"flash" entries

How Flash changes the design of database storage engines

High-performing memory throws many traditional decisions overboard


Over the past decade, SSD drives (popularly known as Flash) have radically changed computing at both the consumer level — where USB sticks have effectively replaced CDs for transporting files — and the server level, where it offers a price/performance ratio radically different from both RAM and disk drives. But databases have just started to catch up during the past few years. Most still depend on internal data structures and storage management fine-tuned for spinning disks.

Citing price and performance, one author advised a wide range of database vendors to move to Flash. Certainly, a database administrator can speed up old databases just by swapping out disk drives and inserting Flash, but doing so captures just a sliver of the potential performance improvement promised by Flash. For this article, I asked several database experts — including representatives of Aerospike, Cassandra, FoundationDB, RethinkDB, and Tokutek — how Flash changes the design of storage engines for databases. The various ways these companies have responded to its promise in their database designs are instructive to readers designing applications and looking for the best storage solutions.

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JavaScript: Not as Expected

A good match for the similarly unexpected Web?

JavaScript’s ever-growing importance still takes people by surprise. Every time I post about things JavaScript makes possible, I get pushback from people who refuse to be impressed by JavaScript. Why? Because it isn’t what they wanted.

In the course of a week, I get to hear from different quarters about how JavaScript is half Lisp, and terrible either because it dares to be half-Lisp or because it only manages to be half Lisp. Similarly, as functional programming has become more visible, I’ve heard more from people who think JavaScript programming is too functional or not functional enough. People disappointed in JavaScript because it doesn’t have strong typing are a constant, as are people who find prototypal inheritance perverse. JavaScript syntax—I’m sure someone must like it.

It’s tempting to tell the story of JavaScript as a series of historical accidents. Brendan Eich put together LiveScript, applying a variety of techniques to meet a particular set of needs quickly. Since then, we’ve been dealing with JavaScript’s shift from a simple object manipulation language to a much broader and more powerful toolkit, unable to change approach because of the unique dynamics of the browser world.

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Developer Week in Review: Flash marginalization continues

Flash ditches Linux, a developer faces death, and we get a peek inside Foxconn.

If you use Linux, either start using Chrome as your browser or get ready to give up Flash. A developer faces execution in Iran because of how someone used software he wrote, and the world gets to see what it's like to build iPads and iPhones.

Four short links: 13 January 2012

Four short links: 13 January 2012

Internet in Culture, Flash Security Tool, Haptic E-Books, and Facebook Mining Private Updates

  1. How The Internet Gets Inside Us (The New Yorker) — at any given moment, our most complicated machine will be taken as a model of human intelligence, and whatever media kids favor will be identified as the cause of our stupidity. When there were automatic looms, the mind was like an automatic loom; and, since young people in the loom period liked novels, it was the cheap novel that was degrading our minds. When there were telephone exchanges, the mind was like a telephone exchange, and, in the same period, since the nickelodeon reigned, moving pictures were making us dumb. When mainframe computers arrived and television was what kids liked, the mind was like a mainframe and television was the engine of our idiocy. Some machine is always showing us Mind; some entertainment derived from the machine is always showing us Non-Mind. (via Tom Armitage)
  2. SWFScan — Windows-only Flash decompiler to find hardcoded credentials, keys, and URLs. (via Mauricio Freitas)
  3. Paranga — haptic interface for flipping through an ebook. (via Ben Bashford)
  4. Facebook Gives Politico Deep Access to Users Political Sentiments (All Things D) — Facebook will analyse all public and private updates that mention candidates and an exclusive partner will “use” the results. Remember, if you’re not paying for it then you’re the product and not the customer.

Developer Year in Review: 2011 Edition

It was a good year for mobile, HTML5, Drupal and Hadoop.

It's time for our annual look back at the year that was, when mobile ruled the world, HTML5 PWNED Flash, Drupal and Hadoop were the hot buzzwords for your resume, and a new batch of languages tried to become stars.

Developer Week in Review: Adobe raises the white flag on mobile Flash

Adobe immobilized mobile Flash, Eclipse joins the vanity language fad, and one man asks if brainteasers really find good programmers.

Flash isn't dead, but Adobe is checking into hospice options. Eclipse adds another language to the list of ones almost but not exactly like Java. And how do you find good programmers? Probably not with brainteasers.

JavaFX 2.0: Making RIA with Java

JavaFX 2.0 looks to make rich Java web applications easier

Jim Weaver, founder of JMentor, explains why JavaFX could become a viable contender in the Rich Internet Applications world.

Checking in on HTML5 video

YouTube's Greg Schechter on HTML5's place in the video world.

HTML5 video still needs work, but YouTube's Greg Schechter says it's heading in a good direction. In this interview, Schechter explains how HTML5 video introduces new needs and new opportunities.

Can Flash and HTML5 get along?

Adobe's Duane Nickull on serving developers -- HTML5 and Flash alike -- through choice.

As HTML5 matures, the overlap between the new standard and Flash becomes a point of examination (or contention, depending on your perspective). In this interview, Adobe technical evangelist and Web 2.0 Expo speaker Duane Nickull says the real issue isn't which option is better, but rather how developers are best served.

Four short links: 18 June 2010

Four short links: 18 June 2010

Facebook Scraping, Law Code, AppEngine in Javascript, and Flash Visualization

  1. Facebook Changes Crawling Policy (for the better) — they’re implementing their crawling policy in robots.txt and not in additional contractual terms. This is in response to Pete Warden pointing out that robots.txt is industry standard and will avoid confusion such as landed him with large lawyer bills. This change came from Bret Taylor, their CTO, who was product manager for Google Maps and gets working sanely with developers. (via Pete Warden)
  2. Law as Source Code (Sean McGrath) — there’s something important coming together in his series of blog posts about law. What we have here are two communities that work with insanely large, complex corpora of text that must be rigorously managed and changed with the utmost care, precision and transparency of intent. Yet, the software community has a much greater set of tools at its disposal to help out.
  3. AppEngineJSa port of the Google Appengine Python SDK to JavaScript […] JavaScript Web applications powered by Google’s infrastructure […] at client and server side.
  4. Axiis — Flash-based visualization framework.