Being a web developer during the last few years has made for exciting times (if you’re a huge nerd, which I am). The web has been a whirlwind of innovation and change with newer and better ways to create bigger and better experiences. For instance, last week I signed up, created this blog and launched the first post in literally 20 min. It’s still amazing to me even though I understand a lot about how it works.
A lot of this good stuff is made possible by web frameworks. Some group of really smart people choose their favorite programming language and design a platform that abstracts away a lot of the details of building complex web applications. This allows others to get to the important business of making something cool. What’s even more exciting is being a part of releasing one of these frameworks to the world. Some buzz-killers are certainly going to bring up the fact that there is already an abundance of these platforms out there touting easy setup, rapid development and a powerful environment. Well this is actually true. But some of the hype is warranted and IMHO Axiom Stack is the newest addition to the kickass group.
What’s cool about it?
I’m glad you asked. Let’s explore.
JSON and E4x packaged in. Speaking of processing XML! If you’ve read about it, or played around with it in Firefox, you know you want e4x. Native syntax and APIs for XML make working with it fun again (wait, was it ever fun?). It’s one of those things that makes Axiom Stack so powerful. Skip all the SAX/DOM business and just get to work on your document. Rhino’s implementation is solid and you’ll be up to speed in no time. And just as awesome, your JSON data is now native on your server. JSON has become an increasingly popular method of data representation due to it’s advantages in size, simplicity and native support in the browser. Now you can generate it and manipulate it directly on your back-end.
Fully integrated search. Building sites on more traditional architectures like LAMP, you still have work a little harder to provide a decent search. Granted, these days there are all kinds of packages to make searching simpler. But imagine an environment where great search capabilities are not only built-in but designed in from the start. The default data store for Axiom is Lucene, the free java-based search platform from Apache. In Axiom Stack, search is part of your normal development environment. All of your data is indexed and searchable by default, and you have full access to Lucene’s capabilities. If that ain’t sweet then I don’t know what is.
Optional RDBMS storage. If the idea of using only Lucene to store your data gives you an uncomfortable itch, you can use a relational database simply by setting one up and changing some configuration. All of a sudden your data is being stored in MySQL (or whatever) automatically, your interface doesn’t change and you can feel safer at night knowing your tried-and-true db replication script is keeping you backed up.
So I’ve basically convinced you that I’m some type of marketer for Axiom Stack at this point. But honestly, I’m just a pretty lazy programmer who has found that this web framework allows me to do really cool things very easily. Is it the best out there? Yes, probably, but I’ll let you guys fight about that. The important point is go check it out. And let me know what you think.