NewsBits - FoundationDB open sourced and MySQL 8 goes GA


Welcome to NewsBits, where you'll find the database, cloud and developer news from around the net for the week ending April 20th:

And now, here are those bits in full...

Database Bits

FoundationDB - FoundationDB has been open-sourced by Apple. The distributed, transactional key-value store had been making a name for itself when, back in Mar 2015, Apple acquired the company. It was expected by many that this was the last that would be seen of the promising technology.

Now Apple, after apparently using FoundationDB as a production component of their services, has released the code under an Apache license and is looking to create a community around the code. VMWare's Wavefront, who have been using FoundationDB since before the acquisition, have committed to supporting the open source FoundationDB.

FoundationDB, as the name implies, is a foundation for other database layers. It's accessed through a C based API with bindings to Java, Go and Python available. People have built SQL, Document store and Mongo-style JSON database layers on top of it but none of them are in this initial open source release.

MySQL 8 GA - MySQL 8 has been released as GA (Generally Available), marking it as ready for production use. MySQL 8's developer release appeared in 2016 and after many releases since then, has reached version 8.0.11 and GA status. MySQL 8 sees Window functions and CTEs (Common Table Expressions) added to the SQL as well as descending index support, improved support for JSON, GIS data support, InnoDB used for all meta-data and performance improvements throughout.

It also switches MySQL to using utf8mb4 as the default character set and using OpenSSL for all versions. The ability to set global variables persistently and remotely restart servers from the SQL command are among the various operational enhancements. The MySQL Document Store has also been GA'd with the rest of MySQL.

The MySQLServerTeam blog has a What's New in MySQL 8 GA post which covers all the new features. MySQL 8's various connectors - ODBC, Node.js, Python, Net, C++ and Java - have all been updated with support for MySQL 8 and the X Plugin and protocol and X DevAPI.

Elasticsearch - Elastic released minor updates Elasticsearch 6.2.4 and 5.6.9, which included security fixes but only for their X-Pack Machine learning. There's also fixes to avoid endlessly flushing the server, for the Java REST clients and for percolation. Details in the release notes.

Cloud Bits

Titus - Netflix's in-house container management platform, Titus, has been released as open source. While Titus is entering an arena dominated by Kubernetes and others, it is very tightly integrated with AWS. The announcement by Netflix discusses how they hope to cross-pollinate concepts and features with other management platforms while continuing to develop Titus in line with Netflix's business goals. Those goals mean launching a lot of containers "as many as three million containers launched per week in April 2018" to help deliver TV and film content to the world.

Developer Bits

GraalVM - Oracle has released GraalVM 1.0, a polyglot VM that comes with a ready-loaded ecosystem to run JVM-based languages (for Java, Scala, Kotlin), JavaScript (for Node.js), LLVM bitcode (for C, C++ or Rust) and experimental support for Ruby, R and Python. JVM-based applications can be converted into native images for fast startup and execution. GraalVM itself can be embedded into applications. The community edition of GraalVM is licensed under the GPL and a number of other licenses, partly because of the mix of technologies and licenses in there. Oracle says it wants to establish a collaborative community around GraalVM.

Atom - It's another Atom update, Atom 1.26, which brings improvements to Github integration and fuzzy matching when using the Teletype collaboration tool. In the Atom 1.27 beta, they've also added the ability for pair programmers to both be listed as authors of commits.

Whose Code - It's been known for some time that its possible to de-anonymize code to work out who wrote it but success rates were quite low. Via the ACM Communications we get to hear of a paper from an international team of researchers, Who Wrote This Code(pdf). There, they used Google Code Jam code to train a classifier and, through their refined techniques were able to identify authors of code from a pool of 600 at 83% accuracy. This isn't from source code but from disassembled versions of binary files. Impressive work.

And finally... Want to make some noise this weekend? Check out VCVrack, an open source virtual rack of analog synthesizer modules for you to wire up. The good folks at Open Culture pointed us at this with an article introducing the idea of virtual racks. The developers raise funds by releasing albums made using the software.

NewsBits. News in bits, every Friday at Compose.

Read more articles about Compose databases - use our Curated Collections Guide for articles on each database type. If you have any feedback about this or any other Compose article, drop the Compose Articles team a line at We're happy to hear from you.

Dj Walker-Morgan
Dj Walker-Morgan was 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 to keep reading.

Conquer the Data Layer

Spend your time developing apps, not managing databases.