Cloud Computing on One Foot Cloud Computing

Sir Isaac Newton.

Sir Isaac Newton.

Sir Isaac Newton (1643–1727), paraphrasing the Jewish tosaphist Isaiah di Trani ( 1180–1250) famously said, “If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” There is also the famous story of the heathen who came before Hillel the Elder (110 BCE–10 CE, during the reign of King Herod) and said to him, "Make me a proselyte, on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot,” Hillel replied, "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary; go and learn it.”

How are these stories connected?

The connection is this: If someone had come to me and asked that I teach him the essence of cloud computing while standing on one foot, I would say to him, “Stand on tall shoulders. The rest is commentary. Go and learn.”

Let’s face it. Writing debugged code is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive (in the range of $30–$40 per line of code, about half of which is spent on debugging ). I have been preaching the gospel of reuse for many years, dating back to the early 1990s, and even back in those days, I was a “johnny-come-lately” to the reuse party.

By reusing blocks of debugged software, you are standing on broad shoulders. Call them what you will—objects, API calls, libraries, Ajax calls, whatever—code reuse has been going on since the 1950s. As much as it’s sometimes taken for granted, it’s often underused, and millions of lines of code are developed for which duplicate code has already been written, tested, and debugged. Fortunately, there are more robust ways than ever to reuse code in a cloud environment.


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