Wednesday, February 10, 2016

MicroServices are not MuServices

Someone where I work recently decided to edit a script that had variables named microservice_this or microservice_that to uservice_this and uservice_that.

What is a uservice?  alcohol? cigarettes? weed?

I’m curious why he decided to change the variables in the script and make them inconsistent with pretty much ALL other references to microservices in pretty much EVERY other document or code (at least around here).

I’m not a fan of using the science/electronics abbreviation of "micro" applied to the semantics of the "microservice" software architecture strategy.  IMO, it just makes things more confusing.  Also, it isn’t actually an English alphabet “u” that is used to represent "micro" in those other disciplines, it’s a greek lower case Mu – “μ”.  I’d be really surprised if that special character didn’t render the script un-runnable, so, after this guy made his changes, the script is either wrong, or broken.

One of the reasons it bothers me is that there is a distinction between the prefix micro, which has come to have a legitimate alternative meaning of “very small”, and the more technical meaning of the prefix which means millionth.  "Microservices" really aren’t services that are one millionth the size of bigger services.  They’re just smaller, so the secondary meaning of the prefix “micro" makes some sense, but the singular meaning of Mu (μ) DOES NOT!!!

I guess it will all be moot soon when things like AWS Lambda take over the world and we all switch to nano-services. Will some people insist on calling them nservices???

Just for grins, compare these results:

And then, search this page for “uservice”.

Ok… rant over.  Decided to vent here instead of picking a fight with the genius who decided to change the script variable names.

Also, BTW, this isn't an invitation to argue with me.  This is just my opinion on the matter.  I don't really care whether you agree, and I won't publish any boneheaded, "you're wrong because" comments.

One of my new favorite jokes...

Job Interview
Interviewer: What would you say is your biggest weakness?
Job Applicant: Honesty.
Interviewer: I don't think honesty is really a weakness.
Job Applicant: I don't care what the f*&^ you think!