Mailinator(tm) Blog: The Architecture of Mailinator is a particularly fun read. Looks like the fellow wrote a service that closely mirrors the design approach of most Visual Basic developers I know, but in this case (giving away a free service to anonymous schmoes), he's actually got a reason to take the "Whatever suits me best *is* best," approach.

I particularly like the way that he's got the whole system, email storage and all, sitting in RAM. I am, admittedly, a little surprised it's written in Java, and when he said he'd written his own system, I thought perhaps he'd written his own OS. No such luck, and it apparently remains in Java mostly because that's what Mr. Tyma is most familiar using. (See, we're back to the VB programmer mentality!)

(Btw, apparently by "system" he meant email software, as he rewrote the SMTP software, etc. I'm not real sure why there was ever a POP3 or IMAP side of his house, though, as it's all about web interfaces at mailinator. Seems you simply roll your own to read the files you pull out of the Messages SMTP delivers. I've been wondering how difficult it'd be to write a real OS without stealing any existing code, GNU or no, if you standardized on a mobo, NIC, hard drive, etc. At least for small devices (sans HD, etc), it wouldn't seem all that difficult.)

Anyhow, it's a neat problem to conceive of and an very elegant, in a "clever use of wire and duct tape" sense, solution.

I should admit, I'm partial to elegant wire and duct tape in my hacks myself. Lest that make me sound like a horrible programmer, believe me, I'm awfully strict about the way the code looks, etc, but let's say I've greatly favor using a customized, in-house solution based on pipes, files, or http I/O for inter-app communication than CORBA. You get the idea. Perhaps.