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External Web Istructurenfra

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James Cridland James Cridland | 12:01 UK time, Wednesday, 5 December 2007

There's been quite a lot of discussion about a recent post on I am Seb, which was prompted, in part, by a piece on the BBC's Radio Labs blog about a product we're internally calling "Perl on Rails". Much of this discussion has spilled over to places like Slashdot, too.

Parts of these discussions haven't been too accurate; but all of them have been interesting and useful to read, and have been discussed internally here. Tom Scott, the original poster of the Radio Labs blog entry, has also replied to some specific points on his own blog.

barcamplondon3.pngWe demonstrated one of the products built on top of "Perl on Rails" at BarCampLondon3 last week, to a good reaction - at least, we filled up the room! And, after a discussion with our colleagues, I'm pleased to be able to let you know that, yes, we will be adding this to the BBC's open source projects. More details will appear on the BBC Radio Labs blog when we're ready.

I think it's fair to say that the BBC's external web infrastructure isn't the world's most advanced - deliberately so, given the amount of traffic we have to deal with on some occasions like emergencies. However, as Seb says, there is some work in place to refresh this (not quite using the stack he suggests); it's been given new vigour by some of the new senior management team who've recently joined the BBC; all going well, you should see some of the fruits of this project in the new year.

On the other side, our internal tools use a variety of different technologies (I've seen PHP, Ruby/Rails, Perl and ASP at least), so if you're thinking of working for us don't think that you're totally useless to us if you don't

sub job_requirement {
my $target = shift;
$target = 'perl' unless defined $target;
return "understand $target.\n";
}
print job_requirement("this");

James Cridland is Head of Future Media & Technology for BBC Audio & Music Interactive, and wrote his last line of Perl in 2000.

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