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Builder Saved My Weekend
by Jon on Monday, June 2, 2008 file under: Technology

I want to thank the Builder team for indirectly allowing me to have a call free weekend out of town. I'm sure other XML Ruby library teams could have done it (except one, that is); but Builder was the first alternative I came across.

I have a production Rails app that I recently migrated to new hosts. The setup isn't very complicated, and for XML generation, I chose libxml-ruby, which is built on top of libxml. What seemed like a good choice at the time turned into a perfect storm of after hours calls. Between a bug in Apache's mod_proxy_blancer, what seems like double free()s in libxml-ruby, and FastCGI not properly timing out workers, I found myself constantly monitoring and killing processes.

libxml-ruby seemed like it would be the easiest component to replace, and in my search for a new XML building package, I stumbled across Builder. It worked like a charm. I was able to strip out all of my libxml-ruby code and replace it with equivalent Builder code in about an hour. All my tests passed, QA approved it, it baked in production for half a day before I left for the weekend, and I had a call free weekend not worrying about my app's stability.

This morning I checked the logs: clean as a whistle. The last error was from just before I deployed. So, hats off to the Builder team. You happened to be fresh in my mind in front REXML.

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