Compose NewsBits: CouchDB 2.0, Elastic 5.0 beta, MySQL InnoDB Cluster, TypeScript 2.0 and more.


Compose NewsBits for the week ending September 23rd: CouchDB 2.0 gets released and comfortable, Elasticsearch 5.0 gets to beta, Oracle previews MySQL InnoDB Cluster, PostgreSQL BDR and PostGIS are coming, TypeScript 2.0 takes on null, HomeBrew ferments to 1.0, Emacs matures to 25.1, HTML 5.2 gets a draft and how far can a low power wireless signal get across San Francisco?

NewsBits is the new name for Compose's Little Bits, which was pretty newsy so we thought we'd change the name so people have a better idea what they are getting. Database news, developer news, cloud news and some curiosities from the IT world. On with the NewsBits!

Database Bits

CouchDB 2.0 - After some weeks as a release candidate, CouchDB 2.0 has arrived. It's all been a long time coming for the synchronizing JSON document store but 2.0 marks the reunification of two major branches of the database and it is still maintaining 99% backwards compatibility. What's new? Native clustering support from Cloudant, the new Mango query languages, a new React based admin interface, lots of performance boosts and a new logo.

Elastic 5.0 Beta - The next generation of Elasticsearch, and Elastic's stack, is now feature complete with the release of Elastic 5.0. The Elasticsearch 5.0 beta part of the stack has improved performance, by up to 80% in some benchmarks, with a switch to asynchronous IO for disk writes, faster Geo searching (at the cost of some disk space) and a whole new scripting language called Painless that's replacing Groovy. That last one is a big thing as the Painless is secure by design.

MySQL InnoDB Cluster - Over at Oracle, the covers have been pulled off MySQL InnoDB Cluster which brings a number of high-availability features to the latest MySQL 5.7.15, though interestingly multi-master replication isn't on by default. That could be because benchmark performance is so much better without it though the option to use it is still there. There's a tutorial which is very informative on how things are configured and how it works with new features like the admin API and JavaScript shell.

PostgreSQL - The folks at 2ndQuadrant have announced that their BDR - Bidirectional Replication - for PostgreSQL will be available for PostgreSQL 9.6. More importantly, the BDR functionality is all in a plugin so it should work with standard Postgres out of the box, unlike previous release. In other PostgreSQL news, PostGIS 2.3.0 rc1 has been released.

Developer Bits

TypeScript 2.0 - Microsoft's TypeScript has reached version 2.0. According to the announcement there's a simpler way of defining and handling type declarations (a sort of informational glue between the untyped world of JavaScript libraries and the typed world of TypeScript) and they've taken on the problem of null/undefined with a new stricter null checker. Microsoft and the TypeScript community are definitely doing some impressive work in the in-browser language space.

Homebrew 1.0 - The Mac package manager started by @mxcl has been making life easier for Mac users for quite a few years now has officially reached version 1.0. An already great tool now has a more stable base for the future. How easy? The other day we were looking for quicklook plugins to show plain text, JSON and code highlights. We found this repository and then noticed all the plugins were available with a brew cask install command. Better quick looking in seconds - Thanks Brew!

Emacs 25.1 - With Emacs 25.1 there's some interesting additions to the venerable Gnu Emacs editor: An ability to load dynamic libraries, early support for using the Cairo graphics libraries, validation of TLS/SSL certificates when connecting on the network and a curvy quotes as you type mode.

HTML 5.2 Draft - HTML 5 is now two years old and HTML 5.1 is now a Proposed Recommendation. And that means the specifications game at W3C is moving on to specifying HTML 5.2. The First Public Draft is out and among the planning is better contentEditable handling so the web can have native editing built in, not as an attached editor. Look for HTML 5.2 to land end of 2017 and track its development over at the W3C. And if you are wondering about where HTML 5.1 is at, check out the implementation report.

Odd Bits

LoRa in San Francisco - We follow IoT developments here, especially in wireless networking. Just landing in that space is LoRa based devices, claiming miles of range for low power small messages. But how far? Here's an anecdotal answer from the folks at Beep Networks who did a little trial in San Francisco. Spoiler: It's a surprisingly long way.

Dj Walker-Morgan
Dj Walker-Morgan is Compose's resident Content Curator, and has been both a developer and writer since Apples came in II flavors and Commodores had Pets. Love this article? Head over to Dj Walker-Morgan’s author page and keep reading.