Distributed Systems are Hard

Working with distributed systems is hard. Many programmers who otherwise do a very good job writing application code do not fully grasp the challlenges of distributed computing.One of these challenges stems from having to deal with errors that you’d not encounter when writing application code. For example, Apple’s weather dashboard widget provides a quick view at the 7-day forecast. The forecast data comes from some system(s) across the Internet. In other words, the widget is in fact a small distributed application. However, sometimes pulling the forcast data catches it with the pants down, and you’ll end up seeing 7 consecutive Not a Number: weather-widget-nan.png Not even the pros get it right all the time.

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