long ago. DHH gave it some flak on the hacker news comments, but it has given our team a convention on where and how to code business logic.

Store Data Not Types

A cautionary tale on why it’s important to set clear boundaries between your system and the libraries and frameworks that you use.