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Elizabeth Yow

Honestly, it took me a second to see the bold link in Bloglines and think "now who is this person and why do I subscribe to their blog again? ... Oh yeah, it's Rifkin." Heh.

Adam

"Oh yeah, it's Rifkin" answers the first question but not the second... ;)

Elizabeth Yow

True, but I'm not sure that question really CAN be answered. :O

Adam

Good point.

So rather than mumble on, let me add some more details about why I'm so passionate about Ecelerity.

The Ecelerity engine is instrumented with an extension API that allows augmenting or changing the logic run at almost every phase of a message's life-cycle, with callouts for both mainstream life events like message reception, delivery, and queuing, and engine-internal callouts.

Much more than a filtering mechanism, the extension API allows deep engine changes, like the following real-world applications, all built using the API:

  1. Perform real-time, direct to database logging for adding real-time message delivery information to CRM systems.

  2. Add Saleforce.com integration -- for example, to automatically scan every mail that passes through the system, and attach any messages to or from someone in your Salesforce.com contact database as a note to their account.

  3. Build email APIs for blogging systems, including email-based submit, and email-based comments. Very cool.

  4. Augment a CRM system to perform text analysis on all inbound messages, associate emails with users, and prepend a formatted block of user account details to the top of the mail, for reducing customer service time costs.

  5. Perform recipient validation or SMTP AUTH off existing databases (for instance, SMTP AUTH based off your php.net cvs password on the php.net mail systems).

By having this logic run inside Ecelerity (as opposed to using an external process), there are many benefits:

  1. Performance. One of the primary performance costs in many email systems is having to pass data off to external processes for validation, and pull the response back. Running SpamAssassin embedded in Ecelerity shows a 50x performance improvement over running SpamAssassin via qmail.

  2. Data sharing. One of the main benefits of running code inside the engine as opposed to in an external process is that you can share data with other applications running inside the engine. As a case in point, in the CRM example discussed above you may want to change the anti-spam settings if you identify the sender as a valid customer.

  3. Simplicity. Ecelerity supports writing extensions in C, C++, Java, and Perl, with PHP in beta and .NET later in Q4 2005. The Ecelerity hooking system provides easy access to the data structures and functionality necessary to write email-based applications quickly.

  4. Running at protocol time. By executing logic on the message during the SMTP transaction, you have the ability to make decisions on messages and execute action before fully accepting them. This drastically reduces the problems with backscatter (receiving bounces for mails sent from fraudulent senders), and ensures all actions take place in real time.

There are some very cool interactive demos of how this all works, with a small amount of code (one example I saw was under 150 lines of PHP, with comments) that runs inside of Ecelerity and is called out to automatically by the hooking mechanism.

Contact me if you want to learn more...

Elizabeth Yow

I don't know whether that answered the second question for me. There's a lot there that I didn't really understand. :O

Shannon -jj Behrens

Keep talkin'. I wanna hear more! ;)

Tim Converse

Wow, Adam, just after you say you're going to tell us why you're so passionate about ecelerity your writing style, like, totally changes. It suddenly becomes very un-Rifkinesque, and is full of technical details and also reads kind of like technical marketing collateral. That is so cool the way you can change styles on a dime like that.

Adam

Tim, you are right, I have become... The MailMan!!!

Tim Converseq

Adam, when you become The Mailman, is it like you have multiple personalities? or maybe, like, a secret superhero identity? Or is it more like pasting in text that someone else wrote and then acting like you wrote it yourself?

Adam

Could the answer to all three questions be yes?

Tim Converse

Absolutely, if you feel comfy saying three things (at the same time): 1) I have multiple-personality disorder, 2) I'm a superhero, 3) I'm a plagiarist.

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There are at least three things about Kevin's comment that made Rohit smile: the invocation of physics, the notion that 30 is relative, and the thought of seeing you next week.

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Music

Reading

  • John Battelle: The Search

    John Battelle: The Search
    My favorite book of 2005. Period.


    (*****)

  • Steven D. Levitt: Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

    Steven D. Levitt: Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
    "Just because two things are correlated does not mean that one causes the other. A correlation simply means that a relationship exists between two factors -- let's call them X and Y -- but it tells you nothing about the direction of that relationship. It's possible that X causes Y; it's also possible that Y causes X; and it may be that X and Y are both being caused by some other factor, Z.

    Economics is, at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.

    Incentives are the cornerstone of modern life. The conventional wisdom is often wrong. Dramatic effects often have distant, even subtle, causes. Experts use their informational advantage to serve their own agenda. Knowing what to measure and how to measure it makes a complicated world much less so." (*****)

  • Malcolm Gladwell: Blink

    Malcolm Gladwell: Blink
    A book of anecdotes about the power of thinking without thinking; this book is a more interesting read than Gladwell's previous, The Tipping Point.

    New York Times: "Gottman believes that each relationship has a DNA, or an essential nature. It's possible to take a very thin slice of that relationship, grasp its fundamental pattern and make a decent prediction of its destiny. Gladwell says we are thin-slicing all the time -- when we go on a date, meet a prospective employee, judge any situation. We take a small portion of a person or problem and extrapolate amazingly well about the whole."

    David Brooks, who wrote that review, adds: "Isn't it as possible that the backstage part of the brain might be more like a personality, some unique and nontechnological essence that cannot be adequately generalized about by scientists in white coats with clipboards?" (*****)

  • Paul Graham: Hackers and Painters

    Paul Graham: Hackers and Painters
    I don't agree with some parts of this book, but I truly loved reading it, and it really made me think. I referenced it in my weblications and superhacker and phoneboy posts. Favorite chapter is How to Make Wealth. (Thanks, Ev.) (*****)

  • Joel Spolsky: Joel on Software

    Joel Spolsky: Joel on Software
    Joel is really good at wielding "diverse and occasionally related matters of interest to software developers, designers, and managers, and those who, whether by good fotune or ill luck, work with them in some capacity."

    Joel on Software embodies the principle of "Welcome to management! Guess what? Managing software projects has nothing at all to do with programming." This book, a compendium of the website's wisdom, is useful for everyone from team leads estimating schedules to software CEOs developing competitive strategy. (*****)

  • Bruce Sterling: Tomorrow Now: Envisioning The Next Fifty Years

    Bruce Sterling: Tomorrow Now: Envisioning The Next Fifty Years
    Bruce wrote this book to come to terms with seven novel aspects of the twenty-first century, situations that are novel to that epoch and no other. It's about future possibilities.

    "This is the future as it is felt and understood: via human experience... The years to come are not merely imaginary. They are history that hasn't happened yet. People will be born into these coming years, grow to maturity in them, struggle with their issues, personify those years, and bear them in their flesh. The future will be lived." Here here, well-spoken, Bruce. (*****)

  • The World's 20 Greatest Unsolved Problems: John Vacca

    The World's 20 Greatest Unsolved Problems: John Vacca
    "Science has extended life, conquered disease, and offered new sexual and commercial freedoms through its rituals of discovery, but many unsolved problems remain...

    If support for science falters and if the American public loses interest in it, such apathy may foster an age in which scientific elites ignore the public will and global imperatives." (*****)

  • Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, L. Hunter Lovins : Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution

    Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, L. Hunter Lovins : Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution
    I had the pleasure recently of meeting Amory Lovins and hearing him talk about Twenty Hydrogen Myths and the design of hypercar. (He also talked about Bonobos... wow.) I'm a convert to the way of thinking espoused in Natural Capitalism. I used to be cynical about the future, but Amory's work has made me a believer that many great things are about to come. The best way to predict the future is to invent it. (*****)

  • Merrill R. Chapman: In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters

    Merrill R. Chapman: In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters
    In hilarious prose, this book catalogs lots of stoopid high-tech marketing decisions. It offers clear, detailed analysis of many a marketing mishap, with what happened, why, and how to avoid such stupidity. Might just be the best. book. ever... (*****)

  • Paul Krugman: The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century

    Paul Krugman: The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century
    A book exposing the pitfalls of crony capitalism, from corrupt corporations straight up to the executive branch of our government. Krugman is nonpartisan -- what he exposes is foolish short-term thinking on the part of recent United States policies. The patriotic thing to do, he advises, is to fix these economic problems now before they become much harder to solve.

  • Henry Petroski: Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design

    Henry Petroski: Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design
    "Design can be easy and difficult at the same time, but in the end, it is mostly difficult." (*****)

  • Alexander Blakely: Siberia Bound

    Alexander Blakely: Siberia Bound
    One of my favorite books of the past few years. Xander is a master storyteller. (*****)

  • Susan Scott: Fierce Conversations

    Susan Scott: Fierce Conversations
    How to make every conversation count. One of my favorite books of the last decade. (*****)

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