Compose's Little Bit's #35 - Scylla, Meteor and RethinkDB, PostgreSQL, ECMAScript 2016, Git 2.9, Go and more

Scylla goes for monthly updates, using Meteor and RethinkDB, versioning and PostgreSQL, ES7 (ECMAScript 2016) is approved, Git 2.9 arrives with new diffing, Cockroach folk vs Go dependencies, Learning X in Y Minutes, Apple's new file-system and the startup lessons of Buffer - all the links that caught the eye of Compose's technical content curator this week, in one place for you. These are Compose's Little Bits.

Database-y

Scylla - The developers of the Cassandra compatible Scylla database have released version 1.2 adding the CQL ALTER KEYSPACE command, simpler installation and Ubuntu 16.04 packages. From now on, there'll be monthly minor releases of the open source (AGPL) database.

Meteor and RethinkDB - In Building a Game with Meteor and RethinkDB a game developer explains how they short circuited the lack of RethinkDB support in Meteor. They and got much faster response times and less trips to the database into the bargain.

PostgreSQL Versions - An interesting post on PostgreSQL versions shows how you can establish what version of PostgreSQL you are using, but more interestingly, how to run particular code dependent on that version. That'll be handy when running against PostgreSQL 9.6 or later to decide if you want parallel queries or not. Talking about version numbers, the PostgreSQL community is still considering going to 10.x for the next release but no decisions have been made and the discussion continues on the mailing lists.

Developer-y

ECMAScript 2016 - The standard version of JavaScript has been officially updated with the approval of ECMAScript 2016 aka ES7. It's not a huge release, but that in itself is good news as it means the new release process is allowing small incremental updates, rather than forcing the massive update that was ECMAScript 2015 (ES6). No more waiting six years for an update to JavaScript standards!

Git 2.9 - And the predominant source code control system of our time, Git, gets another update. Git 2.9 has faster, more flexible submodule support with more parallel operations and a new way of generating diffs (--compaction-heuristic) which should make them more readable by people. There's also enhancements to rebasing, better handling of ASCII art and lots more in the release notes.

Go - The Cockroach Labs developers talk about Outsmarting Go Dependencies in Testing Code in a recent article. Go's opinionated take on things can lead to interesting problems in testing especially with dependencies. The Cockroach developers show how to test the internals of a Go package without tripping over dependencies.

LearnXinYminutes - There's always been sites for quickstarting with languages and tools and learnxinyminutes.com is one of the more interesting ones. Showing, rather than telling, each language is illustrated with a large block of code that steps through various features so you can quickly get a feel for the language. And that's all followed up with links to documentation and other resources. Not for absolute beginners, but handy for the polyglot inclined. It's not just languages though, I found it via a link to zfs and the site is all built out of a github repository.

Apple FS - Behind the scenes at WWDC, Apple announced a new file-system, APFS. While it won't rock most peoples worlds, it was good to hear that Dominic Giampaolo, who developed the super BeOS file system - the book(pdf) is even better - has been one of the people working on this at Apple. Over at Big Nerd Ranch, Mark Dalrymple has been taking the first alpha for a run. If you like the idea of a command option -IHaveBeenWarnedThatAPFSIsPreReleaseAndThatIMayLoseData then you'll want to know more about APFS.

Startup-y

Buffer - The folks over at Buffer have shown how they value transparency by talking about the tough choices they've had to make recently. It's a great working example of being deeply transparent as it contains a lot of useful reference points for any expanding startup that's growing beyond ten to twenty employees. We hope that Buffer's choices pay off for them in the long term and with transparency like this, we know we will hear it from them first.