- Optimizing MongoDB — shorter field names, barely hundreds of ops/s when not in RAM, updates hold a lock while they fetch the original from disk … it’s a pretty grim story. (via Artur Bergman)
- Is There a New Geek Anti-Intellectualism? — focus is absolutely necessary if we are to gain knowledge. We will be ignoramuses indeed, if we merely flow along with the digital current and do not take the time to read extended, difficult texts. (via Sacha Judd)
- Trend Data for Teens (Pew Internet and American Life Project) — one in six American teens have used the Internet to look for information online about a health topic that’s hard to talk about, like drug use, sexual health, or depression.
- The Guts of Android (Linux Weekly News) — technical but high-level explanation of the components of an Android system and how they compare to those of a typical Linux system.
Powering your app with open source and OpenShift
As a software developer, you are no doubt familiar with the process of abstracting away unnecessary detail in code — imagine if that same principle were applied to application hosting. Say hello to Platform as a Service (PaaS), which enables you to host your applications in the cloud without having to worry about the logistics, leaving you to focus on your code. This post will discuss five ways in which PaaS benefits software developers, using the open source OpenShift PaaS by Red Hat as an example.
No More Tedious Config Tasks
Most of us don’t become developers to do system administration, but when you are running your own infrastructure you end up doing exactly that. A PaaS can take that pain away by handling pesky config and important security updates for you. As a bonus, it makes your sys admin happy too by allowing you to provision your own environment for that killer new app idea you want to tinker with, rather than nagging them for root access on a new VM.
On OpenShift, it goes like this: let’s say you decide you want to test an idea for a Java app, using Tomcat and PostgreSQL (yes, we could argue about the merits of those choices, but work with me here). You can spin that up with a one-line terminal command:
rhc app create myawesomeapp tomcat-7 postgresql-9.2 -s
That -s on the end is telling the platform to make the app auto-scaling, which I will elaborate on later; yes, that’s all it takes. RHC (Red Hat Cloud) is just a Ruby Gem wrapping calls to the OpenShift REST API. You could also use the OpenShift web console or an IDE plugin to do this, or call the API directly if that’s how you roll. The key technologies in play here are just plain old Git and SSH — there’s nothing proprietary.
Rapid web development with MongoDB, Express, AngularJS, and Node.js
Problem 1: Prototyping, or, how do I build the damn thing?
With the growing popularity of the lean startup model, the pressure to shorten product development cycles and churn out a prototype application quickly and cheaply has never been greater. And, as developers, we’re doing this better at an exponential rate. Projects that once required hundreds of millions of dollars of capital in the late ‘90s became projects that you could build in a month or two with a couple tens of thousands of capital at a startup accelerator around 2008. Now, these sorts of projects are being churned out at hackathons around the country in a matter of days. As great as this seems, we can do better.
Eleven areas of focus for deeper investigation.
Conferences like Strata are planned a year in advance. The logistics and coordination required for an event of this magnitude takes a lot of planning, but it also takes a decent amount of prediction: Strata needs to skate to where the puck is going.
While Strata New York + Hadoop World 2013 is still a few months away, we’re already guessing at what next year’s Santa Clara event will hold. Recently, the team got together to identify some of the hot topics in big data, ubiquitous computing, and new interfaces. We selected eleven big topics for deeper investigation.
- Deep learning
- Time-series data
- The big data “app stack”
- Cultural barriers to change
- Design patterns
- Laggards and Luddites
- The convergence of two databases
- The other stacks
- Mobile data
- The analytic life-cycle
- Data anthropology
Here’s a bit more detail on each of them. Read more…
An interview with Rick Copeland, the author of MongoDB Applied Design Patterns
At a recent MongoDB SF event, I had a chance to meet Rick Copeland. He was in town and stopped by the event to sign copies of his book, MongoDB Applied Design Patterns. While I am not Rick’s editor, I approached him to see if he would be okay with me filming the book signing as well as participating in a follow-up written interview. He agreed. It was great to catch a bit of footage of the event as well as have a chance to ask Rick about how he started working with MongoDB, why he wrote the book, and how he balances a busy schedule filled with working, writing, and speaking.
How did you get started working with MongoDB?
Rick Copeland: I started using MongoDB at Sourceforge in 2009. Just before I came on board, the decision had been made to base the next generation of SourceForge on MongoDB instead of relational databases. The driving factors behind this decision were some internally-conducted benchmarks and a developer love of the document-oriented model.
OSCON 2013 Speaker Series
Henrik Ingo (@h_ingo) is a MySQL architect, author, and OSCON 2013 Speaker. In this interview we talk about high availability in MySQL and why he switched to MongoDB.
NOTE: If you are interested in attending OSCON to check out Henrik’s talk or the many other cool sessions, click over to the OSCON website where you can use the discount code OS13PROG to get 20% your registration fee.
Key highlights include:
- Why is high availability so important now? [Discussed at 2:25]
- Percona and Maria DB are not much different than plain old MySQL. [Discussed at 6:24]
- Moving from MySQL to MongoDB [Discussed at 8:40]
You can view the full interview here:
An interview with Kristina Chodorow, author of MongoDB: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition
We launched the second edition of Kristina Chodorow’s book, MongoDB: The Definitive Guide at a recent MongoDB conference in San Francisco. Everyone worked hard to make this happen. I filmed a little behind the scenes video with my phone in order to share it with everyone that worked on the book. After I filmed it, I decided to post the video as well as an interview with Kristina. Both the video and interview provide snippets of what it is like to work on the second edition of the MongoDB: The Definitive Guide.
What inspired you to become a software engineer?
Kristina Chodorow: In college, I took a computer science class because it would count towards my math major. I was programming a tic-tac-toe game and thought, “Why can’t I just program it to try to win?” and then I realized I could figure out the actual logic of “trying to win.” I thought that was the coolest thing ever. I took a couple more programming classes, joined the programming team, and started doing CS research. By the time I graduated, I knew I was going to be a programmer.
How did you land at 10gen?
Steve Francia on alternatives to Hadoop and what lies ahead for MongoDB.
Steve and I sat down during the Strata + Hadoop World conference in New York last month to talk about what he’s most excited about nowadays. He focused on alternatives to Hadoop, what we can expect to see next from MongoDB, and the future of big data.
Highlights from the conversation include:
- Discover alternatives to Hadoop. [Discussed 18 seconds in].
- The new features in MongoDB 2.2. [Discussed at the 1:23 mark].
- How being an open source company helps 10gen connect with its users. [Discussed at the 3:09 mark].
- Long-term goals for MongoDB. [Discussed at the 5:10 mark].
- New technologies are enabling all of us to participate in big data. [Discussed at the 7:05 mark].
You can view the entire interview in the following video.
MongoDB Subpessimalization, Anti-Intellectualism, Teen Internet Use, Android Internals
MongoDB for Guardian, Visualization Book, Mobile CouchDB, and Fast Approximate String Retrieval
- Why We Chose MongoDB for Guardian.co.uk (SlideShare) — they’re using MongoDB’s flexible schema, as schema upgrades were pain in their previous system (Oracle). I think of these as the database equivalent of dynamic typing in languages like Perl and Ruby. (via Paul Rowe)
- Solving Problems with Visual Analytics — This book is the result of a community effort of the partners of the VisMaster Coordinated Action funded by the European Union. The overarching aim of VisMaster was to create a research roadmap that outlines the current state of visual analytics across many disciplines, and to describe the next steps that have to be taken to foster a strong visual analytics community, thus enabling the development of advanced visual analytic applications. (via Mark Madsen)
- iOS-Couchbase (GitHub) — a build of distributed key-value store CouchDB, which will keep your mobile data in sync with a remote store. No mean feat given CouchDB itself has Erlang as a dependency. (via Mike Olson)
- SimString — A fast and simple algorithm for approximate string retrieval in C++ with Python and Ruby bindings, opensourced with modified BSD license. (via Matt Biddulph)