EVE-Central API is now running on Spray, Akka, built with Scala

The EVE-Central API service was refactored on top of a new framework, both as an aid to scale (for performance reasons), and an exercise in using new tools for web development. Except for a few growing pains, the stack has been reliable and performant. The bits and pieces that made this possible:

  • Scala - A static typed JVM-targeted language with a very good mix of functional programming. Often compared to OCaml and F#, where it shares a lot of similarity. The JVM platform gives a lot of run time performance and a huge software library, but the Java language is hobbled by years of mismanagement (see C# for something not hobbled by Sun). Enter Scala - fast, type safe, expressive, and generally fun to work in. (I still love Python too, for those of you keeping score).

  • Akka - an Actor system framework, with lots of inspiration taken from Erlang (great ideas, mediocre execution). Its a message-passing system built for the JVM. While we are still using Akka 1.3, the new clustering capabilities of Akka 2+ are on my radar.

  • Spray-server and Spray-can - Spray server is a Scala and Akka library for building web services, in a clean and no-nonsense fashion. Spray-can is the HTTP server component, avoiding the use of a traditional Java servlet container for managing connections. If you’re looking for a way to make RESTful (and non-RESTful) webservices in a high performance environment, give Spray a look. The community support is great. Note that this is just the

old API. No new (published) API calls are available yet, but with the speed gained by building a proper framework around some of the core technology of EVE marketing aggregating, and the inherent testability of the environment, new features should be significantly easier to bring to light. Also, the EVE-Central user front end remains on the old Python+CherryPy stack for the time being, as the window dressing is being worked on.