Conditional GET for lists (nice trick)

Here is the nice trick to achieve Conditional GET request for lists (Index operation in classic REST terms). You know about this mechanism for single items (show operation): browser asks a resource for the first time, cache it’s last_modified value, and send “If-Modified-Since” header in the next request. A server checks database for resorce.update_at value, and responds “200 OK” with content as usual (if resource is newer), or responds with “304” without content if resource was not changed.

You can see an economy for computing resources, traffic, parsing and so on. But how to implement this technique for lists? Where is no “updated_at” attribute for the lists…

But don’t give up! Just get a newer resourse in the list, and use it’s “updated_at” attribute.

Here is an example for Ruby on Rails:
updated_at = models.max_by(&:updated_at).try(:updated_at) ||

The last part is a trick for empty lists. Easy!

Caveats: it will not work when you destroy a model from collection by real deleting from the database, because the newer “updated_at” value will not change or even becomes early. Browser will not get actual (changed) content. Use Paranoid gem (or mark it as something like ‘is_deleted’) instead, or switch to ETag.

Microservices in a frontend: SOA in JavaScript

In this post we will discuss about the approach to building the frontend of the websites in terms of the microservices paradigm, dataflow and communication between services through the exchange of events (messages). I will use Backbone.js framework as an example.

Why Backbone? Because it is out-of-the-box best (as far as I know) of JavaScript frameworks originally designed to work with the data – instead other frameworks designed to work with visualization layer at the first. If you agree that the models, relationships and business logic – are the core, then you should agree with me. There are other points of view, and other tools – more focused on html, visual effects and the interaction with the user.

This approach is reflected even in the set of Backbone tools: a lot of tools for data and extremely simple templater. Fortunately, you can use the Backbone along with any other templater engine. Continue reading “Microservices in a frontend: SOA in JavaScript”

Where are the queues coming from in web?

Let me remind you how websites was created in past: there was server application that receives the request from the user, processes it, draws the HTML page (or performs the requested operation and draws the similar page) and gives it back to user. Simple rule: the more RPS you can process – the more visitors you can serve.

When internet grows, some people began to counteract with “high load” with typical methods: they setuped nginx as front-server, several backend-servers (upstreams) with copies of their web application, and spreaded the load to them. Randomly (by round-robin) or with a little trick: for example, the first upstream had 1s timeout, second upstream – 2s timeout, and so on. Of course there were more clever schemes.

It was a typical way more than 6 years ago. Continue reading “Where are the queues coming from in web?”